THE biggest month of the VFL season starts for Geelong at Skilled Stadium this morning.
The eighth-placed Cats' finals prospects will go on the line when they host the Casey Scorpions (second) ahead of matches to end the home-and-away season against Sandringham (ninth), the Northern Bullants (fifth) and Collingwood (seventh).
VFL coach Dale Amos said after a week's break, the side was ready to tackle the challenges which lie ahead.
"They are all big games, but no bigger than this week with Casey sitting second on the ladder," Amos said.
"All the sides around us on the ladder are in reasonable form at the moment, so it's a big game for sure.
"We recovered early last week and then trained really solidly towards the end and they've trained really well this week, so we're confident that the group's mature enough that we can continue on from where we were (before the break) and not slip back into some bad habits."
Geelong's side for this morning's curtain raiser has been strengthened by the return of David Johnson and Nathan Djerrkura from injury, Tom Gillies from AFL duties while bigman Brad Ottens will line up in attack in his first appearance in almost four months.
"(They are all) quality players and Tom Gillies is a real positive for us as well," Amos said.
"He just shores things up a little bit for us having played a couple of games in the AFL. So, it's certainly nice to have those guys in ... you certainly feel a lot more confident coaching with those guys in the backline."
Having beaten Box Hill and Coburg before the bye, Amos said the Cats were keen to claim the scalp of another top side today.
"They beat us pretty comfortably the first time around so it's a good challenge for us," Amos said.
"I guess it's similar to the Coburg game (before the bye). We get to measure how far we've actually improved and whether we have developed as a group and whether the guys are coming along as we like them."