Is it fair and reasonable to question Geelong?

 by Lee Carney


Defamation Lawyers are a greedy ruthless breed so lets just lay out purely the facts.


Geelong were a middling bottom half of the eight team for the best part of the early to mid naughts.


Due to the fact they were a middling team they received no super high draft picks, other than the father-son Ablett who probably would have gone one in a pure draft.  Also to be fair they did get Selwood (much to my anger one pick after Hawthorn went with Mitch Thorpe when they already had Buddy and Roughead, but that is a whole other column)


The Geelong team was known as one that could be bullied and routinely failed against the bigger hard-bodied sides like Sydney and Brisbane.


Geelong had a coach who was just games away from being run out of town.


If you do a Google search for Geelong Ladder Position the first auto-complete that comes up is 2006, indicating I am far from the first person to search for that this week.  They finished 10th, winning 1 of their last 4 games, so this was no team entering 2007 on a high after a strong finish.


Dean Robinson was signed as Strength and Conditioning coach in 2007.


After week 5 of that season Geelong went on an unprecedented run, losing only one game before winning the Grand Final by 119 points.


After this Grand Final win Dean Robinson singled out Stephen Dank as worthy of praise for his role in the Geelong win, through the information they shared with one another about strategies for improving player performance. [source?]


Geelong, with Robinson still as Strength and Conditioning coach went on a run that could have given 4 flags in 5 years if not for the upset on Grand Final day by Hawthorn in 2008.


During this time commentators constantly referred to the ‘Strong Geelong bodies’ and how ‘tough Geelong players are to tackle’.  Teams that played Geelong often saw their own coaches in post-mortems after the game complain that his team needed to get stronger and bigger, ‘more mature’.


Geelong had an amazing run with injury during this time, losing basically no key players for extended periods of time.   In fact when you go back and look through the injury reports a remarkable number of players are listed as test-picked in side indicating better than expected recovery from soft-tissue injuries.  The majority of major loss of time injuries for Geelong in this time were Collision type injuries and knees, this may be the same for all sides, I didn’t check, but it is certainly true of Geelong.


From 2007 and 2009 Geelong became the only team in history to win 18+ games in 3 consecutive seasons, all with no major trades or signings and no high draft picks.  Other than Ablett and Selwood this was practically the same team that finished 10th in 2006.


When Mark Thompson went to Essendon he took Robinson with him, Robinson then brought Dank to town.


Pick up the papers to see how that has worked out.


So I have just one question, if I changed the team name above in all of those above facts to the team you hated most of all, say a Collingwood, what would your reaction be.  Or let’s say an Olympic Athlete had Geelong’s 2003-2006 level of success then suddenly had their 2007-2010 success and they were say Chinese or East German, what would your reaction be?




  1. Skip of Skipton says

    Geelong were preliminary finalists in 2004, and apart from Nick Davis’ heroics, would have been in 2005 also. They entered 2006 as premiership fancies, if not favourites. Remember that?

    Geelong would have won premierships on performance inhibiting drugs, they were/are that good.

    What number someone is drafted doesn’t mean jack shit. Stephen Wells has an eye for talent, not hype.

  2. By the Almanac Administration eh? Does that make it an editorial?

    Or is it a remember you read it here first in The Footy Almanac?

    But an excellent point is made. In a Competition based on tribal loyalties and prejudices, how is justice served, and seen to be served, in this case? Discuss.

    Praise of course for the courageous Journos at the Almanac. They’ll be getting our nomination for the Bernstiein-Woodward Medal for 2013.

  3. Posted by Almanac Admin. Written by Lee Carney.

  4. I’ve got a real problem with how this whole discussion is unfolding . A suspicion can easily become a theory which becomes a “fact” with no evidence – against any team. The authorities need to give names and name clubs, otherwise it’s like the French Revolution where people were guillotined by finger pointing and whispers.

    Which should all wait till the evidence is in. Then throw the book.

  5. Skip of Skipton says

    Geelong’s success was built around the crops of ’99 (Ling, Chapman, Corey and Enright) and ’01 (Bartel, Ablett, Kelly and Steve J). The backline fundamentals (Scarlett, Harley, Milburn. Sando too.) had been in place for a few years and were the reason Geelong never went bottom 4 in 2001-03.

    Once those crops matured, and with the addition of Ottens, a sprinkling of Mackie and Selwood etc., the results were inevitable.

  6. I like the idea of cross examining the evidence Dips. What a novel idea. Where did you pick that up from?

  7. I got a bit excited there for a while Harmsie. I thought we might have been launching Coriogate.

  8. Mark Doyle says

    I preface the following comment with an expectation of being castigated by Mr. Harms for playing the man rather than the ball. However, as a bloke who I played footy with at Manuka in Canberra many years ago was want to say, ‘playing the man is more fun than playing the ball’. The bloke who made this comment was a favourite of the coach because he played a valuable, although some might think unethical and immoral, role in a number of grand finals.

    This article is another ridiculous and stupid article by a mythical person who has little, if any, knowledge of elite level team sports coaching and fitness training. This article is also probably written by a person who is jealous and bitter in respect of a footy team’s success. The article also reminds me of scurrilous rumours about Hawthorn in the 1980’s, West Coast in the 1990’s and Sydney in the 2000’s. The article is also devoid of any bibliography or evidence for conclusions, apart from a few meaningless statistics gained from google.

    The real story about Mark Thompson’s coaching record at Geelong from the year 2000 to 2010 is a great coaching record, which is the equal of Reg Hickey as Geelong’s best ever coach. There is no evidence of either illegal, unethical or immoral practices by Mark Thompson or any of his football staff.

    I am also often bemused at the want of people who do not give credit for Geelong’s success to Mark Thompson’s coaching and prefer to give credit to blokes such as Frank Costa, Brian Cook, Stephen Wells, Neil Balme and Tom Harley for Geelong’s last decade of success. These blokes have done a great job for the club, but Mark Thompson is ultimately responsible for the success of the footy team, which includes the 2011 premiership.

