Australian rules football
Australian rules football known as Australian football, or called Aussie rules, football or footy, is a contact sport played between two teams of eighteen players on an oval-shaped field a modified cricket ground. Points are scored by kicking the oval-shaped ball between behind posts. During general play, players may position themselves anywhere on the field and use any part of their bodies to move the ball; the primary methods are kicking and running with the ball. There are rules on how the ball can be handled: for example, players running with the ball must intermittently bounce or touch it on the ground. Throwing the ball is not allowed and players must not get caught holding the ball. A distinctive feature of the game is the mark, where players anywhere on the field who catch the ball from a kick are awarded possession. Possession of the ball is in dispute at all times except when mark is paid. Players can use their whole body to obstruct opponents. Dangerous physical contact, interference when marking and deliberately slowing the play are discouraged with free kicks, distance penalties or suspension for a certain number of matches, depending on the seriousness of the infringement.
The game features frequent physical contests, spectacular marking, fast movement of both players and the ball and high scoring. The sport's origins can be traced to football matches played in Melbourne, Victoria in 1858, inspired by English public school football games. Seeking to develop a game more suited to adults and Australian conditions, the Melbourne Football Club published the first laws of Australian football in May 1859, making it the oldest of the world's major football codes. Australian football has the highest spectator attendance and television viewership of all sports in Australia, while the Australian Football League, the sport's only professional competition, is the nation's wealthiest sporting body; the AFL Grand Final, held annually at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, is the highest attended club championship event in the world. The sport is played at amateur level in many countries and in several variations, its rules are governed by the AFL Commission with the advice of the AFL's Laws of the Game Committee.
Australian rules football is known by several nicknames, including Aussie rules and footy. In some regions, it is marketed as AFL after the Australian Football League. There is evidence of football being played sporadically in the Australian colonies in the first half of the 19th century. Compared to cricket and horse racing, football was viewed as a minor "amusement" at the time, while little is known about these early one-off games, it is clear they share no causal link with Australian football. In 1858, in a move that would help to shape Australian football in its formative years, "public" schools in Melbourne, Victoria began organising football games inspired by precedents at English public schools; the earliest such match, held in St Kilda on 15 June, was between Melbourne Grammar and St Kilda Grammar. On 10 July 1858, the Melbourne-based Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle published a letter by Tom Wills, captain of the Victoria cricket team, calling for the formation of a "foot-ball club" with a "code of laws" to keep cricketers fit during winter.
Born in Australia, Wills played a nascent form of rugby football whilst a pupil at Rugby School in England, returned to his homeland a star athlete and cricketer. His letter is regarded by many historians as giving impetus for the development of a new code of football today known as Australian football. Two weeks Wills' friend, cricketer Jerry Bryant, posted an advertisement for a scratch match at the Richmond Paddock adjoining the Melbourne Cricket Ground; this was the first of several "kickabouts" held that year involving members of the Melbourne Cricket Club, including Wills, Bryant, W. J. Hammersley and J. B. Thompson. Trees were used as goalposts and play lasted an entire afternoon. Without an agreed upon code of laws, some players were guided by rules they had learned in the British Isles, "others by no rules at all". Another significant milestone in 1858 was a match played under experimental rules between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College, held at the Richmond Paddock; this 40-a-side contest, umpired by Wills and Scotch College teacher John Macadam, began on 7 August and continued over two subsequent Saturdays, ending in a draw with each side kicking one goal.
It is commemorated with a statue outside the MCG, the two schools have competed annually since in the Cordner-Eggleston Cup, the world's oldest continuous football competition. Since the early 20th century, it has been suggested that Australian football was derived from the Irish sport of Gaelic football, not codified until 1885. There is no archival evidence in favour of a Gaelic influence, the style of play shared between the two modern codes was evident in Australia long before the Irish game evolved in a similar direction. Another theory, first proposed in 1983, posits that Wills, having grown up amongst Aborigines in Victoria, may have seen or played the Aboriginal game of Marn Grook, incorporated some of its features into early Australian football; the evidence for this is only circumstantial, according to biographer Greg de Moore's research, Wills was "almost influenced by his experience at Rugby School". A loosely organised Melbourne side, captained by Wills, played against other football enthusiasts in the winter and spring of 1858.
