Season 2019 - Geelong

Yep. The culture is strong out there. People underrate their coach too. They came off a VERY long period of no success and have had it right ever since. Hopefully we similarly learn from this down patch we’re going through.

The AFL kept adjusting the system allowing them the mechanisms to do it. Without multi year pick trading they would be bottom 4.

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The AFL do keep adjusting rules and Geelong keep on using it to their advantage. Gotta respect the way they’ve gone about it tho.

Multi pick trading is there for everyone to use, they’ve just had the balls to go out there and trade picks for players they need and know that will keep them where they want to be.


Yeah, you’re correct, they accurately assessed their list, made the appropriate move and are paying off with another crack at a flag and sustained success. It’s very good management by them.

However, they were also in a position to do that. They had a core group of player who were from the benefit of good drafting, f/S rules at the time and a club who had bottomed out and had access to top picks in a couple of epic drafts in history which would seem to be a bit more luck against the odds. 1999 they killed it (Enright, Corey, Ling, Chapman), 2001 being the primary bearer of top talent (Bartel, Kelly GAJ). 7 years later they build one of the more dominant team in the competition from it.

But I think the real issue is when they were about to decline in 2012/13 the rest of the Comp got knee capped for talent with the inclusion of GC and Then GWS. It weakened the competition as a whole and allowed them stay high on an overall leaser average talent pool required to be at the top.

Throw in the later rules changes for draft pick trading and free agency and you have an array of tools which help them maintain success and others which handicap the competition, all in all it resulted in the teams successful around 2006/7 onwards have been able to maintain it whilst the rest has seriously struggled.


I think this is their last shot for 5 years. They don’t have replacements for Ducker Selwood, abs, taylor (geez he’s good). Kelly if he goes, Hawkins, danger aren’t young - so that’s their cream gone. Well done, but win a flag as you’ll soon be joining swans & hawks in mediocrity.

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Long way to go yet this season but it’s a good call.
They are sitting two games clear on top and have won their last 8.
Doing a hell of a lot better than many thought.


I think they’d be fine with that…


David King has shown some vision recently around their forward work and its identified some clear team rules. Only one flies for a mark, the rest crumb and pressure. Ratugolea & Hawkins are rarely in the same space, that gives them 1 on 1 contests. One of those talls is always deep, the other works up the ground to provide link. The flanks push high and impact in midfield but are also defensive exit options.

What I think is most impressive is their defensive structure. They all play their roles and are disciplined when exiting the ball. When under pressure, they usually hit the boundary with a clearing kick where they know someone will be. The wingers or forward flankers push to these spots on pressured exits. It allows the defence to reset when the stoppage is forced by either a throw in or ball up they rarely kick hap hazard panic kicks like we see so often from our defenders. They never exit kick on the 45 unless they know they get the next possession. We always kick in to the 45 when exiting and if the turnover is affected, the forward entry can either be from that point or from the now exposed corridor. Scarlett has set that backline up beautifully.

Their style is a distinct change. Have a look back to the way we beat them last year. Pressure and speed. Melbourne smashed them with pressure in that final. They play a slow game now. They kick, Mark & stop. It protects against the turnover and takes the pressure out of the game. The evidence is the first ten minutes last week vs Richmond, a renowned pressure team. Geelong went too quickly with ball in hand. They opened themselves up to the pressure by doing so. After some recalibration at quarter time, they took the heat out of the game with their possession style. Collingwood, West Coast and Adelaide have adopted it too this season with varying results. The outrider is GWS in a game style sense. They still play some fast footy but they have a supremely skilled, youngish team that can execute. Think Kelly, Coniglio, Whitfield, Taranto, Williams,etc.

Geelong is an interesting watch. Will someone be able to break them down?


David King dont make plans for 2020…

Seriously though great post Mr Sunbury.

I wonder if the cats players are ‘enjoying their footy’ though, surely they’d like to ‘get back to basics’ and ‘not overcomplicate things’…

Seriously though by comparison (and to my admittedly untrained eye) it feels like we are light years away from having the sort of discipline that the top teams have which allows them to execute consistently.

such a big part of being a successful side


There are signs of a serious drop off amongst key players at Geelong since round 10.

Out of the top 30 players whose performances ( according to CD) have dropped off, no top 8 clubs have more than Geelong (5) . The following players have seriously dropped off.

Rohan down to 38% of first 10 rounds average Honeymoon over?
Kelly down to 51% of first 10 rounds average being tagged?
Selwood down to 63% of first 10 rounds average Cooked
Blicavs down to 61% of first 10 rounds average Form?
Taylor down to 64% of first 10 rounds average Cooked.

If these trends continue, infecting other players ( this will effect the collective team performance )
Geelong might weaken in the second half.

Teams with serious drop offs in players.
5 Hawthorn, Geelong
3 Sydney Bulldogs Port
2 Essendon, Freo Brisbane Melb, StKilda
1 Collingwood
None West Coast, Adelaide, GWS, Carlton, Suns. North, Richmond.

The Essendon players who have dropped are Hurley and Guelfi.

They may have taken their foot off the gas a little. They have a very easy run home too. Can see them easily finishing on 19 wins.

The go slow game plan theory is BS. A successful game plan will need to include going fast when the time is right, and slowing down and being precise when necessary. The weagles used a kick/retain possession style last year, but they move the ball quickly when needed.

The cats are probably excellent at executing the short/medium range kicks and can thus retain possession. We are poor at that. The cats move the ball quickly when the opening is available and the risk of turnover reduced. The weaker teams aren’t good at identifying when to go slow, how to retain possession and when to flick the switch. So it becomes turnover city.

I think the differential is more execution than difference in the planned method of playing the game. I also think, other things being equal, the pies will beat the cats in september.

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Rohan was KO’d in the first quarter on the weekend so probably not the best example with such a small sample size (3 games).
They may also have other players picking up the slack which would negate those mentioned.

It is a small sample. But in the first 10 games he averaged 2 goals a game. In the last 2.5 games he averaged 0.4 goals a game. So i guess we will see over the next few weeks.

I’d judge from after the next 2 rounds though. He’ll likely miss one and then be off coming back from a knock like that.

Are they flagging or are they still a flag chance?

If Kelly leaves they’ll be aggressive at trade time; Stevens wants the Cats and should be relatively cheap, Brad Hill and his brother may be bundled up in the Kelly deal and considering they need a ruckman, I can see Paddy Ryder being high on their list if Port don’t give him what he wants. With Ablett, Selwood, Hawkins and Dangerfield they’ll feel obligated to double down on their current window at the expense of their future.

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Given what they’ve invested they’ll need to go all out for a flag(s).
Right now I also think they’re the club most likely to pick up Bennell.

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