    An analysis of Thompson’s coaching ability at Geelong was demonstrated in his first year when Geelong finished in 5th place with the same group of players after the 22 round home and away season who finished 10th and 12th in 1998 and 1999 under Gary Ayres. In 2001 Thompson’s strategy was to assess the long term capability of the team and at the end of that year he decided to bring forward the retirements of experienced blokes such as Garry Hocking, Tim McGrath, Glenn Kilpatrick, Brad Sholl and David Mensch. These retirements provided the opportunity for several good draft selections in 2001 to complement the draft selections in 1999 plus a number of bonus father/son selections. However, it should be remembered that only 50% of draft selections and 20% of father/son selections were successful. Thompson’s coaching record and management has also resulted in three of his assistants being now senior AFL coaches plus a number of his players and other assistant coaches are working at other AFL clubs.

  9. sparrowlegs says

    In my life, after much soul searching, many mistakes, (and much joy from footie), I have discovered that it is most important when something goes wrong in my life that I look at myself before I begin pointing my finger at others. However painful, if this was my team that had been named, I believe it would be more helpful and healing to look at what might have gone wrong with my own team rather than lashing out like a cornered animal. I do feel sorry for the supporters of Essendon, however, they have been named, and hopefully it will all come out in the wash. All teams will be investigated. Deflection and innuendo is not appropriate or helpful to your team or any other team at this difficult and sad time.

  10. Skip of Skipton says

    Good post there Mark (for a commie). Quite true about ‘Bomber’. He watched for the first year. No rash decisions or a big broom employed. Josh Hunt was the only new recruit to the club at the end of 2000. D.Lowther and H.Simpson were delisted then re-drafted.

    This article above is tripe. A Hawthorn barracking paranoid conspriracy theorist could hardly do better.

  11. Mark Doyle says the Cats and Bomber Thompson are squeaky clean.
    I rest my case.

  12. Skip of Skipton says

    Shooting the messenger there, Peter B.

  13. Playing the Cats, not the man.
    Pride cometh……

  14. Skip of Skipton says

    You’re a Weagle aren’t you, Peter? Lay off the Cats, cobber. We let you win two flags.
    Would you like an enquiry into your third flag?

  15. Enjoyed the piece Mark. Maybe the voodoo sports science that appears to have been part of the Great Leap into the future out at Whingy Hill is the pullthrough The Game had to have. The thoughts expressed and the takes on the situation have been fascinating, enlightening and amusing. Life imitating Football again, eh? Here’s one that you may – or may not have – raised inadvertently Mark..

    Question: does the fact that so many of the players that Mark Thompson coached have taken leadership roles at other clubs tell us more about his coaching, or more about the make up of the team he coached?

  16. John Harms says

    Ah, Wrap. I think you might be onto something.

  17. Dave Nadel says

    I don’t think Lee has proved his case either but I notice that Cat fans who reject a case on doping based on circumstantial evidence had no trouble accepting a case based on circumstantial evidence when it came to the debate on tanking.

  18. Skip of Skipton says

    Get off the grass, Dave. ‘Tanking’ and Collingwood in ’05? Cough……

  19. Melbourne certainly weren’t tanking when Geelong cleaned them up by a squillion goals at Kardinia Park that fateful day.
    As they say in the classics, you’re entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts. The record shows that the Cats have been the greatest team in recent history. No phony baloney sour grapes finger pointing can change that Lee. Stick your in-your-end-o where it fits.

  20. You arre demonstrating my point, Skip. Sending players for medical treatment in the final weeks of the season when the club has no prospect a finals berth and therefore having them fit to do a full pre-season might be tanking or it might be an attempt to have injured players fit enough to do a full pre-season. You have no more or less established intentional tanking than Lee’s collection of suspicious facts about Geelong proves doping.

  21. A commital hearing only requires that a plausible (if circumstantial) case to answer be made out. Not demonstrated proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
    That is for the subsequent comprehensive evidence compilation and a trial to determine. But QC Carney has certainly laid out a reasoned trail of evidence.
    Essendon begat Thompson who begat the Cats who begat Robinson to assist in the aiding and begatting of 3 flags (the alleged stolen property in question) who subsequently begat Danks in the alleged (failed) purloining of further flags to assist Thompson in returning the original stolen property to Essendon.
    Clear enough I would have thought.
    They should all be held on remand for 3 years while the case is heard, as they are all clearly a danger to themselves and others.
    Justice Nicola Roxon will hear the case with M Turnbull (Court of Appeal) supervising.
    L Carney QC prosecuting (PB assisting).
    S Skipton QC for the Defence (M Doyle comic relief)
    J Harms (Court Reporter)

  22. Skip of Skipton says

    You’d have made a brilliant lawyer, Dave. Forget the children. Think of the money!

    Peter B needs a Bex and a cuppa.

  23. Can’t win without a proper forward, can’t win Grand Finals, will choke when it counts, can’t recover from being surprised by the Hawks, can’t beat Riewoldt and the Saints, Collingwood has taken over (can’t beat them now), can’t win without Bomber, certainly can’t win without Gazza, too old, can’t beat the Pies (they’re too fast), too slow.

    Must all be drugs, no possible way they could be too good.

  24. Surely in today’s age of ‘Footy’s arm race’ that winning means a lot more of everything (Success, Adoration and Money), it’s probably not a great mental leap for the Administration to ask the footy department to push the envelope.

    The pressure after losing mounts and, everyone looks around at the winners what are they doing right. Unfortunately for the ‘Fly Up’s’ it appears to have ended in tears.

  25. If this court accepts circumstantial evidence, I’d like to run this past the jury.

    If the Geelong Playing List + Bomber T + The Weapon + Dr Ageless + The Pharmacist = 2 Flags from 3 tries, how come the Essendon Playing List + Bomber T + The Weapon + Dr Ageless + The Pharmacist + Shoeless Jim = Opprobrium?

    Should we be considering a range of scenarios? For instance –

    Is Shoeless Jim or the Essendon Playing List the negative in the equation? Either/ or, or both?

    Could the Greatest Team of All be just that? And the Strength & Conditioning* only needed to be supplementary?

    Presuming – I repeat presuming – the same methods were applied at Whingy Hill as Kardinia Park, were the older bodies of the GPL more able to cope with the S&G methods applied?

