Remember Geelong’s forgotten heroes
Twenty-two premiership medallions, a Norm Smith Medal and one premiership cup later, a number of men go unrecognised officially in the record books, but their contribution to this almighty Geelong dynasty must not go forgotten.
Cruelled by an ACL in Geelong’s qualifying final win over the Hawks, Geelong would not have been where they were without the input of Menzel throughout the season and that qualifying final. Kicking five goals in a game when James Podsiadly was clearly beaten, Menzel kept Geelong in the game against Hawthorn.
The Hawks dominated possession but Menzel was been a critical cog in the Geelong machine which eventually made it to the grand final. Playing in 21 games for 32 goals, Menzel can hold his head high for an outstanding season in which he would have been an automatic selection for the grand final had it not been for his unfortunate injury.
His tears after the game said it all. Although not in the starting 22, there is no doubt that Cameron Mooney was the heart and soul of the Geelong forward line for the last five years. Despite missing out on selection and a wonky knee, Mooney gave it his all until the final siren.
Telling images of Mooney at half-time in the rooms having a chat to Tom Hawkins will forever be remembered after Hawkins came out after the main break to dominate the game. Whatever Mooney said to Hawkins will never be forgotten by the Tomahawk.
Finishing his career with 221 games for 297 goals, Mooney stood up when the Cats were in trouble back in 2007. With no key target in the forward line, Mooney showed his class by shifting forward to be Geelong’s dominant key forward for years to come.
Ending his career with three premiership medallions, Mooney will go down as one of Geelong’s most inspirational players. Great mates with Steve Johnson and Matthew Stokes, he bought the best out of his fellow forwards and his unselfishness will forever be a critical component of this Geelong dynasty.
Nicknamed ‘Dasher’ for his scintillating runs out of the backline, Milburn has defied the age of law by playing till the age of 34. With 292 games and an All-Australian selection to show for his years of service, Milburn has developed the Geelong backline for several years.
Handing over his much revered position to Andrew Mackie, Milburn is has seen Geelong through the good and bad in a nonchalant manner. Never one to draw into media hype, he has repeatedly gone out onto the ground, done his job and fought another day.
With two premiership medals in his cabinet already, his influence on the Geelong backline has led it to be the AFL’s most dominant and guys like Matthew Scarlett and Tom Harley would not have had the remarkable careers they have achieved without the club stalwart that is Darren Milburn.
Having been an assistant coach at Geelong since 2006, Sanderson has been an integral part of bring this Geelong team together. Having missed out on playing success, Sanderson has coached both the Geelong backline and midfield since hanging up the boots.
Congratulated for his success with the position of senior coach at the Adelaide Crows, Sanderson’s immediate departure from Geelong may see him miss out on internal recognition. Although all aspects of Geelong are within the league’s best, Geelong’s, midfield and backline have outshone their forward line slightly. Of which Sanderson was a mastermind.
With the Adelaide Football Club in very capable hands, Sanderson’s contribution to Geelong’s culture during both his playing days and coaching days have had a significant impact on the success of this team.
Nowhere in the record books will Wells be mentioned for yesterday’s game, but devout Geelong supported regards him as the smartest man in the world. As Geelong’s list manager, he has consistently delivered outstanding draftees with low selections due to Geelong’s sustained success.
Just of recent years, Wells has plucked Harry Taylor with pick 17, Alan Christenson with pick 40 and Mitch Duncan with 28. The exhaustive list of player selected prior to 2002 who played in the premiership side is frightening.
Wells has woven magic alongside his team of talent scouts to bring this playing list together and his contribution will be remembered for decades to come.