The following year, on 14 May, the Melbourne Football Club came into being, making it one of the
James Podsiadly is a former professional Australian rules football player who played for the Geelong Football Club and the Adelaide Football Club in the Australian Football League. He was drafted by Geelong as a mature-aged rookie at pick #50 in the 2009 rookie draft and was traded to Adelaide after the 2013 season. Podsiadly grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Spotswood. Growing up he played soccer and tennis, began playing football at the age of 17; when Podsiadly was ten, his grandfather became a significant influence in his life. Podsiadly's grandfather was a soldier in the Polish army during World War II, was captured and spent 12 months in a concentration camp near the German town of Arnsberg, his grandfather and grandmother emigrated to Australia in the mid-1940s. Playing for the Yarraville Football Club and the Western Jets, Podsiadly was recruited by Essendon in the 1999 AFL Rookie Draft with pick 58. After playing 19 games with Essendon's reserves team in the VFL, Podsiadly was de-listed but was once again drafted as Collingwood selected him in the 2001 AFL Rookie Draft with the eighth pick.
Podsiadly played three games for Collingwood in the AFL Pre-Season competition of 2002. However, he was delisted at the end of the year. Before being recruited to the AFL, Podsiadly played seven seasons in the Victorian Football League, he qualified for VFL life membership in 2009, represented the VFL in three state games and was named in the VFL's team of the year in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009. Podsiadly was recruited by Werribee for the 2003 season, he won the club's best & fairest award and the Frosty Miller medal as the VFL's leading goal kicker in 2005, breaking Nick Sautner's six-year winning streak. During the 2005 AFL pre-season he trained with Werribee's former AFL affiliate, the Western Bulldogs and in 2006 with Richmond. During the 2008 VFL season, Podsiadly played his 100th game for Werribee and won his second best and fairest at the club, he won the 2008 J. J. Liston Trophy. After six seasons with Werribee, Podsiadly left the club to take up a dual role as a player and fitness coach at the Geelong VFL club.
He captained the side in the 2009 VFL season, won the club's best & fairest award and was their leading goal-kicker, with 68 goals. Podsiadly was selected as a mature aged rookie by Geelong in the 2009 AFL rookie draft at the age of 28 and played his first AFL game against Fremantle in round three of 2010, he was awarded 13 Brownlow Medal votes in his first year of AFL football. During the 2011 season, Podsiadly averaged over 12 disposals per game. Podsiadly played in the 2011 AFL Grand Final, where Geelong beat Collingwood, he was substituted out of the game in the second quarter after suffering a shoulder injury. He went on to play 16 games in the 2012 and 2013 seasons respectively. At the end of the 2013 season, Geelong delisted Podsiadly, who thereby became an unrestricted free agent, he indicated that he was interested in playing with another club in 2014. On the last day of the 2013 free agency period, Podsiadly was traded for draft pick number 64 to Adelaide, signed a two-year contract. Podsiadly started well at his new club in 2014.
He took 41 contested marks, ranked fourth in the AFL, kicked 26 goals in 21 games, swinging between attack and defence. In round 18, Podsiadly played his 100th AFL game against Collingwood at the MCG. Podsiadly announced his retirement at the end of the 2015 AFL season, during which he failed to play a senior game for the Crows. James Podsiadly's profile on the official website of the Adelaide Football Club James Podsiadly's playing statistics from AFL Tables James Podsiadly's profile on the official website of the Geelong Football Club
Mark (Australian rules football)
A mark is a skill in Australian rules football where a player cleanly catches a kicked ball that has travelled more than 15 metres without anyone else touching it or the ball hitting the ground. Although catching the ball is found in other codes of football, along with kicking the ball, it is one of the most prevalent skills in Australian football. Marking can be one of the most spectacular and distinctive aspects of the game, the best mark of the AFL season is awarded with the Mark of the Year, with similar competitions running across smaller leagues; the top markers in the Australian Football League, like Jason Dunstall and Jonathan Brown took an average of over eight marks per game. An AFL match between St Kilda and Port Adelaide in 2006 set a record of 303 marks in a single game. Upon taking a mark, the umpire will blow the whistle to signify the mark and a player is entitled to an unimpeded kick of the ball, to advance their team towards their goalposts; the nearest opposition player stands on the spot where the player marked the ball, known as the mark, becomes the man on the mark.