    Were the bodies of the EPL too immature with the – again presuming – same treatment?

    Or did the Bomber T Consortium get a bit ahead of itself when it transferred its operation to Bomberland – and tried some extreme sport science it hadn’t dabbled in before – some extreme sports science it wasn’t game to try down at Sleepy Hollow under the watchful eye of a grounded administration and medical team?

    All this is conjecture, but it would sure explain two things – the thousand yard stare on the face of Shoeless Jim from the Coach’s Box as he watched the wheels fall off The Dream last season.

    And how The Cats went on to win a 3rd Flag in five years without Bomber T & his troupe of snake oil salesmen.

    * Neither Strength nor Conditioning are dirty words, not even when connected by a grammatical conjunction. Chemical enhancement is.

  26. This comment has been withdrawn.

    Didn’t get past the lawyers.

  27. This whole doping furore is tearing apart the footy-loving community! We normally jibe each other, but now it’s getting too personal for my taste.

    Personally, I don’t think we should be discussing the likelihood of ANY club being involved, until indisputable evidence is found and confirmed. As a Cats supporter, I can tell you how unpleasant it is to have baseless accusations hurled at your club. Why a shame for us the Bombers (who are more likely clean and innocent than not) did not perform better last year. An 11th-placed team coming forward and saying “There COULD be an issue here..” hardly serves the thirst of those looking to “TAKE TEAMS DOWN!!!” So they latch onto a club with some recent success. “Oh, look, the employed The Weapon, they must have cheated too!” of course overlooking the fact that Essendon are as yet innocent, and that Dank is the one in question.

    But then, if we do pursue in using Essendon as our symbolic punching bag, should my teams who have had surprisingly bad years, or a long line of injuries, become our focus? Geelong 2006, Hawthorn 2009… Etc etc.

    After all that ramble, my point is each accusation is as unfounded as the unqualified evidence that proceeds it. Until some definite charges are laid and proven, how about we give each other the benefit of the doubt? Apart from being, you know, nice, I imagine it’s how each of us would like to be treated.

  28. Wrap, you sit are once again spot on.

    And I wish to apologise for the poor grammar/ incorrect words in my above post. I typed it on my iPhone and didn’t check for poor autocorrects. I’m sure you all know what I meant anyway.

  29. A post questioning The Cats on Almanac would have to be ‘bear poking’ at its best

  30. Clearly Essendon has no case to answer on the allegation that they used “Performance Enhancing Drugs” due to the fact that whatever they were using did not actually enhance their performance.
    If they thought they were using performance enhancing drugs, they should sue their supplier for misrepresentation.

  31. Skip of Skipton says

    Dunno Budge. They have shot out of the blocks the past two seasons. 8-1 last year? They blew wind right up Collingwood in the ANZAC Day game. Their list aint that flash.

  32. So Skip, why did they unravel?

    Is this a sign of pharmaceutical overload, as we’re told by some bona fifes sports scientists? (Sort of like dropping a 360cc V8 in a Datsun 180B. S**t off a shovel for the first ten laps before the transmission/differential/suspension collapses under the strain)

    Did they reckon they’d pumped them up enough and dropped the dosage – or did they reckon they might have done too much & backed off the dosage?

    Or stopped altogether?

    One thing’s for sure, there’s a lot more to come out of this than we’re been told already. The question is – what will we – The Football Public – be fed?

  33. Skip of Skipton says

    Yes Wrapster. Dropping a V8 in a Datsun, then seeing what unfolds. Diff, trans etc will shit itself soon enough.

  34. Thats what you get when you hire Bomber Thompson to run your Mechanics Workshop.
    You just can’t get the parts these days, not like down at Sleepy Hollow where you just had to wait for them to fall off the back of the delivery truck to the Ford factory.

  35. Skip of Skipton says

    People from Melbourne are allowed to call Geelong ‘Sleepy Hollow’. Not some bloody sand-groping ,banana bending, crow eating New Sotuth Welshmen. Or Tasmanians.

  36. Skip – I was thinking, why am I getting so much pleasure out of this thread? I came to the conclusion that it is because I find Cats supporters so maddeningly decent, reasonable and self satisfied.
    Sanctimonious, gloating bastards. Look at them – Harms, Dips, Cookie, Flynn – even the ones I haven’t met seem charming, decent people from their Almanac writing ( MD excluded – though their is a bizarre charm to his rants – I plan a future piece on whether MD is a real person – or Harms/Cooke’s alter ego when they are on the slops – there is no evidence of him in any book or the Almanacker’s list).
    In short – its largely jealousy on my part. You not only have the 3 premierships and arguably the best team of the last 30 years – but you behave as if you all deserve a sainthood, Nobel Prize and OAM as well – players and fans alike.
    Gawd I even joined the Hayden Ballantyne fan club for a week after Scarlo biffed him. My enemy’s enemy etc.
    I see the role of the Almanac being in part to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”.
    I intend to desist from the “bear poking” and cheap shots as soon as its not fun.
    Soon. Whenever.

  37. Lee Carney is just another in a long list of bitter Hawthorn supporters. The “Google is your friend” theory only goes so far, then you end up making yourself look silly by not researching properly. Let him have his little rant to feel better for five minutes, then he can toddle off and wallow in self pity again for having only won the one flag after believing that they were going to go on and rule the world.

  38. PB

    I don’t know Mark Doyle other than through this site (g’day Mark, if you’re reading). However, for what it is worth, I think his comments are valuable even if at times they lack tact. (MD has breathed new life into the term ‘buffoon’ and has given rise to a new verb ‘to be Doyled’ ie to cop a spray, often harsh, for arguing from within the right wing,, materialist, bubble.)

    I hope this helps with your search for whether he exists or not.

    I used to think MD was a nom de plume and I had some theories as to who it might be. But I reckon Mark Doyle is very real.

    I am hoping to initiate a column ‘A Beer with…’ and Mark Doyle is top of my list, just ahead of Bruce Doull, Robyn Ashney and Barry Humphries.

