Geelong Football Club

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Geelong Cats logo.png
Full name Geelong Football Club
Nickname(s) Cats (1923–present)
Past nicknames: Pivotonians, Seagulls
2015 season
Home-and-away season 10th
Leading goalkicker Tom Hawkins (46 goals)
Best and fairest Mark Blicavs
Club details
Founded 1859; 156 years ago (1859)
Colours      White      Navy blue
Competition Australian Football League
Chairman Colin Carter[1]
Coach Chris Scott[2]
Captain(s) Joel Selwood
Premierships AFL/VFL (9): 1925, 1931, 1937, 1951, 1952, 1963, 2007, 2009, 2011
VFA (7): 1878, 1879, 1880, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1886
Ground(s) Simonds Stadium (capacity: 34,074)
Training ground(s) Simonds Stadium
Other information
Official website
Current season

Geelong Football Club, nicknamed the Cats, are a professional Australian rules football club based in the city of Geelong, Australia and playing in the Australian Football League (AFL). The club have been the VFL/AFL premiers nine times, with three in the AFL era (since 1990). They have also won nine McClelland Trophies, a record shared with Essendon.[3][4]

The club was formed in 1859, making it the second oldest club in the AFL after Melbourne and one of the oldest football clubs in the world.[3] Geelong participated in the first football competition in Australia and was a foundation club of both the Victorian Football Association (VFA) in 1877 and the Victorian Football League (VFL) in 1897.[5]

The club first established itself in the VFA by playing off in a record eleven Grand Finals and winning seven premierships, making it the most successful VFA club leading up to the formation of the VFL in 1897. The club won a further six premierships by 1963, before enduring a 44-year waiting period until it won its next premiership—an AFL-record 119-point victory in the 2007 AFL Grand Final.[6][7][8] Geelong have since won a further two premierships in 2009 and 2011, making them the joint second most successful club since the commencement of the AFL in 1990 with three premierships.

The club's home ground is Kardinia Park, currently also known by its sponsorship name "Simonds Stadium". However, the club also hosts home matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Docklands Stadium. Geelong's traditional guernsey colours are white with navy blue hoops, white shorts, and white with navy blue hooped socks. The club's nickname, "The Cats", was first used in 1923 after a run of losses prompted a local cartoonist to suggest that the club needed a black cat to bring it good luck. The club's official team song and anthem is "We Are Geelong".


Australian football founder Tom Wills was an important player and administrator during Geelong's early years.

Geelong Football Club was formally established at a meeting held in the Victoria Hotel on 18 July 1859,[3] making it one of the oldest football clubs in the world. The club contested its first match of Australian rules football against Melbourne at Argyle Square in 1860, which finished as a scoreless draw. In 1863, Geelong travelled to Melbourne to contest the Caledonian Challenge Cup. Although the competition was played under compromised rules, Geelong reached the final and defeated Melbourne to become the second winners of the cup. The club continued to contest the cup in the following years, and reached the final twice more in 1867 and 1869. During this time, Tom Wills—one of the founders of Australian football—played exclusively for the club from 1865 until his retirement from football in 1874.

Sketches of Geelong (in the hooped guernsey) playing Melbourne in 1880

Following the formation of the Victorian Football Association (VFA) in 1877, Geelong joined the association as one of its foundation clubs. The club relocated to Corio Oval as its main home ground in time for the 1878 season, coinciding with the club's first VFA premiership in only the VFA's second season.[3] The club continued to excel over the following twenty years in the VFA, and established itself as one of the dominant clubs in the association by winning a total of seven premierships up to the birth of the (Victorian Football League) (VFL) in 1897.[9]

As one of the eight foundation clubs in the newly established VFL, Geelong finished second to Essendon in its inaugural season after a round-robin finals system was used to determine the premier instead of the traditional Grand Final. In 1924, following the death of VFL and Geelong administrator Charles Brownlow, the league named its award for the best and fairest player in a season the Brownlow Medal. The first player to win the award was Geelong's Edward Greeves. Having been one of the dominant clubs in the old VFA, Geelong struggled to maintain the same level of success during its early years in the VFL. It wasn't until 1925 that the club won its first VFL premiership.[4] Geelong followed up with further premiership wins in 1931 and 1937.[4] In 1941, the club was forced to relocate from its Corio Oval base due to the oval being required for military training during World War 2. During this time, the club decided to set base at the more centrally located Kardinia Park in South Geelong. Geelong experienced a notably lean period during the 1940s, as World War II wartime restrictions prohibited traveling. As a result, players transferred over to other clubs and forced Geelong into recess during 1942 and 1943. In 1949, the club's former premiership captain Reg Hickey was appointed as coach for the third time. Despite missing the finals during this first season back with the club, Hickey led Geelong to two consecutive premierships in 1951 and 1952—to date, the only back-to-back premierships in the club's history.[4] Bernie Smith became the club's second Brownlow Medalist in 1951, a year during which the club also signed the Ford Motor Company as a corporate sponsor.[10][11] Following the conclusion of the 1959 season, Hickey retired as coach and was succeeded by Bob Davis, a dual premiership player from the club's successful 1951 and 1952 period.

