Coach Chris Scott is upbeat about Tim Kelly becoming a long-term Geelong player as the Perth clubs try to entice the boom AFL recruit home.
While Scott says there are no guarantees about keeping the midfielder, he notes the Cats are in a strong bargaining position.
He also notes that any feelings of home sickness are not affecting the 23-year-old onballer.
"I don't think he's homesick, but if he is and he's playing this way, I hope he stays homesick for a while," Scott said.
Kelly has been one of this season's great success stories, joining the Cats after West Coast and Fremantle overlooked him in several drafts.
But he and his partner Caitlin have three young children, all under three.
Kelly's strong form in his debut AFL season inevitably has attracted the interest of the Eagles and Dockers, who are now trying to lure him back to Perth.
He is contracted to the Cats until the end of next season.
"The club's in a pretty strong position when you have a contracted player," Scott said.
"I'm very confident that he wants to play with Geelong, but there are circumstances we're considerate of."
Of course, Kelly could still leave at the end of this season.
Scott was asked if he could guarantee that Kelly would be with Geelong next season.
"Guarantee - that's a strong assertion," Scott said.
"It's my expectation that he will be."
Also, key utility Harry Taylor is thought to be in doubt for Thursday night's big away match against Adelaide because of an unspecified injury.
Forward Daniel Menzel is a big chance to return from a groin injury for his first AFL match since round five.
Meanwhile, Scott has shrugged off criticism about star veteran Gary Ablett.
Former Cat Cameron Mooney has accused Ablett of not giving himself to the team.
"I must admit, sometimes I find it a little bit amusing - and that's the word, it doesn't really worry me," Scott said.
"But we go from being too dependent on one or two midfielders to having a group of players that is performing well as a unit.
"Then we go back to criticism of individuals."
Scott backed Ablett for the role he is playing at the Cats.
"Gary's 34, we've been really happy with the role he's played for us this year - some games have been better than others," Scott said.
"But his commitment to play the role we ask of him is first-class.
"I don't think he's playing as well as he played when he was 29 or 30, but I think that's a pretty logical expectation.
"I suspect that means we're in a pretty good place, if he's the biggest problem we have at the moment."