  39. JTH – You would say that wouldn’t you.
    Fiendishly cunning you Cats commos.

  40. Avatars are coming to the Almanac, we’ll all be able to see what we look like soon when we post a comment.

    My avatar will feature my brand new T-shirt: I AM Mark Doyle (when I’m on the slops).

  41. Having just posted that, I see my avatar is there now – handsome bastard, but am I a parody?

  42. Peter Flynn says

    I believe Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfarth is squeaky clean.

  43. Peter Flynn says

    The practice of injecting Chappy’s blood back into his hamstring was OK in 2009. This practice is no longer allowed.

  44. Just to be clear, I was not making any claim that Geelong were cheating, the main point of my column was the last paragraph, that that if this unprecedented run of success came from a Chinese Swimmer or from a Contador smashing Evans at the Tour what would our reaction be especially if there was little bit of odour around it as has now been put their with the Thompson making Robinson his number one target when he went to Essendon.

    But for all the Geelong supporters above talking about it being inevitable, please give me a break.

    Geelong were from 2002

    2002 9th
    2003 12th
    2004 4th
    2005 6th
    2006 10th

    and for the people saying well it was inevitable “Ling, Scarlett, Harley, Milburn” etc etc these guys weren’t those guys until Robinson arrived, now maybe it was amazingly advanced sports science that made them the superstars they became and if so, and its all legit (and again we have no reason to believe otherwise) then Robinson is worth $4 million a year to any club in the AFL and should be the highest paid person in the sport.

    My point is not Geelong cheated, my point is about sports fandom and how we choose when to be suspicious.

  45. Ozsportsdude, uh, yes. No one posting on this page is free from bias, as is evident in your tone.
    Axes grinding away…

  46. In 2002, the Cats won 7 in a row with what amounted to not much more than a team of kids. They were responsible for Eade resigning mid-season after the kids gave the Swans a touch up at no less than the SCG. In that run, they also beat an in-form Collingwood on the MCG. An 18-year old named Steve Johnson kicked 4 goals playing CHF.

    That group of kids went on to win the 2002 VFL GF. It was obvious then that they were a pretty exciting group.

    Just two years later, they dominate a preliminary final against what many say is the greatest team of teh modern era. Like most young sides playing finals for the first time, they struggled to make the most of their chances.

    The simply blew their chance against Sydney in Sydney when they dominated their semi-final and dropped it in the last 10 minutes (still shake my head at that one).

    They then won the pre-season competition in 2006 with half a side before winning the first three games of teh season proper comfortably with Dean Laidley them “Premiers” after Round 3. Then the rot set in.

    The Cats conditioning coach was sacked mid-2006 because it became obvious the Cats were not fit enough.

    Some people accept failure and roll along with the punches. Others are offended by it and want to erase it from memory. I’m pretty comfortable that the Cats were the latter and they had the ability to do it as evidenced by their development over that period – 2006 excepted.

    And before anyone says so how did they go from 2006 failure to 2007 premiership, I think the question is more, how did they go from 2004, 2005 competitive finalists to non-finalists in 2006. There was obviously something not right at the club that year.

  47. Hi Lee/Ozsportsdude. I know it will come as a shock to some (g’day Flynny, Dips, JTH, MOC et al) but I’m afraid I’m another of those pesky Geelong supporters who enjoys the Almanac and all it stands for.

    Anyway I must say that I’ve rarely read such drivel as your piece above. You use an assortment of facts, theories, innuendo and dog whispers to denigrate the recent success of the team I’ve followed all my life (60 plus years). You excuse it on the basis that you’re really just speaking about sports fandom and how we choose when to be suspicious. You then ask us to give you a break.

    No break from me I’m afraid. If you choose to put allegations about people/beliefs/associations etc in print you’d be well advised to have something substantive to back them up. Not weasel words along the lines you use in the last paragraph of your piece.

    Rant over.

    Oh just one other thing. One of your ‘facts’ is that when Mark Thompson went to Essendon he took Dean Robinson with him. No he didn’t. Dean Robinson was appointed to a position at the Gold Coast Suns after he left Geelong. But let’s not allow the truth to get in the way of things, eh.

  48. Just a few thoughts on Thompson as a Geelong Coach from a non Cats supporter:

    Football in the mid naughties had become an extremely boring defensive game where all your backline players would rack up the dream team points while we all went to sleep on the couch. I enjoyed the Eagles / Swans grand finals as tight phyisical contests but a lot of other matches during this period were forgettable.

    Sam Newman pretty much fell out with Thompson in this time because of the infuriating way his Cats played the game and no matter what you think of Sam he has a good head for the game.

    Thompson was coaching at this time badly and made a good young team look very bad in 2006 – not sure what happened after the North game in Geelong in early 2007 but either Thompson or someone else within the coaching or playing group changed the way they played and the rest is history and we can at least thank them for bringing back a more play on attacking long kicking game which is much better to watch.

    Was Thompson a great coach when he was doing what everyone else was and the team was going nowhere?

    So can’t coach one minute – great coach the next – answer like a lot of things in life is probably somewhere in the middle.

  49. Nothing to add. Just wanted to get this thread back to the top of the list after Mr Cooke’s nonsense elsewhere.

  50. Geelong are a great team with a winning culture. Best team since Brisbane (01-04)
    They have finally shaken the handbaggers tag and won flags. (excluding 08)

    But cheating, drugs and Geelong in the same sentence does’t sound right.

    Essendon on the other hand is a different story altogether.
    Why do journo’s write this garbage?

  51. References? Sources? Tried to follow up some of the claims made in this article and came up blank. Sounds to me like Doctor Heresay and Professor Conjecture have been in your ear.

    Geelong, 2007 Rds 1-5 – Poor Gameplan full of individuals, opposition running over top and lack of dedication
    Rds 6-Finals – Changed approach in gameplan with players working together and doing the one percenters.

    Not that hard to explain.

    And judging by the current strong form of those players from that year still in the team (Selwood, Johnson, Hunt, Corey, Enright, etc..), they were only performing to their usual standard that season, not some imagined cut above.

  52. peter rollins says

    Good question. One that I have spoken to many people about, you dont need to be Sherlock Holmes to be very suspicious. I checked all the records and its not often a non top 8 side come out the following season and blow everyone away.2 + 2 = ?

