Mackie better than ever

Andrew Mackie10Cats assistant coach Matthew Scarlett says veteran defender Andrew Mackie has been in career-best form in recent weeks.

Mackie has kept three of the AFL’s best small forwards to a combined tally of just four goals in the first three round of the season.

The 32-year-old held Fremantle’s Michael Walters to one goal in round one, North Melbourne’s Lindsay Thomas to two goals in round two and Melbourne’s Jeff Garlett to one goal last weekend.

And Mackie’s performances haven’t been all defensive.

He racked up 18 disposals and five rebound 50s against the Dockers, 24 disposals and four rebound 50s against the Roos and 20 disposals and two rebound 50s in the win over the Dees.

“Mack plays his best footy when he’s got a job, when he’s always up-and-about, and when he’s on edge a little bit,” Scarlett told K Rock Football after the Melbourne game.

“He’s done an unbelievable job in the first few weeks. He’s playing as good as he ever has.

“He’s enjoying the challenge. I think he’s enjoying playing with some new guys around him as well, with Zach Tuohy and Tommy Stewart.

“Andrew’s leadership has come on in leaps and bounds this year as well.”