Round 7 – Geelong v West Coast: Cats hold strong (Junior Almanac)

Since my Mum had read out an email she received at work on Wednesday to me, I have been super excited. It asked if I wanted to be a member of the guard of honour at the Cats v Eagles game this weekend. Of course I accepted this offer, and since then the surge of excitement has been running through my veins. Yes, I have stepped on the Kardinia Park turf several times before, but with a full attendance, it would be incredible.


Mum and I drive down to a place to park right next to the Barwon River, I constantly asked Mum what the time was, as I didn’t want to be late. We walk to the ground from our park and are talking about what we think will happen in the game. We enter the stadium, then look for the proud nine premiership cups, where we’re supposed to meet. Finally we establish that we are in the right area, and just wait around with the other people ready to head out to the ground.


We all get rounded up, then say goodbye to our parents for the time being. We head up the many flights of stairs and get to a quite formal room. We are then lead past this kitchen and where I suppose some of the officials sit. Next we enter a room, there is no one in it, apart from us. It’s a lot like a normal office, desks with documents on it, and a great view of the ground.


I am handed a flag along with everybody else and we are told exactly how things are going to work. We are all very excited, then we are directed out of this room and are walking down more stairs. Now we are outside, and into the crowd. I walk down the stairs with everyone else, and then walk through the gate and enter onto the ground. It’s truly amazing looking around at all these people packing into the stadium, I can only imagine what it must be like playing on Grand final day in front of 100,000 people. We are assembled into two lines and many pictures are taken by the people whom escorted us onto the stadium. Before I know it the Eagles song is playing and they are running through their banner, to very little cheering indeed, although a few passionate eagles fans must still be in the stadium.


As I look down the race I see the Cats players assembling and Chris Scott walking up to the coach’s box, now I’m getting even more excited. The Eagles have all finished entering the ground and have started their pre-game training, I know the Cats must be coming in soon. It seems that the Geelong players have been standing at the end of the race for ages, eventually they start walking on to the ground to the waving of our flags, the cheering of the cheer squad and singing and clapping from the rest of the Cats supporters in the crowd. It was so cool to see them all up so close on game day, not at training or a skills clinic.


We are all pumped now for the game, or at least I am. We exit through the same way we entered and I see Mum again outside the premiership cups. She has a quick chat with a work friend, then we walk back to our seats. When I sit back in my seat I see that nobody’s scored and that’s sort of a relief because I didn’t want to miss anything at all. The Cats passage of beautiful running and handballing results in the first goal kicked by Kersten. Then soon after, Cam Guthrie breaks out from the pack, and kicks a crumbing goal. The first two Eagles goals both come from very soft free kicks, and already these umpires are not at all making friends with any Cats supporters. Young Ruggles finds himself in a one on one with Jack Darling, ultimately losing and conceding a goal.


The second term starts with a lot of heat as Rhys Stanley cleans up a clueless Eagles player. Danger is showing why he is just incredible, side stepping past two Eagles, running some more and providing the perfect pass to Rhys Stanley. He doesn’t look fazed at all after probably just being reported, and kicks a goal. Motlop follows up kicking two goals in a row, Motlop kicks another right on the 50. Hawkins kicks a silky snap from the boundary line for us, and we’re building a nice lead. The quarter is almost over when Daniel Menzel kicks a beauty from fifty out. The half time siren sounds and the Cats have a powerful lead of almost six goals.


Mum and I duck out of our seats and go and grab something to eat. Before we find our way back to our seats and are sitting there eager, ready for the second half. It starts with an absolutely beautiful play. Dangers smother and run, gets it to Joel who keeps running, before getting it to Caddy who continues running, then spots up Kersten who kicks a goal. The light has faded (so much for the predicted beautiful, sunny, warm day) and the dark cloud has spread over the ground. The light towers are providing the main source of light at the ground. Apart from a Guthrie snap, this would mainly be the Eagles quarter. The umpires seem to be playing for West Coast, as they pay frees here, there everywhere. Lycett, Hill, Kennedy, Darling; bang, bang, bang, where has all this come from. Danger has been on the bench almost this whole time, but it’s not that. Naitanui is killing it in the ruck, the hit-outs are going strongly his way. The few Eagles fans are gradually getting louder, I can’t see them, but I can hear them. Caddy steadies the ship kicks a goal from the ground, very similar to one I remember watching a replay of, of Stevie J against the Bombers back in 2011. Mum and I spend the last two minutes of the quarter praying for the siren. Eventually it comes and we’re relieved no more damage was done by the Eagles.


We lead by four goals, but with Nic Nat playing this well that can be made in a real hurry. The quarter begins with Cockatoo being flung, while snapping a great goal and leaping in the air in celebration. Motlop kicks another snap, he’s playing very well today. Joel is showing his incredible courage time and time again, ‘jeas, you play well skipper’ a Cats supporter a few rows in front of me says, and he’s definitely not wrong. Mackie launches his signature type of goal on the run from 60. Kersten and Hawkins are working together so well, proving they will be a dominant force in the near future. Masten gets an easy goal from the square, and the crowd are going nuts at the rubbish umpiring, awarding the Eagles multiple goals, and taking a few away from us in the process. Hawkins bangs one from 50, the Lewis Jetta kicks a running goal. Kersten finishes the day off perfectly for us, being paid holding the ball and kicking an absolutely beautiful drop punt from the boundary line. The siren sounds, the great Cats song is being played from the speaker loudly, but it’s the singing crowd who are making the most noise, cheering and clapping it’s great to be here right now. Mum and I then go to the Cats shop as Mum wants to get a Dangerfield badge to wear to work on Monday. He’s the only player whose pins are out of stock, no, how? , although disappointed, it doesn’t affect our mood too much. As we have just had a great win at home.


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About John Sullivan

John Sullivan is a 12 year old cats fan. He loves the cats and would love 2016 to be year of the cats. He also plays and follows many different sports, but footy is his favourite


  1. Cat from the Country says

    Great story John. I was there, in my new seat and felt great pride.
    The boys did a great job steadying after those five Weagle goals.
    So glad ypu had the opportunity to form the guard of honour. My two grandsons 7 and 5 did this the week before for Carlton at the Collingwood game. It is a great honour which ever team you support.
    Go Cats

  2. Loved the meticulous detail and passion that you used to describe all the pre-match preparation. It must have been great to be up close with your Geelong heroes and herald them onto the ground.
    As an Eagles supporter living in Perth I saw the game a bit differently to you, but there is no doubt that your Cats were by far the better team. Dangerfield and Joel Selwood are an awesome combination, and they have inspired Motlop to achieve greater consistency.
    Complaining about the umpiring? You must have seen a different game to me. 10 Geelong free kicks to 5 for the Eagles at quarter time. The umpires evened it up a bit after half time, but you got all the home town decisions early.
    And “clueless Eagles player”? Coming from a 12yo that sounds like child abuse.

  3. PB – why must the free kick count be equal? There is no logic to that thinking.

    John – another wonderful report. It must have been really exciting being on the ground at the start. Which player impressed you the most?

    Well done,

  4. John – I forgot to add that your report is way better than the report written by that Hawthorn supporter. His was terrible. Hawthorn supporters smell too.

  5. johnsullivan says

    Hi, Dips. Yes the Cats have been playing very well lately and we are looking good to go further into the season. All the players are impressing me alot, but if i had to pick I would say Cameron Guthrie, Shane Kersten, Steven Motlop and of course Danger. My Grandpa is a Hawthorn supporter, but apart from that he is quite nice. Thank you for reading my reports and saying some nice comments. Go Cats!=^..^=

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