  53. Allan Hassell says

    Not suggesting anything but google “Geelong Football Club fitness seminar 06/08/07” for an interesting read. I didn’t attend but it would be interesting to hear from somebody who did to see if the notes are factual.

  54. Peter, Geelong did not come out and blow everyone away in 2007, in facvt they satrted the season so poorly that there were a few calling for Thompson to be sacked 5 rounds in. And in any case you are being quite presumtuous.

    The notes Allen refer too are indeed interesting, while they give no indication whatsoever that Geelong were undertaking any dubious practices, I thought this bit was quite enlightening on the AFL’s approach to perfomance enhancing substances versus illegal recreational substances;
    “Question about the AFL’s policy on testing for performance enhancing drugs such as EPO & blood doping was answered by the comment that blood-testing for such substances is too expensive ($3000) compared to $500 for urine testing for substances such as cocaine.”

    This suggests the braying of a vocal yet ignorant minority has the AFL focusing more resources on Illegal drugs than banned performance enhancing substances. Surely the Performance enhancers are a greater threat to the integrity of the sport than the foolish dabbling in ecstacy, cocain and weed by a handful of misguided youths. Of course keeping the anti-drug brigade happy by maintaining this faux war on drugs is the obvious path to a better future for us all. Maybe. Possibly. Unlikely.

    Hopefully the events of the last year have given the AFL reason to refocus thier priorities.

  55. David Zampatti says

    There’s a real danger of us all eating our young here.

    How about we strip West Coast of the 2006 flag as a sort of exorcism, and just get on with life?

  56. peter rollins says

    Well Doozy, they didnt call Robinson the weapon for nothing. Armstrong was regularly tested and never caught, only by a whistleblower. That delisted ESS player blew the whistle on the club. With all fans, they sacrifice facts and logic for fanatical loyalty to their clubs. For me, the GFC never won a flag.

  57. A lot of assuming and presuming you are doing there Peter, I hope you are never assigned to jury duty.

    Robinsons nickname could mean a lot of things, you are just trying to associate it with negativity. Looking at a lot of the nicknames in sports and amongst friends in general, several had nicknames which were in no way descriptive of that person but related to a single event or comment in thier lives and just stuck. Bruce Doull was called the “flying doormat” – How literally do we take his nickname?

    Armstrong has nothing to do with this, and in any case, if you do not test positive you have no case to answer. Unless of course a whistle blower comes into play, which has not happened to my knowledge.
    So in the abscence of positive tests, a whistleblower or a paper trail indicating dubious practices, what facts do you have for us? Or is it just Guilt by association for Geelong? Is that the bedrock for your logic?

    But essentially, it doesn’t particularly matter whether for you they never won a flag, because the history books will say otherwise, and to this point we have NO evedince to suggest anything untoward happenned during that period. Just pie in the sky speculation and accusation.

    Oh, and stop being so bitter.

  58. peter rollins says

    Thats dead right, no evidence at the present time. But if it looks like a duck and quaks like a duck its normally a duck. Not bitter, just observant.

  59. Poor analagy, as you have admitted there is no eveidence, therefore there is no quacking or looking like a duck, just a few crackpots who claim the have seen some sort of water fowl.
    You are being a goose.

  60. peter rollins says

    DANK at Cronulla Sharks………….supplements scandal DANK and ROBINSON at Geelong………NOTHING DANK and ROBINSON at Essendon……..supplements scandal

  61. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Peter ALL clubs push the boundaries re supplements and many other medical advances
    Dank Hird Robinson etc went to the next universe let alone level

  62. Peter, give me one iota of evidence that Dank was operating at Geelong. This is the first I have heard of it, and for some reason I do not think you are a particularly reliable source.

    Assumptions mean nothing, for instance; I could assume you are a twat, but it does not make it so, even if it appeared to be a fair assumption.

  63. kl8CmkqmPmJKtFPGOVFBtB6X1cTimgC_BlmhPDQgO4s. says

    Fact, Dank and Robinson had a close association in 2007. Dank was not employed at Geelong as he was deemed unsuitable. Nothing fishy there I suppose Mr Doozy.

  64. peter rollins says

    Name calling does not really add anything to a reasonable discussion. Dank tried to get a job at Geelong but failed. Once Bomber went to Essendon, then it was all clear for the boys to get together. Do you really think that Robinson wasnt using Danks advice at Geelong?

  65. I never called you any name, just pointing out how pointless “assumptions” are. As for reasonable discussion, I would suggest you base that on rational, fact based arguments, not “I reckon Robinson must have been doing Danks dirty work at Geelong”
    Possibly Robinson got advice from Dank, but again, that is merely an assumption. Throwing unsubstantiated rumour around is not reasonable discussion.

    BTW, Thompson was one of the few at Essendon to speak up against the “program” but was ignored. You are suggesting that he was of a completely different mind when at Geelong?

  66. peter rollins says

    Well, in answer to your last question, sure , if Id got away it once , I really wouldnt want anybody to make an obvious connection the next time would I? “I want to make this team bigger and stronger”, Bomber on AFL360(fox sports) when he first joined ESS. Im glad it stuck in my memory for some reason. On further investigation I read from another site that Robinson and Dank were in almost daily contact in 2007/8 seasons and that Robinson attributed some of his success to Dank publicly. Still nothing suspicious going on Doozy, LOL LOL. Can imagine a conversation at AFL HQ would go something like this. Oh God, this ESS thing is a disaster for us, wish it would just go away. OH, and the unthinkable, if Geelong were doing this stuff too, our present situation would look like a Sunday picnic. I need a good holiday.

  67. On further investigation of another website eh? Either reference or it does not exist.

    And of course Thompson wanted to make them bigger and stronger, they were puny weaklings at the time.

    Again, all you have put forward are dubious presumptions.

  68. peter rollins says

    Found something interesting on big footy. Chewy (Hawthorn) says: “Tell me something; what do you think Robinson and Dank were talking about everyday during the 2007 season? Why would Robinson partly credit Geelongs success to Stephen Dank? Can you answer that?” So this is all heresay Doozy?

