Cats to host first final in Geelong – surely they’ve earned the right?

Score a footy and Cats gear

Score a footy and Cats gear

I didn’t think it would happen but Kardinia Park will host a final – against Fremantle, as it turns out. Seems fair enough, the Cats earning the right to host a home final and all.

Your thoughts?


About Stephen Cooke

Cumbersome ruckman of the garden variety


  1. And a 25 week home and away season?
    And some guff about a fair draw why splitting into three tiers of six (nothing about blockbusters et al)
    I am so very tired

  2. Great idea to play a final in the country.. good boost for those people.

  3. This is probably the first of many…

    So, Sydney do Hawthorn and Geelong and Freo both win. Here’s the top four:
    1. Geelong
    2. Hawthorn
    3. Fremantle
    4. Sydney

    Of course – AURORA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Next. When Sydney host a final – it better be at the SCG, not ANZ. They’ve earned it.

  5. Well called. Thought precisely the same thing when I heard the “double-header” idea for the MCG being thrown around.

  6. Neil Belford says

    Apparently if there is a Freo Geelong Final it is going to be played on the high school oval at Lorne.

  7. You Freo blokes had better get to bed, With 10 players being rested I hear that Les is in the centre; Belfords at full back; Gorman is taking Ballantyne’s place; and Zampatti is running around looking lost in Sandiland’s place.
    Good to see the club is taking it seriously and not flirting with form.

  8. PB, if thet are dropping players and bringing in ones that don’t matter in the long run, expect Lyon to start Phil Hughes on a half forward flank


  9. Cookie,
    It all reminds me of an infamous Queensland premier and his liking for “feeding the chooks”….

  10. Neil Belford says

    Just been tucking into my peptides for tomorrow Peter. Those growth hormones better kick in pretty fast if I’m playing on Kosi.

  11. Gorman’s too annoying to replace Ballantyne. I want to play on Kosi

  12. You want me to replace a ruckman who runs around looking lost, Pete? That’ll make the front and back pages of The West (as he so often does).

  13. Hilarious that the Freo sphincters are tightening at the thought of playing at Simmonds Stadium. If they finish second they would play at Subiaco, and deservedly so. I fail to see the difference.

    Their anguish about playing in Geelong says a lot about their state of mind.

  14. I thought Cats fans would be more upset they don’t get their first preference – to play at the G. I mean you’re going to finish second – why aren’t you being rewarded for all that effort? The Pies are going to finish sixth – winning a full three games less than you – yet they’ll get their first preference: to play the G. You’re getting shafted but you’re strangely OK with it.

  15. Neil Belford says

    You just hope we are worried Dips. We aren’t really worried. But the 20,000 cats fans who cant get in should be. Almost certainly Luka and I wont be able to get in, ironically we will be able to get into the GF. Ultimately I think that is the difference. Why play a lock out when you don’t have to – unless it is Geelong who is worried about where they get Freo.

  16. For goodness sake, Dips, if you can’t tighten your sphincter in the face of blinding, self-serving bastardy you’re going to have to wash your daks a lot.

