AFL News: Relief at last for decimated Tigers, Cats star set to turn his back on Tassie homecoming


Injury-hit Richmond are starting to get some relief with three players, including dual premiership player Jack Graham, set to return against Geelong.

Graham, along with Rhyan Mansell and Jacob Bauer, are all expected to be available for the Tigers’ Saturday night trip to GMHBA Stadium – their first game in Geelong since 2017.

Forward Mansell missed Richmond’s Dreamtime defeat to Essendon on Saturday night due to concussion.

Graham sat out the last two matches after hurting his hamstring in the thumping loss against the Western Bulldogs three weeks ago.

But the return of Graham will be offset by the absence of the dangerous Shai Bolton, who was concussed in the final quarter against the Bombers.

Luckless midfielder Jacob Hopper’s hamstring injury is taking longer to heal than first anticipated and could be sidelined for another four weeks.

Hopper’s former GWS teammate Tim Taranto is listed as up to two weeks away after the reigning Tigers’ best-and-fairest winner broke his wrist at training in April.

Star forward Tom Lynch has been sidelined since badly hurting his hamstring in the round-three upset of Sydney, but is tracking to be available in two-to-three weeks.

Jake to turn his back on Tassie homecoming

Off-contract Geelong defender Jake Kolodjashnij struggles to see himself anywhere else as he prepares to ink a new deal to keep him with the Cats.

Kolodjashnij will become a free agent at season’s end should he not sign a new contract before then.

But the premiership player is more than content where he is, even as his home state, Tasmania, prepares to become the AFL’s 19th club in 2028.

“I’m Geelong through and through; I’ve been here since I was a kid, slowly matured and started a family, so it’d be hard to pull up stumps and ship over to Tassie,” Kolodjashnij said.

“It’s a long time away too (until Tasmania joins the AFL), I don’t know how the body will be (in 2028). But I’m loving my time at Geelong and I don’t really see myself being anywhere else.”

Looking forward to the next challenge ???? #WeAreGeelong

— Geelong Cats (@GeelongCats) May 28, 2024

Despite pledging his loyalty to Geelong, Kolodjashnij admitted it was hard not to get caught up in the hype surrounding the Devils preparing to be part of the AFL.

 “I haven’t looked too far ahead apart from barracking for what they’re doing,” he said of the Tasmanian club.

“The memberships they’re doing are pretty viral (the club passed 150,000 memberships sold in March), people jumping on board, so it’s pretty exciting.”

Geelong are attempting to bounce back from losing four straight matches – their worst winless streak in 14 seasons under coach Chris Scott.

The Cats host struggling Richmond on Saturday night, when they will also hope to end a two-game losing streak at GMHBA Stadium.

“We’re going to really narrow our focus on the next two weeks and knuckle down at training and turn around those areas we’ve been lacking,” Kolodjashnij said.

“It’s probably little bits and pieces all over the ground (the Cats need to fix up).”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.