Geelong Premiership History

by on March 7th, 2015
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With the recent premiership victory for the Geelong Football Club, a closer look into the history behind this championship team is desired. What are its origins, who have the key players been in the history of the Geelong Football Club, and how did it get its name?

Geelong is one of the oldest football clubs not only in Australia, but in the world. Founded in 1859, it is the third oldest in Australia, being preceded only by the Melbourne Football Club and the Castlemaine Football club. During this time, Geelong has cleaned up nine premierships, the first one being part of the VFL in 1925. Their most recent 2011 premiership was the third premiership to win in five years.

An article about Geelong would not be complete without mention of some of the team’s “greats”, one of them being Gary Ablett. Having won multiple awards, including the Bronlow Medal and the Leigh Matthews Trophy. He has also been a two-time premiership player and was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2009. It was with much controversy and disappointment that Ablett signed a contract in 2010 with the Gold Coast Suns, but he will live on in Geelong Cats fame.

Everybody knows about the Bronlow medal, but have you ever stopped to consider its origins? Named in honour of Charles Bronlow, a VFL administrator and also a player on the Geelong Football Club, the Bronlow Medal came about the season following his death. Fittingly, it went to a player on the Geelong football team, and, as is the case today, was awarded to the best and fairest player.

How did this team become known as the Cats? It wasn’t just a nice little name for a football team – there was significance to the name, that began as a nickname. For the record, other nicknames included the “Pivotonians” (due to the city of Geelong being a pivotal point) and the “Seagulls” (referring to the proximity of their location to the bay). Why the switch to the Cats? In 1923 they’d had a run of losses, and a black cat wandered onto the Collingwood side of the field during a match which Geelong went on to win. It was decided that the cat brought good luck to Geelong, and ever after the Geelong Football Club has been known as the Cats.

With odds against them with aging players and a new coach at the beginning of 2011, Geelong did not look set to go places that season. The only team to beat Collingwood, the reigning premiers, the Cats managed to dig their claws in and make a remarkable premiership victory at the 2011 Grand Final. It was a stunning finish to the end of a season.

So while out celebrating the Cats victory and adding to your collection of Geelong premiership merchandise, consider the history behind this great team. Go dig out the history books and discover the names and matches that made this team great. Curl up with the AFL history book and a hot drink in your new favourite coffee mug from the selection of Geelong 2011 premiership merchandise to celebrate your team.

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