Henderson a perfect fit at the Cats

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AFL: Luke Beveridge and Chris Scott react to their meeting in round 13 of the AFL

Lachie Henderson.

HARRY Taylor is a different Cat, a World War II buff who likes cognac.

The quirks of two-time premiership player Taylor and his Geelong teammates have become key pieces of information for Cats’ recruit Lachie Henderson.

In his eight previous seasons with Brisbane and Carlton, Henderson hasn’t been able to beat his 2016 average of 14.2 possessions per game.

The 26-year-old backman from Geelong College has worked hard to not only fit into Geelong’s system in defence, but also to get to know his backline buddies.

Key defender Taylor says it has been a crucial ingredient in Henderson’s good form.

“He’s fitted in really well. He has done a lot of work to make that happen,” Taylor said after Geelong’s 57-point win over the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night.

“He has been outstanding in building relationships off the field which is a really big part of footy.

“You need to know your teammates well. It just gives you that little bit of an edge when you play together.”

Two-time All-Australian Taylor says Birregurra boy Henderson is a “great character”.

“That’s why we brought him to the club,” Taylor said.

“He’s a good player as well, but his character is first and foremost a really valuable asset.

“He’s just getting to know the individuals that he’s playing with.

“It’s really important that you understand your teammates and how they like to think, what their interests are away from footy.

Lachie Henderson has fitted in perfectly at Geelong. Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Lachie Henderson has fitted in perfectly at Geelong. Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

“All those little things add up. They might help you at a crucial time in a game.

“He has put himself out there to do that and I think that has really helped him play the great footy he is so far this year.”

Geelong’s coach Chris Scott also talked up Henderson’s performance against the Bulldogs, after Jack Redpath was held to six possessions and one goal.

Henderson had 19 touches, nine marks and four tackles.

“We thought he was just really strong. Out of position a few times and really held up well,” Scott said.

“They throw some different looks at you, the Bulldogs, different types of players.

“Guys who can mark it but are really agile at ground level as well.

“We think Lachie has improved significantly from what we saw through the pre-season.”

Scott also noted the improving “cohesion” in the defensive unit.

“It’s impressive to us that those guys have some real cohesion and look like they understand each other’s game,” Scott said.

“The reality is they haven’t really played much together. As a group they’re going well.”

Taylor said Geelong’s tackling pressure — the Cats won the tackle count 78-59 and had more possessions — was vital.

“We got a lot of help from the tackle pressure. It was great,” Taylor said.

“I’ve just been really happy with the way the team is starting to gell together.”

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