When gamers wish to come again to only one membership, they’ve usually forfeited a considerable amount of money. Dangerfield would conservatively have earned $2 million extra over his time again in Victoria had he chosen the very best bidder in Melbourne as an alternative of Geelong.
Cameron is properly paid at Geelong – their highest-paid participant – however he would have been on extra, exceeding seven figures a 12 months, at a Melbourne membership had he not minded the place he went.
This locational enchantment – in a massively rising market when taking within the city unfold by the surf coast – provides Geelong a bonus in attracting expertise and in getting gamers at relative unders in salary-cap phrases.
Room within the cap implies that whereas they haven’t had early entry to the draft all through the previous decade (they did surrender a top-10 decide within the package deal to get Dangerfield), they all the time have managed to maintain a buffer within the wage cap to have the ability to afford the subsequent out-of-contract participant who rings asking in the event that they’d have an interest as a result of he’d like to return house.
Which means that some of the vital components in Geelong’s record construct is the very fact they’re very Geelong.
Geelong have their quasi-version of the northern states academies – the Geelong Falcons. The homecoming draw and home-grown drive of Corio is clear within the variety of native gamers who populate this crew.
The Cats had former Falcons Dangerfield, Tom Atkins, Jed Bews (a father-son decide), Jack Henry, Gryan Miers, Gary Rohan and Tom Stewart of their preliminary closing crew. (They didn’t get all of the Falcons. Falcons alumni – the McCartin brothers – will line up for the Swans).
Whenever you additional contemplate the gamers from the broader western district who weren’t Falcons however neighbours – Joel Selwood was from the Bendigo Pioneers and Cameron by North Ballarat Rebels – this crew is a really western Victorian crew. It’s a very Geelong crew.
It’s not so simple as simply ready on homing pigeons. Three gamers who’ve been vital to Geelong’s enchancment this 12 months from a aspect that was belted in final 12 months’s preliminary closing are rookies.
One is Atkins. His transfer into the midfield has been vital for the Cats. He has the power, energy and tempo to play lockdown roles if required and to get his personal ball. He has gone from fringe participant to central determine.
One other is Brad Shut. The rookie has helped the Cats discover that vital outdoors velocity.
The third is the perfect of all – Tyson Stengle, the delisted free agent from Adelaide who began out at Richmond. From scrapheap to All-Australian in a season. There isn’t a higher rookie or redemption story than that.
SONS OF GUNS
It’s not Geelong with out father-sons.
Gary Ablett jnr and Matthew Scarlett are usually not there any extra. However the crew nonetheless options Tom Hawkins, the All-Australian captain this 12 months, and Bews.
The rationale this crew has stayed virtually completely within the finals by this decade with out excessive draft picks is the focused replenishment of the record with free brokers and elite stars.
Clearly, Cameron and Dangerfield head that record.
CATS FOR THE AGES
- Joel Selwood 34, 353 (age, video games)
- Tom Hawkins 34, 325
- Isaac Smith 33, 256
- Zach Tuohy 32, 248
- Patrick Dangerfield 32, 301
- Rhys Stanley 31, 181
- Mark Blicavs 31, 225
- Gary Rohan 31, 175
- Mitch Duncan 31, 256
- Cameron Guthrie 30, 228
- Tom Stewart 29, 124
- Jeremy Cameron 29, 208
- Jed Bews 28, 149
- Jake Kolodjashnij 27, 153
- Tom Atkins 27, 80
- Mark O’Connor 25, 85
- Zach Guthrie 24, 52
- Brad Shut 24, 53
- Jack Henry 24, 105
- Tyson Stengle 23, 39
- Gryan Miers 23, 81
- Sam De Koning 21, 22
- Max Holmes 20, 29
However Isaac Smith has been the proper trendy free agent. With the expertise to plug-and-play straight into the Cats’ aspect, he was supreme for his or her wants. And the synchronicity was that Geelong’s want arrived at a time when Hawthorn had been discovering they may not resist AFL gravity.
Rohan’s causes for leaving Sydney had been diverse after enjoying in two grand closing losses there, and when he left it was house to western Victoria he headed. At his finest he’s fast, sturdy overhead, highly effective and a goalkicker. He proved his worth within the qualifying closing win.
Rhys Stanley, who arrived on the membership by way of St Kilda, has been a polarising determine. The ruck has been an everyday drawback for the Cats, however he has been their long-term large man.
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