The third part of the six-part series comprises the five players that the Geelong Cats, Gold Coast Suns and Greater Western Sydney Giants could least afford to lose in season 2021 plus an honourable mention.
Footy’s almost back, which means that quite soon you won’t be subjected to yet another ‘top ten overlooked top ten draft picks redrafted’ article.
So what better time to seek out some off-kilter and slightly unhinged reasons to watch Geelong in 2020?
In what seems another lifetime ago, Rodney lost to Kane Cornes in a Twitter flame war. Provided he’s equipped with a Michael Jordan-esque ability to hold grudges, Paddy could very well break all records in 2020 in retribution. And yes, I’m not proud of that shameless Last Dance reference, but I’m also not unhappy with it. Please direct all objections to Horace Grant. Now, most people focus on Dangerfield’s abilities to win the hard ball, bust packs open, win awards for fun, yada, yada, yada. But it’s the simpler parts of his game that are the more enjoyable, like his goal-kicking. It’s an exercise in abstract performance art – hard to describe, harder to watch, and resulting in mixed results and reviews. It provides solace for those individuals not blessed with sporting prowess, dragging superstars down to our realm. On a serious note, the only accolade Dangerfield is lacking is a premiership. Could this strange season be the one?
All you really need to know is that Quinton Narkle put forward a tremendously strong nomination for best AFL iso haircut in recent weeks. Max Gawn’s highly publicised mohawk is up there, and Sydney Stack might have pipped him at the post with his Nerds-inspired do – the candy, not the genre of human – but Narkle had some, well, genuine sparkle about him in his return to training. Despite not being a current player, Brendan Fevola is also worthy of an honourable mention. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check his Instagram. The Fevolution was in full swing in isolation. Narkle’s hair follicle-based success is hardly a surprise though. Let’s be honest, with a name like his, he was never going to a strait-laced accountant, was he? Quinton also showed a fair bit of potential in a six-game burst late last season, so aside from his hair he’s got a bit of talent about him too.
He’s Gary Ablett. Also, with shorter quarters, and a shorter season, if he plays as a permanent forward he could legitimately have a chance at the Coleman Medal. Imagine that?
There’s not many footballers who can average two goals a game across 147 games – including an overall haul of 62 in 2016 – and still be treated as though they’ve somehow lucked into a chummy walk-on role and been handed every success as if it were a participation ribbon at Little Athletics. But that’s Josh Jenkins for you. He’s a 200-centimetre, 108-kilogram behemoth who in his head is a diminutive forward flanker – at least, going by this quote from 2017. “I think I take a little unfair criticism because I’m built like a key forward, but I run and kick a lot of goals from different positions, and different ways,” he said. And, real talk, if he wasn’t able to out-body and out-run his opponents, he wouldn’t be able to be on the receiving end of so many easy goals. I look forward to Geelong fans suddenly appreciating his talents. And to continuing this discussion in the comment section…
Geelong have unlocked the cheat codes to season 2020, with the likely outcome of the pandemic being they have the chance to play all their home games at the least catchy stadium in the sporting world. Luckily, we’re into the third year of GMHBA’s takeover, which means – based on averages of having worked through Shell, Baytec, Skilled and Simonds since 2001 – that they’ve got at worst two or three more years of misery left. I’m more disappointed in the corporate lawyers who didn’t add a legally binding addendum requiring the naming rights sponsor to be inserted into the club song. Regardless, the Cats have an overall winning record of 67.48 per cent at Kardinia Park. In the last five years – which includes a weird stretch in 2015 where they lost to Fremantle, North and Melbourne at home – they’ve won 34 out of 41 by an average of 43 points. Take out bogey side Sydney (who they’ve lost to thrice at home in that time period), and it’s an 89 per cent winning record. If the AFL allows them home finals, what chance do the rest of the competition have?