    Freo is used to being shoved from pillar to post every season because it doesn’t draw in Melbourne – just like the smaller Melbourne clubs get kicked around by the clubs in the cartel and their handmaidens at AFL house – but you’d think, wouldn’t you, that the argy-bargy would abate, at least a little, once the finals start.
    Geelong are a great club on and off the field, and what they’ve done with Kardinia Park is a credit to them. And, as the second team playing the third team, they have earned a home final. A “home final”, as we understand it, though, means playing at a finals venue in Victoria. No-one, not the AFL, not Brian Cook, no-one, has ever suggested that Kardinia was one of them. Until this week (well, probably, last week if the well-placed scuttlebutt going around last weekend is anything to go by).
    You know the fix is in when AFL types start picking and choosing between conflicting rationales. So, for example, it’s okay for Geelong to host Freo at Kardinia because, according to Demetriou, “they’d have earned that right and that’s where they play all their home games.” Leaving aside that Geelong don’t play anything like all their home games at Kardinia (they scamper up to the big venues as soon as the gate justifies it), Demetriou’s argument, it seems, only has force when applied to Fremantle. If (and this is a very real possibility), Sydney is Geelong’s opponent, that “right” disappears in a puff of smoke. (Sydney, of course, find out what a home final means, and doesn’t mean, every time they trudge of to Homebush to play one.)
    Meanwhile, the AFL is making black hole claims that would make Joe Hockey and Chris Bowen blush. Tens of thousands of people who went to the last two Cats v Dockers finals in Melbourne conveniently disappear (leaving aside that this is a much higher profile game and many more Dockers fans are likely to come over or out for it). Seems that whichever way you cut the cucumber, according to the AFL, a Geelong v Fremantle qualifying final would attract – surprise, surprise – exactly the capacity of Kardinia.
    Then we get told that a Kardinia final would “inject $5 million into the Geelong economy”. My knowledge of Victorian politics is painfully shallow, but I hadn’t realised that the CEO of the AFL is ex officio a member of the its cabinet, revealing though that discovery is. And that’s before we ponder how 33,000 people, most of whom already live in Geelong, going to a game and pissing off as quickly as they can afterwards, are going to contribute $151 per head to the former home of Ford. That’s a lot of hot dogs, even at footy stadium prices.
    The dead-set giveaway is that we are told this would be a one off, and set no precedent. Apart from the hopelessness of the argument, precedents generally not co-operating with being un-set, there is an inevitable truth that any rock you drop on someone in this life is one you’ll have to try to crawl out from under yourself one day.
    I could go on. Did you know MacGuire is already trying to build a case that a Fremantle v Collingwood semi-final should be played in Melbourne, for example?
    But, Dips, for now this has nothing to do with fear of playing the Cats at Kardinia; it’s all about the miserable hypocrisy that’s likely to get us there.

  17. Don’t worry DZ you’ll get your revenge in the prelim when those eastern staters have to come over and face up to you at the home of WA footy – South Fremantle Oval. With the heritage grandstand that’s 50 yards back from the boundary line at 45 degrees to the field of play. Plenty of asphalt for Dockers fans to park their cars and toot their horns. And genuine concrete terraces on the eastern wing for anyone still pining for Waverly or Footy Park.
    Now that’s what I call a real home ground advantage. I’ve already booked my room in the top floor of the Fremantle Hospital psych wing overlooking the ground. Great view; no transport/catering problems and a better class of spectator than at ground level.

  18. You were right Cookie – they missed the point. The diversions have worked.

  19. Cookie,
    The State of Origin game should be played as the curtain raiser to the grand final.
    Could be dream team v allies.
    In the 90s the reserves played the curtain raiser.
    Then the juniors in the teal cup played the curtain raiser. Most of those kids have never done anything to earn a grand final on the MCG.
    I think an Origin game would enhance the grand final.
    4×20 minute quarters, extended bench to cater for those with reduced training, a game played in great spirit.
    It’d be better than the rubbish we currently get.
    The ground would hold up too.
    The game could start at 10am. Would be finished by 12.30pm.
    Then the parade of retirees then the game.
    A lot of players would love the chance to play on the MCG on grand final day.

  20. Matt,
    Cookie was pointing out how easily distracted we can be by “AFL media” throwing out some burley – such as GF entertainment!
    An early game is, sadly, irrelevant. We used to turn up under a first-in-best-dressed system. Who would pay $300 and arrive 10am for an exhibition game?
    Cookie was highlighting how the AFL’s “move on” tactic is saturating media as a diversion from “negatives”.

  21. KP home final confirmed. I’ve gone from cynic to apostle so quickly I have whiplash.

  22. Well I’ll be buggered, they went and did it

    Guess I better prepare for state of origin before round 1 next year too

    Just to confirm, is it being held on the oval at KP or in the car park to accommodate Ross Lyon’s wishes?

  23. Have to sympathise with the annoying little brothers on this one. Only a month ago, the AfL declared that Kardinya was not up to finals standard, then that suddenly changes to “oh, it’s ok if it’s only Freo.”
    I think their thought process has been:
    1. the obvious “integrity” thing to do is to have the 6th placed team have their home final at Etihad
    2. bugger integrity (despite them using that word 100 times in their essendon drugs press conference), we don’t have the guts to tell that to Collingwood or Richmond, so we’ll screw Geelong instead
    3. actually, we shouldn’t screw Geelong, so let’s screw Freo instead, not too many people will care, and those that will are 3,000km away

  24. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Spot on re above Brad it still is a expanded VFL comp look after the big VFL clubs and Stuff the Interstate clubs
    I would have no problem with the decision if it had been stated at the start of the year that Geelong would get a Home Final if they earned it but no it’s a decision of stuff the Interstate clubs Adelaide And Brisbane have both been shaved before with the MCG agreement now again a Inter state club let’s
    Let’s be honest no 1 is going to remember Andy D with any fondness give me Wayne Jackson every time
    Shame Shame Shame AFL !

