Geelong's Mitch Duncan has urged his coaches to give him more responsibility to fill the void left by suspended star Steve Johnson in Saturday night's elimination final against Fremantle at the MCG.
Duncan, who notched his 50th game last Saturday against Sydney, said his growing maturity made him feel more confident about what he was able to do on the ground, and also in telling his coaches about roles he thought he could play.
The 21-year-old said he would approach coach Chris Scott and midfield mentor Nigel Lappin about a bigger role in Johnson's absence.
"Hopefully I can step up and take a bit of his role," Duncan said.
"I'll definitely mention it to Scotty and Nige that I'd like to take his spot and try and help a few of the boys. You gain that bit more confidence being around the club for three years now and just the confidence in yourself to be able to speak up when you need to speak up.
"Instead of just being happy to be there, you kind of want to make your own stamp now and want to do something good yourself. It's amazing having those older guys there for support.
"But not everyone (at the Cats) has won three premierships. I'd love to add another one to my belt and a couple of the young guys would love to get their first one."
Midfielder James Kelly said the Cats were disappointed to lose Johnson, particularly as his bump on Sydney's Daniel Hannebery lacked intent and impact.
Kelly said Johnson's replacement was likely to come from Travis Varcoe, David Wojcinski, Cameron Guthrie, Shannon Byrnes or Jonathan Simpkin.
Before Johnson's suspension, Scott suggested Varcoe would be forced to fully prove he was over a foot injury by playing well in the club's VFL team.
Duncan said the time since being part of last year's premiership team in just his 29th senior game had flown by.
He said the club's recent big-game experience would be a crucial edge on the Dockers.
"That experience of playing in big games is second to none, really," he said.
"We're probably one of the best attacking teams and they're one of the best defending sides."Obviously there's a lot to play for this week … but hopefully we're peaking at the right time and can go all the way through."
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