The Geelong Football Club, commonly known as the Cats, is based in the Victorian City of Geelong and is the second oldest club in the AFL. Having won a record nine McClelland Trophies, the Cats are the home club to one of the sport’s greatest ever players Gary Ablett Snr, who is the only player to have been handed the Coleman Medal over three consecutive years.
Geelong Cats Information
Home Ground: Skilled Stadium
Colours: Navy Blue and white
Number of Premierships Won: Eight (1925, 1931, 1937, 1951, 1952, 1963, 2007 & 2009)
Number of Minor Premierships Won: 13 (1897, 1901, 1925, 1931, 1937, 1951 – 1954, 1980, 1992, 2007 & 2008).
In July 1859 the Geelong Football Club was founded due to a recommendation from the co-founder of Aussie rules Thomas Wentworth Wills, which makes it the second oldest club in the world, beaten only by the Melbourne Football Club. Most of the Cats’ early games were played at the Argyle Square, although it moved locations in 1878 to the Corio Oval, and won its first VFA (Victorian Football Association) Premiership in the same year, which was just the second year of the VFA Season. The club then went on to win seven VFA premierships making it the most successful club in the VFA until the establishment of the VFL (Victorian Football League) in 1897.
During the first few VFL Seasons, Geelong were known as the Pivotonians after the city’s nickname ‘The Pivot’, with the Seagulls another early nickname not finding the Cats until 1923. Geelong ended the inaugural VFL Season in second place to Essendon, and finally won their first premiership in 1925 – the first club from outside Melbourne to do so. The rest of the 1920’s and 30’s were steady for the Cats adding two more flags to their collection although the 1940’s were a testy time. Having to withdraw from the competition in 1942 and 1943 due to travel restrictions inflicted by the War and a lack of players, the club took a while to get back on its feet although won another flag in 1951.
In fact 1951 was an historic year for the Cats as they won the treble – the Premiership, Brownlow Medal for Bernie Smith and the leading goalkicker George Gonninon. The 1960’s were relatively quiet despite a flag win in 1963, although the calibre of players could never be denied, and took to the top of the ladder once more in the 1980’s. Geelong asserted themselves as one of the teams to beat throughout the 1990’s when they reached the Grand Final four times.
With the New Millennium, coach Mark Thompson brought through some young talent which paid dividends after a premiership win in 2007 which was topped off by a 119-point win in the Grand Final over Port Adelaide. In that match Geelong dominated with Jimmy Bartel claiming the club’s fifth Brownlow Medal, Steve Johnson winning the Norm Smith Medal and nine players named as All-Australians. They made it to the 2008 Grand Final although lost to Hawthorn, however came back in 2009 to beat St Kilda by 12 points in the final with Gary Ablett claiming the Brownlow Medal.
Emblems, Colours & Guernseys
The Geelong Cats have two emblems – a marketing logo and an on-field identity logo. The former is a front-on image of a cat’s face mixed in the blue and white hoops of the Cats’ jumpers, with ‘Geelong Cats’ written across it. The on-field identify logo is worn in gold on the right side of the players’ guernsey, and is the profile image of a blue cat prowling, with ‘Geelong Cats Football Club Est 1859’ written across it in blue and white.
The navy blue and white hoops are synonymous with the Geelong Football Club, and have been since the club’s inception, with the white representing seagulls, and the blue the ocean – going back to when they were nicknamed the Seagulls. The home guernsey is just the blue and white hoops and has been the same since 1897, with the clash guernsey a new addition in 2008 being predominantly navy blue, with the marketing logo on the stomach.
The Skilled Stadium is home to the Cats and previously known as Kardinia Park can hold up to 27,000 spectators for Geelong’s home games. Also affectionately known as ‘The Cattery’, the Skilled Stadium is the smallest home ground in the AFL, which often leads to a more atmospheric crowd.
When it comes to being a Geelong fan, there is no better way to get behind the Cats than becoming a member, and over 40,000 fans already are. Signing up as a member allows you to select your favourite seat at the Cattery to be among fellow fans with the best views, so make sure you sign up today to truly pledge your allegiance alongside the Cats!
‘Slammin’ Sam Tomcat has been an integral part of Geelong’s success in recent years, and without his presence getting the crowd cheering along the sidelines at the Skilled Stadium, the Cats would be lost!
Best Bet To Make
Geelong had an unstoppable start to the season, so were the two losses of late down to over-confidence, tiredness or just blips on the radar? You have to decide that, but they are certainly a possible candidate for placing a win the flag bet. When at the Cattery the Cats are unstoppable, so a high margin win bet for the Cats will go far there, while if they are up against lower placed oppositions they will most likely provide on a win. So when it comes to the finals or even the next round of action in the AFL, head to Ladbrokes.com.au so you can sign up within minutes and become exposed to the huge array of odds and markets available on the AFL.