Geelong coach Chris Scott speaks on Tarryn Thomas, Cats recruitment, Andrew Mackie, North Melbourne, Footy Classified, Kane Cornes

Geelong coach Chris Scott has declared his side is “open” to recruiting players from other clubs, after there were suggestions the Cats were keen on disgraced former North Melbourne midfielder Tarryn Thomas.

On the eve of the 2024 season, the Kangaroos axed the troubled player after he was initially suspended by the league for 18 matches for alleged inappropriate behaviour.

Thomas spent much of the 2023 season also bouncing from controversy to controversy.

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It comes after Geelong list manager Andrew Mackie suggested they would keep the door ajar for the troubled star.

Mackie explained that the Cats will always look into players that have experienced “bumpy” careers, to see if they could be better fit at their club.

“At times if you want to be in the market for players that are really talented and have that skill set, often if they become available to you, it means that something has been a little but bumpy for them along the way,” Mackie said on SEN Radio.

Kane Cornes championed the possibility of the 23-year-old’s return to the big time if he was to do it through Geelong.

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“I’d be surprised if that phone call hasn’t been made (from the Cats to Thomas),” Cornes said on Nine’s Footy Classified on Monday night.

“That connection to Geelong is the obvious one.”

Now, Scott, who has coached the Cats to two flags, says the club will always look into recruiting fringe players if they believe they could fit into their elite club culture.

“I think it is good policy to be open-minded. We believe in second chances,” Scott told reporters on Thursday.

However, the coach made it clear the club isn’t simply saying “yes” to recruiting any player with a history of troubles.

“That doesn’t mean you can roll in and do whatever you want, but I think, in principle, the idea of not getting to ‘no’ too quickly is a good one,” Scott said.

“When you imply that we’re such a good footy club and anyone can come in here, and we’ll just spray them with magic dust, and they’ll turn into great people, I consider it offensive to the rest of the competition.

“But, I think the most important thing is that, yeah, we are open minded.

“Now, that’s a long, long way from yes. But, it’s a start.”

Scott admitted that although he didn’t hear Mackie’s original words, the club stands united on the way the talk about recruiting all kinds of players, not just Thomas.

“I didn’t hear them (Mackie’s comments), but I would imagine that he’s talking about a player in a way that all of us that are spokespeople for the club talk about any other player,” Scott said.

“We’re open minded at the Cats.

“But, in the specific instance, it’s a bit like the (homophobic slur) issue with Alastair Clarkson and Jeremy Finlayson; I’m not across those issues well enough to give a strong opinion privately, much less publicly.”

Geelong face off against North Melbourne in round five at GMHBA Stadium on Sunday.

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