Before the 1962 season, Davis helped Geelong recruit ruckman Graham "Polly" Farmer from East Perth to partner Billy Goggin and Alistair Lord in the midfield. Despite Lord winning the Brownlow Medal and full forward Doug Wade winning the Coleman Medal, Farmer missed multiple games through injury and the club were eliminated in the Preliminary Final. However, the club won their sixth premiership of the VFL era the following season in 1963.[4]

In 1966, the club board decided to re-open the coaching position for application and eventually settled on Peter Pianto to replace Davis. Pianto led Geelong to the 1967 Grand Final, where they were defeated by Richmond in Farmer's final match for the club. The 1970s were notably unsuccessful for the club, as Geelong won only one final during the entire decade. Despite this, club full-forward Larry Donohue became the club's third Coleman Medalist after kicking over 100 goals in 1976. During 1980, the club brought back Goggin to coach the team. Despite making multiple finals appearances in his first two seasons, the club struggled to replicate their home and away season success during the finals. After failing to make the finals in 1982, the club board sacked Goggin as coach and appointed former Richmond premiership coach Tom Hafey in his place. However the club's poor performances on the field continued under Hafey, who failed to lead Geelong to a finals series during his tenure. During his time however, Hafey helped recruit several players to the club, including Gary Ablett, Paul Couch, and Greg Williams. In 1986, the club appointed former premiership player John Devine as coach. Under Devine, the club grew accustomed to the league-wide introduction of the salary cap and AFL Draft, recruiting Barry Stoneham, Garry Hocking, Mark Bairstow and Billy Brownless. However, the club failed to make the finals during Devine's tenure and replaced him as coach with Malcolm Blight.

Geelong adapted quickly to Blight's coaching philosophy, and became renowned for kicking high scores. During the 1989 season, Geelong were the only club to win matches by 100 points for three weeks in succession. The club's high scoring game plan led them into their first Grand Final since 1967, however they were defeated by Hawthorn. Gary Ablett was awarded the Norm Smith Medal after kicking nine goals and one behind, equaling the record set by Collingwood's Gordon Coventry for most goals kicked in a Grand Final. Paul Couch also won the Brownlow Medal to become the club's fourth Brownlow Medalist and first in twenty-seven years.

In 1990, the league was expanded to a national level and became known as the Australian Football League (AFL).

Geelong failed in 1990 to reproduce the exciting brand of attacking football of 1989. Season 1991 started ominously. On the eve of the season, Gary Ablett retired for odd reasons. Nevertheless, Geelong won some games. Ablett returned mid-season to the club. The club finished third at the end of the home and away season. The final against 4th placed St Kilda was a memorable one. Tony Lockett kicked his nine goals for St Kilda by three-quarter time. Billy Brownless, kicked eight goals. The Cats managed to win by seven points. Ablett was suspended for elbowing St Kilda's Nathan Burke, and missed the rest of the season due to suspension.

Over the next two weeks, Geelong met Hawthorn and the West Coast Eagles, both losses for the club. Consistent with the close finish of 1989, Hawthorn won the match by two points. The loss against the Eagles was by fifteen points.

In 1992 Geelong returned to the spectacular form of three seasons previous. Against the Brisbane Bears at Carrara the club kicked a VFL/AFL record score of 37 goals 17 behinds (239 points). This record score still stands.[12] Gary Ablett Sr. and Billy Brownless both kicked more than 70 goals for the season to form a potent forward-line combination.[citation needed] Geelong finished the regular season on top of the ladder, eclipsing their previous record for total points scored in a home-and-away season (2916 in 1989) and increased it to 3057 points.[13]

After beating Footscray in the qualifying final by 61 points, Geelong lost the 2nd semi final to West Coast Eagles by 38 points, then beat Footscray again in the preliminary final by 64 points. The Cats again squared off against the power of the West Coast Eagles in the Grand Final and got off to a wonderful start, at one stage during the second quarter leading by four goals. However, in the second half West Coast's Peter Matera ran riot, booting five goals and earning himself the Norm Smith Medal as best on ground. The Perth-based West Coast won by 28 points to take the first premiership won by a non-Victorian club.

In 1993 the Geelong once again underachieved as Malcolm Blight experimented with more defensive tactics. For most of the season on-field performances were lacklustre as the players struggled to adapt. It was not until late in the season when Geelong reverted to its all-out attacking style of play. Several experienced players urged Blight to revert to Geelong's customary geisha style of play. Blight agreed and Geelong began to play like champions again. Frustratingly, Geelong narrowly missed the finals on percentage.

