MERRY CHRISTMAS! FOOTY ALMANAC ON
By Ben Jensen AS WE PREPARE to depart for a Christmas in the homeland of some of our ancestors in Poland, we must reflect upon what was a perfect year for Cat fans with the Premiership win over St Kilda at the MCG. It was one of the more gripping Grand Finals in years, one the Cats weren't expected by many to win but backed to the hilt by loyal fans. We didn't get just one but two flags - don't forget we also won the NAB Cup Pre-season 'Grand Final', over the old enemy Collingwood. We said farewell to Tom Harley, who collected two flags, one runner-up, two minor Premierships and one pre-season trophy in his three years as skipper.
Over the decade, with the two Premierships the Cats' record now looks fairly good; Mark Thompson took over in 2000 and made the finals in his first season, narrowly losing to Hawthorn in the first ever final played at the then-Colonial Stadium. We then spent a few years in the wilderness but won the VFL Premiership in 2002 with young guns such as Gary Ablett, Jimmy Bartel, James Kelly, Steve Johnson, Josh Hunt and Paul Chapman. In 2004 we were a couple goals off a Grand Final appearance and there was the 2005 heartache at the hands of the Sydney Swans. 2006 saw us miss out on the finals and Mark Thompson very nearly lose his job, before a change of leadership and arrival of GM of Footy, Neil Balme, heralded what is certainly one of the best eras the club has seen since its formation in 1859.
Stumped for a Christmas gift? It's not too late to get your hands on the perfect Christmas present for any Geelong fan, or perhaps a Saints supporter who deserves a stir; The Footy Almanac. Having been involved during the past two seasons we may be a bit biased but can assure you the write-ups of the Grand Final are second to none, by Geelong fanatics John Harms and Peter Flynn, neutral Tony Roberts, and unfortunate Saints fans Stephanie Holt and Kelly Muldoon. Contact the editors at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org visit www.footyalmanac.com.au