Geelong’s journey began way back in 1859. It is the second-oldest footy team in Australia, behind Melbourne, and also the world’s second-oldest professional football club of any description.
Despite their longevity and a who’s who of Australian Football Hall of Fame inductees, it is only since the turn of the millennium that the Cats have converted their powerhouse status into tangible success. They have missed the finals only once since 2007, winning three AFL Premiership titles in the process.
With superstars on every line and plenty of young talent coming through the ranks, Geelong look poised for another strong campaign. Let’s see how the bookies rate their chances this year.
About the Geelong Football Club
|Home ground:||GMHBA Stadium|
|Premierships:||Nine – 1925, 1931, 1937, 1951, 1952, 1963, 2007, 2009, 2011|
|2018 ladder finish:||8th|
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|2019 Premiership||Make Finals||Make Top 4||Brownlow Odds||Rising Star Odds||Coleman Odds|
|Jan||$16||$1.80||$3||P Dangerfield $9||T Hawkins $12|
Best Geelong bets for the 2018 AFL season
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- Geelong led the league at various stages in 2017 before falling short in the finals. The question is: are they any weaker or stronger now than they were last year?
The twin retirements of defenders Andrew Mackie and Tom Lonergan are a blow, but the likes of Tom Stewart, Jed Bews and Jake Kolodjashnij are coming along nicely. Then there is the monster signing of GAJ, who will bolster an already brilliant midfield and provide a significant goalscoring threat.
Conclusion: the Cats are definite contenders.
- Most bookmakers had Geelong on the fifth line of premiership betting in pre-season, so they have to be considered a very good chance to finish in the top four once again. Doubts over Richmond’s bounce-back-ability only enhance the value on the Cats.
- Does any team have more genuine contenders for the Brownlow Medal? Patrick Dangerfield will start the season as one of the red-hot favourites, while Gaz Jr. will draw a lot of interest if he hits the ground running in his second spell at the Cattery. Skipper Joel Selwood should also poll well, which begs the question: are there enough votes to go around?
- The downside of being up for so long is that you don’t get first dibs on the best talents in the draft. Most of Geelong’s young crop have already done a decent apprenticeship in the top flight, thus ruling them out of contention for the 2018 AFL Rising Star. Teenage midfielder Charlie ‘Chook’ Constable looks the best bet of the next wave.
- Tom Hawkins has topped Geelong’s scoring charts for six consecutive years, but the last two have seen him average less than 2.5 goals per game. His alpha status could be challenged this term with the return of Ablett, who is expected to spend plenty of time forward in rotation with the equally goal-savvy Dangerfield.
Unlike Brownlow votes, however, there is no limit to the number of goals a team can score. Playing the likes of Gaz and Danger forward will surely attract the attention of opposition defenders, which could make the Tomahawk a more dangerous weapon than ever before. Consider all three players as worthy outside chances in the Coleman Medal betting.
