Geelong Football Club

The Geelong Football Club, nicknamed the Cats, are a professional Australian rules football club based in the city of Geelong, Australia. The club competes in the Australian Football League (AFL), the highest level of Australian rules football in Australia. The Cats have been the VFL/AFL premiers nine times, with three in the AFL era (since 1990). The Cats have also won ten McClelland Trophies.[2][3]

Geelong Football Club
Full nameGeelong Football Club
Former nickname(s)Pivotonians, Seagulls
2019 season
After finals3rd
Home-and-away season1st
Leading goalkickerTom Hawkins (56 goals)
Carji Greeves MedalPatrick Dangerfield
Club details
Founded1859 (1859)
Colours     White      Navy Blue
CompetitionAFL: Senior men
AFLW: Senior women
VFL: Reserves men
VFLW: Reserves women
ChairmanColin Carter[1]
CoachAFL: Chris Scott
AFLW: Paul Hood
VFL: Shane O'Bree
VFLW: Natalie Wood
Captain(s)AFL: Joel Selwood
AFLW: Melissa Hickey
VFL: Aaron Black & James Tsitas
Ground(s)GMHBA Stadium[lower-alpha 1] (capacity: 36,000)
 Melbourne Cricket Ground[lower-alpha 2] (capacity: 100,024)
Former ground(s)Corio Oval (1878-1940)
Training ground(s)Deakin University's Elite Sport Precinct & GMHBA Stadium
Other information

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.[2] 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.[4]

The club first established itself in the VFA by 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.[5][6][7] Geelong have since won a further two premierships in 2009 and 2011.

The Cats play most of their home games at Kardinia Park (known for sponsorship reasons as GMHBA Stadium) and play the remainder at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Geelong's traditional guernsey colours are navy blue and white hoops. 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".


Club identity and culture


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.[8]

The team have worn various away guernseys since 1998, all featuring the club's logo and traditional colours.[9]

Song: "We Are Geelong"

"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.[10]

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

Stadium and training facilities

Geelong's administrative headquarters is its home stadium, Kardinia Park. The club trains here during the season, however it also trains at its alternate training venue, Deakin University's Elite Sport Precinct. The latter features an MCG-sized oval and is used often by the club in the pre-season, when Kardinia Park is being used for other events.[11]



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. Hawthorn went on to win the next three premierships. In 2016 Geelong again defeated Hawthorn in the qualifying final. In 20 matches between the two sides between 2008 and 2017, 12 were decided by less than 10 points, with Geelong victorious in 11 of those 12 close games.[12]


In 1925, Geelong won their first flag 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.[13]



The Cats have sponsorship deals in place with the following companies and organisations:

Supporter base

Table of club membership, with home attendance figures (since 1984)
Season Members Average home
1984 7,70920,577
1985 7,71819,463
1986 6,98515,319
1987 6,98120,462
1988 9,66720,790
1989 7,76029,296
1990 15,08724,711
1991 11,35623,525
1992 13,53527,698
1993 15,50026,920
1994 14,31226,461
1995 15,92225,317
1996 17,34625,161
1997 18,85828,324
1998 19,97128,371
1999 21,03224,840
2000 25,59527,729
2001 25,42027,093
2002 23,75627,040
2003 24,01725,971
2004 25,02125,747
2005 30,82127,783
2006 32,29027,428
2007 30,16931,547[15]
2008 36,85029,474[16]
2009 37,16030,069[17]
2010 40,32639,129[18]
2011 39,34335,401[19]
2012 40,20031,508
2013 42,88436,650
2014 43,80333,915[20]
2015 44,31229,582[21]
2016 50,57130,497[22]
2017 54,85435,111[23]
2018 63,818TBA[24]

Players and staff

Current playing list and coaches

Geelong Football Club
Senior list Rookie list Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coaches

  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)
  • (B) Category B rookie
  • italics - Inactive player list
  • Long-term injury
  • (ret.) Retired

