North Melbourne Football Club
The North Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed the Kangaroos or less formally the Roos, the Kangas or North, is the fourth oldest Australian rules football club in the Australian Football League and is one of the oldest sporting clubs in Australia and the world. It is based at the Arden Street Oval in the inner Melbourne suburb of North Melbourne, but plays its home matches at the nearby Docklands Stadium; the club's mascot is a grey kangaroo, its use dates from the middle of the 20th century. The club is unofficially known as "The Shinboners", a term which dates back to its 19th-century abattoir-worker origins; the club's motto is Victoria amat curam, Latin for "Victory Demands Dedication". In two aspects North Melbourne stands second to none. One is the loyalty of its supporters; the other is the determination to carry on, despite its disadvantages. In the face of adversity, which might well have broken the spirit of most men, we find that from the earliest days there were always enthusiasts to fight for North Melbourne.
North Melbourne Football Club originated in the year 1869, when a football team was formed for local cricketers desiring to keep fit over the winter months. One thought is that the club was connected to the St Mary's Church of England Cricket Club, now the St Mary's Anglican Church North Melbourne, whose colours – blue and white – are reflected in the North Melbourne's colours today; the association between the St Mary's Church of England Cricket Club and the establishment of the North Melbourne Football Club is believed to have been an informal gathering to play some competitive sport. Information on the club's first match is limited, but it is known that it took place in Royal Park, which served as the club's home ground until 1882; the ball used in the match was purchased by a local resident called Tom Jacks, who sold some roofing iron to pay for it. James Henry Gardiner is considered the founder of the club, he continued an active role with North Melbourne until his death in 1921. Regular premiership matches of Australian Football commenced in Victoria in 1870.
Although North Melbourne was a part of this, it was classed as a "junior club". The Australasian noted them as being "one of the best of many junior clubs"; the club continued graduating to senior ranks in 1874 finishing 4th. Along with the promotion, the club adopted its first uniform of white horizontal stripes. In 1876 North Melbourne disbanded and many of its player and members joined Albert-park, giving the club such a strong North Melbourne character that many described it as "Albert-park cum North Melbourne". In 1877, the club was re-established as a stand-alone club under the new name of "Hotham". Football took a giant step forward in 1877, with the formation of Victoria's first colonial football league, the VFA. Hotham were prime movers in establishing this league and were afforded a place in light of their previous contributions to Australian Football; the 1880s marked the emergence of the modern identity today. In 1882, the club amalgamated with the Hotham Cricket Club and moved into the North Melbourne Recreation Reserve, which remains the home of the club today.
The joint venture was aimed at affecting improvements at the Hotham Cricket Ground, the name of the Reserve at the time. Four years the club adopted the traditional uniform of blue and white vertical stripes at the insistence of the VFA, who wanted a visible contrast between Geelong's and Hotham's uniforms; the third significant development occurred in 1888 with the club returning to its original name of the North Melbourne Football Club. This followed the name of the local area reverting from Hotham to North Melbourne; the 1880s saw the club develop a penchant for inter-colonial travel with trips to Tasmania and South Australia. Hotham found itself well represented at the first inter-colonial representative game in 1879 with four players from the club gaining selection for Victoria; the VFA grew to 13 senior clubs in the 1890s. Led by Geelong and Essendon, the largest clubs of the VFA formed their own break away league, the Victorian Football League, in 1896. Despite finishing 6th in 1896, North Melbourne was not invited to the breakaway competition.
The main reasons for being excluded were: North had not won a premiership yet, thus was not considered a powerful club The industrialisation of the locality had drained the club's income streams The club had a strong reputation for hooliganism from their fans There was a lot of bad blood between Collingwood and North following a torrid engagement in the previous season Essendon felt threatened by the proximity of North Melbourne A court case against the North Melbourne Cricket Club had damaged the Football Club's statusNorth continued on in the depleted VFA, emerging as a powerhouse, finishing 2nd in 1897, 1898 and 1899. In 1903, after 34 years of competing, the club won its first premiership, defeating Richmond in the final; the club became back to back premiers in 1904 after Richmond forfeited the grand final due to the appointment of an umpire whose performance when the two teams met earlier in the year was criticised by Richmond players and officials. North merged with fellow VFA football club West Melbourne in 1907, which at the time had lost its home ground.