  69. peter rollins says

    Just do your homework Dozy

  70. Did that homework months ago buddy, and if Chewy is silly enough to take conjecture seriously, then I think it best we give him little credence.

    Indeed, it is heresay, coming directly from a poor football journalist who indicated no source for this rumour, and who seems to be the ONLY source for this rumour.

    Find me something that directly links Robinson and Dank during this period then I will start to listen. Other of course than dubious suggestions and inferences from people who had no involvement or frame of reference.

    Where and when did “Robinson partly credit Geelongs success to Stephen Dank?” Give me some real evidence that they were in “daily” contact, not the lazy regurgitation of a tired rumour spouted by a couple of hacks.

  71. I just love that the Almanac has its own Statler and Waldorf chipping away from the balcony. The thread that wouldn’t die.
    Great stuff. Only 2 more months and we’ll be able to send you a birthday cake with a file baked into it.
    Keep going Peter R, you are definitely on the right track. I reckon either Doozy or Bomber Thompson will break down and confess shortly, and send back the 07/09 Premiership Cups.

  72. Don’t forget the 2011 cup, surely that must be tainted too.

  73. peter rollins says

    Yep, I think they all are. Im glad I joined this discussion, because Ive learnt a lot about the use of drugs and their benefits (short term). Even with one or two, you use a special cream after the drug use and they are very difficult to detect. Now, Dank at Manly, Grand final, Robinson at Geelong Grand final same year, then Dank at the Sharks (we all know about that), Dank and Robinsonson at Geelong …NOTHING. Robinson and Dank at ESS (we all about that one). My theory is this: Dank and Robinson had the perfect illegal balance at Geelong, but at ESS they thought they would improve it even more. Well I reckon they did, but it was like putting a large V8 into a mini minor, Hence all the soft injuries occurred, the supporting body parts just couldnt cope with the increased output.

  74. I see now, Mr. Rollins.

    Your belief, or theory as you put it, is fundamentally faith based, so any discernable evidence, whether fact, heresay or conjecture, which supports your arguement will be taken on board, no matter how flimsy in nature. Essentially you will believe whatever you need to make your theory work, hence the need to quote ignorant prats such as “Chewy.”

    Me, I prefer a more scientific approach, where the empirical evidence available is used to formulate theory. Rumours and innuendo do not constitue evidence in my mind. Paper trails and witnesses do however, and I am still yet to see or hear of any.

    All of us who read and looked into this saga ourselves are aware of the practices and available “supplements” such as your masking cream, which is irrelevent anyway as the majority of substances which Dank specialised in were ahead of the testing regimes. But in any case, how exactly does this relate to Geelong? Enlighten us to what you know that has you convinced that these practices or treatments were initiated within the Club.

    Yeah, Robinson was at Geelong for a couple of years, so what? The scandalous taint seems to associated with Dank, not Robinson. Just because they started working together at Essendon that does not suggest their working relationship was a previously ongoing thing.
    You keep saying “Dank and Robinson at Geelong,” yet where is the proof that this was happening? I am not saying this was not possible, but am yet to be presented with any evidence to suggest this did actually occur.

    I conceed that it is unlikely that you would ever change your mind on this. From all appearances you had made up your mind long before you did any research anyway.
    But please, do not try and represent this theory of yours in any way as fact or irrefurable as it is based almost purely on assumption and heresay. And as it is an arguement that requies no empirical eveidence, it is nearly nigh impossible to disproove; It’s the old WMD argument all over again, how could Iraq prove it does NOT have a secret weapons program; How could Geelong prove they did NOT have a secret supplements program. It can be very difficult to prove a negative argument.

    If however, someone can point me in the direction of some airtight evidence implicating Geelong in these practices I would be dissapointed, but also grateful for the truth.

  75. Stephen Dank was never employed at Geelong at any time.

    Dean Robinson was not in a position to give any kind of supplement to players when at Geelong; anything of this nature is controlled by the medical practitioners.

  76. peter rollins says

    Well Dozy, just google “Robinson, who bucked the fitness trend”. So for you this means nothing, of course. And why do you think Newman defended ESS so adamantly, he knew that everyones eyes would then be on Geelong. Robinson attributes some of his success to Dank at Geelong so he must have had input. Granted that Dank may have hoodwinked both clubs into thinking that his supplements were legal. Dinahcat says that the medico was in charge at Geelong, well so was the medico at ESS and no one took any notice even after he “protested”. Its all about success. Geelong will never be held accountable, the AFL will make sure of this. Its in no ones interest, GFC and the AFL would be the biggest losers, as well as disillusioned supporters of our game. It would take years to heal, and would be a huge bonus for the other codes, not to mention how sponsors may react. Bomber was just about on the scrap heap until Robinson appeared with Danks assistance, and then from “handbaggers” to champions in one season, just doesnt happen!

  77. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Peter your thoughts are just so stupid and illogical , FACT every team pushes the limits re medically remember , Brisbane re saline drip etc . Essendon didn’t push the boundaries they went so far beyond . NO other team has had a systematic injecting program and just so badly done that they still aren’t sure what was injected! You have convinced your self any one else with a remote sports brain is not , there is not a sceric of evidence against , Geelong and yet you continue on like a pork chop and embarrass your self and I do not barrack for , Geelong

  78. peter rollins says

    Embarrassed? Youre kidding yourself, think my case is very strong! You wouldnt know what theyve done at other clubs.

  79. peter rollins says

    Lights, extra seats, and now they want the Bulldogs to play some home games at Simmonds LOL LOL. They would do anything to get an advantage this mob. Maybe its not a home advantage only winning 44 out of 47 at home LOL.

  80. peter rollins says

    Now that everone should accept the illegal goings on at Essendon and Cronulla, WHEN WILL THE AFL INVESTIGATE GEELONG. HOW LONG DO WE HAVE TO WAIT?

  81. peter rollins says

    1. We want 8 games a year at SS, financial reasons they say. NO, its just about getting in the top 8 every year. Neil Balme says, “NO, its not a big advantage, what about Fremantle playing over there?” He doesnt mention the Melbourne clubs who do not get that advantage (on SEN).