  25. I see that Demetriou now says the AFL forecasts between 28 and 30 thousand people, FIVE THOUSAND LESS THAN HE PREDICTED YESTERDAY, would attend a Geelong v Fremantle qualifying final at Docklands. Sad to see that Fremantle’s pulling power in Melbourne is collapsing at a rate that would give even Kevin Rudd pause for thought.

    Also interesting that the AFL, despite their much-self-congratulated marketing and promotions power now believe that they could only pull 6,000 more people to a massively critical and much-anticipated qualifying final between 2nd and 3rd than attended yesterday’s dead rubber between friendless St Kilda and the Dockers’ B team.

  26. daniel flesch says

    Agree with you , completely , David Z., and if i was a Freo supporter would be just as irate as you . Kardinia Park gives more than home ground advantage – it gives MASSIVE UNFAIR home ground advantage ? How? Not just the one-eyed crowd influencing the umpires (which we’ve seen often enough – even yesterday the commentators drew attention to it ) There’s also the fact the Freo players have not played on that ground all year or ever before . Be willing to bet most of them have never even SEEN the ground. Now they’ll get a few hours of training the day before and get to contribute to Geelong’s economy by staying in local accomodation. (Will there be Cats fans outside the hotel all night before the game banging saucepans and steel garbage can lids? ) Slightly off-topic , i am a Hawthorn supporter unhappy with the unfair advantage afforded by playing 4 games a year in Launceston. The 4 visitors each year are either non-Vic. or less popular Vic. club North Melb. No Richmond , C’wood , Carlton , Ess’don , though those are the clubs most likely to have some local Lonnie supporters. But at least Hawthorn has only h. and a. games there , not Finals.For that and for Freo , still a damn FIXture.

  27. Don’t worry Daniel, Freo get to go down there quite regularly and played at KP in round 14 this year.
    The ones I feel sorry for are Collingwood. They face the prospect of an semi final at Kardinia Park if the Cats lose next week. You see Geelong has earned the right to play home finals at Kardinia. The Pies will need to organise trains, get directions and everything. MORE EVIDENCE OF ANTI COLLINGWOOD BIAS IN THIS BLOODY COMPETITION!!!
    There’s also the possibility of a preliminary final at Kardinia Park if the Cats win on Saturday. They’re earned that right.

  28. What happened to Ross’s “any team, anywhere” philosophy?

  29. Yeah a decision that laughs in the face of precedent. Laughs in the face of fairness. And laughs in the face of good governance & transparency.
    Maybe you’re right cookie, and this was all about redecorating the back pages for a while.
    The lunatics are running the asylum.

  30. Note to self, always tag any Almanac piece with gratuitous Geelong reference to get the forum going: Eagles play three stinkers in a row, unlike Geelong. Peptide scandal: It wouldn’t happen at Geelong. Season to be extended, clubs say “gee, long.”

  31. Benny Vigona says

    As a Freo supporter the trip to Kardinia is strangely fine with me – now that we escaped utter emptiness by a point.

  32. Fremantle is the only club in the 8 which would be considered to play at KP, which is unfair and they have a right to feel so.
    Geelong has earned a home final and this year will actually get to play one at its home ground for the first time.
    As a Libran, I can see both sides of the argument.
    As a Geelong supporter, I only see one side of the argument. Obviously the AFL should now let us play all our finals there, without fear or favour. Glad Freo is on our side with this.

  33. This point about precedent is important.

    If this is an in-principle decision, then the principle must matter. Hence, does Geelong get a home final at KP next time it qualifies for one?

    Or is the principle a principle iff (if and only if) there is no room in the inn?

  34. The AFL is so far-sighted that they issued Fremantle with a prospective penalty for tanking against St Kilda.
    The Great Helmsman’s return to TV via Talking Footy is just a warm-up to his taking over the Great Cosentino’s gig on 7 once the finals are over.
    He will do a charity walk to all Hawthorn home games in Launceston next season.
    Gruen Nation are replacing Putin with “What Would Demetriou Do?”

