Following a runner-up finish in the best and fairest in 2015, he arrived to the Cats’ pre-season training last year visibly out of shape and overweight, struggled for form the entire season and was even put on the trade table at the end of the year.
However, after failing to find a suitor, skipper Joel Selwood says Motlop is in brilliant shape this year and has found his passion for the game once again after a difficult 2016.
“I think that he’s just matured and he’s understood now that footy is really important to him and that’s the way I see him at training,” Selwood told the Geelong Advertiser.
“It probably got to that stage where he wasn’t sure if [he loved footy]. You can just fall out of love with footy sometimes but I reckon he’s found his love back for it, which is important.
“And we’ve got to make sure we help him stay that way, because he’s a bloody good player.”
Selwood says the Cats see the 25-year-old as once again playing predominantly as a forward, while also spending some time in the midfield.
“We see him as being a 50-goal goalkicker down in the forward line, he can be super dangerous in the forward line,” Selwood said.
“But with a mix of playing through the midfield as well. His line-breaking run and speed is something we’ve got that other teams don’t necessarily have, so we think he can play a role there.”
Despite his form issues, Motlop still had an impact on the scoreboard last season, booting 38 goals, finishing second behind Tom Hawkins in the Cats’ goal kicking.
His current contract expires at the end of this season.