Tanner Bruhn continues to go from strength to strength in the Geelong midfield, quickly becoming one of the Cats’ best in contested situations.

Following another strong game against Essendon where he collected 19 disposals and three clearances, Bruhn has continued to grow his game at Geelong after being traded to GMHBA Stadium at the end of 2022.

Sitting in the top five players at Geelong for both clearances and tackles this season, the 21-year-old’s impact in the Cats’ engine room has increased week after week.


After starting the year in the AFL side, Bruhn briefly returned to the Cats VFL team and hit his straps before earning another chance at the top level in round seven.

Cameron Ling and Meg McDonald spoke on Bruhn’s journey in 2023 on this week’s episode of the ‘To the Final Bell’ podcast.

“What I love is that mindset that he has clearly had all year, you can tell he put in a good pre-season and you can see that he really wants to earn the respect of the group,” Ling said.

“He played in the first three games of the season then goes back to the VFL. Tanner to his credit went back and said right, I’m going to work on these things, I’m going to find some form and I’m going to come back and play the great footy I know I can play.

"He found that form really quickly, comes straight back into the AFL team and he used that VFL experience as a correction.


"Ever since he has been an incredibly valuable member of the team.”

Bruhn has averaged 16 disposals and five tackles per game in 2023, while also sneaking forward to kick some vital goals with eight majors for the season.

After picking up a season-high 22 disposals in the win over North Melbourne two weeks ago, the tough midfielder backed it up again with his strong performance against Essendon.

Filling out his stat line with four tackles and seven contested possessions, Bruhn was crucial in winning the midfield battle against the Bombers star onballers like Zach Merrett and Darcy Parish.

McDonald and Ling discussed Bruhn’s impact around contested situations, with the Geelong midfield benefitting from his development at AFL level.


“He is playing with confidence at the moment that is really exciting to see,” McDonald said.

“He is really crucial to the fact we are winning contested possessions and over the last couple of weeks, he has hit the scoreboard as well so he is flying.

"It’s about how you can influence the outcome of the game; can I contribute to the game at the highest level of footy?

"That was always going to be who he was as a player; he is a very talented high draft pick, but to do it with such authority at a critical part of the season is really exciting for us.”

Bruhn will play just his second career game at the Gabba this Saturday, where he will look to help the Geelong midfield once again in a crucial battle with the Lions.