Updated: 3 December 2019
Source(s): Playing list, Coaching staff


  • President: Colin Carter
  • Vice President: Bob Gartland
  • Chief Executive Officer: Brian Cook
  • General Manager – Football: Simon Lloyd

Club records

Premierships and awards

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
Competition Team Wins Years Won
VFL/AFLSeniors91925, 1931, 1937, 1951, 1952, 1963, 2007, 2009, 2011
VFASeniors71878, 1879, 1880, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1886
VFL/AFLReserves131923, 1924, 1930, 1937, 1938, 1948, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1975, 1980, 1981, 1982
VFLReserves32002, 2007, 2012
Other titles and honours
VFL/AFLMcClelland Trophy101952, 1954, 1962, 1963, 1980, 1981, 1992, 2007, 2008, 2019
VictoriaChallenge Cup11863–64
VFLVFL Night Series11961
AFLPreseason premiership22006, 2009
Finishing positions
VFL/AFLMinor premiers141897, 1901, 1925, 1931, 1937, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1980, 1992, 2007, 2008, 2019
VFL/AFLWooden Spoons51908, 1915, 1944, 1957, 1958

Win-loss record

Statistics are correct to end of 2019 season[25]
Geelong's win-loss record against other VFL/AFL clubs
Club T W L D Win%
Adelaide 452520055.6
Brisbane Bears 15104170.0
Brisbane Lions 341915055.9
Carlton 220101117246.4
Collingwood 234100133142.9
Essendon 21898115546.1
Fitzroy 18310379156.6
Fremantle 392613066.7
Gold Coast 1192081.8
Greater Western Sydney 1072175.0
Hawthorn 1669075154.5
Melbourne 21813185260.6
North Melbourne 16410063161.3
Port Adelaide 332210168.2
Richmond 19610489353.8
St Kilda 21513084160.7
Sydney 225124101055.1
University 1486057.1
West Coast 532626150.0
Western Bulldogs 16110257264.0
Totals 2454 1335 1096 23 54.9
W Wins L Losses D Draws T Total
Win% Winning percentage Defunct club

Match records

Table of club VFL/AFL match records
Club record Round Venue Opponent Details Ref
Highest score Round 7, 1992 Carrara Brisbane Bears Geelong 37.17 (239) v Brisbane Bears 11.9 (75) [26]
Lowest score Round 3, 1899 Corio Oval Fitzroy Geelong 0.8 (8) v Fitzroy 4.8 (32) [27]
Highest losing score Round 6, 1989 Princes Park Hawthorn Geelong 25.13 (163) v Hawthorn 26.15 (171) [28]
Lowest winning score Round 9, 1897 Corio Oval Melbourne Geelong 1.9 (15) v Melbourne 0.10 (10) [29]
Biggest winning margin Round 19, 2011 Kardinia Park Melbourne 186 points Geelong 37.11 (233) v Melbourne 7.5 (47) [30]
Biggest losing margin Round 21, 1986 Princes Park Hawthorn 135 points – Geelong 13.12 (90) v Hawthorn 35.15 (225) [31]
Record attendance (home and away game) Round 9, 2010 Melbourne Cricket Ground Collingwood 91,115
Record attendance (finals match) 1967 VFL Grand Final Melbourne Cricket Ground Richmond 109,396

Reserves team

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 GMHBA Stadium, with some played as curtain-raisers to senior AFL matches.

  • Premierships (3): 2002, 2007, 2012
  • Runners-ups (2): 2006, 2013
  • Minor premierships (2): 2002, 2013
  • Wooden spoons (1): 2005

AFL Women's team

In 2017, following the inaugural AFL Women's (AFLW) season, Geelong was among eight clubs that applied for licenses to enter the competition from 2019 onwards.[32] In September 2017, the club was announced as one of two clubs, along with North Melbourne, to receive a license to join the competition in 2019.[33] The club has also had a team in the second-tier VFL Women's league since 2017.

