Tough for Cats to replace Stewart - Ling

30 June 2020 19:38:08 GMTPlus10
Camerong Ling says it's a huge loss for Geelong to lose Tom Stewart.

Former Geelong star Cameron Ling believes the Cats will need several players to step up following Tom Stewart's broken collarbone.

Stewart faces a lengthy stint on the sidelines, after being hurt in an off-the-ball incident in Sunday's meeting with Melbourne.

The defender has already had surgery, but the club are not disclosing the timeline for his return.

Ling, who won three premierships with the Cats including as captain in 2011, says it won't be possible for coach Chris Scott to replace Stewart like-for-like.

Speaking of the dual All-Australian - 10th among defenders in the AFL for disposals per game this year - he said: "It's a very big loss. I don't think they necessarily replace him perfectly.

"He is just so composed down there, plays on someone, always finds the footy, does all that. I think responsibility just rolls over a little bit.

"So maybe it's Jack Henry steps into a slightly different role. I think [Jake] Kolodjashnij steps into a slightly different role and probably Jordan Clark comes in."

Ling added: "Clark is not going to replace Stewart but his run and speed and carry will replace part of the elements that Tommy Stewart has got. But I think with Henry and Kolodjashnij, they replace the intercept marking, the defensive skills. Elements of those three ... they step into subtly different roles; Clark provides the run and rebound from down back."

Scott said after the three-point win over the Demons that Lachie Henderson would be in contention to come in for the meeting with the Suns on Saturday.

The Cats may also need to replace forward Tom Atkins, who was hit in the chest against Melbourne.

Geelong are 8/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Cats are 1/4 to win their next game against Gold Coast, who are 63/20.

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