The joint venture saw a chance of promotion, the club applied for admission to the more prestigious VFL in 1908, but Richmond and University were admitted instead. North was kicked out of the VFA during the 1907/08 offseason as a result of applying to join the VFL, before the local community reestablished the North Melbourne Football Club under a new committee enabling the club to play in the VFA in the 1908 season; the reformation of the Club necessitated a
Adelaide Football Club
The Adelaide Football Club, nicknamed the Crows, is a professional Australian rules football club that competes in the Australian Football League. The club is based in Adelaide, South Australia, playing its home matches at Adelaide Oval; the club has its training and administration base at Football Park in West Lakes, where it played home matches between 1991 and 2013. The club song is "The Pride of South Australia", to the tune of the Marines' Hymn; the Crows were formed in 1990 to be the'state team' to represent South Australia in the AFL. They were owned by the South Australian National Football League, before gaining independence, they played their first season in 1991. They won both the 1997 and 1998 Grand Finals, have appeared in 15 finals series in their 28-year history; the club is co-captained by Taylor Walker and Rory Sloane and coached by Don Pyke. Walker was appointed captain prior to the 2015 season, While Sloane joined Walker as co-captains at the beginning of the 2019 season while Pyke permanently succeeded the late Phil Walsh as head coach in October 2015.
After the VFL was renamed the AFL for the 1990 season, the SANFL clubs unanimously resolved, in May 1990, that a team would not be entered into the AFL until season 1993. The AFL refused to accept this, revised negotiations with individual clubs Port Adelaide and Norwood. Two months the Port Adelaide Football Club reached terms of agreement with the AFL to enter a team into its competition in season 1991; the other nine SANFL clubs reacted and entered into litigation in an endeavour to halt Port's bid. As the terms offered were more favourable than offered, talks were resumed. On 19 September 1990, the AFL approved the bid for a new South Australian club to enter to the league, rather than a single existing SANFL club; the Adelaide Crows played their first season in the AFL in 1991. Inaugural coach Graham Cornes and captain Chris McDermott led Adelaide to a respectable ninth place out of 15 in the league, with 10 wins and 12 losses and a percentage of 89.44. Adelaide's first AFL game was against Hawthorn on Friday 22 March at their home ground, Football Park.
The Crows defeated the eventual premiers by a hefty 86-point margin, winning 24.11 to 9.15. The club reached its first finals series in the 1993 AFL season losing to Essendon in the preliminary final; the year 1997 marked the entry of Port Adelaide. The Crows finished fourth to qualify for its first finals series since 1993, hosted fifth-placed West Coast in the First Elimination Final. In the first final to be played at Football Park, the Crows won 14.15 to 9.12. The next week, Adelaide benefited from the finals system in use at the time and hosted the higher ranked Geelong, who had finished two places above the Crows but were forced to play away due to losing the previous week to North Melbourne; the Crows won narrowly in a controversial match, where a clear forward 50 mark to Geelong's Leigh Colbert during a critical stage of the third quarter was not awarded by field umpire Grant Vernon. Final scores: Adelaide 11.10 to Geelong 9.14. This set up an away Preliminary Final against the Western Bulldogs at the MCG.
Despite losing Coleman Medallist Tony Modra, who had kicked 84 goals for the season, to an ACL injury in the first quarter and trailing by 31 points at half time, the Crows kicked four unanswered goals in the last quarter to record a two-point victory, 12.21 to 13.13, with Darren Jarman kicking a goal to put Adelaide in front with less than two minutes remaining. This allowed the Crows to qualify for their first AFL Grand Final, to be played against St Kilda at the MCG a week later. St Kilda, chasing just their second premiership in VFL/AFL history, were warm favourites to win the Grand Final, having come first in the minor round and won both of their finals by margins of 46 and 31 points, against an Adelaide side without Tony Modra, Mark Ricciuto and goalsneak Peter Vardy due to injury. However, the Crows again overcame a half-time deficit, kicking 14 second-half goals to win by 31 points, 19.11 to 13.16. Darren Jarman kicked six goals, five of which came in the last quarter, whilst utility Shane Ellen kicked a career-best five and Troy Bond kicked four.