Geelong Football Club (AFL Women's)
Senior list Rookie list Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coaches

  • Natalie Wood (Midfield)
  • Tom Stewart (Defense)
  • Aaron Black (Attack)
  • Oscar Owens (Development)
  • David Morgan (Development)

  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)

Updated: 3 December 2019
Source(s): Players

AFLW season summaries

Geelong AFLW honour roll
SeasonFinal position Coach CaptainBest and fairestLeading goal kicker
2019 4th ^ Paul Hood Melissa Hickey Meg McDonald Mia-Rae Clifford (6)

^ Denotes the ladder was split into two or more conferences. These numbers refer to the club's overall finishing position that season.

VFLW season summaries

Geelong VFLW honour roll
SeasonFinal position Coach CaptainBest and fairestLeading goal kicker
2017 5th Paul Hood Bec Goring Lily Mithen Kate Darby (19)
2018 Runners-up Paul Hood Bec Goring Richelle Cranston Kate Darby (17)
2019 6th Natalie Wood Five rotating captains Rebecca Webster Madisen Maguire (11)

Sources: Club historical data and VFLW stats

See also


  1. "The Board & Executive". Archived from the original on 25 October 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  2. Official Website of the Geelong Football Club Archived 26 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine GFC History Archived 2 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 10 June 2007.
  3. AFL Tables Finishing Summary 1897–2006.
  4. Rodgers, Stephen (1983) Every Game Ever Played p. i. Melbourne: Lloyd O'Neil
  5. "AFL Tables". Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  6. "AFL Tables – Season Summary". Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  7. The Bulletin publishes for the last time
  8. "Official AFL Website of the Geelong Cats Football Club". Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  9. "". Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  10. AFL Tunes to Remember The Melbourne Age, 23 July 2010
  11. "Deakin welcomes Cats as MCG blockbuster looms". Deakin University. 19 May 2016.
  12. "Head to Head Between Geelong and Hawthorn". Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  13. "An epic rivalry". Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  14. "Geelong Attendances". AFL Tables. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  15. Pierik, Jon (13 July 2007). "Club members post record". Herald Sun. Melbourne: News Limited. p. 106.
  16. Ralph, Jon (16 July 2008). "Bid to keep new Kanga members". Herald Sun. Melbourne: News Limited. p. 77.
  17. Rucci, Michelangelo (24 July 2009). "Fans are quitting SA seats". The Advertiser. Adelaide: News Limited. p. 109.
  18. Warner, Michael (17 July 2010). "Roos lose support". Herald Sun. Melbourne: News Limited. p. 39.
  19. Williams, Bruce (31 July 2011). "Magpie army leads charge on AFL membership". Sunday Herald Sun. Melbourne: News Limited. p. 78.
  20. "Record AFL club membership in 2014". Telstra Media. 22 August 2014. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  21. Siracusa, Claire (26 August 2015). "AFL club membership grows, but three clubs dropped off". The Age. Melbourne: Fairfax Media. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  22. Bowen, Nick (25 August 2016). "The membership ladder: Hawks overtake Pies, Dons slide". Telstra Media. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  23. Guthrie, Ben (16 August 2017). "AFL club membership heads towards a million". Telstra Media. Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  24. King, Travis (2 August 2018). "Thanks a million: New membership benchmark". Telstra Media. Archived from the original on 26 August 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  25. "Geelong Win-Loss Records". AFL Tables. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  26. V/AFL record
  27. "AFL Tables – Geelong – Game Records". Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  28. V/AFL record. Geelong took both this record and that for the highest score from Fitzroy.
  29. Only one behind kicked in first quarter; aggregate of scoring shots lowest since 1953 and second lowest since 1905 Grand Final
  30. "AFL Tables – Geelong – Game Records". Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  31. 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
  32. Schmook, Nathan (29 August 2017). "Decision on AFLW expansion delayed". Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  33. Black, Sarah (27 September 2017). "North and Geelong win AFLW expansion race". Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  • Lovett, Michael (Chief editor) (2010). AFL Record Season Guide. Geoff Slattery Media Group. ISBN 978-0-9806274-5-9.
  1. Used for most of the club's home matches in the AFL all home matches in other competitions.
  2. Used for remaining home matches in the AFL.
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