In 1993 Blight decided to play Gary Ablett at Full Forward permanently. The move paid handsome dividends, as Ablett reached the second fastest century in VFL/AFL history. Ablett's most notable performances of this year included 11 goals against Melbourne, 14 against Essendon and 10 against the Adelaide Crows – all in losing sides. Tallies of 10 goal against North Melbourne, and 12 against his favourite victim, Richmond, in winning sides.

1994 proved to be a hard year for the club. The club had a good home-and-away season to finish fourth. Gary Ablett topped the goalkicking for the year easily, kicking 129 goals (including the finals) and winning his second consecutive John Coleman Medal. The club met fifth placed Footscray in the first week of the finals. The match proved a nailbiter, with an after-the-siren kick and goal by Billy Brownless giving the club a five-point win. A week later Geelong had no hope of beating Carlton, who had finished 2nd after the home and away season, given that their three best midfielders; Garry Hocking, Paul Couch and Mark Bairstow were not playing through injury. However, with several young players and second-tier midfielders, along with six goals from Gary Ablett, Geelong defeated Carlton by 33 points. Geelong met North Melbourne in the Preliminary Final in a match which proved even more nailbiting than their match with Footscray 2 weeks prior. North Melbourne started well, but Geelong dominated the second and third quarters to lead by six goals in the third quarter. A fine feat given that Geelong's target all season, Gary Ablett was being beaten by North Melbourne's full back, Mick Martyn. However, North Melbourne came back strongly in the last quarter and took the lead late in the match. However, Geelong scored a behind to level the scores. With 25 seconds left and a boundary throw-in, the ball came to ground and Martyn cleared, only for the ball to be marked by Leigh Colbert. Colbert then kicked long, where ruckman John Barnes dropped the mark, allowing Leigh Tudor, a former North Melbourne player to swoop, and kick the ball over Martyn's head to land in the hand of Gary Ablett. As Ablett walked back to take his kick, the siren went, and Ablett kicked the winning goal, propelling Geelong to its third Grand Final in seven years.

Geelong once again played West Coast for the premiership. Unlike two seasons ago, Geelong proved no match against an Eagles outfit superior to its 1992 premiership team, losing by 80 points. Billy Brownless stood out with a fantastic mark in the second quarter, as well as four goals. Malcolm Blight, dispirited by three Grand Final losses under his tenure, announced his resignation. His assistant Gary Ayres took over the job. Ayres immediately took action, sacking both Steven Hocking (on 199 games) and former captain Mark Bairstow. 1994 saw another best-and-fairest win to Garry Hocking, who also won 20 votes in the Brownlow Medal to finish third to eventual winner Greg Williams on 30 votes and Peter Matera on 28 votes.

1995 saw the club improve. The club was highly consistent, its biggest losing margin being less than 20 points, and never losing two matches in a row – the only club to do so for the year. The club finished second on the ladder to Carlton. Gary Ablett once again won the Coleman Medal and kicked over 100 goals for the third year in a row.

In the finals the club met 7th placed Footscray and won by 82 points. The club earned a week break and returned for the third weeks clash against Richmond, and won by 78 points and so for the second consecutive season and for the fourth time in seven years, Geelong played for the premiership, this time against Carlton, who had only lost two games for the year. The match was hard to tip, as many saw Geelong a definite chance given that the two sides met once during the year, which saw Carlton win by three points. Geelong was thrashed by 61 points, playing its worst game for the entire season. Gary Ablett played his worst game for years, blanketed by Carlton's Stephen Silvagni. To add insult to injury, former Geelong player Greg Williams, now a superstar at Carlton, was named best on ground with his five goals. A notable rookie of this year would be Brenton Sanderson, who would play over 200 games by the end of career, retiring at the end of 2005, and be recognised with selection into the Geelong Hall of Fame. The Best and Fairest was won by Paul Couch, who narrowly missed out on winning his second Brownlow Medal.

In 1996 the club would experience an unsuccessful year, finishing seventh at the end of the home and away season. Gary Ablett would be suspended for five weeks after round 2, which resulted in a rapid decline in his quality. He would kick his 1000th career goal against Fremantle. The cats would meet eventual premier, North Melbourne in the first week of the finals, which saw North win by over 10 goals. Garry Hocking would once again win the Best and Fairest award, and miss out on the Brownlow Medal by a vote in the process. A notable recruit would be Steven King, standing at over two metres tall.