    2. A caller rings SEN and complains to NEIL BALME that Selwood manufactures free kicks (drops to knees and throws head back when tackled). NEIL BALME replies ” the way he plays he should get more free kicks”. I say for the last few years two clubs have excelled in playing this way: Geelong and West Coast. The main players have been ALL THE SELWOODS, Luke SHUEY, Ashton Hams (ret), Stokes, Christianson. The common factor is obvious, the name SELWOOD. Gaining advantage by deception is CHEATING by definition. More to come ….

  82. peter rollins says

    Just saw Johnson got off for kneeing. Geelong claim Johnson didnt know the player had sore ribs. Johnson pressed the knees into the players rib cage, and after being pushed off came back put the knee back into the ribs again. This happened nowhere near the ball. This is insulting peoples intelligence that he didnt know the other players condition. No doubt JOHNSON is the biggest sniper in the AFL displayed time and time again. UNYET they all call him Stevie J, for me a term of endearment, very strange! How does he get away it? Probably because the media at present has so many Geelong people in it. For Whateley (AFL 360) Geelong can do no wrong, he is so bias that it begs belief. More to come….

  83. peter rollins says

    Bottom line for me taking the supplements scandal (the three amigos: Robinson, Thompson and Dank) into account is that Geelong will do JUST ANYTHING to get an advantage and that makes them MORALLY BANKRUPT! It puts the AFL to shame! Who do I bame for all this NEIL BALME. Probably more to come…

  84. You’re on a……ahhhh….roll, Peter.

    I blame the martians, not Balme.

    Green tea and a lie down normally works.

  85. Dear Brian Taylor,
    Good to see you back commenting on the Almanac. Why the ‘PR’ pseudonym? Avoiding more anger management counselling?

  86. Why is anybody bothering to pay this hogwash the credibility of a response?

  87. I’ll tell you why, Rick N.
    Because as a child I stood at the fence of Kew Cottages for hours on end to hear rants like this. On sweet days when the wind was blowing east words like “Unyet” and malapropisms like “Begs belief” would drift through the bars and raise me up by letting me know I was an intelligent, swivel-hipped dude with a cool red pair of roller skates and those poor bastards hollering from inside the facility were not.
    Ranters like this let us know our relative place in society, Rick. And we are kings.

  88. Not to mention ‘bias’ as an adjective – which is usually revealing.

    Although we shouldn’t underestimate or disrespect Peter. For one thing, he could be Henry Rollins’ brother. For seconds, according to one of his earlier proclamations he actually ‘found something interesting on Bigfooty’ – which nobody else has done since some time in the mid-1960s.

  89. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Is Peter a diarrhea salesman with a mouth full of samples ?

  90. peter rollins says

    A good dose of the truth really hurts Geelong tribal supporters…..beautiful! Throwing the head back so quickly could give some Geelong players WHIPLASH LOL. Just look at Selwood and company get their free kicks in slow motion, theres nothing hard about it, just use the eyes! Oh, and to you Peter_B, no, I cant stand Brian Taylor as a commentator either. Guess we agree about something LOL. Geelong v Freos, cant wait, all the tricks will be on display.

  91. David Zampatti says

    Looks like my boys have a job to do tonight – for the good of all that’s pure and noble in this dark pit of a world.

  92. peter rollins says

    Yes David Zampatti, Steeevie J, pure and noble. Tell me the last time you saw a player kick another in the head. But I guess he ll get off again, low impact and purely accidental LOL. But one really good thing happened, the player who was kicked complained to the umpire of same, which means that he cant protect Johnson the way Scotty Thompson did last week……. beautiful, JUSTICE at last. Im recording the game and will give all you Geelong supporters the head high free kick count. More to come……….. should be interesting!

  93. MGLFerguson says

    Still waiting on the report of the number of head-high tackles.

    But if you have some spare time, you might as a public service go back and inventory the number of uncalled holding-the-mans and holding-down-the-player-who-just-marked-the-balls. The free kick count could easily have gone quintuply-imbalanced instead of merely doubly (31-14) had the rules actually been applied.

    That game must have been pretty spiteful in the clinches. I was surprised to see the usually-calm Travis Varcoe throw out a (weakish) right cross and a (surprisingly strong) jumper-punch to the bean of Nick Suban after getting a chop to the breadbasket.

    From my viewpoint, Johnson’s very gentle boot to Neale’s noggin – while admittedly not a good look – seemed just repayment for the scragging at the bottom of the pile that was going on. My prediction: insufficient force to merit MRP action.

  94. My award for the free kick enhancer of the game went to N. Suban. His effort on the wing to pick up the ball, get to upright and then fold at the knees before throwing his head back about 1m before contact was sublime. Please note; Geelong are not dear to me.

  95. peter rollins says

    Its 12.55 and heres another lucky prediction (on Steeeeevie). No matter what the result Whateley will say “Not much in it, very low impact, but not a good look”. Yes Gus, and every political commentator for the ABC says they are not left wing. LOL LOL.

  96. How are we meant to take your pontifications seriously when you can’t even tell the time?

  97. peter rollins says

    Pauls Brians has slapped me on the wrist ajc, lets try again. Whateley is a one eyed Geelong supporter. For you MGLFerguson. Yes, scragging is something I cant stand either, but the guy who retaliates is nearly always the one who receives the harshest penalty. Recent examples are Vickery and Conca. But all the players are VERY aware of this, and commentators refer to it frequently. Its up to the umpire to penalise the scragging which is virtually impossible as it may be happening all over the ground. Its just a problem in our game that players are so close together, unlike rugby and most other sports. I havent seen the game yet, still waiting for fox to replay it, but if youre right, then Brian Taylor is right, “if you can get away with it, then fair enough”. Bottom line is, be very careful how you retaliate. Varcoe was lucky apparently. I know you are all waiting for the Geelong free kick analysis, it wont be long.

  98. David Zampatti says

    Just quietly, Rollo, I know you’ve got a bit of white line fever going on, but “my boys” in the piece you took exception to were Freo, not the Cats. You need to read a little more carefully before you start shooting .

  99. peter rollins says

    David, my apologies, I havent seen the game yet. Just so happens I love Freo and their brand of footy. I took someone at their word that Freo were scragging. My comments were very general. If you read my post again carefully I think youll agree that at no time did I say Freo were scragging.