Andrew McLeod, who gathered 31 possessions across half-back and in the midfield, won the Norm Smith Medal for the best player on-field in the Grand Final. The win is arguably one of the finest moments in South Australian sporting history. Few expected the Crows to defend their premiership the following year. Adelaide struggled in close matches during the 1998 AFL season; the Crows were well beaten by Melbourne in the qualifying final at the MCG by 48 points, at the time, looked far from a premiership threat. Since season 2000, a loss in the finals by a team outside the top four would result in instant elimination, but the Crows benefited from a quirk in the McIntyre finals system, in use during the 90's and still progressed to the second week, drawn to play a semi final against the Sydney Swans at the SCG; the Crows bounced back from their disappointing first finals loss and recorded a comprehensive upset 27 point win against the Swans in the wet, which set up a Preliminary Final rematch against the Western Bulldogs.
Despite going into the match as underdogs, the Crows played some of their best football of the year to soundly beat the Dogs by 68 points - 24.17 to 13.15. It was a complete contrast to the thriller that took place the previous year, with Matthew Robran kicking six goals an
Hawthorn Football Club
The Hawthorn Football Club, nicknamed the Hawks, is a professional Australian rules football club in the Australian Football League. The club, founded in 1902, is the youngest of the Victorian-based teams in the AFL and has won thirteen VFL/AFL premierships, it is renowned as the only club having won premierships in each decade of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. The team play in gold vertically striped guernseys; the club's Latin motto is spectemur agendo, the English translation being "Let us be judged by our acts". The Hawks' origins are in the inner-eastern Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn and at Glenferrie Oval, the club's former administrative and training base and social club. Matches, have not been played there since 1973. In 2006, Hawthorn's training and administration facilities were relocated to Waverly Park, located 27.8 km from the CBD and in the middle of the club's major supporter base in Melbourne's outer-eastern region. The mascot of Hawthorn FC is a hawk. Since 2007 Hawthorn have played four games a year at their second ground of York Park in Launceston, with the remaining games played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the club's current playing home ground.
Hawthorn's current Victorian Football League affiliate team is the Box Hill Hawks Football Club. The official club history books and many supporters believe that the club's origins date back to its founding in 1873 at a meeting at the Hawthorne Hotel. Although a Hawthorn Football Club did indeed form at this time—and the region has since continuously been represented by a football team—it was not the Hawthorn which competes at AFL level today, it is that today's club is the third club to carry the name'Hawthorn Football Club'. In The Daily Telegraph of 12 May 1883 it is stated that "The Hawthorn Club having disbanded, all engagements for the ensuing season have been cancelled." In 1889 the Riversdale Football Club is reported to have changed its name to the Hawthorn Football Club. This club ceased in 1890. No Hawthorn club existed from 1890 to 1892. A new representative club, called the'Hawthorn Football Club', was formed in 1893, it competed in the Victorian Junior Football Association until 1898.
Without a ground to play on, the club was disbanded in 1899. In March 1902, Alf Kosky formed a club from the various district clubs under the banner of Hawthorn Football Club to compete in the Metropolitan Junior Football Association; the club merged with Boroondara in 1905 and adopted Boroondara's colours of a black guernsey with red sash but retained the name of Hawthorn. In 1906 Hawthorn merged with successful junior club the Hawthorn Rovers to form the Hawthorn City Football Club as a result of Glenferrie Oval opening; the club opted to change the gold guernsey with a blue V of the Hawthorn Rovers. The council applied to the Victorian Football Association for inclusion, granted in 1914 when Hawthorn replaced the disbanded Melbourne City club; the first task for the club was to decide on club colours, their jumper of blue and gold was taken by Williamstown so a change was required. At a Special General Meeting held on 17 February 1914, a Mr J. Brain proposed brown and gold as the new colours and the motion was carried.