In 1997 Geelong faced a season with no dependence on ageing superstars, Paul Couch and Gary Ablett. By mid season, Couch would retire on 259 games. Gary Ablett would not play a senior game ever again for the club after injuring his knee in the reserves. The club would start the season well, challenging Carlton to the 1997 Pre-season Premiership, the Ansett Australia Cup. However, identically to 1995, Geelong capitulated, allowing Carlton another piece of silverware. The club finished second on the ladder. The club met North Melbourne in a "home" final at the MCG at Night. North Melbourne, on its actual home ground beat Geelong by 18 points. Geelong then travelled to Adelaide and lost the game by eight points after the umpire failed to pay a courageous Leigh Colbert mark late in the game with Geelong narrowly hanging on to a lead, exiting by losing both finals.

1998 was a season best forgotten. The club finished 12th, its lowest finish for over 40 years. A notable recruit for Geelong came in the form of Matthew Scarlett, son of former player, John. Geelong took full advantage of the Father-Son Rule. This concession allowed sons of ex-players to nominate for their fathers' clubs, thus exempting them from being chosen by any other club in the national draft.

In 1999 the club won five games straight to open the season. However, the club then lost its next 9 to finish the season with 10 wins and tenth position. The roller-coaster season saw coach Gary Ayres quit to take the job at Adelaide, which ironically was available after Malcolm Blight quit, almost identical to when Ayres took over Geelong in 1995. Mark Thompson was appointed coach. At the end of this season, Geelong traded Leigh Colbert for North Melbourne premiership player, Cameron Mooney.

2000–06: Premiership foundations[edit]

The 2000 season started well, with Geelong winning its first three matches. By the end of the home and away season Geelong finished fifth and met eighth placed Hawthorn in the first finals match ever played at Docklands Stadium, the AFL's state-of-the-art facility. Hawthorn won by nine points. Barry Stoneham announced his retirement after this game, ending a career spanning over 240 games. This was also the year that the club entered a reserves team into the Victorian Football League.

2001–2003 saw a lean period for the club where finals were not realised for three years – finishing twelfth, ninth and twelfth respectively.[14] However, during this time the club recruited well. Current players such as Steve Johnson, Gary Ablett, Jr., Jimmy Bartel, James Kelly and Andrew Mackie were notable recruits. Veteran Brenton Sanderson won the Best and Fairest in 2001, Steven King in 2002 (who was in that year appointed club captain) and Matthew Scarlett in 2003. There was one highlight of this period, with Geelong winning the 2002 VFL premiership against Port Melbourne.

In 2004 Geelong challenged for the pre-season premiership (known as the Wizard Home Loans Cup), where they met St Kilda in the grand final. Geelong led for much of the match, but St Kilda finished strongly to win by 22 points. The season proved fruitful as the club finished fourth at the end of the home and away season. The club met eventual premier, Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium/Football Park in Adelaide, historically Geelong's worst ground in terms of wins. Port reaffirmed their superiority at the venue to win by 55 points. Geelong soldiered on, however, and met Essendon at the MCG, winning by ten points despite leading by over six goals at three quarter time. Geelong then met Brisbane, the premiers of 2001–2003. The Cats dominated the first half but it was clear the club lacked a target up forward. In the second half, Brisbane took control and steadied enough to win by a small margin of nine points. Post season, Geelong signed Nathan Ablett to play AFL football for Geelong. Another major signing was disgruntled Richmond big-man Brad Ottens, recruited to counter Geelong's lack of forward line height. Cameron Ling capped off a fine season by winning his first Best and Fairest after finishing runner up in the previous two counts.

The club started very well in 2005, before hitting a slump mid-season as injuries took their toll. By the end of the season, Geelong finished sixth and played seventh placed Melbourne. Geelong thrashed Melbourne by 55 points in a match remembered for Steven King's attempted kick of the ball in mid air, accidentally making contact with Melbourne ruckman Jeff White, smashing his face, which required surgery. The next week the club met Sydney at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) where the Cats led for the majority of the match. A four-goal lead at three quarter time in a low scoring match saw Geelong in a strong position. A stunning final term performance by Sydney's Nick Davis that saw him kick four goals including the winning snap three seconds before the siren denied Geelong victory. Sydney later went on to become the 2005 Premiers. This was Brenton Sanderson's final game. Joel Corey won his first Best and Fairest.

2006 NAB Cup Grand Final SG G B Total
Adelaide 1 10 15 84
Geelong 3 10 5 92
Venue: AAMI Stadium, Adelaide Crowd: 30,707

Season 2006 began promisingly, but ended with criticism by club members of the performance of the club. Geelong beat Adelaide to claim the pre-season NAB Cup. Big wins at home against the Brisbane Lions and Kangaroos in the first two rounds fuelled optimism. However, Geelong began to underperform, losing some close encounters and suffering some humiliating defeats. In the final game of the year, the Cats were soundly beaten by Hawthorn for the second time. Geelong finished tenth on the ladder with ten wins and a draw. Responding to member anger, the Board ordered a comprehensive review of all aspects of the administration of the club and of the club's personnel. Coach Mark Thompson was widely perceived to be at risk. However, the review accepted that Thompson should continue as coach. The Board opted for stability over the uncertainty of radical personnel change. Thompson was publicly outraged by the ordeal which he considered poorly handled.[citation needed]

