Rosie and Me: Geelong Cats Open Training

“It’s not whether you win that counts, it’s what you do next that matters.”


Something about this quote should speak to the Geelong Cats faithful, after that disappointing loss to the Bulldogs on Saturday Night.


It was an ugly, hard game. Slog. A poor skilled match where the Bulldogs figured us out.


But from this loss, it isn’t all “doom and gloom”, as Zach Tuohy put it.


It wasn’t pretty, sure, but a new week has dawned and the same old faces are still on for the ride.


The display put on at Kardinia Park, on Monday June 8th, 2019, was one that proved that the Cats have nothing to worry about when it comes to faith.


In years gone by, Open Training has collated maybe one or two bays of members, lining the front rows of seats, eager to meet every Cat they could before the afternoon sun was hidden by the Gary Ablett Terrace and that Geelong chill set in.


This year, this day, had a new vibe, new faces mixed in with the stalwarts and thousands hanging on to every minute.


From the Social Club, all the way to the Players Stand of Kardinia Park, six rows deep, fans flocked to greet their heroes, even just for a second. Making memories that will last a lifetime.


Children gazed at the men they idolise. I sit back, high up and watch them train, intently.


Many years ago, when my Dad would bring me here to training, I would be pressed against the white picket fence myself, waving madly, gazing, admiring and asking for my picture.


I am alone today, watching kids just like me, with Dads, just like mine, hugging and sharing the joy over a signature, a photo, a moment, with a hero.


It’s as if Saturday’s loss never happened.


I promise I won’t stay all day, as the drive back to Melbourne alone is long, but I stay the whole afternoon, because I love it here, even after a loss.


I meet Rosie, perched up the back with me, a lifelong Cat who was born and raised Blue and White, living and now raising her own family in Geelong too.


Her nephews, up the front gaze eagerly, squealing. They love it here, just like Rosie.


She tells me about the time she and her husband ran into Gary Ablett Senior at a Milkbar in Norlane. Then she tells me about the 2007 Grand Final and the joy she felt. Just like my Dad.


And she shares the story of her son, in 2007, when she gifted him a signed Geelong Jumper for Christmas, after the Premiership and after she told him they couldn’t afford it.


I sit back and let Rosie talk. Her story, like many other lifeblood Geelong lovers, is one that I am honoured to hear.


I almost didn’t turn up to support Geelong at training today. But I am sure glad I did.


It’s as if Saturday’s loss never happened, I think again.


Then I realise, as much as Geelong- and every other club, craves on-field success, there is nothing more special than those who have stuck by through the adversities.


Like Rosie.


And that makes me even prouder to be a part of this crazy, Geelong ride.


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Anna Pavlou

Anna 'Pav' Pavlou is a current student and a born and bred Melburnian who has a passion for sport and sharing people's stories. She is an intern journalist for AFL VICTORIA and writes for The Roar, the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA Media), the Mongrel Punt and is a Melbourne Cricket Club contributor. She also appears on North West FM 98.9 radio show. Most winter weekends you'll find her down at the Ross Gregory Oval in St Kilda, supporting Power House FC, who play in Division 2 in the VAFA. She works as the Division 2 writer for the VAFA. She completed work experience with 3AW Radio and has been published in The Age as well as with Carlton FC and Geelong Cats. Check out her website below for more sport pieces!


  1. Roger Lowrey says

    Love your work Anna. Love Rosie too. RDL

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