NAB Challenge | Geelong v Collingwood: Cash, queues and an 11-goal quarter

The early signs were bad. We parked a few blocks away and could see the long queues. The wait to get in was agonising. But Collingwood visiting for a NAB Challenge game was the biggest thing to happen in G-Town since the Belmont K-Mart became open for 24 hours a day.

Like Prince, the main oval at the South Geelong venue has had a name change or two. The new stands at the artist formerly known as Kardinia Park are impressive. The maze between stands was more love symbol era Prince.

The new Darren Forssman Stand at Kardinia Park, a sleek design of modern stadia

The new Darren Forssman Stand at Kardinia Park, a sleek, modern design of modern stadia

It was only a couple of minutes in and we found a seat in the back row in the Players Stand, behind the goals at the Southern end. The Cats are on early. P. Dangerfield, the messiah to all in Victoria’s second largest city, stars. The crowd let him know.

I’m at the game with Cats fan Jamie, his oldest daughter and son, and my two boys. It’s quarter time and we need to eat. Jamie suggests I go first. Queuing up in the outlet one level down with our crap food. As I near the cashier I notice the lack of an EFTPOS machine. Geelong is a cash only town apparently. I’ve eaten a few chips in the line. My win as I’m forced to the return the goods back into stock.

The search for cash is no better. The ATM has exhausted its stock. The only way to get cash is at the bar below the Players stand.Fifty blokes in line, waiting. At least they have the TVs on the game there.

Mason Cox takes some great grabs. Could well be the best American to don the black & white. Fasolo looks good. I get some cash, then am promptly ripped off at a food vendor.

The half time siren rings. I’ve been back at our seat for a few minutes. Jamie leaves to get something to eat for him and his kids. He’s back in 3 minutes. We are 27 points down and I’d be happy to be back home.

Then comes that beautiful 11 goal third term. Swanny shows what he can do as a forward. Gault takes some good grabs and kicks straight. Cox and Grundy impose themselves. And there’s no Elliott, Moore or Cloke up forward. It’s February. Who cares. Your team playing wonderful footy is a great sight any time of year.

We hung on for the win. Of course the Cats came back and challenged. Dangerfield was sublime. It’s only a matter of time before he takes over the mayoral role from Darren Lyons.

Acting skipper Sidebottom was best on. De Goey was superb, goes in hard and disposes the footy well. Aish was composed and well skilled in his Magpie debut. Much to like about the night.

But don’t try texting or sending a tweet at Kardinia Park. Its like what the MCG used to be before Wi-Fi in the olden days. 2014 I think. We weren’t on the juice but the beer ran out early in the last term according to the guys in the row in front of us. Like the A-League game I attended at Kardinia last season, the crowd catering estimate seemed 10,000 short. The more the good folk at Geelong can host big events like Collingwood and Melbourne Victory games the better they’ll get at it. And only then will the Geelong 2044 Olympic bid become a reality.

Until then, then bypass around G-Town and attending the MCG will continue to be the preferred option. Just as well Geelong continue the more lucrative option of hosting us at the ‘G.

Collingwood 0.3.1, 0.6.3, 0.17.5, 0.21.5 (131) def.
Geelong 0.3.1, 1.9.3, 1.12.5, 2.16.9 (123)

Super Goals:
Collingwood: Nil
Geelong: Smith, Menzel

Collingwood: Fasolo 5, Gault 3, Swan 3, Cox 2, Blair 2, Grundy 2, Macaffer, Greenwood, Sidebottom, Witts

Dangerfield 3, Vardy 2, Hawkins 2, Duncan, Menegola, McCarthy, Cockatoo, Gregson, Menzel, Kersten, Murdoch, Stanley

Collingwood: Sidebottom, De Goey, Fasolo, Cox, Grundy, Gault, Swan

Geelong: Dangerfield, Cockatoo, Vardy

Crowd: 20,460 at Kardinia Park

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Impressive unit the Pies. Very exciting midfield. They’ll be tough to beat this year. I have them in my top 8. The Cats also had some positives, and most of them were the young blokes. I never like to see the opposition kick a lot of goals on the trot, even if it is the NAB Cup, so C. Scott needs to fix that pronto.

  2. Bit harsh there on geelong mate, I know all our parking ticket machines are tap and go shame can’t say same about Melbourne. Are you really going to compare parking at kardinia to parking at the g, a million places short stroll to kardinia at the g it’s like a demo derby trying to get out. Food is good and we’ll priced at the g then apparently? Kardinia is a work in progress and the last standing vic suburban ground how about some respect then again you do follow Collingwood ?

  3. Luke,
    The Footy Spectator’s Rule Book:
    Rule #1 – Always take a sufficient amount of cash to the footy

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    Cheers Zane. Just a light hearted dig at Geelong, always great when a Cat’s fan bites. For the record, Kardinia Park is and will be a wonderful venue to watch footy. At least it is when you eventually get to your seat!

  5. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    They spend millions of dollars on the stadium, but no atms? Someone hasn’t been doing their job. Luke, a relatively unrelated note, how good was that 3rd quarter? Bit of depth at the Pies this year and competition for spots which is healthy. Cox looks like a great prospect and Greenwood is like a new recruit . Promising signs, now what to do with bloody Jessie White?!!

  6. John Butler says

    Do they have decimal currency in Geelong yet? Probably why they need the tap and go.

    Lord B, Jessie = messiah. You’ll read it in the Hun any day.

  7. Nab Cup just a warm up that’s all i’m saying keep writing Luke love your work

  8. E.regnans says

    Good early form, L Reynolds.
    Very good.

  9. Barry McAdam says

    Geelong should play down here at Bellerieve Oval. Wonderful stadium to get into quickly and there’s eftpos!!!hopefully they’ll see it when we get our own team in Hobart!!!!

  10. Malcolm Ashwood says

    A lot to like about the pies incredible depth,Aish to add vital defensive skills and footy nous. While it is only pre season,Collingwood look like they have huge amount of tall forward options. Grundy agility and competitive nature is fantastic, how he fell to draft choice 18 is incompetent by so many clubs with DeGoey to announce himself to the competition. How long before the boys fell asleep on the way home ? Thanks Luke

  11. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks for the comments, and for reading.
    Phil, Jesse White will be a fantastic player for us this season. As a VFL star.
    Malcolm, oldest son stayed awake the whole trip home, as did my mates two kids. Youngest son was asleep for the last half of the trip home. Really liked the look of Aish, thrilled we have him.

  12. As with the match itself, a lot to like in that article Luke.

    Such as the Darren Forssman Stand, though I do pine for the old Past Players Members Stand/shed!

    Has the 2016 season already reached peak football? Maybe it was apt that Alphabet Stadium wound back the clocks to 1982 when scoring hit an all time peak.

    It was nice they got to turn the lights on too, the local taxpayers deserve to see they’re still working.

    Will Dangerfield become the new Judd?

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