2007–11: Premiership era AFL Powerhouse.[edit]

It appeared Geelong would repeat the outcome of the previous season after five rounds of the 2007 season, where Geelong was positioned tenth on the ladder with two wins and three losses, with the latest loss being against the Kangaroos at Skilled Stadium. Following this unexpected loss at their home ground, player Paul Chapman publicly criticised the club's culture,[15] expressing frustration at the lack of team mentality present with many of the players,[15] and urging the club as a whole to change this underachieving culture for the better.[15] Chapman's criticisms, which followed a similar assessment from coach Mark Thompson,[15] led to a group discussion involving all of the club's playing and coaching staff,[15] and produced frank assessments of both individuals and the club in general.[15] This session proved to be a catalyst for the club to begin a transformation of the club's culture, and resulted in a 157-point defeat of Richmond, with Geelong's score of 222 points the club's third-highest overall.[16] This was the beginning of a winning-streak where the club won 15 games in succession before losing to the second-placed Port Adelaide in round 21. Geelong then succeeded in winning their remaining match of the regular season, where they finished three games clear of Port Adelaide in first position on the ladder, earning the club their first McLelland Trophy since 1992, and qualification for the season's finals series.

Geelong beat Port Adelaide in the 2007 Grand Final to end its 44-year premiership drought

Geelong proceeded to defeat the Kangaroos and Collingwood in their qualifying and preliminary finals respectively, the latter being a close game with Collingwood threatening victory late in the match. Geelong ultimately won the match by five points.

2007 AFL Grand Final G B Total
Geelong 24 19 163
Port Adelaide 6 8 44
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground Crowd: 97,302

These two victories ensured Geelong a place in the 2007 AFL Grand Final against Port Adelaide, which Geelong won by a record margin of 119 points. Geelong scored 24 goals and 19 points for a total of 163 points, compared to the six goals and eight points scored by Port Adelaide for a total of 44 points. Steve Johnson was awarded the Norm Smith Medal after being judged the best player in the match, providing Geelong with just their second Norm Smith Medallist. Cameron Mooney scored the highest number of goals with five, and a total of 11 Geelong players scored at least one goal, with five of those players scoring two goals or more. The win was Geelong's first premiership since 1963, and broke the club's 44-season premiership drought. The club had also won the 2007 VFL premiership against Coburg the weekend before.

Geelong changed their name to the Geelong Cats in 2008 and continued to dominate with the club having a regular season record of 21 wins and one loss to become the best-performing team in the home-and-away season since Essendon in 2000. The club's sole loss occurred in Round 9 with an 86-point deficit against Collingwood. Geelong finished the regular season in first position on the ladder, earning the club a second-consecutive McClelland Trophy, its ninth overall. Geelong then proceeded to win its qualifying and preliminary finals in succession, earning a place in the 2008 AFL Grand Final against Hawthorn and the chance for a second-consecutive premiership. However, Geelong failed to capitalise on its performance during the season, losing the grand final by a margin of 26 points.

2009 AFL Grand Final G B Total
St Kilda 9 14 68
Geelong 12 8 80
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground Crowd: 99,251

Geelong's season began strongly in 2009, with the club winning the 2009 NAB Cup and managing a successive run of victories for the opening 13 rounds of the season. The winning streak was broken when Geelong were defeated by St Kilda in Round 14 by six points. Geelong managed to defeat the reigning premiers, Hawthorn, in the two clubs' second meeting of the season in Round 17. The match was notable with Geelong successfully completing a comeback from a 28-point deficit early in the final quarter to record a victory when an after-the-siren kick Jimmy Bartel scored a point and resulted in a win. Despite not placing first on the ladder at any point during the regular season, Geelong managed a regular-season record of 18 wins and four losses, which was the first time a team had won 18 or more matches in the VFL or AFL's regular season for three consecutive seasons.[17] After qualifying for the 2009 AFL finals series, Geelong proceeded to win its qualifying and preliminary finals in succession, earning a place in the 2009 AFL Grand Final against St Kilda. Geelong were victorious, defeating St Kilda by 12 points.

Geelong Cats banner at the 2007 AFL Grand Final

This victory marked the first time since 1984 that a grand final had been won by a team which had been trailing at all breaks. The Norm Smith Medal was awarded to Paul Chapman, after gathering 26 possessions and scoring three goals, including the goal which effectively won the match for Geelong.

In addition to the premierships and Norm Smith Medallists, this era of success for the Geelong Football Club was capped by supplying Brownlow Medallists (Bartel and Gary Ablett, Jr. in 2007 and 2009 respectively). Between 2007 and 2009, Geelong players received 13 individual selections in All-Australian teams over the three seasons, including a record nine selections in the 2007 team. Other individual successes include Ablett winning the Leigh Matthews Trophy as the AFL Players Association (AFLPA) Most Valuable Player on a record three occasions and for a record three consecutive seasons from 2007 to 2009.

