Geelong Cats

The Passing of a Magpie and Media Icon - Lou Richards
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by Lisa Albergo reporting from AFANA from Chicago

There can be many descriptions of Lou Richards - a cheeky rover, a larrikin, a wit never lost for words, a media star and clown, a gentleman who always was happy to have a chat. Richards, 94, passed away quietly in his sleep in the nursing home where he resided on May 8. Some say he was one of first superstars of Australian Football, which was the VFL during his playing career. For most fans, it is the media work for which he is best known

Accurate Cats Dismantle Dockers
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by Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth.

Geelong capitalized on Docker errors to post a convincing win to launch their season. With the return of Aaron Sandilands, Fremantle dominated in the ruck and won more clearances than Geelong, but Fremantle’s frequent skill errors gifted the ball to their opponents. The Cats midfielders, Patrick Dangerfield, Mitch Duncan and Joel Selwood punished any Fremantle turnovers and shot the ball deep into the Geelong forward zone. Tom Hawkins

The AFANA AFL 2016 Finals Preview
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

So, who wins it all? In what looks to be the most open finals series for some time, you could mount a solid argument for six teams that could potentially take out the 2016 premiership. Read on for my take on who can win the Aussie rules championship in 2016 and why – and my pick for the two teams that will meet in the biggest AFL match of the year on October 1st.

I’ll start in reverse order of regular season finish, from eighth to top spot.

Geelong Grind Out Win Over Dockers
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium Perth, Australia.

In a fierce and uncompromising game, Geelong managed to overcome the determination of Fremantle to win and restore their top four credentials, at least for a few hours. With the congestion at the top end of the standings, they may still find themselves in sixth or seventh by the end of the weekend. Geelong players sing the club song after defeating Fremantle in Perth during a Round 17 AFL match. Photo by David Woodley for AFANA.

Surprising Saints Stun Cats
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

In one of the biggest upsets of the season to date, a plucky St. Kilda snatched victory in the dying seconds of their match against league pacesetters Geelong in an enthralling contest at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night. Despite trailing by nine points late in the final quarter after some stirring football by the Cats, the young Saints willed themselves forward, scoring two brilliant late goals through Jade Gresham and Jack Steven to seal the Saints first victory over Geelong since 2010. This continues the Saints remarkable night game performance at Etihad where they have won more than 80% of their games in recent seasons. If only the Saints were so good at other times and places.

Giants Come of Age in Canberra
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

A sell-out crowd of almost 14,000 saw the Greater Western Sydney Giants overcome finals favorites Geelong in a stirring performance that signals their arrival as a team to be reckoned with. The fact that the Giants did it with ex-Cat Stevie Johnson kicking two important goals made it all the more memorable for the fledgling club.

Geelong Great Remembered
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Former Cat Paul Couch, 51, passed away on Saturday morning, March 4. He was out for a bicycle ride with friends when he suffered a heart attack and could not be revived. The football community, while shocked and in mourning, is remembering him as a much-loved person and player who always had a ready smile. The Cats confirmed the news on Saturday afternoon, calling Couch "an icon" and "a friend to all who knew him". Both the Cats and Essendon wore black arm bands during their NAB match.

Coaching Appointments
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Former West Coast premiership player Don Pyke is the new Adelaide coach. Pyke, 46, played 132 games for the Eagles between 1989 and 1996. He played in the 1992 and 1994 Premierships and won the Eagles' Best and Fairest award in 1993. His career was cut short due to a shoulder injury but he did play for Claremont in the WAFL after his AFL retirement. Pyke began his coaching career at Claremont and was there for two years before becoming an assistant with the Eagles 2001-2004. He then became an assistant with the Crows under Neil Craig 2005-06 before making a move to working in the oil and gas industry and serving as a coaching consultant to Claremont and Fremantle. He returned to West Coast as an assistant in 2014.

Fletcher Leads Essendon Departures
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

After weeks of speculation, it is now official that Dustin Fletcher has retired. Fletcher was subbed out of his 400th game due to an abdominal injury and never played again.Dustin Fletcher is carried off by his captain Jobe Watson and Brent Stanton after playing his 400th game and becoming the third player in AFL history to do behind Michael Tuck and Kevin Bartlett. Photo by Kim Densham for AFANA. The club was hopeful he would be recovered for a send-off game, but it was not to be. Fletcher, 40, expressed disappointment that he could not get up for one more game. He pushed himself in the past few weeks to get back and interim coach Matthew Egan also lamented that one more game for the veteran defender had not proven possible. Egan said the Dons gave Fletcher every chance to play on Sunday but he ruled himself out.

Holmes Makes Debut in Saints and Cats Draw
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Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia

An energetic and committed St Kilda has stayed the course to force a drawn game against Geelong in Round 21. While players say they never enjoy a tied game, this one had enormous ramifications with the Cats’ Finals chances dealt a heavy blow. Jason Holmes debuts for the St Kilda Saints. Photo by Kim Densham for AFANA.For American fans, the most newsworthy facet of the game was the impressive debut of James Holmes from Chicago and the first American-born and raised AFL player. (Read more about Holmes at http://www.afana.com/drupal5/news/2015/08/21/chicago_native_set_debut_saints-7811).

In an entertaining first quarter, St Kilda threw down the gauntlet and ran all over Geelong for the first ten minutes, kicking the first four goals before the Cats could take a breath.

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