Cats ‘very comfortable’ about Bartel trip

Geelong coach Chris Scott has revealed there were ”differing views” even inside the club about Jimmy Bartel’s mid-season trip to the United States, yet has backed the triple premiership champion to be better for it in the second half of the season.

Any jetlag Bartel was feeling after the short holiday has gone, although the Brownlow medallist might not play in this Sunday’s interstate test against the Brisbane Lions, at the Gabba.

Scott said Bartel was only a ”50-50” chance to travel to Brisbane, perhaps more unlikely than likely, as the club decides the best way to manage problems – presumably injury – the 29-year-old has dealt with for the past 18 months.

”He’s come back in pretty good shape and he’s feeling pretty good,” the coach said of Bartel. ”He certainly would be available to play if we absolutely needed him to this week.

”But we consider more than this week when we manage our players, so if it’s going to be better for him later in the season not to play [against the Lions], then we’ll probably do that.”

Regenerating Bartel for a run to the finals influenced the decision to let him fly to the US city of San Antonio to see the Spurs play in the NBA finals.

Although the decision had been challenged internally, the coach believes the trip will have been worthwhile if Bartel, now in his 12th season, can repeat his normal September heroics. ”His program over the break was well planned and we spent quite a bit of time on it,” Scott said.

”The proof will be in the pudding. But I’d be very surprised if Jimmy Bartel doesn’t play great footy in the last half of the season.

”We understand that people out there in the football world will have differing views [about the overseas trip]. To be honest, there are differing views within our football club as well. But it was a well-considered decision and one that we’re very, very comfortable with.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.