When taking the set kick, the player must either kick the ball over the mark. The criterion for a mark is that it be caught cleanly, i.e. the player have complete control of the ball, for any length of time. As such, if the ball is caught in one grab, punched out from between the player's hands, a mark is paid if they have held it for only an instant. If a ball is controlled, dislodged by another player or the ground, the mark will still be paid. Although the rules make no provision for two players marking the ball by convention the umpire will award the mark to the man in front, i.e. the player who has the front position in the marking contest. The mark has been included in the compromise rules used in the International Rules Football series between teams from Australia and Ireland since 1984. Various forms of football descended from English public school football games of the 19th century have featured a fair catch or mark, it was abolished early in the development of soccer but still exists in rugby union and American football.
The mark has been one of the most distinctive features of Australian football since rules were drawn up in 1859. Some people claim that the origin of the term mark comes from the practice of a player who has just taken a mark physically marking the ground with his/her foot, or cap which formed part of the attire worn by players in the 19th century, to show where he took the fair catch. Others claim that the origin of the mark comes from the traditional Aboriginal game of Marn Grook, said to have influenced Tom Wills' writing of the laws of the game, it is claimed that in Marn Grook, jumping to catch the ball, called "mumarki", an Aboriginal word meaning "to catch", results in a free kick. Some counterclaim this theory as false etymology. In Australian football, marks are described in combination of the following ways. Overhead mark: catching the ball with hands extended above the head Contested mark: catching the ball against one or more opponents who are attempting to mark or spoil the player attempting the mark.
This skill is declining in the professional game due to coaches discouraging preferring to avoid contests. Pack mark: catching the ball against one or more opponents and/or teammates all close to the fall of the ball. High mark: catching the ball whilst jumping up in the air. Stewart "Buckets" Loewe, Matthew Richardson and Simon Madden are notable exponents of the high mark. Spectacular mark: sometimes nicknamed'specky','screamer' or'hanger', this term is most used when a mark taken whilst jumping in the air. Additional elevation is achieved by using the legs to spring off the back or shoulders of one or more opponents and/or teammates; the movement of other players beneath the player marking can cause them to lose balance in mid air and land or fall awkwardly, enhancing the spectacle of the mark. The name reflects its popularity among spectators. Chest mark: catching the ball and drawing it in to the chest; this is considered the easiest mark to take, is used in wet weather. At professional level this skill is discouraged by coaches due to it giving opponents a much better chance of intercepting the ball from most directions.
Out in front: catching the ball with arms extended forward from the body. This skill is difficult with the ball travelling low and at high speeds. At professional level this skill is preferred by coaches, as it gives opponents less chance of spoiling from behind, if the ball spills, it will be "front and centre" of the player, which makes it much easier for rovers to predict and to execute game strategy. One-handed mark: catching the ball with only one hand. Used in a contested situation where one player's arm is impeded by an opponent, or where the player uses upper body strength to physically fend off their opponent. While spectacular, this skill is discouraged by coaches due to a low percentage of success and is sometimes seen as "showing off" or "lairising". Diving mark: leaping horizontally to catch the ball before it hits the ground. With the flight of the ball: a mark taken running in the direction that the ball is travelling. In order to do this, the player must take their eyes off opposition players sometimes running at fast pace in the opposite direction.
This type of mark is branded "courageous", because in attempting the mark, the player must ignore the danger of a high
Christopher Dylan Judd is a former professional Australian rules footballer and captain of both the West Coast Eagles and Carlton Football Club in the Australian Football League. Regarded as one of the best footballers in the modern game, Judd twice won the league's highest individual honour, the Brownlow Medal, was a dual Leigh Matthews Trophy winner as the AFL Players Association most valuable player, he was a premiership captain, having captained the West Coast Eagles to the 2006 AFL Premiership. Recognised as one of the game's premier midfielders, Judd was selected in the All-Australian team six times, including as captain in 2008. At a representative level, he played for Australia in the 2002 International Rules Series and for Victoria in the AFL Hall of Fame Tribute Match in 2008. Judd is recognised as a great at two clubs: Carlton. During his 134 games with West Coast he captained the club for two seasons and won two Club Champion Awards. After returning to Melbourne to captain the Carlton Football Club, Judd won the John Nicholls Medal as the club's Best and Fairest three times, become the fourth player in AFL history to win a Brownlow Medal at more than one club.