2011 AFL Grand Final G B Total
Collingwood 12 9 81
Geelong 18 11 119
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground Crowd: 99,537

In 2010, Geelong did not reach the grand final. At the start of 2011, Geelong was all but written off, after coach Mark Thompson left at the end of the 2010 season and the move of Gary Ablett Jr to the Gold Coast Suns. Despite an aging player list and a first year coach in Chris Scott, Geelong managed to beat the reigning premiers, Collingwood, in the two home and away matches that they played against each other. Geelong were the only team to beat Collingwood in the 2011 season and finished second on the ladder behind Collingwood. On 1 October 2011, Geelong and Collingwood played at the MCG for the 2011 AFL Grand Final. With the lead changing a number of times during the game, Geelong gained the lead in the third quarter and did not relinquish it for the rest of the game, with Collingwood failing to score a goal in the last quarter. Jimmy Bartel of Geelong was awarded the Norm Smith medal for the best on ground.

Club symbols[edit]


Club attire in 1895 (Jim McShane pictured)

Geelong's traditional navy blue and white hooped guernsey has been worn since the club's inception in the mid-1800s. The design is said to represent the white seagulls and blue water of Corio Bay.[18]

The team have worn various away guernseys since 1998, all featuring the club's logo and traditional colours.[19]


"We Are Geelong" is the song sung after a game won by the Geelong Football Club. It is sung to the tune of "Toreador" from Carmen. The lyrics were written by former premiership player John Watts. Only the first verse is used at matches and by the team after a victory. The song currently used by the club was recorded by the Fable Singers in April 1972.[20]

We are Geelong, the greatest team of all
We are Geelong; we’re always on the ball
We play the game as it should be played
At home or far away
Our banners fly high, from dawn to dark
Down at Kardinia Park
So! Stand up and fight, remember our tradition
Stand up and fight, it’s always our ambition
Throughout the game to fight with all our might
Because we’re the mighty blue and white
And when the ball is bounced, to the final bell
Stand up and fight like hell


AFL Hawthorn Icon.jpg Hawthorn - The rivalry between Hawthorn and Geelong is defined by two Grand Finals: those of 1989 and 2008. In the 1989 Grand Final, Geelong played the man, resulting in major injuries for several Hawks players, Mark Yeates knocking out Dermott Brereton at the opening bounce; Hawthorn controlled the game, leading by approximately 40 points for most of the match; in the last quarter, Geelong almost managed to come from behind to win, but fell short by six points. In 2008 Grand Final, Geelong was the heavily backed favourite and had lost only one match for the season, but Hawthorn upset Geelong by 26 points; Geelong won its next eleven matches against Hawthorn over the following five years, under a curse, which was dubbed the "Kennett curse" which was attributed to disrespectful comments made by Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett following the 2008 Grand Final. It was later revealed that after the 2008 grand final, Paul Chapman initiated a pact between other Geelong players to never lose to Hawthorn again. The curse was broken in a preliminary final in 2013, after Paul Chapman played his final match for Geelong the previous week.[21]

CollingwoodDesign.svg Collingwood - Geelong won their first flag in 1925 over Collingwood, in 1930 Collingwood defeated Geelong in the grand final making it four flags in-a-row for the Pies. Geelong would later deny Collingwood three successive premierships in 1937, winning a famous grand final by 32 points.

The two sides played against each other in 6 finals between 1951 and 1955, including the 1952 Grand Final when Geelong easily beat Collingwood by 46 points. In 1953, Collingwood ended Geelong's record 23-game winning streak in the home and away season, and later defeated them by 12 points in the grand final, denying the Cats a third successive premiership.

Since 2007, the clubs have again both been at the top of the ladder and have met regularly in finals. Geelong won a memorable preliminary final by five points on their way to their first flag in 44 years. In 2008, Collingwood inflicted Geelong's only home-and-away loss, by a massive 86 points, but the teams did not meet in the finals. They would meet in preliminary finals in 2009 and 2010, each winning one en route to a premiership. They finally met in a Grand Final in 2011, which Geelong won by 38 points; Geelong inflicted Collingwood's only three losses for the 2011 season.[22]


Membership base[edit]