Geelong 2019 AFL fixture
|1||Collingwood Magpies||MCG||Friday, March 22||7:50pm AEDT|
|2||Melbourne Demons||GMHBA Stadium||Saturday, March 30||7:50pm AEDT|
|3||Adelaide Crows||Adelaide Oval||Thursday, April 4||7:20pm ACDT|
|4||GWS Giants||GMHBA Stadium||Saturday, April 13||1:45pm AEST|
|5||Hawthorn Hawks||MCG||Monday, April 22||3:20pm AEST|
|6||West Coast Eagles||GMHBA Stadium||Sunday, April 28||4:40pm AEST|
|7||Essendon Bombers||MCG||Sunday, May 5||3:20pm AEST|
|8||North Melbourne Kangaroos||Marvel Stadium||Sunday, May 12||1:10pm AEST|
|9||Western Bulldogs||GMHBA Stadium||Saturday, May 18||4:35pm AEST|
|10||Gold Coast Suns||Metricon Stadium||Saturday, May 25||7:25pm AEST|
|11||Sydney Swans||GMHBA Stadium||Saturday, June 1||4:35pm AEST|
|12||Richmond Tigers||MCG||Friday, June 7||7:50pm AEST|
|14||Port Adelaide Power||Adelaide Oval||Saturday, June 22||7:10pm ACST|
|15||Adelaide Crows||GMHBA Stadium||Friday, June 28||7:50pm AEST|
|16||Western Bulldogs||Marvel Stadium||Saturday, July 6||7:25pm AEST|
|17||St Kilda Saints||GMHBA Stadium||Saturday, July 13||7:25pm AEST|
|18||Hawthorn Hawks||MCG||Sunday, July 21||1:10pm AEST|
|19||Sydney Swans||SCG||Sunday, July 28||3:20pm AEST|
|20||Fremantle Dockers||Optus Stadium||Saturday, August 3||2:35pm AWST|
|21||North Melbourne Kangaroos||GMHBA Stadium||Saturday, August 10||7:25pm AEST|
|22||Brisbane Lions||The Gabba||Saturday, August 17||2:10pm AEST|
|23||Carlton Blues||GMHBA Stadium||TBD||TBD|
2018 Geelong squad
|1. Rhys Stanley||1/10/1990||100||71||Utility||St Kilda|
|2. Zach Tuohy||10/12/1989||145||46||Defence||Carlton|
|3. Brandan Parfitt||27/4/1998||15||6||Midfield||North Adelaide|
|4. Gary Ablett Jr.||14/5/1984||302||386||Mid/fwd||Gold Coast Suns|
|5. Nakia Cockatoo||23/10/1996||32||25||Fwd/mid||NT Thunder|
|6. Lincoln McCarthy||22/10/1993||27||23||Forward||Glenelg|
|7. Harry Taylor||12/6/1986||229||67||Def/fwd||East Fremantle|
|8. Jake Kolodjashnij||9/8/1995||47||0||Defence||Launceston|
|9. Zac Smith||22/2/1990||109||50||Ruck||Gold Coast Suns|
|10. Daniel Menzel||13/9/1991||60||109||Forward||Central Districts|
|11. Tim Kelly||26/7/1994||–||–||Mid/fwd||South Fremantle|
|12. Wylie Buzza||2/3/1996||6||5||Forward||Mt Gravatt|
|13. Lachlan Fogarty||1/4/1999||–||–||Midfield||Western Jets|
|14. Joel Selwood||26/5/1988||249||145||Midfield||Bendigo Pioneers|
|15. Matthew Hayball||12/03/1997||–||–||Midfield||West Adelaide|
|16. Scott Selwood||27/3/1990||154||40||Midfield||West Coast Eagles|
|17. Esava Ratugolea||24/7/1998||–||–||Ruck/fwd||Murray Bushrangers|
|18. Charlie Constable||18/5/1999||–||–||Midfield||Sandringham Dragons|
|19. Quinton Narkle||3/12/1997||–||–||Mid/fwd||Perth|
|20. Ryan Gardner||1/6/1997||–||–||Defence||Tasmania|
|21. Jordan Murdoch||23/3/1992||92||64||Midfield||Glenelg|
|22. Mitch Duncan||10/6/1991||159||119||Midfield||East Perth|
|23. Aaron Black||29/11/1990||54||69||Forward||North Melbourne|
|24. Jed Bews||14/12/1993||50||4||Defence||Geelong Falcons|
|25. Lachie Henderson||14/12/1989||158||112||Def/fwd||Carlton|
|26. Tom Hawkins||21/7/1988||211||438||Forward||Sandringham Dragons|
|27. Sam Menegola||7/3/1992||30||23||Midfield||Subiaco|
|28. Cory Gregson||4/9/1996||29||17||Mid/fwd||Glenelg|
|29. Cameron Guthrie||19/8/1992||128||39||Mid/def||Calder Cannons|
|30. Timm House||26/5/1995||–||–||Forward||Geelong VFL|
|31. Jordan Cunico||7/5/1996||1||0||Mid/def||Gippsland Power|
|32. Gryan Miers||30/3/1999||–||–||Forward||Geelong Falcons|
|33. George Horlin-Smith||22/12/1992||47||24||Midfield||Sturt|
