From the Geelong Advertiser
Reported by Bradley Green
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COMPETITION is fierce for spots on Geelong's VFL list this season - and that's exactly the way new coach Dale Amos wants it.

A squad of about 30 local footballers from GFL, GDFL, BFL and CDFNL clubs are training with the Cats in the hope of winning a berth and Amos said a lot of them had impressed in their bid to step up to the next level in their careers.

Amos, a three-time premiership coach at South Barwon, said he wanted to use his new role to encourage local footballers to have a crack at VFL football every season.

"The strength of the local competitions has been proven in the last couple of years and certainly the GFL has got stronger and stronger," Amos said.

"So it's great for the young guys in those competitions to get the opportunity to come down here and show what they can do at VFL level for a Geelong-based side.

"The guys that are down here, they have certainly grabbed it with both hands and have been extremely committed, turning up to training and training really hard as well.

"It's really competitive as well and that's the way you want it to be, you want guys to be working hard to try and create an opportunity for themselves."

Amos said the local players would be given an opportunity to press their claims in a series of VFL practice matches in the lead-up to the season.

"For some of them, it won't necessarily go any further than that," he said.

"Some might just get the opportunity to play in our intraclub match with a Jimmy Bartel or a Gary Ablett. But most of these guys will get an opportunity to play at one stage or another, so that's a great chance for them to show what they can do."

Amos said the coaching staff would continue to shorten its list of players in the lead-up to the practice games.

"Part of the reason that we've got our list so small so quickly is that we can put our time into these guys as much as we possibly can," Amos said.

"We want to get these guys doing exactly the same as what our first and second-year listed (AFL) players are doing on a full-time basis.

"Our key focus is on development, certainly from a listed point of view and, from these guys, the ones that do stay and play on the list this year.

"But also the guys that go back to their local clubs. I hope they can take some new skills and exposure to a slightly higher level of training back to their local sides and make them a little bit stronger as well."