CATS SIGN 31,000 MEMBERS; SMASH MEMBERSHIP
By Ben Jensen THE GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB has recorded a new membership record of at least 31,260, eclipsing last year's record of 30,800 by at least 400 - and counting. The Cats, who lost to Hawthorn on Saturday, now have 14,500 members in Geelong, 8,900 in Melbourne and 8,000 in country Victoria, interstate and internationally. The tally will continue to climb until the membership census cutoff in June.
Chief executive Brian Cook said: We see this (membership record) as an outstanding achievement to post two consecutive records however we also need to keep this in perspective in relation to the industry as other AFL clubs continue to grow in what is an extremely competitive market.
Cook attributed the record to several factors: This may be a result of the NAB cup premiership win, the redevelopment, the quality of football being played not to mention the 2,000 free seat initiative at Skilled Stadium games, quality staff and stability in our membership and customer service areas."
Cook reflected on the journey he and President Frank Costa have overseen. We have come a long way from 1999 where the club launched its survival campaign titled Stand Up and Fight when the club had 21,032 members".
Geelong's membership shot past 20,000 to 25,000 in the 2000 campaign, but hovered around 25,000 until after the 2004 finals performance, rising from just over 25,000 in 2004 to 30,821 in 2005. Geelong matches at Skilled Stadium are now regularly sold out, with limited access to non-members or fans from opposing clubs.
The Cats face the undefeated Western Bulldogs this Saturday at Telstra Dome. While the Bulldogs are missing key big men in Luke Darcy and Will Minson, Geelong will be without captain Steven King and come off a ten goal thumping at the hands of Hawthorn. Bulldog Daniel Cross is due to play his 50th game, while former Geelong big man Peter Street is set to play against his old club.
According to Sportingbet.com.au, Geelong's
the favorite, at $1.80, with the Bulldogs not far behind on $2.00.
The Bulldogs refused media access to their training session tomorrow, and have virtually shunned the media, granting only a thirty minute interview window prior to their closed training session. Bulldog president David Smorgon's cousin Graham Smorgon took the reigns of fellow AFL struggling club Carlton after incumbent Ian Collins left to concentrate on running Telstra Dome.
In the VFL, the Bendigo Bank Cats play Port Melbourne at TEAC Oval this Sunday. Expect to see some movement between the VFL and AFL teams, with David Wojcinski set to return and possibly Tom Lonergan or Charlie Gardiner to earn a promotion. The c
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