  35. Neil Belford says

    There is no room in the Inn anyway. I was in Port Fairy surrounded by Cat loving surfers Saturday night – not the kind of guys who are members. They are bittersweet, they all would drive to Melbourne for the final but they know they are not getting into KP. If the cats lose they will just be bitter – but not because they didn’t go. We had a good laugh about that. Still that home semi final against the Pies at KP will be a beauty.

    (Club magic has worked, my son and I have tickets – so I’m right Jack)

  36. mickey randall says

    So Freo finish top 4 this year but AFL modelling suggests there’ll be over 10,000 less to see them play in Victoria when, ladder position dictates they are an increased chance to progress to the GF?
    Given KP’s capacity, the modelling will, indeed, be found to be correct. Genius, Fonzie Demetriou, genius. Integrity is certainly integral to the AFL.

  37. I’m curious how many Victorian finals have been played at venues away from the traditional ones, ie MCG, Colonial, VFL Park. There were matches at Princess Park,in the 1945 final series, also the Junction Oval in 1944. Any other Victorian venues come to mind ?


  38. The real story about the Simmonds Stadium saga is that Geelong and Hawthorn have been bumped off the MCG because of hacks in the lower part of the 8 like Collingwood, Carlton and Richmond. Disgraceful.

    But playing at Simmonds is just reward for a club that has stuck to its home ground and not been lured away by the bright lights of pokie machines like most of the other “traditional” clubs.

  39. Will Gold Coast play at Carrara or Gabba next year if they make finals?

  40. Bill Martino says

    Nice little smug, holier-than-thou Geelong supporter comment there, Dips. Care to try naming the clubs that were “lured away” from their home grounds by “the bright lights of pokie machines”? Are there no pokie machines in Geelong?

  41. Crio – I expect so.

    Bill – Collingwood, Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Collingwood, et al.

  42. Bill Martino says

    Geelong FC makes no money from pokies? What’s your point again? That the clubs you’ve named make stacks of money from pokies they control at Etihad and the MCG?

    As far as I’m concerned, all AFL clubs, including the Pussies, depend way too much on profits from gambling.

  43. Bill – my point, quite simply, is that Geelong didn’t replace its home ground for a few gold coins like other clubs. Now they are reaping the benefits. Fair enough too I reckon.

  44. Short note to Litza if he’s litzning… they redacted the redaction.

  45. … it lost nothing as a result, ajc. A super read.

  46. When the principles and logic of a decision are as shot full of holes as the caves in the Nullarbor (now what made me think of that particular speleologist’s paradise, I wonder?), it’s hard to know where to start.

    So let’s start at the top. Harmsie:
    “If this is an in-principle decision, then the principle must matter. Hence, does Geelong get a home final at KP next time it qualifies for one?”.
    No. There is no principle: your next “home” final is either going to be next week, probably against against Collingwood, in which case you’ll play at THEIR home ground, OR a fortnight from now against either Richmond – at THEIR home ground, or Sydney at one or other of the big Melbourne.

    “Or is the principle a principle if (if and only if) there is no room in the inn?”
    You may have noticed that there are TWO inns in footy Bethlehem, or footy Mecca, or whatever, these days. One of them was pretty full, but the other one’s flashing a great big VACANCIES (or, more correctly, WE’RE COMPLETELY EMPTY, WHY DON’T YOU COME PLAY IN US?) sign.
    Why not, indeed.

  47. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Do conspiracy theorists have a point AFL have said stuff you Fremantle for resting every 1 last weekend ? Thoughts any 1 else ta

  48. Bill Martino says

    Wonder how the Geelong sphincters are coping right now with the “benefits” they’ve just reaped? Dips?

  49. The time for corrupt opportunism has passed, the time for principles has arrived.

    Vote Geelong v Port Adelaide at Kardinia Park.

  50. Border Oval in Mt Gambier. Taking the game to dairy farmers. Geelong have had their home final, and neutral territory is a fair reward for Port disposing of Collingwood.
    You know it makes sense. (In an AFL sense of the word.)

  51. sean gorman says

    you had me at sphincter Dips.

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