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The History Of The Geelong Cats

The History Of The Geelong Cats

Geelong Football Club was founded in Geelong Australia in 1859. It holds a prominent place in the history of Australian rules football. The club initially played under its own rules but adopted the Laws of Australian Football by the early 1860s after a series of compromises. Geelong, which has a long history, has always been a major player in the premier leagues. It began with the Caledonian Society Cup, in 1877, and entered the Victorian Football League in 1897. This later became the Australian Football League. The Cats won 10 VFL/AFL championships, four of which were since 1990’s renaming, and a record-breaking 10 McClelland Trophies.

The History Of The Geelong Cats
The History Of The Geelong Cats

Geelong’s legacy is built upon a foundation of victories and tradition. In the 1950s and 60s, the club enjoyed a golden age, which was marked by three premierships: 1951, 1952 and 1963. This was under the leadership and guidance of legends like Bob Davis and Polly Farmer. The Cats continued to be successful in the modern AFL, winning premierships from 2007 to 2009 and 2011 – a testament to their ability to combine tradition with current strategies, as well as nurture stars like Gary Ablett Sr. and Gary Ablett Jr.

Geelong is a club that fosters community spirit and community pride, with a fan base as passionate as “The Cats Army.” Geelong is located approximately 75 km southwest of Melbourne, in Victoria. The club’s headquarters and home stadium, GMHBA Stadion (formerly Kardinia Park), are situated in South Geelong. The Geelong Cats, with their commitment to excellence, rich history, and relentless pursuit of success, continue to shape Australian rules football.


  • Joining the VFL: Geelong was one of the foundation clubs of the Victorian Football League (VFL) in 1897.
  • Success in the Early Years: The Cats won their first VFL premiership in 1925, followed by another in 1931.

Golden Era (1950s-1960s):

  • Dominance: Geelong enjoyed a period of sustained success during the 1950s and 1960s, winning premierships in 1951, 1952, and 1963.
  • Champions: Players like Polly Farmer, Bob Davis, and Alistair Lord became iconic figures in the club’s history during this era.
GMHBA Stadium
GMHBA Stadium

Geelong Cats Home Ground (GMHBA Stadium)

The Geelong Cats play their home games at GMHBA Stadium, which is located in South Geelong, Victoria, Australia. GMHBA Stadium, formerly known as Kardinia Park or simply Kardinia, is renowned for its intimate atmosphere and is one of the oldest and most iconic venues in Australian rules football. It has been the home of the Geelong Football Club since the club’s inception and has seen numerous renovations and upgrades over the years to accommodate modern standards while preserving its historic charm.

GMHBA Stadium has a seating capacity of around 36,000 spectators and is known for its passionate and vocal crowd, particularly during Geelong’s home games. The stadium not only hosts AFL matches but also serves as a venue for cricket and other major events, contributing to its significance within the Geelong community and Australian sporting culture.

Geelong Cats Celebrating Their Win
Geelong Cats Celebrating Their Win

Geelong Cats Premiership Success

As of my knowledge cutoff in January 2022, the Geelong Cats have won a total of 9 VFL/AFL premierships. Here is a breakdown of their premiership victories:

  • 1925: Geelong defeated Collingwood.
  • 1931: Geelong defeated Richmond.
  • 1951: Geelong defeated Essendon.
  • 1952: Geelong defeated Collingwood.
  • 1963: Geelong defeated Hawthorn.
  • 2007: Geelong defeated Port Adelaide.
  • 2009: Geelong defeated St Kilda.
  • 2011: Geelong defeated Collingwood.
  • 2022: Geelong defeated Melbourne

Geelong Cats Finals Appearances:

Geelong Cats have played in a total of 76 VFL/AFL finals matches. These final appearances include matches from the club’s inception in the Victorian Football League (VFL) in 1897 through to the most recent seasons. Geelong’s finals appearances are spread across their extensive history in the competition, reflecting their status as one of the most successful clubs in Australian rules football.

Geelong Cats Football Team Members
Geelong Cats Football Team Members

Here are details of the 10 most recent finals matches played by the Geelong Cats in the VFL/AFL:

  1. 2022 Preliminary Final
    • Opponent: Melbourne Demons
    • Result: Lost (Geelong 66 – Melbourne 87)
  2. 2021 Semi-Final
    • Opponent: GWS Giants
    • Result: Lost (Geelong 68 – GWS Giants 107)
  3. 2021 Qualifying Final
    • Opponent: Port Adelaide
    • Result: Lost (Geelong 48 – Port Adelaide 73)
  4. 2020 Grand Final
    • Opponent: Richmond Tigers
    • Result: Lost (Geelong 25 – Richmond 81)
  5. 2020 Preliminary Final
    • Opponent: Brisbane Lions
    • Result: Won (Geelong 82 – Brisbane 42)
  6. 2020 Semi-Final
    • Opponent: Collingwood Magpies
    • Result: Won (Geelong 68 – Collingwood 46)
  7. 2020 Qualifying Final
    • Opponent: Port Adelaide
    • Result: Won (Geelong 73 – Port Adelaide 40)
  8. 2019 Preliminary Final
    • Opponent: Richmond Tigers
    • Result: Lost (Geelong 66 – Richmond 97)
  9. 2019 Semi-Final
    • Opponent: West Coast Eagles
    • Result: Lost (Geelong 58 – West Coast 88)
  10. 2019 Qualifying Final
    • Opponent: Collingwood Magpies
    • Result: Won (Geelong 73 – Collingwood 72)

These matches span from the 2019 season through to the 2022 season, showcasing Geelong’s recent history in AFL finals competition.

Geelong continues to be a strong competitor in the AFL, consistently reaching finals series and aiming for future premierships.

The club places a strong emphasis on developing young talent and maintaining a competitive edge in the evolving landscape of Australian rules football.

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