|34. James Parsons||12/4/1997||20||14||Mid/fwd||Eastern Ranges|
|35. Patrick Dangerfield||5/4/1990||202||232||Midfield||Adelaide Crows|
|36. Stewart Crameri||10/8/1988||99||166||Forward||Western Bulldogs|
|37. Sam Simpson||14/6/1998||5||2||Forward||Geelong Falcons|
|38. Jack Henry||29/8/1998||–||–||Midfield||Geelong Falcons|
|39. Zach Guthrie||30/6/1998||9||0||Defence||Calder Cannons|
|40. Jackson Thurlow||28/3/1994||39||8||Defence||Launceston|
|41. Jamaine Jones||29/9/1998||–||–||Forward||North Ballarat Rebels|
|42. Mark O’Connor||17/1/1997||2||0||Defence||Kerry GAA|
|44. Tom Stewart||15/3/1993||21||2||Defence||Geelong VFL|
|45. Ryan Abbott||25/6/1991||–||–||Ruck||Geelong VFL|
|46. Mark Blicavs||28/3/1991||110||35||Utility||Sunbury|
Geelong records, stats and history
- Most matches: 332 – Corey Enright (2001-2016)
Most career goals: 1021 – Gary Ablett Sr. (1984-1996)
Most goals in a season: 129 – Gary Ablett Sr. (1994)
Most goals in a match: 14 – Gary Ablett Sr. (three times)
Best and fairest awards: Four – Dick Grigg (1910-12, 1914) and Garry Hocking (1991, 1993-94, 1996)
- Most wins in a season: 21 (2008)
Most consecutive wins: 23 (1952-53)
Highest score in a match: 37.17.239 (vs. Brisbane, 1992)
Highest winning margin: 186 (vs. Melbourne, 2011)
Highest home attendance: 87,653 (vs. Essendon, 1989)
- Geelong’s paw prints are all over the history of Australian rules footy. They were founding members of both the VFA and the VFL; Tom Mills, one of the sport’s creators, was a prominent figure at Corio Oval for many years; and Charles Brownlow, after whom the AFL’s best and fairest trophy is named, won renown as both player and administrator at Geelong.
Despite their prominence in the VFA years, it was not until 1925 that the Cats won their first VFL Premiership. The next decade produced two more flags, but tough times returned in the 1940s as wartime travel restrictions forced the club into a two-year recession.
The 1950s were considerably kinder. The Cats knocked over a powerful Essendon side in the ’51 VFL Grand Final and repeated the dose against Collingwood a year later. They remain the only back-to-back premierships in the club’s history.
The Geelong squad was littered with superstars in the ’50s and ’60s. Former premiership hero Bob Davis was at the helm when Doug Wade, Alistair Lord and Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer led the Cats the glory in 1963 – the last of the club’s successes in the 20th century.
The ’70s were a lean decade at the Cattery, but a return to the top seemed imminent as the ’80s wore on. Ambitious recruitment under the short-lived tenure of Tom Hafey brought the likes of Gary Ablett, Paul Couch and Greg Williams to the club, and in 1989 they reached the VFL Grand Final for the first time in more than two decades.
With that, Geelong fans were treated to a new kind of torture. Malcolm Blight’s star-studded squad made the grand final four times between ’89 and ’95, yet the Cats fell short on each and every occasion. That resulted in one of football’s great travesties as Ablett finished his 1030-goal career without a premiership medallion.
The post-Blight years were hard work. After Gary Ayres quit in 1999 to coach the Adelaide Crows, former Essendon premiership captain Mark Thompson took the reins and led a long, arduous rebuild. The fruits of that labour were not plucked until 2007, when the Cats smashed Port Adelaide to win their first premiership in over 40 years and usher in an unprecedented era of dominance.
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