Dempsey ‘a complete player’: Scott

Oliver Dempsey during the round one match between Geelong and St Kilda at GMHBA Stadium. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

Geelong coach Chris Scott is wary of heaping too much praise on emerging star Ollie Dempsey.

But, understandably, he finds it hard to contain his excitement.

Even more so after the 21-year-old’s outstanding three-goal performance in the Cats’ tense eight-point win over St Kilda on Saturday night.

In his eighth AFL game, Dempsey tallied 15 disposals, nine score involvements, two goal assists and two contested marks to help sway a tight contest Geelong’s way.

“We know what he’s capable of … I hesitate to say this – I want to say he’s a complete player,” Scott said.

“He doesn’t have too many parts of his game where you look at him and think you’ve really got to get that up to AFL standard.”

A former basketball and volleyball player, Dempsey was selected by Geelong in the 2022 rookie draft after a handful of games with Old Carey amateurs.

The 185cm-tall forward played seven AFL games in his first two seasons and looks primed for a much bigger role this year as Geelong seek to climb back into premiership contention.

“He’s one of those guys that looks to me like he wants the moment,” Scott said.

“It’s easy to try to coach players and help them to be that kind of guy, but most of the time it’s innate.

“He missed a couple of shots that he’ll ruminate on, but he shouldn’t because as time goes on he’s going to be one of those guys that finishes his work really nicely.”

Dempsey wasn’t the only inexperienced Cat who impressed Scott in the win over St Kilda.

While veteran Patrick Dangerfield starred and kicked the match-winning goal, younger teammates Max Holmes, Tanner Bruhn and Jhye Clark were also influential.

Clark suffered a foot injury on debut last year but showcased his talent in a 13-disposal return against the Saints.

“Jhye Clark was really good,” Scott said.

“He’s played one game but only played 20 minutes in that game before he got hurt, so this was really his first full game of AFL football.

“He looked like he belonged out there.”

A first-round draft pick in 2022, Clark has signed a one-year contract extension that ties him to Geelong until at least the end of 2026.

Teammates Zach Guthrie and Oisin Mullin have also extended by 12 months and will remain with the Cats until at least the end of next season.