The Mayblooms won three games and a draw in their first season in the VFA. The effect of World War I with players enlisting caused the club to finish last in 1915; the VFA went into recess in 1916 and 1917, Hawthorn did not compete when resumption occurred in 1918. Upon Hawthorn's resumption in 1919 it was more competitive winning eight games and finishing sixth out of ten teams. Hawthorn dropped to eighth in 1920 but in 1921 they won seven games and finished sixth. Bill Walton was appointed captain-coach of Hawthorn in 1922, he was, refused a clearance by Port Melbourne and as a result spent the season playing for them, while coaching Hawthorn during the week. Twice that season, he had the unusual situation of playing a VFA game against the club that he coached. In one of those matches a Port Melbourne teammate had to be restrained from striking Walton over Walton's vocal support for the player's opponent. In 1922 the club missed the finals by percentage and Hawthorn set a new record score in the VFA scoring 30.31.211 to Prahran 6.9.45.
In 1923 Walton was granted his clearance and the club made the finals finishing in fourth place and losing to Port Melbourne in the first semi-final. 1924 the club finished fifth. Since 1919 the VFL had nine clubs; the VFL was keen to do away with this bye via the admission of a tenth club. In 1924 a group calling itself the Hawthorn Citizens' League Campaign Committee began gathering support for the football club admittance to the VFL. Other representations came from Brighton, Footscray, North Melbourne, Prahran and Caulfield. On 9 January 1925 a committee meeting of the VFL, chaired by Reg Hunt of Carlton, examined the question of expanding the competition from nine clubs to twelve; the Mayblooms, as they were known became the perennial whipping boys of the competition. Hawthorn had an casual attitude towards playing football and, lying remote from major industrial areas and devoid of the business or political patrons available to Carlton and Collingwood, were not able to pay their players the match payment allowed by the Coulter Law.
Despite the presence of a number players of true class such as Bert Hyde, Bert Mills, Stan Spinks, Alec Albiston and Co
Blake Caracella is a former Australian rules footballer who played in the Australian Football League. He is serving as an assistant coach with the Richmond Football Club. Selected by Essendon in the 1994 National Draft at pick 10, Caracella debuted with the Bombers in 1997. What had held him back was his lack of bulk – he came to the club weighing only 74 kg – however he rectified this by pushing his playing weight up to 83 kg prior to his AFL debut. Caracella established himself in the side as a skilful small forward/goalsneak, who had patience and poise, he earned himself an AFL Rising Star nomination for his work. He was a vital part of Essendon's premiership win in 2000, contributing 35 goals for the season. At the end of 2002 he was controversially traded to the Brisbane Lions. Caracella's stay in Brisbane only lasted two years, during which he played 34 games, including the Lions' 2003 premiership winning team and their unsuccessful 2004 AFL Grand Final side. Reasons cited for his trade from both Essendon and Brisbane was to ease the strain of salary cap restrictions at both clubs.
Caracella was selected by Collingwood in the 2005 Pre-season draft, the team that he supported as a child. In 2005 Caracella had a solid year at Collingwood, booting 34 goals in total and finished tenth in the Copeland Trophy. In 2006, Caracella suffered a career-ending neck injury. Whilst contesting a loose ball against the Lions, Caracella slipped and former teammate Tim Notting's hip accidentally collected his head, fracturing several vertebrae and bruising his spinal cord. At the time, field umpire Brett Allen did not consider the contact sufficient to award a free kick for high contact; the injury horrified the football community, drawing comparisons to the quadriplegia suffered by Footscray's Neil Sachse in the 1970s. On Wednesday, 2 August, Caracella announced his retirement. At the press conference, Caracella revealed that scans had shown his spinal column was narrower than average; this condition would have ruled out a career in any professional contact sport had it been diagnosed earlier.
Caracella began working as an assistant coach at Collingwood in 2007. In 2010 he moved to Geelong. In September 2016 he accepted a position as an assistant coach at Richmond under former teammate Damien Hardwick. Blake Caracella at the Collingwood Football Club website Blake Caracella at the Brisbane Lions website Blake Caracella's playing statistics from AFL Tables
The Brisbane Lions is a professional Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League. The club is based in Brisbane, Australia; the club was formed in late 1996 from the merger of the Brisbane Bears. The Lions are one of the most successful AFL clubs of the 21st century, having appeared in four consecutive AFL Grand Finals from 2001 to 2004 and winning three premierships; the club is based at the Gabba. The team is coached by Chris Fagan; the Brisbane Lions were launched on 1 November 1996, joining the national competition in 1997. In their first year as a combined club the Lions made the finals, finishing in eighth position after being defeated by the St Kilda Football Club in a qualifying final; the following year, they finished in last position, despite boasting a talented playing list. As the Brisbane Lions, the club won its first AFL premiership in the 2001 AFL Grand Final, defeating Essendon 15.18 to 12.10. Lions utility player Shaun Hart won the Norm Smith Medal as best on ground in the Grand Final.
