Football is back and so are the Cats for the 2024 AFL season.

As the club continues to ramp up preparations with round one looming, we take a look at the year ahead in a three part Cats season preview.

Part one will be looking into the Geelong list focusing on the new faces at the club, the players returning to action and the leaders heading into a big 2024 campaign.

2024 Captains 

As announced by the club last week, Patrick Dangerfield will once again lead the Cats as captain with Tom Stewart returning as vice captain for the 2024 season.

Dangerfield will captain the side for a second year after taking the reigns prior to the 2023 season, following six years serving as vice captain of the Cats under Joel Selwood.

Stewart returns as vice captain for the third straight year, after being appointed to the role for the first time in 2022.

Stewart’s leadership potential was recognised early in his AFL career, joining the leadership team in just his third season at Geelong back in 2019.


Players Returning

The Cats will benefit from a number of players returning from injury in 2024, with a host of notable names that will be looking for a more consistent run this season.  

Most notably will be the inclusion of star midfielder, Cam Guthrie who suffered a foot injury early in the 2023 season and only managed six games for the year. The importance of the two time Carji Greeves medallist was clear and obvious in his absence, making him a key addition back into the midfield unit this year after a strong pre season.

Jack Henry is another to keep an eye on this year, playing just 11 games in 2023 after a niggling foot injury resurfaced and held him out of the opening nine weeks of the season.

The versatile Cat looked rock solid down back on return from injury, but also proved very effective in his time up forward and will be a crucial piece to Geelong’s 2024 puzzle.

Rhys Stanley (13 games for the season), Jed Bews (15), Gary Rohan (15) and Mitch Duncan (16) are among the other experienced names who will return from injury to play a big role for the Cats this season.

Jhye Clark will also be a player for Cats fans to watch this season, after the talented youngster made an impressive AFL debut in round nine against Richmond last year. Unfortunately, his rookie season was cut short through injury the following week, but he will only benefit from. having another strong preseason under his belt.


New Faces

The Cats have eight new faces on the playing list heading into 2024, including Connor O’Sullivan who was Geelong’s first selection (pick 11) at last year’s AFL Draft.  

The young utility joins Geelong with an impressive resume, winning the MVP award for the Allies at the AFL National Under-18 Championships, while also receiving All Australian honours.

Mitchell Edwards, Lawson Humphries, George Stevens, Oliver Wiltshire and mature age recruit, Shaun Mannagh all joined the Cats through the draft ahead of the 2024 season.

Emerson Jeka and Joe Furphy round out the additions for 2024, joining the Cats rookie list.