Geelong's supporters came out in force in the 2009 Grand Final against St Kilda
Well-known supporter Troy West, nicknamed "Catman"
Geelong players prepare to break a banner, which is created by its supporters, before a match against Greater Western Sydney in June 2013.
Club membership base by season
Season Members  % change Finishing
7,709 6 20,577
7,718 +0.12% 6 19,463
6,985 −9.50% 9 15,319
6,981 −0.06% 6 20,462
9,667 +38.48% 9 20,790
7,760 −19.73% 2 29,296
15,087 +94.42% 10 24,711
11,356 −24.73% 3 23,525
13,535 +19.19% 2 27,698
15,500 +14.52% 7 26,920
14,312 −7.66% 2 26,461
15,922 +11.25% 2 25,317
17,346 +8.94% 7 25,161
18,858 +8.72% 2 28,324
19,971 +5.90% 12 28,371
21,032 +5.31% 11 24,840
25,595 +21.70% 5 27,729
25,420 −0.68% 12 27,093
23,756 −6.55% 9 27,040
24,017 +1.10% 12 25,971
25,021 +4.18% 4 25,747
30,821 +23.18% 5 27,783
32,290 +4.77% 10 27,428
30,169 −6.57% 1 31,547
36,850 +22.15% 2 29,474
37,129 +0.75% 1 32,132
40,358 +8.70% 3 39,129
39,343 −2.51% 1 35,401
40,200 +2.18% 6 31,508
42,884 +6.68% 3 36,650
2014 43,803 +2.14% 5 33,913
2015 45,738 +4.41% 34,893

Players and staff[edit]

Current playing list[edit]

Geelong Football Club
Senior list Rookie list Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coaches

  • (c) Captain
  • (vc) Vice captain
  • (B) Category B rookie

Updated: 12 October 2015
Source(s): Playing list, Coaching staff

Reserves team[edit]

The Geelong reserves team began competing in the VFL Reserves competition with the league's other reserves teams from 1919. From 1919 to 1991 the VFL/AFL operated a reserves competition, and from 1992 to 1999 a de facto AFL reserves competition was run by the Victorian State Football League. The Geelong Football Club fielded a reserves team in both of these competitions, allowing players who were not selected for the senior team to play for Geelong in the lower grade. During that time, the Geelong reserves team won thirteen premierships (1923, 1924, 1930, 1937, 1938, 1948, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1975, 1980, 1981, 1982), the most of any club.

Since the demise of the AFL reserves competition, the Geelong reserves team has competed in the new Victorian Football League, having won three premierships in that time. Unlike all other Victorian AFL clubs, Geelong has never operated in a reserves affiliation with an existing VFL club, having instead operated its stand-alone reserves team continuously. The team is composed of both reserves players from the club's primary and rookie AFL lists, and a separately maintained list of players eligible only for VFL matches. Home games are played at Simonds Stadium, with some played as curtain-raisers to senior AFL matches.

Current coaching staff[edit]

Chris Scott is the club's current head coach.


  • President: Colin Carter
  • Vice President: Gareth Andrews
  • Directors:
    • Nicholas Carr
    • Bob Gartland
    • Alistair Hamblin
    • Hugh Seward
    • Diana Taylor
  • Chief Executive Officer: Brian Cook
  • General Manager – Football: Steven Hocking
  • General Manager – Media & Public Relations: Kevin Diggerson
  • General Manager – People & Culture: Rosie King
  • General Manager – Commercial Operations: David Lever
  • General Manager – Finance & Administration: Rob Threlfall
  • Football Operations Manager: Steven Hocking
  • General Manager – Community Development: Sarah Albon


Team awards[edit]

Awarded to the "best and fairest" player during the AFL's home-and-away season, the Brownlow Medal, football's most prestigious award, is named after Geelong player and administrator Charles "Chas" Brownlow.
Geelong footballer Edward "Carji" Greeves, winner of the inaugural Brownlow Medal in 1924, and namesake of the Carji Greeves Medal, awarded to Geelong's best and fairest player of the season
VFL/AFL: 9 (1925, 1931, 1937, 1951, 1952, 1963, 2007, 2009, 2011)
Victorian Football Association: 7 (1878, 1879, 1880, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1886)
Reserves/VFL: 16 (1923, 1924, 1930, 1937, 1938, 1948, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1975, 1980, 1981, 1982, 2002, 2007, 2012)
Under 19s: 1 (1962)
Night Series: 1 (1961)
Pre-Season: 2 (2006, 2009)

Individual awards[edit]

Statistics and records[edit]

Record against other clubs[edit]