In 2002, the Lions won back-to-back premierships when they defeated Collingwood 9.12 to 10.15 in the 2002 AFL Grand Final in cold and wet conditions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Early in the contest the Lions lost both ruckman Beau McDonald and utility player Martin Pike to injury and had to complete the match with a limited bench. In 2003, the Lions would win their 3rd premiership in a row, second in a row against the Collingwood Magpies. With a number of players under an injury cloud – and having lost to Collingwood in a qualifying final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground three weeks – the Lions went into the game as underdogs. However, they sealed their place in history as an AFL dynasty by thrashing the Magpies in cool but sunny conditions. At one stage in the final quarter the Lions led by 80 points before relaxing when the match was well and won, allowing Collingwood to score the last four goals; the final score of 20.14 to 12.12 saw the club become only the fourth in VFL/AFL history to win three consecutive premierships and the first since the creation of the AFL.
Simon Black claimed the Norm Smith Medal with a dominant 39 possession match, the most possessions gathered by a player in a grand final. The 2004 season saw. Reaching the finals in second position, Brisbane controversially had to travel to Melbourne to play against Geelong in the preliminary final, due to a contract between the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Australian Football League that required one preliminary final to be played each year at the MCG. Port Adelaide hosted the other preliminary final in Adelaide. Despite this setback, Brisbane beat Geelong and reached the AFL Grand Final for the fourth consecutive year, their opponents, Port Adelaide, playing in their first grand final, were too good on the day and recorded a 40-point win. The Lions began the 2006 season optimistically, but injuries again plagued the club, whose players recorded an AFL record total of 200 matches lost to injury for the season; the Brisbane Lions finished runner up in the 2007 NAB Cup and went on to create history by being the first team in the history of the AFL to have five co-captains.
That year, the Lions failed to make the finals for a third successive year in 2007. The Lions began the 2008 NAB Cup shakily; the team struggled for the season and missed out on the finals with a 10–12 record, losing 3 games despite having at least 5 more scoring shots in each of those games. Coach Leigh Matthews resigned at the end of the season after 10 seasons and 3 premierships with the club; the Lions made a good start in the 2009 NAB Cup under new senior coach Michael Voss by registering a 9-point win over St Kilda. However this was followed by a series of losses in the pre-season to Essendon and Richmond, their season ended with a 51-point loss to the Western Bulldogs. The 2009/2010 off-season was dominated by the arrival of Brendan Fevola from Carlton, the hype was focused on Fevola and Jonathan Brown in the sense that the Lions could capitalise on their strong 2009 season. Indeed, the Lions won their first four matches of the 2010 season to be top of the ladder after four rounds, but they would only win three more games after that to crash to a lowly finish by season's end.
One of those wins however, was against eventual premiers Collingwood. The Lions' 2010/2011 off-season was disrupted by the sacking of Fevola after just one season at the Lions, following repeated off-field indiscretions which included getting drunk in the Brisbane streets during New Year's Eve celebrations. On the field, the Lions won only four games for the year, but only one against any Victorian team, and, North Melbourne, in Round 9. Despite their worst season since 1998, coach Michael Voss was granted a contract extension after the board recommended that Voss was the best man to take the club forward into the future. Leading into season 2012, only two players from the triple-premiership winning team of 2001–2003 remained: Simon Black and Jonathan Brown; the 2013 season started well for Brisbane, defeating Carlton in the final of the NAB Cup, with Daniel Rich winning the Michael Tuck Medal for best on ground and Aaron Cornelius showing some good form. However, things began to decline from with losses to the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide.
