Ins: Jack Bowes (Trade, Gold Coast), Tanner Bruhn (Trade, Greater Western Sydney), Jhye Clark (NAB Draft, Pick 8), Ted Clohesy (Category B Rookie), Phoenix Foster (NAB Draft, Pick 52), Ollie Henry (Trade, Collingwood), Oisin Mullin (Category B Rookie), Oscar Murdoch (Rookie Draft), Osca Riccardi (Rookie Draft, Father-Son)
Outs: Luke Dahlhaus (Retired), Francis Evans (Delisted), Shaun Higgins (Retired), Quinton Narkle (Delisted), Joel Selwood (Retired), Cooper Stephens (Trade, Hawthorn), Nick Stevens (Delisted), Paul Tsapataolis (Delisted), Zane Williams (Delisted)
Draw (what teams twice) : Based on the new weighted draw brought in for the 2023 season, Geelong statistically have the 4th hardest draw. The Cats will face Collingwood, Essendon, Fremantle, Port Adelaide, Sydney, and the Western Bulldogs twice throughout the year.
Forwards: Jeremy Cameron, Brad Close, Ollie Dempsey*, Phoenix Foster, Tom Hawkins, Oliver Henry, Gryan Miers, Shannon Neale, Esava Ratugolea, Gary Rohan, Tyson Stengle
Midfielders: Tanner Bruhn, Jhye Clark, Ted Clohesy*, Patrick Dangerfield, Cameron Guthrie, Max Holmes, Mitchell Knevitt, Flynn Kroeger, Sam Menegola, Brandan Parfitt, Sam Simpson, Isaac Smith, Cooper Whyte, James Willis,
Rucks: Jonathon Ceglar, Toby Conway, Rhys Stanley
Defenders: Tom Atkins, Jed Bews, Marc Blicavs, Jack Bowes, Sam De Koning, Mitch Duncan, Zach Guthrie, Jack Henry, Jake Kolodjashnij, Oisin Mullin*, Oscar Murdoch*, Mark O’Connor, Osca, Riccardi*, Tom Stewart, Zach Tuohy
* Indicates rookie/long term injury listed player.
Ones to watch: Ollie Henry moves back to play with his brother at the Cats and will provide depth in their already strong forward line. Look for him to have a strong pre-season as he puts his name forward to be picked Round 1. Former number 12 draft pick Tanner Bruhn returns to Victoria looking to take the next step in his game. The big void left by Joel Selwood could be filled by Bruhn or Gold Coast recruit Jack Bowes, with plenty of other experienced quality midfielders around to learn from.
Strengths: To win a premiership, you cannot have any weak links in your side, that’s what made the Cats so good in 2023. Their forward line consists of two of the best goalkickers of the last 10 years in Cameron and Hawkins. Couple that with the inclusion of now All Australian small forward Tyson Stengle and it’s an immediate headache for any backline. Those 3 players alone combined for 154 goals during the regular season in 2022. Their midfield is experienced yet somehow underrated with Tom Atkins taking his game to the next level last year. Many people wrote the Cats off at the start of last year due to not having enough quality key defenders. Sam De Koning quickly shut that down and had an outstanding year, constantly taking on the oppositions best forward and often beating them.
Weaknesses: Coming off a premiership there aren’t many weaknesses in this Cats side. The leadership of long-term captain Joel Selwood will be missed on field after his retirement. For so long, Geelong have played without a proper recognised ruckman and stuck with Rhys Stanley. The minimal games that they’ve lost in the past, the opposition ruckmen would dominate the game.
General thoughts: Expect another strong year from Geelong. For so long everyone has been waiting on their ageing list to slow down and slide down the ladder, but they keep on producing every single year. Nearly every year, you can bank on 8-9 home wins automatically with the Cats and nothing should change, this year barring injuries. Expect them to play a significant part in September in maybe, Tom Hawkins final year.
Coach Pressure Gauge – 0.5/10. Not much to say here. The Cats have always believed in the coaching ability of Chris Scott even when many others didn’t. Their list management staff once again showed why they were the best in the business, having an excellent trade period and giving Chris Scott the chance to go back to back in 2023.
Breakout year: Jhye Clark
B&F Winner: Tom Atkins
Tom Stewart – $824,000
Patrick Dangerfield – $674,000
Tanner Bruhn – $471,000
Jhye Clark – $284,000
Finishing spot prediction: 3rd