  100. geelong of 2004 were not anywhere near that good
    they were smashed by port week one of the finals
    lucky to get over essendon
    and again lucky not to play brisbane who richly deservedly so earned the right for a home prelim final
    brisbane were spared another 10 to 12 goal belting that season
    so not that good
    2005 wel the cats did squander a 5 goal lead early on….
    end of the day swans won and went on to win the flag…..much could be argued cats were lucky in 2009 when raph clarkes goal was delared a point
    changed the context of the game
    also lucky again that the prelim of 2007 didnt go another 2 minutes
    so no the cats only appeared that great after brisbane declined…losing lynch to retirment
    shaun hart to retirement
    west coast lost judd and the club was in shambles

    lets flash back to 2000 when bomber first tok over…..
    2000……2001…….2002…….2003 when brisbane and port were dominating the comp geelong were not contesting finals
    they started in 2004…..and again in 2005….by that stage brisbane and port were on the decline and the cats made inroads

    “At the end of the day when you do accelerate people and you do push them you find weaknesses. In the first four weeks we wanted to find the weaknesses and once we found them we could strengthen them,” he said.

    “They’ve already put size on and that was something we did at Geelong where some of those guys put on seven kilos in seven weeks and it was functional mass.”

    A torturous amount of leg weights has resulted in several players complaining that their jeans no longer fit them. One said it was now impossible to get them above his thighs.

    It’s all music to Robinson’s ears.

    “I think there was a massive gap and Carlton showed that massive gap when we played them in that elimination final,” he said.

  102. Your fitness “scientist”, Dean Robinson and Manly’s fitness “scientist” Steve Dank were in daily telephone contact and sharing information about each club’s program.

    Robinson actually stated that Dank had a big input into Geelong’s success in 2007, despite never having been on the Geelong payroll.

    Isn’t it weird that Geelong have not addressed this? Instead they’ve played the straight bat and maintained that Dank was never employed by them and the media has also tried to dismiss any claims of a link.


    If I was Geelong fan, I would be demanding answers, but you lot are petrified your flags may be tainted

    Hello? Wakey wakey?

  103. geelong didnt dominate brisbane in 2004 they were playing in melbourne when they had no right to…
    and with lynch injred…dodgy knnes….brown injured dodgy knees…shaun hart out of the game with a busted nose….in the wet…a rainy night….
    home crowd favouring geelong….with nothing to lose….20 free kicks to 16
    brisbane had to travel
    brisbane also had mcrae and mclaren injured throughout the game
    brisbane had never lost to geelong at the gabba and would have won by 12 goals with a week off no travel home crowd

  104. Stik - on Lefkas says

    I’ve been less dilligent at keeping up with the almanac for the past year or and completely missed this article.

    It’s not a major leap in logic but it’s also not directly supported by fact.

    It is a fact that G Murphy and leading teams started with the Cats after the 2006 season. I always thought the impact LT was very influential to the Swans success and attributed much of Geelong’s ability to perform at a consistently high level, and get the most out of a talented team to the LT processes.

    Amazed this comments list has run so long but I think some comments are a little more late-Libber than Brownlow-era-Libber. Not my notion of almanacing.

  105. peter rollins says

    Wow, Ive found a non Geelong supporter at last. Stats for last 2 Geelong games head high free kicks. Against Freo: Selwood 3, Johnson 3, Bartel 1, Duncan 1, Christensen 1, Mackie 1, Guthrie 1 and McIntosh 1.
    Against Carlton: Selwood 2, Christensen 2, Stokes 2, Duncan 1, Horlin-Smith 1.
    Final Tally is: Selwood 5, Christensen 3, Johnson 3, Stokes 2 and Duncan 2. If youve got Fox, play all of Geelongs head high free kicks in slow motion, Ill let you be the judge. Will someone out there show me another team with a tally like this. I havent looked so there might be one. Enlighten me. Geelong received 25 free kicks in the first half. Highest before this in any AFL game was GC Suns with 16.

  106. peter rollins says

    Ben Hocking and Brad Seymour (SPORTSFAN) say staging in AFL is not a problem. Well, I guess its not when only one team that has a mortgage on same. Geelong has 5 whereas most teams only have 1 at most. Dropping the knees and throwing the head back to me is staging. Watch Geelong players Selwood, Christensen, Stokes, Johnson and Bartel and you will see persistent staging in one form or another. Rounds 22 and 23, both “dead” games. But in finals you will see these players staging for every free kick possible. Ben and Brad, “OPEN YOUR EYES”.

  107. leading teams or not the facts are u dont just come up and win flags that easily
    the swans started off 2003 prelim….2004 backslide week one before 2005 flag
    end of the day they played good solid quality hard tacklig footy

    no fancy dominating over bearing free kicks and untouchable footy
    2004 2005 and 2006 saints were ahead of them in ladder positions and talent wise.

    cats were no where near close as they like to make believe of brisbane and port
    cats didnt even win ONE SINGLE interstate game in 2004…..six wins were at skilled,
    their average winning margin was 34 points…not once in 2004 did they have a 3 figure winning margin at all hey but losers and tosspots claimed they were brilliant
    in 2004 they were the 5th best scoring team in the 8 behind the saints….port….the lions….essendon and melbourne

    they also only won the one game in 2004 at the MCG
    against lowly richmond

    and 2005 1 win interstate from 5 encounters….so between 2004 and 2005 the cats lost 10 from 11 interstate games
    just the one win a 4 point win over port

    hows that a dominant team?????

    4th in 2004 with 15 wins
    6th in 2005 with 12 wins

    then dramatically dropped in 2006…before suprising the football world with a win in 2007…..
    remind me again how dominant and great they were in 2004 and 2005?????

  108. peter rollins says

    What a disaster it will be if the biggest head jerker in the AFL wins the Brownlow. Selwood. It is called the best and FAIREST.

  109. peter rollins says

    The headjerkers are gone for 2014, great result for North, well deserved!

  110. Lance F. Ranklin. says

    This comment was inapprpriate. It could not be published.


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