Judd was born in Melbourne to Lisa Engel. He was raised in Melbourne's south-eastern suburbs, where he played for the East Sandringham Junior Football Club before he attended Caulfield Grammar School. Judd was an junior track and field star and solid cricket player. At Caulfield Grammar, he began to focus on Australian rules football and captained the school's First team. Judd attained an ENTER score of 96.20 on his Victorian Certificate of Education. Judd was a graduate of the 2000 AIS/AFL Academy and participated in the 2000 AFL Under 18 Championships, although due to his young age at 17, he was too young to be drafted by an AFL club, he played TAC Cup football with the Sandringham Dragons through to 2001. At the 2001 AFL Under 18 Championships, Judd was named captain of the Vic Metro team, despite chronic shoulder problems. Although he missed the 2001 AFL Draft Camp, his performances at the state championships made him an obvious standout to recruiters and he was tipped to be picked high in the 2001 AFL Draft.
Judd was taken by West Coast with its priority draft pick in what was to be called the "super draft" due to the standout quality of the players to have developed from that draft year. Judd played only one WAFL match before making his debut for West Coast in round 2, 2002, he had an impressive debut season. In his second season, he alternated between the midfield and forward line and with several dominant performances he finished runner up in the club's best and fairest, he was appointed as one of the Eagles' four vice-captains prior to the commencement of the 2004 season. 2004 was Judd's breakthrough season in which he combined with captain Ben Cousins, midfielder Daniel Kerr and ruckman Dean Cox in the Eagles' midfield. Judd averaged 22 disposals and kicked 24 goals for the season and became West Coast's first Brownlow medallist, polling 30 votes to finish seven ahead of runner-up Mark Ricciuto. Additionally, he was named to his first All-Australian team as a wingman, won the Eagles' Club Champion award for the first time.
In 2005, he was runner-up to Cousins as Club Champion. On 1 March 2006, Judd was named captain of the club, succeeding Ben Cousins who stepped down from the role for disciplinary reasons, he led the Eagles to a one-point victory against Sydney in the 2006 AFL Grand Final, winning his only AFL Premiership medallion. Additionally, he won his second club best and fairest award, his second All-Australian selection and the Leigh Matthews Trophy as the AFL Players Association's Most Valuable Player. Judd's strong form continued into 2007 and he polled Brownlow votes in each of his first eight games for the season. However, as the year progressed, he was hampered by a chronic groin injury which sidelined him for several weeks and restricted his performance in the games he played, he was forced to play off the bench and in the forward line and was rested for several games in anticipation of playing in the finals series. He had won one premiership and was runner-up with the West Coast Eagles in 2005. On 16 September 2007, two days after West Coast's semi-final elimination by Collingwood, it was announced that Judd had left West Coast and would be requesting a trade to a club in Victoria.
He notified West Coast coach John Worsfold and CEO Trevor Nisbett of his intentions earlier that day. As arguably the most talented player in the competition, his departure created much attention and speculation among the Melbourne-based clubs, the media and the football community. In the weeks following the announcement of his departure, Judd met with four clubs: Essendon, Melbourne and Carlton. On 2 October 2007, Judd announced that his preferred club was Carlton, Carlton was considered most to secure a trade with West Coast, because the club held two early draft picks which could be used in negotiations. On 11 October 2007, Judd was traded to Carlton along with a third round selection in the 2007 AFL Draft for Carlton's first and second round selections and Josh Kennedy, reluctant to leave Carlton. Judd was subsequently given the No. 5 guernsey vacated by the trade of Kennedy, he signed a six-year, $6,000,000 contract with the club. During the off-season, Judd was awarded the captaincy of the club entering into his first season with the Blues.
