Greatness. It’s their tradition. It’s their ambition.
It’s no secret to footy fans that the Geelong Cats are one of the top-performing teams in the AFL. Their consistent, outstanding performances and world-class sportsmanship has cemented their place in AFL history.
As the Cats gear up for their preliminary final with Melbourne tonight, we felt it was right to reflect back on some of their greatest moments in the years gone by. Waltzing down memory lane showed us that yes, there has been A LOT of great moments, maybe too many, but we’ve whittled it down to our top ten. So sit back, relax and carn the Cats!
That toe poke
In the 2009 Grand Final with St Kilda, something incredible happened. Matthew Scarlett’s flicked the ball with his toe to Garry Ablett, which led to Paul Chapman’s flag winning goal. This crowning moment is now a part of Geelong Cats folklore.
A dark day for the Demons
There are victories, and then there are victories. Back in 2011, Geelong demolished Melbourne Demons by an insane 186 points, setting the latter club into a downward spiral. Meanwhile, Geelong continues to dominate.
Riccardi: Match Winner
As far as after-the-siren goals go, this one is pretty legendary. In 2002, Geelong took on Carlton in a weird and wonderful game that had fans on the edge of their seats. Down by two points, it seemed all was lost for Geelong. Enter Peter Riccardi, who scores a perfect goal outside 50m as the siren blares to win the match.
The prodigal son returns
Gary Ablett – the man, the myth, the legend – did a cheeky swap over to the Gold Coast Suns back in 2011, much to the dismay of Cats fans. Despite his loss being sorely felt in Geelong, he served the bourgeoning club well and fans were proud of the man. His homecoming to Geelong in 2017 was an emotional affair. Certainly a reunion for the ages.
On the biggest stage, the underdog rules
A cracking grand final victory for Cats over St Kilda in 2009. Nobody thought they could do it, yet the Cats held on to win by an exhilarating 12 points. A testament to their physical prowess.
The 222-point massacre
2007 was a really good year for Geelong. Not so much for Richmond. They brutalised poor Richmond in round six, scoring 35 goals, winning by 157 points, equivalent to the ninth-highest score in VFL/AFL history. They served the Tiger’s their worst defeat in history, which we will undoubtable remember going into Saturdays game.
The 15-match winning streak; something the game hadn’t seen in years, perfected by none other than the Geelong Cats. The team really couldn’t put a foot wrong in ‘07. Not only that, they converted that streak into one of the most incredible final victories ever.
The Cat is still on the back
The year is 2012. Geelong take on Hawthorn at the MCG. The Cats are down by four points in the final minute. Then Tom Hawkins does the dream; kicks a huge goal outside 50m after the siren and wins the match for his team. Legendary.
The drought is over
The moment no Geelong supporter will ever forget. Geelong wins their first premiership flag in 44 years by a record-breaking 119 points. Ablett, almost naturally, scores the winning goal. Fans were weeping in the stands. It showcased everything the great game can be – unpredictable, unbelievable and unparalleled.
The end of Ablett’s reign
While it hasn’t happened yet, there’s no denying that this upcoming grand final is going to go down in Cat’s history. It is the last time their greatest player of all time, King Gary Ablett Jnr. will grace the grassy pitch. It’s a fairy-tale achievement for Ablett, the Cats and football as a whole.