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Welcome to another edition of The Cattery Newsletter. What a difference a few months makes! After Round Two, panic stations were manned as Geelong were thrashed by Carlton at Optus Oval. Following the Round One pantsing by the Saints, Geelong fans hit the big red button and even started calling for coach Mark Thompson to be given the 'Freo Heave Ho'. The week after, Geelong went down gallantly to the Sydney Swans at the SCG. Then finally, it happened - a win over the Tigers in Round 4 at the Telstra Dome. In the past four weeks Geelong has enjoyed 'revenge' victories over St Kilda, Carlton and Sydney, and routinely brushed past Richmond in the round just gone. The Cats currently sit in fifth spot, with the same number of wins as the Brisbane Lions (13) but an inferior percentage. Fifth spot is almost assured; Geelong is two games clear of sixth position (Fremantle, this week's opponent at Skilled Stadium) and three games ahead of seventh and eight (the Kangaroos and Sydney).

Since our last newsletter, Geelong has won five games over Collingwood, Sydney, Carlton, St Kilda and Richmond and lost just the one, to West Coast in Perth. The final three games are to be played against Fremantle, Adelaide and Hawthorn, the first and third of these games being at home, with the match against Adelaide at Moron Park AAMI Stadium. While the Cats have not lost a match in Victoria since Round 2, they can't buy a win interstate, losing all four encounters.

During this time we've also seen the AFL debut of Shannon Byrnes and Geelong debut of Paul Koulouriotis. Byrnes was elevated off the rookie list and kicked a critical goal in his first against against the Swans. Koulouriotis played three games for the Port Power in 2000 but didn't add to this total between 2001 and 2003. Tim Callan, who made his debut in Round 22 last season, came into the side against Collingwood and has looked comfortable at AFL level. Unfortunately he was injured in the match against St Kilda and missed the Round 19 win over the Tigers. Depending upon Brenton Sanderson's return, he should return before the season's out.

Geelong's been the flavour of the past couple months, culminating in the carnival atmosphere for the game against St Kilda in Round 18. The Sunday Footy Show even made the trip down to Geelong, complete with the handball comp. The weather was easily the best this season, fans wearing shirtsleeves drenched in sunlight instead of driving rain and wind. The only downside was St Kilda supporters complaining that they didn't get in early enough to book a ticket. As a result the atmosphere was terrific, no better moments than when favorite son Matthew Scarlett jogged the length of the field back to man up on Fraser Gherig at fullback after kicking a goal himself at the Hickey Stand end.


A worrying trend in recent weeks has been injury. The worst was James Kelly's season ending broken leg in Perth. Fortunately, Kelly's break was about as good as breaks get, and he'll be able to resume his AFL career in 2005. Another to have his season ended was Corey Enright. In his first game back for a few rounds, Enright's jaw was broken in two places. Enright suffered a broken arm earlier in the season. Peter Riccardi 'did a hammy' against the Swans, missing two weeks and resuming against the Tigers last weekend. Brent Moloney injured a tendon in his left ring finger against the Wobblers, and faces a few more rounds on the sidelines as he recovers from an operation. Gun defender Brenton Sanderson has been missing since the Carlton match, with a medial ligament strain in his knee, and should return this week or next. Hearts sank as David Wojcinski appeared to suffer a groin injury in the lackluster spectacle against the Tigers last weekend, but he is officially listed as 'test'. As mentioned earlier, Tim Callan has also been in the wars, missing the Round 19 game with a neck injury. See WE’RE NOT LOOKING AT TOP FOUR YET, below.


The redevelopment of Skilled Stadium is on track, and in fact ahead of budget. As a result, an additional million odd dollars are being spent on renovations to other parts of the ground (Ross Drew 'Stand') and (finally) building a room for the membership team and a merchandise shop. Capacity this year has been less than 22,000, and it's been packed nearly every game, with fans being turned away. In years to come we should see crowds approaching 27,000 pumping dollars into the club and community's coffers, and doing so in comfort. The Geelong Football Club has confirmed to The Cattery that there will be about 2,000 seats available 'free' to general admission ticket holders at every match, as well as a further 6,000 patrons in a standing area. Unfortunately there won't be a 'big screen', only an electronic scoreboard.


Former Geelong and of late Adelaide goalsneak Ronnie Burns has announced his immediate retirement from AFL football. Ronnie kicked 239 goals in 134 games, starting back in 1996, Gary Ablett Senior's last playing season. While he didn't play too many games at Adelaide, he did play in the Crows 2003 Pre-season final victory, playing a pivotal role on the wing. Our favorite memory of Ronnie is this sensational goal against St Kilda in Round 2, 2000 LINK: MPEG FILE (2.7MB)


The only two teams in the top eight Geelong has not yet beaten are Port Adelaide and Fremantle. And that may change after this Saturday's game against the Dockers. It is likely that Geelong will finish fifth, earning a 'home' final to be played at the MCG. The opponent will be whoever finishes in eight position, which really could be anyone out of Essendon, the Kangaroos, Sydney or Fremantle. West Coast is a very outside chance, while teams like Collingwood and Carrrlton have no chance whatsoever of making the eight, the latter two having very poor percentage.

Start saving up for finals tickets now - we're likely to play a couple. Prices apparently are only rising by 'minimal' amounts this season, however the AFL has chosen not to actually publish any information on their website. Prices have actually gone down for fans in Adelaide, due to hardly anybody turning up to watch finals at Football Park in recent years.