However, in the 5th QClash match against Gold Coast, the Lions won by two points, with Jonathan Brown winning the Marcus Ashcroft Medal. Injuries were beginning to take a toll, with
Australian Football League
The Australian Football League is the pre-eminent professional competition of Australian rules football. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL serves as the sport's governing body, is responsible for controlling the laws of the game; the league was founded as the Victorian Football League as a breakaway from the previous Victorian Football Association, with its inaugural season commencing in 1897. Comprising only teams based in the Australian state of Victoria, the competition's name was changed to the Australian Football League for the 1990 season, after expanding to other states throughout the 1980s; the league consists of 18 teams spread over five of Australia's six states. Matches have been played in all states and mainland territories of Australia, as well as in New Zealand and China to promote the sport abroad; the AFL season consists of a pre-season competition, followed by a 23-round regular season, which runs during the Australian winter. The team with the best record after the home-and-away series is awarded the "minor premiership."
The top eight teams play off in a four-round finals series, culminating in the AFL Grand Final, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground each year. The grand final winner is termed the "premiers", is awarded the premiership cup; the current premiers are the West Coast Eagles. The Victorian Football Association was established in 1877 and went on to become Victoria's major Australian rules football competition. During the 1890s, an off-field power struggle occurred between the VFA's stronger and weaker clubs, the former seeking greater administrative control commensurate with their relative financial contribution to the game; this came to a head in 1896 when it was proposed that gate profits, which were always lower in matches involving the weaker clubs, be shared amongst all teams in the VFA. After it was intimated that the proposal would be put to a vote, six of the strongest clubs—Collingwood, Fitzroy, Geelong and South Melbourne—seceded from the VFA, invited Carlton and St Kilda to join them in founding a new competition, the Victorian Football League.
The remaining VFA clubs—Footscray, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne and Williamstown—were given the opportunity to compete as a junior sides at a level beneath the VFL, but rejected the offer and remained for the 1897 VFA season. The VFL's inaugural season occurred in 1897, it made several innovations early on to entice the public's interest, including an annual finals tournament, rather than awarding the premiership to the team with the best record through the season. Although the VFL and the VFA continued to compete for spectator interest for many years, the VFL established itself as the premier competition in Victoria. In 1908, the league expanded to ten teams, with Richmond crossing from the VFA and University Football Club from the Metropolitan Football Association. University, after three promising seasons, finished last each year from 1911 until 1914, including losing 51 matches in a row; as a result, the club withdrew from the VFL at the end of 1914. Beginning sporadically during the late 1890s and from 1907 until World War I, the VFL premier and the premier of the South Australian Football League met in a playoff match for the Championship of Australia.
South Australia's Port Adelaide was the most successful club of the competition winning three titles during the period along with an earlier victory. In 1925, the VFL expanded from nine teams to twelve, with Footscray and North Melbourne each crossing from the VFA. North Melbourne and Hawthorn remained weak in the VFL for a long period. Although North Melbourne would become the first of the 1925 expansion sides to reach a Grand Final in 1950 it was Footscray that adapted to the VFL with the most ease of the three clubs, by 1928 were well off the bottom of the ladder. Between the years of 1927 and 1930, Collingwood became the first, only VFL team, to win four successive Premierships. In 1952, the VFL hosted ` National Day'. Matches were played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Brisbane Exhibition Ground, North Hobart Oval, Albury Sports Ground and Victorian country towns Yallourn and Euroa. Footscray became the first of the 1925 expansion teams to win the premiership in 1954. Melbourne became a powerhouse during the 1950s and early 1960s under coach Norm Smith and star player Ron Barassi.
