OTTENS MAKES GEELONG HOME; BRENT MOLONEY CONTINUES PROMISING CAREER
BRAD OTTENS is officially a Geelong player, while Brent Moloney is off to Melbourne. The deal, finalised around noon yesterday but rumoured since last on Thursday, involved Geelong trading Moloney to the Dees for their pick number twelve, which was passed on to Richmond, along with Geelong's pick sixteen, for Brad Ottens.
Ottens, a 202cm and 105kg forward-ruckman, was All Australian in 2001, a year in which Richmond played in a preliminary final (as Geelong did this season). Richmond, and Ottens to a lesser degree, have not scaled such heights since this season. With a new coach, Terry Wallace, taking over at the Tigers from Danny Frawley, Ottens was on the outer and wanted a change. Offered a reduced contract and put on the trade list, Ottens saw the Cats as the 'purrfect' new home.
Captain Steven King has shouldered the ruck almost single handedly the past four or five seasons, and done a great job. But this workload has taken its toll. King was ably assisted this season by the likes of Cameron Mooney and Henry Playfair, but a class ruckman like Ottens will mean that when King has a rest, either on the bench or in the goalsquare, the team won't sacrifice anything in the middle. Likewise Ottens will be more than handy up forward, although still not the silver bullet the club's been looking for since Gary Ablett senior retired in 1997.
Ottens, 25 in January, made his debut for Richmond in round one of 1998, against Essendon. Ottens was recruited from SANFL club Glenelg. In seven seasons, Ottens has played 129 games and kicked 152 goals - not exactly key forward stats, but then again he is not a full time forward. Against the Cats at then Shell Stadium in round 9 2001, Ottens booted six goals. His opponent, Steven King, decided to have a run up forward and kicked four goals of his own, helping his team to a win.
Brent Moloney did nothing wrong during his excellent two years at Geelong. His is a great story of persistence. After playing with the Geelong Falcons, Moloney missed out on selection in the 2001 national draft, Moloney trained with the West Coast Eagles. Geelong trumped the Eagles in the 'pre-season' draft of the same year, taking Moloney with their one and only pick, instead of going with a recycled player like Carl Steinfort.
Moloney made his debut in the second half of the ill-fated 2003, and held his position in the team. After a suspension in round two, he got back into the team in the early part of 2004, and seemed to be in the best 22, before he injured a finger tendon. After missing nearly two months of football, Moloney regained his position in the side just in time in round 22 and played in all three finals. The Cattery wishes Brent the very best of luck with Melbourne, and will watch his career with interest.
CRESSWELL LEAVES FOR LIONS
In other news, Assistant Coach Daryn Cresswell has left the Cats after just one season, to take up a position with the Brisbane Lions. Cresswell, who had an illustrious career with the Sydney Swans, was partially credited with Geelong's rise up the ladder in 2004. As the midfield coach, Cresswell worked closely with James Bartel, James Kelly, Cameron Ling, Joel Corey and the like. Cresswell cited family reasons for his move. "I am very appreciative for the opportunity that the Geelong Football Club gave me and I would like to thank everyone at the club for making the experience an enjoyable one. This is totally a family decision and not a football decision."