His first game in navy blue
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
Luke Patrick Ball is a former professional Australian rules football player who played for the St Kilda and Collingwood football clubs in the Australian Football League. From 2003 to 2009 he played 142 games for the St Kilda Football Club where he was captain in 2007 and best and fairest and All-Australian in 2005, he is one of the only players in AFL history to have played in three consecutive grand finals for two clubs. Ball is the younger brother of Hawthorn player Matthew Ball, both of whom played for the local football club at Ashburton in their junior years. Both brothers and little sister Sophie grew up with their parents in the Melbourne suburb of Glen Iris, attending St Roch's Primary School, his father, Ray Ball, was a footballer, who played for Richmond and South Melbourne. He was drafted to the St Kilda Football Club in 2001 with the priority pick in the AFL Draft; the draft that year was known as the "super draft" and Ball was taken behind Luke Hodge and ahead of Chris Judd. He debuted in 2003 after having injury problems and choosing to play football for Xavier College in his final school year.
Ball finished his schooling with a VCE ENTER score of 98.8. Ball was a Rising Star nominee in his debut season of 2003. Ball played in St Kilda’s 2004 Wizard Home Loans Cup winning side, the club's second pre-season cup win.2004 was a big year for Ball, coming second in St Kilda's Trevor Barker Award for the club's best and fairest player. In 2005 Ball won the Trevor Barker Award for St Kilda's best and fairest player, tying with Steven Baker. Ball was recognised for his excellent season with selection in the 2005 All-Australian Team as a midfield player, his first All-Australian Team award; when Nick Riewoldt was injured in the opening round of the 2005 season, Ball was appointed as acting captain. In 2006 Ball was announced as the St Kilda captain, succeeding Nick Riewoldt under the Saints' rotational captaincy policy. Early in the season groin problems kept the young captain from performing at his best, but he was cleared in mid-June of having Osteitis pubis from which many media outlets had claimed he was suffering.
Ball's second half of the season saw improvement in his game. In 2007 Ball was co-captain along with Lenny Riewoldt, he played a total of 18 games of the home and away season - picking up 345 disposals, 5 goals and 91 tackles. Although well down on his 2005 form, he played a valuable role in the team and solidified his reputation as a "hard-nut" and core member of St Kilda's midfield. Ball played in St Kilda’s 2008 NAB Cup winning side - St Kilda's third pre-season cup win. In 2008 Ball again missed only four games with injury - picking up 392 disposals, 7 goals and 107 tackles. A hamstring tear late in the season caused him to miss the finals series. Ball played in 17 of 22 matches in the 2009 AFL season home and away rounds in which St Kilda qualified in first position for the finals, winning the club’s third minor premiership. St Kilda qualified for the 2009 AFL Grand Final after preliminary finals wins. Ball played in the grand final. At the end of 2009 season Ball requested to be traded to Collingwood.
A deal between the two clubs, was not settled before the trade week deadline despite mediation from the AFL. On 10 November 2009 he left St Kilda and nominated for the national draft. On 26 November 2009 he was drafted to Collingwood with their first pick. Ross Lyon described the departure of Ball in early 2010: "Look, Luke Ball in simple terms is this: Luke had a rich history with St Kilda, but the AFL is a professional sport and expectations are set and not met by club or player. Along the line, there has been some expectations not met on both sides of the fence. Luke is a Collingwood player now and that's his future and it's not for me to talk about our expectations. During the year he got dropped he matched our expectations and obviously there was some expectations from Luke that we weren't meeting and he moved on. That's; that was the decision we made at the time and we stand by that. Did we want nothing for him? No. Let's be clear on this, Luke wasn't delisted. Luke walked out on St Kilda. " Of the departure, Ball stated that "I guess Collingwood's list and the fact they have been right up there for three or four years is attractive, plus a good blend of youth and experience.
I have moved on from St Kilda with no resentment. I had eight great years with the club, but after eight years I felt like I needed fresh opportunity. That's a pretty simple way to put it and maybe when the dust settles I'll be able to explain it a bit better. " Ball made his Collingwood debut in the NAB Cup first round, coincidentally against St Kilda, his former club. The Saints won the game by one point after they had been leading by seven goals in the third quarter, his home and away debut came in Round 1 against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium. The Magpies won the game by 36 points with Ball having 18 disposals. In the Preliminary Final, Ball left the field during the third quarter with a hamstring cramp. Despite this he was selected in the squad for the grand final. Collingwood played St Kilda in the 2010 AFL Grand Finals on 25 September, which ended in a draw; the premiership was decided in a rematch on 2 October 2010. In his post match interview, Ball was modest in celebrating, citing respect towards his ex-teammates in St Kilda and adding "It was more about trying to restart a career and it’s amazing how it
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