The club contested seven consecutive grand finals from 1954 to 1960, winning five premierships, including three in a row from 1955 to 1957. Television coverage began with direct telecasts of the final quarter permitted. At first, several channels competed through broadcasting different games. However, when the VFL found that television was reducing crowds, it decided that no coverage was to be allowed for 1960. In 1961, replays were introduced although direct telecasts were permitted in Melbourne. In 1959, the VFL planned the first purpose built mega-stadium, VFL Park, to give it some independence from the Melbourne Crick
Geelong Football Club
The Geelong Football Club, nicknamed the Cats, are a professional Australian rules football club based in the city of Geelong, Australia. The club competes in the Australian Football League, the highest level of Australian rules football in Australia; the Cats have been the VFL/AFL premiers nine times, with three in the AFL era. The Cats have won nine McClelland Trophies, a record shared with Essendon; the club was formed in 1859, making it the second oldest club in the AFL after Melbourne and one of the oldest football clubs in the world. Geelong participated in the first football competition in Australia and was a foundation club of both the Victorian Football Association in 1877 and the Victorian Football League in 1897; the club first established itself in the VFA by winning seven premierships, making it the most successful VFA club leading up to the formation of the VFL in 1897. The club won a further six premierships by 1963, before enduring a 44-year waiting period until it won its next premiership—an AFL-record 119-point victory in the 2007 AFL Grand Final.
Geelong have since won a further two premierships in 2009 and 2011. The Cats play their home games at Kardinia Park, while sporadically playing home games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Docklands Stadium. Geelong's traditional guernsey colours are navy white hoops; the club's nickname, "The Cats", was first used in 1923 after a run of losses prompted a local cartoonist to suggest that the club needed a black cat to bring it good luck. The club's official team song and anthem is "We Are Geelong". Geelong's traditional navy blue and white hooped guernsey has been worn since the club's inception in the mid-1800s; the design is said to represent the white seagulls and blue water of Corio Bay. The team have worn various away guernseys since 1998, all featuring the club's logo and traditional colours. "We Are Geelong" is the song sung after a game won by the Geelong Football Club. It is sung to the tune of "Toreador" from Carmen; the lyrics were written by former premiership player John Watts. Only the first verse is used by the team after a victory.
The song used by the club was recorded by the Fable Singers in April 1972. We are the greatest team of all We are Geelong. Stand up and fight, remember our tradition Stand up and fight, it's always our ambition Throughout the game to fight with all our might Because we’re the mighty blue and white And when the ball is bounced, to the final bell Stand up and fight like hell Geelong's administrative headquarters is its home stadium, Kardinia Park; the club trains here during the season, however it trains at its alternate training venue, Deakin University's Elite Sport Precinct. The latter features an MCG-sized oval and is used by the club in the pre-season, when Kardinia Park is being used for other events; the rivalry between Hawthorn and Geelong is defined by two Grand Finals: those of 1989 and 2008. In the 1989 Grand Final, Geelong played the man, resulting in major injuries for several Hawks players, Mark Yeates knocking out Dermott Brereton at the opening bounce. In 2008 Grand Final, Geelong was the backed favourite and had lost only one match for the season, but Hawthorn upset Geelong by 26 points.
It was revealed that after the 2008 grand final, Paul Chapman initiated a pact between other Geelong players to never lose to Hawthorn again. The curse was broken in a preliminary final in 2013, after Paul Chapman played his final match for Geelong the previous week. Hawthorn went on to win the next three premierships. In 2016 Geelong again defeated Hawthorn in the qualifying final. In 20 matches between the two sides between 2008 and 2017, 12 were decided by less than 10 points, with Geelong victorious in 11 of those 12 close games. In 1925, Geelong won their first flag over Collingwood. In 1930, Collingwood defeated Geelong in the grand final making it four flags in-a-row for the Pies. Geelong would deny Collingwood three successive premierships in 1937, winning a famous grand final by 32 points; the two sides played against each other in 6 finals between 1951 and 1955, including the 1952 Grand Final when Geelong beat Collingwood by 46 points. In 1953, Collingwood ended Geelong's record 23-game winning streak in the home and away season, defeated them by 12 points in the grand final, denying the Cats a third successive premiership.
Since 2007, the clubs have again both been at the top of the ladder and have met in finals. Geelong won a memorable preliminary final by five points on their way to their first flag in 44 years. In 2008, Collingwood inflicted Geelong's only home-and-away loss, by a massive 86 points, but the teams did not meet in the finals, they would meet in preliminary finals in 2010, each winning one en route to a premiership. They met in a Grand Final in 2011, which Geelong won by 38 points. President: Colin Carter Vice President: Bob Gartland Chief Executive Officer: Brian Cook General Manager – Football: Steven Hocking PremiershipsVFL/AFL: 9 Victorian Football