Fort game-ready for Cats

12 May 2020 20:25:34 GMTPlus10

Geelong's Darcy Fort is embracing a return to being a ruckman this season.

Standing at 204cm, the 26-year-old is certainly well suited to the role, and it's one he admits he enjoys more than being up forward where he played last year.

Fort began his time with Geelong competing with Ryan Abbott, Rhys Stanley and Zac Smith for the ruckman position.

He had been recruited with the 65th pick at the 2018 national draft, having first nominated for the draft six years earlier but been overlooked at that point.

The Cats' proliferation of ruckmen led to Fort spending more time as a key forward in their VFL reserves, where he kicked eight goals in four matches.

He got his first chance at senior level in the Round 9 clash with Western Bulldogs last year, after Stanley was a late withdrawal through injury.

Notching 17 hit outs and kicking three goals, he impressed enough to earn selection in two more games before the end of the season.

Speaking about the help he's had with his development, Fort said: "It's been really helpful just having so many coaches around and so many people invested in your development. Just giving you different things to work on has been massive; on every level, I've gotten better on my weights to my fitness even just to general skill work and it's picked up a bit."

He won the pre-season ruck battle with Stanley for a round 1 berth, playing in a 32-point defeat to last year's beaten Grand Finalists Greater Western Sydney.

"I feel a lot more prepared. Being a ruck this time around whereas last time I played forward, it's a bit different," said Fort. "I feel a lot better having got through my second pre-season and I'm a lot more game-ready.

"It's exciting, last year was very different having been a ruckman my whole career. Getting that opportunity to go forward and learn my forward craft (was great), but it's great to be back doing what I do best."

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