AFL – Is this club a sleeping giant in 2022?

As a number of Top 8 AFL sides suffered huge swings in the last month, one club has remained steady — and it’s seen them emerge as serious contenders.

Perhaps we’re just so used to seeing Geelong there-or-there-abouts that it no longer registers for AFL fans. The Cats in the top rungs of the ladder? Sounds about right. Since their drought-breaking premiership win in 2007, the Cats have missed the finals just once. ONCE. It is an outrageous record that no other AFL club is anywhere near in this period. And in 2022, they’re set to make it a 15th time in 16 seasons (currently $1.08 finals hopes with Palmerbet). But there’s a danger of underestimating the club that we’ve become so accustomed to seeing in the upper rungs of the ladder. Are we sleeping on the Cats in 2022?

Ticking along

While a number of top sides suffered huge swings in the last month, Geelong has remained steady throughout. In fact, they’re the only Top 8 side who has won their last four in a row. In that period, they shortened from $13 into $7.50 in Palmerbet’s AFL Premiership market. But they continue to go under the radar in 2022. And North Melbourne legend David King says we should not underrate them. “Carlton fans are over the moon. Collingwood fans are over the moon, Richmond fans are back in the game again,” he told SEN Radio last week. “Melbourne fans are still holding the line…Brisbane fans are saying, ‘We’re back’. Freo fans, they’ve been the loudest fans all year, and rightly so, good on them. Geelong have said nothing. Geelong are just sneaking under the radar every week and probably find themselves in the top two or three contenders right now.” So why have they flown under the radar?

Same-same, or different?

Geelong’s ability to never bottom-out and be competitive every year is, as mentioned, not spoken about enough in AFL discussions. But the only slight on their dominance over recent years is that they haven’t converted favourable positions into the ultimate success. In fact, while they’ve made the Top 4 in seven of the last nine seasons, they went not to progress to the AFL Grand Final on just ONE occasion. The broad-stroke perception is that while they have enough strength and class to ensure they’re in the upper rungs each season, they don’t have enough to get past the best one or two clubs come September. If they are to go all the way in 2022, though, they’ll need one man firing given their comparative lack of top-end midfield class.

Dream run home

The Cats have a dream run home in 2022 that sees them more than likely to secure a Top 4 spot for the sixth time in the past seven seasons. With nine games to go, they play just four more games against AFL clubs currently in the Top 8. Further, they play both cellar dwellers North Melbourne and West Coast again — both at home at GMHBA Stadium, where they’ll start heavy favourites. Some might even see Geelong’s current Minor Premiership price of $8.00 as worth having a crack at.