Geelong's win-loss record against other VFL/AFL clubs[24]
(Correct to end of 2014 AFL season)
Club W L D T Win% W L D T Win% W L T Win%
Overall Finals (includes Grand Finals) Grand Finals
Adelaide 19 17 0 36 52.78 0 1 0 1 0.00
Brisbane Bears 10 4 1 15 70.00
Brisbane Lions 14 14 0 28 50.00 0 1 0 1 0.00
Carlton 97 116 2 215 44.55 5 6 1 12 45.83 0 1 1 0.00
Collingwood 96 129 1 226 42.70 12 11 0 23 52.17 4 2 6 66.67
Essendon 91 113 5 209 44.74 5 8 0 13 38.46 1 0 1 100.00
Fitzroy 103 79 1 183 56.56 0 2 0 2 0.00
Fremantle 22 11 0 33 66.67 1 2 0 3 33.33
Gold Coast 4 1 0 5 80.00
Greater Western Sydney 3 0 0 3 100.00
Hawthorn 85 70 1 156 54.39 3 6 0 9 33.33 1 2 3 33.33
Melbourne 126 83 2 211 59.62 5 2 0 7 71.43
North Melbourne 95 61 1 157 60.83 2 5 0 7 58.57
Port Adelaide 18 9 1 28 66.07 2 1 0 3 66.67 1 0 1 100.00
Richmond 100 85 3 188 53.99 2 7 0 9 22.22 1 1 2 50.00
St Kilda 127 83 0 210 59.90 4 1 0 5 80.00 1 0 1 100.00
Sydney 119 96 0 215 55.24 0 3 0 3 0.00
University 8 6 0 14 57.14
West Coast 23 23 1 47 50.00 1 4 0 5 20.00 0 2 2 0.00
Western Bulldogs 97 55 2 154 63.64 8 2 0 10 80.00
Totals 1260 1055 21 2336 54.39 50 62 1 113 44.69 9 8 17 52.94
W Wins L Losses D Draws T Total
Win% Winning percentage Defunct club

Match records[edit]

  • Highest score: Round 7, 1992 (Carrara) – Geelong 37.17 (239) v Brisbane Bears 11.9 (75)[25]
  • Lowest score: Round 3, 1899 (Corio Oval) – Geelong 0.8 (8) v Fitzroy 4.8 (32)[26]
  • Highest losing score: Round 6, 1989 (Princes Park) – Geelong 25.13 (163) v Hawthorn 26.15 (171)[27]
  • Lowest winning score: Round 9, 1897 (Corio Oval) – Geelong 1.9 (15) v Melbourne 0.10 (10)[28]
  • Biggest winning margin: 186 points Round 19, 2011 (KP) – Geelong 37.11 (233) v Melbourne 7.5 (47)[29]
  • Biggest losing margin: 135 points Round 21, 1986 (PP) – Geelong 13.12 (90) v Hawthorn 35.15 (225)[30]
  • Record attendance (home and away game): 88,115, Round 9, 2010 (MCG) v Collingwood
  • Record attendance (finals match): 109,396, Grand Final, 1967 (MCG) v Richmond

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Board & Executive Management – Official AFL Website of the Geelong Football Club
  2. ^ Gullan, Scott (17 October 2010). "Chris Scott earns Cats gig". Herald Sun. Retrieved 17 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Official Website of the Geelong Football Club GFC History Retrieved on 10 June 2007.
  4. ^ a b c d e AFL Tables Finishing Summary 1897–2006.
  5. ^ Rodgers, Stephen (1983) Every Game Ever Played p. i. Melbourne: Lloyd O'Neil
  6. ^ AFL Tables
  7. ^ Finishing Summary 1897–2006
  8. ^ The Bulletin publishes for the last time
  9. ^ VFA/VFL Summary Chart 1877 to 2007
  10. ^ "STILL ON!.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848–1954) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 12 October 1951. p. 1. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "1,200 CHEER GEELONG'S JUBILEE PENNANT.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848–1954) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 5 December 1951. p. 1. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  12. ^ Lovett, Michael, ed. (2010). AFL Record Guide to Season 2010. p. 878. ISBN 978-0-9806274-5-9. 
  13. ^ Season Scoring Records: Most Points For in a Season
  14. ^ Lovett 2010, p. 148
  15. ^ a b c d e f Gullan, Scott (30 April 2007). "Chappy swipes at Cats". Herald Sun. Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2009. 
  16. ^ "Cats annihilate Richmond". AFL BigPond Network. 6 May 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2008. 
  17. ^ Reed, David (29 August 2009). "Cats belt Freo by 40 points". AFL BigPond Network. Retrieved 29 August 2009. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ AFL Tunes to Remember – The Melbourne Age, 23 July 2010
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Geelong Attendances (1921–2011)". AFL Tables. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  24. ^ "Geelong Win-Loss Records". AFL Tables. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  25. ^ V/AFL record
  26. ^ Geelong – Game Records
  27. ^ V/AFL record. Geelong took both this record and that for the highest score from Fitzroy.
  28. ^ Only one behind kicked in first quarter; aggregate of scoring shots lowest since 1953 and second lowest since 1905 Grand Final
  29. ^ Geelong – Game Records
  30. ^ Geelong actually led early in the third quarter before Hawthorn kicked 25.7 (157) to 1.7 (13) for a record score for a half
  • Lovett, Michael (Chief editor) (2010). AFL Record Season Guide. Geoff Slattery Media Group. ISBN 978-0-9806274-5-9. 

External links[edit]

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