Geelong have today secured the signatures of a key group of players, with Max Holmes (2024), Mark O’Connor (2024), Ollie Dempsey (2023), Shannon Neale (2023) and Toby Conway (2025), all inking new deals to extend their time at Kardinia Park. 

Drafted with pick 20 in the 2020 National Draft, Holmes played 12 games, including two Finals in his debut season. Having suffered an ankle injury earlier this season, Holmes has returned to the Cats side and has already become a critical part of Geelong’s midfield, averaging 14 disposals a game so far this season.  

In his sixth season, O’Connor has evolved into a crucial part of the Geelong mix, after being recruited from County Kerry in Ireland in 2016. O’Connor has played a total of 79 games since debuting in Round 8, 2017 against Essendon, and was a member of the player leadership group during the 2020/2021 seasons.

02:26 Mins
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Young Core Happy to Be Here

Five young Cats have put pen to paper to remain with the club.

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Dempsey broke into the senior team in Round 6 against North Melbourne in Tasmania after being selected in the 2021 Rookie Draft off the back of standout performances for Carey Grammar. This season Dempsey has excelled at VFL level with his hard running across half forward and in the midfield.

The Club has also re-signed Shannon Neale and Toby Conway to contract extensions. Neale was taken pick 30 in the 2020 National Draft and made his AFL debut in Round 11 against the Adelaide Crows after multiple notable performances in the VFL, while the 205cm, Conway is a rapidly developing young ruckman currently under tutelage of mentors Josh Jenkins and Geelong premiership player Brad Ottens. 

Cats General Manager of Football Simon Lloyd said the Club was thrilled to have all five players commit their futures to Geelong.

“It’s a fantastic sign that Max, Mark, Ollie, Shannon and Toby see their futures here at the Cats.

“Max and Mark both have outstanding character and take ownership over driving our Club standards. They play influential roles within our senior team and are consistently striving to improve the Geelong Football Club.

“For Ollie, Shannon and Toby, while limited in their AFL experience so far, they have all shown strong signs at VFL level and we are excited to see them take the next step in their development.”