Cam Guthrie took his seat in a meeting room just off the indoor warm up area at GMHBA Stadium for his first on camera interview for 2024. 

He looks fresh and relaxed and says he feels good, even off the back of what he says are long, hot days, and on this particular day, a big football session out at Deakin University. 

But Cam Guthrie has never shied away from the work, and it is no accident he is a two-time Carji Greeves Medal winner, including one in a premiership year, something only a handful of players have achieved across Geelong’s 165 year history. 

Despite the grind, he’s smiling. 

“It's good, it's good fun. I enjoy it, I enjoy pushing my body,” he said. 

You get the sense that after not playing an AFL game after Round 6 last season, this is no ordinary pre-season for Guthrie. 

Last year was clearly a frustrating one for the 236 gamer, and the joy of being back on the track unencumbered obviously sits very well with him. 

It’s no secret that a complex foot injury kept the usually durable Guthrie sidelined for much of 2023, and he turned to an unusual source to get him back to peak fitness.

Guthrie called on Dr. Sue Mayes, the Director of Artistic Health & Principal Physiotherapist at The Australian Ballet.

That’s right, ballet, and he couldn’t have been more effusive in his praise of 'Maysey'.

“We've got some great contacts across other sports and Sue's one of them at the Ballet up there in Melbourne,” he said.

“She was great. She gave me some exercises, some strength stuff to go away and do, she treated me manually, and she's had some brilliant ideas.

“Although our physios are really well rounded, she really specialises in [feet]. I think it helped, it might have got me back a week or so earlier.

“She was amazing.”


Geelong will have its first semi-official hit out in a few weeks time at Ikon Park against Carlton, and understandably, fans and pundits alike will be scanning the next generation to see where the improvement might be. 

And there’s plenty to like. Holmes, Bruhn, Conway, Stengle to name just a few will provide plenty of excitement in years to come, and as Assistant Coach James Kelly said here, Geelong’s younger brigade as a collective has been impressive across the summer. 

But Guthrie, as ferociously competitive as he is disarmingly polite, wants to challenge the narrative that improvement can and should only come from the younger players. 

No, no matter how long you’ve been in the game, you can and should get better. 

“The (young players) were a really important part of our team last year and the year before and I'm really excited by what they can do and what they can bring,” he said. 

“I think we need to, as more experienced players, and players that have been in the team for a long period of time, it's just as much our responsibility to improve the team as well.


“I think sometimes there's a bit of a narrative around your improvement is going to come from your young guys, which you obviously want, but we also need to follow their lead and make improvements and jumps in our game.” 

A deep thinker who played his first game in what was to become a premiership year, he’s mindful that he’s now one of the veteran voices around the locker room that can shape the club’s culture, and he says he does think about what legacy he’ll leave behind when his time is eventually up.

"I think looking back, it was obviously a historic time in the club's history and, I did realise that. I still think that some of the stuff we're doing now is based on a culture built then and I'm hoping that what we've built over the last ten years has built on that really successful era," he said.

“At Geelong we want to carry what we've done now into the future and be successful and be a successful club. We want to win games, we want to win premierships but there's a lot that goes into it so hopefully a lot of the young guys can take that forward.”

But right now, in the depths of preseason where more words are spoken than balls kicked, the one simple phrase that Cats fans will be most happy to hear from the #29 are these:

“I'm feeling really good.”