AFL flag still driving Dangerfield

Patrick Dangerfield (c) has won many accolades but he longs to be an AFL grand-final winner.
Patrick Dangerfield (c) has won many accolades but he longs to be an AFL grand-final winner.

All the individual accolades in the world won't sate Patrick Dangerfield's appetite for the ultimate team success - an AFL premiership.

Dangerfield this week added an eighth All-Australian blazer to his wardrobe, his first adorned with the captain's colours.

But after 265 games over 13 seasons, the 30-year-old Brownlow Medal winner has still never played in a season decider and craves the chance to hold the cup aloft.

A qualifying final against minor premiers Port Adelaide is the next step in the Cats' latest flag tilt.

"That's the only thing that matters, but there's a process to get there clearly," Dangerfield said on Friday.

"The team's changed a little bit from last year but there's certainly a lot of players that played in (the preliminary final defeat to Richmond) and it still burns.

"But at the same time there's no point looking in the rear-vision mirror, it's about what we can control in front of us.

"That's the way that we play and we've got to make sure that we tick off the games along the way in order to get there."

Geelong have long been criticised for a perceived over-reliance on their superstars, but Dangerfield pointed to an even contribution across the board as key to their success so far this season.

He and decorated spearhead Tom Hawkins were picked in the All-Australian team alongside first-timer Cameron Guthrie, with Sam Menegola also named in the initial squad.

"(Guthrie and Menegola) have had wonderful years and it's great recognition for Cam and the season that he's had," Dangerfield said.

"But our success extends far beyond just those names in the (All-Australian squad).

"Our real success has been the contribution from so many and that's the same for all teams in the top four and top eight.

"You don't get into that position on the back of just a few, it's on the collective and how you perform as a team."

Guthrie, now in his 10th season, was named on a wing in the All-Australian team after taking his game to a new level.

The 28-year-old midfielder has stepped up in the extended absences of captain Joel Selwood and champion Gary Ablett, and has relished taking on added responsibility since Tim Kelly's trade to West Coast.

"I haven't done anything too different this year, it is an accumulation of a number of years in the system now," Guthrie said.

"I've always tried to improve my game over a long period, just showing up and doing the work.

"Tim's departure has definitely opened up some minutes in the midfield and we've had some injuries in there ... so I've tried to take those opportunities and contribute."

Australian Associated Press