Caddy already impressing as he eyes preseason return

PRIZED Geelong recruit Josh Caddy wants to play in round 1 of the NAB Cup.

The 20-year-old former Gold Coast midfielder looked sharp during training at Mount Beauty yesterday as he eyes a spot in the side for the Cats’ preseason clashes against West Coast and Fremantle in Perth on February 16.

Caddy has been on a restricted program since shoulder surgery in September but is happy with his progress.

“My goal is to play every game of footy that I can,” he said yesterday.

“I’m sure there’s no footballers who don’t want to be playing.

“Hopefully after Christmas I’m back to 100 per cent full contact and ready to go for the season.

“I think I’ve got a good shot at playing footy if I do all the things right.”

The Cats have been based at Falls Creek since last week but have used the Mount Beauty oval for skills sessions.

Caddy was one of three recycled players on the track yesterday, with former North Melbourne ruckman Hamish McIntosh and former Melbourne defender Jared Rivers the others.

The trio trained strongly as they tried to impress new teammates and coaches.

Chiltern’s favourite son Nigel Lappin took most of training, with the help of Matthew Knights and Shane O’Bree, in the absence of senior coach Chris Scott.

Lappin said Caddy, who played 24 games for the Suns, would give the Cats depth in the midfield.

“He’s another strong body for us in the midfield to take some pressure off the Bartels and Coreys and Kellys and Selwoods,” Lappin said.

“We are really excited to have him.

“With Mitch Duncan, Allen Christensen, Josh Cowan ... we are building quite a good midfield for the future.

“He hasn’t done a lot of contact work, yet, that will start for him after Christmas, but we can’t fault him.

“We had a time trial up the mountain the other day on the bikes and Josh finished with the third best time.

“He’s a really good runner and he works really hard.”

Caddy, the Suns’ No. 7 pick in the 2010 national draft, nearly returned to Victoria last year for family reasons but a deal with Essendon couldn’t be done.

The former Northern Knights captain said it had taken little time to fit in at the Cats.

“Obviously it’s never easy walking into a side with this much experience and this many good players, and even good young players, but I’ve had a pretty good start to preseason,” he said.

“I couldn’t be happier about the way I was introduced into the footy club and accepted.

“It’s good to come up here as well just to get to know guys that I probably wouldn’t have got to know as well being in Geelong.”

Josh Caddy.

Josh Caddy.