Should Geelong make it into the top four, presumably in fourth spot, they'll earn a second chance and play the first final against the top side. This could mean a trip to either Brisbane (although it's unlikely the Lions will finish top now) or Adelaide. Or, it could be an all-Victorian affair at the MCG. On face value it might seem as though it's safer to finish fifth and be guaranteed a Victorian final, the top four is still the aim and the team is still working towards that goal.


Enjoy the rest of the newsletter. If you have any feedback, or want to unsubscribe, please pass them on to me at We also welcome your contributions to The Cattery.

And remember, as Lance from Lara says: CARRRRN THE MIGHTTYYY CAAAATS!


Sports Delivered/AFL Video are the official distributor of AFL videos (including DVDs). At the moment every video title has been reduced, to as low as $9.95.

Titles such as Ablett - One Special Season, Buddha: The Garry Hocking Tribute and The Cats. 50 Years of Geelong Football Club are all reduced to just $9.95. Follow the links above.

Coach Mark Thompson

Mark Heenan August 11 2004

AS GEELONG approaches it’s first final series since 2000, coach Mark Thompson says a top four spot will not be the main focus ahead of it’s Round 20 clash against Fremantle at Skilled Stadium on Saturday.

“I don’t think much has changed, we’re equal on points with Brisbane now, the other sides have still got a game on us, but they’ve all got percentage on us, so if we don’t keep on winning, we don’t get a look (at) that position,” Thompson said at Geelong training today. “(We) won’t be disappointed (if we don’t get in the top 4), I’d be very happy to play finals, I think we have secured fifth spot.”

Gary Ablett and James Bartel sing a muted version of 'We are Geelong' (LISTEN)


B Jensen August 8 2004

THE CATS now have a stranglehold on fifth position, after defeating the Tigers by thirty-one points in front of 33,176 at the MCG today. Geelong's competition for fifth spot, Fremantle and Sydney, both lost. Geelong's now two games clear of Fremantle in sixth position, and three games clear of both the Kangaroos and Sydney, in seventh and eight positions respectively.

Geelong's fifth win in a row appears to have yet again came at a cost- David Wojcinski tearing a quadricep. His explosive pace and accountable work ethic appears to have been his undoing, while chasing an opponent. David Johnson was hurt early, appearing to be momentarily troubled by a collarbone, but played out the match without obvious discomfort. FULL STORY

Matthew Scarlett celebrates the big win

B Jensen August 1 2004

GEELONG earned their twelfth victory of the season over St Kilda at Skilled Stadium this afternoon. In front of 21,673 fans in what was a carnival atmosphere, Geelong kicked off to an early thirty point lead before St Kilda pegged it back to lead at half time. The weather was perfect, as was the buildup to the match- the Sunday Footy Show filmed their two hour show in front of thousands of Geelong fans, charitable organisations made some dollars and Geelong members enjoyed their time in the sun.

It has scarcely been mentioned, but this now gives Geelong twelve wins and six losses, making finals a certainty, not that there was much probability of missing out before this game. Geelong's defeat of St Kilda, and losses by fellow top four sides Brisbane and Port Adelaide, mean Geelong still has a chance of making the top four. However it may be just as beneficial to finish fifth, even without a double chance. Not only that, but Matthew Scarlett derailed the 'G-Train'. FULL STORY

Coach Mark Thompson

Mark Heenan and AAP July 28 2004

AS GEELONG bids for a top-four spot, Cats' Coach Mark Thompson expects St.Kilda’s poor record away from Telstra Dome not to play a major factor for Sunday’s blockbuster match at Skilled Stadium. “They (St,Kilda) played a lot at Telstra Dome, when they were in good form and they lost a few players and lost a few games and that happens to a lot of clubs,” Thompson said at training today.

Having beaten the Cats in this year’s Wizard Cup pre-season final, followed by a 61-point win in Round 1, Geelong will feel comfortable knowing the Saints have not won at Skilled Stadium since Round 10, 1999. FULL STORY

Geelong fans have a special message

B Jensen July 9 2004

GEELONG put an end to Collingwood's fanciful finals aspirations with a 29-point victory at Telstra Dome tonight. Geelong has once again won after an interstate match. Amazingly, Collingwood were the favorites going into tonight's match. It was argued that Geelong had not won on a Friday night in years, had just played interstate, and lost both games to the wobblers in 2003, although they were undefeated against the Pies this century up until then. Collingwood's fanciful finals hopes are not well and truly gone. FULL STORY

Shannon Byrnes after kicking his first goal, a match winner, in his debut

B Jensen July 18 2004

GEELONG defeated the Sydney Swans by fifteen points at Skilled Stadium today in an at times scrappy, but hard and fairly fought and ultimately entertaining contest. The win gives Geelong 'outright' fifth spot for the time being, while Sydney stay in seventh spot. The top four teams all won, so Geelong remains two games outside the top four, and in all likelihood will not get a double chance, but will surely play in September. FULL STORY

MORE NEWS: Visit 'NEWS ARCHIVE' at The Cattery.

Free Plug: 'Give Me Soccer' is putting together a petition to the Australian Government regarding the lack of free-to-air soccer available to Australian Soccer fans. In disastrous news for Aussie soccer fans, the limited coverage that we've enjoyed of the English Premier League is set to end. Fox Sports, who hold the rights, are playing hardball and want to keep it all on Pay TV.

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