23 rounds, 17 opponents, eight venues, five states and 10 talking points. Our 2019 fixture in review.
Geelong won’t have to wait long for its shot at redemption. The Demons will come down the highway in round two, giving the Cats a chance to avenge their disappointing elimination final loss and get the season headed the right way early.
Saturday Night Fever
Six Saturday night fixtures are on the schedule for the Cats, double the amount of games in that timeslot compared to last season. Geelong had an identical number of Saturday Night encounters in 2017, recording three wins, a draw and two losses.
The Cats will see Hawthorn, the Bulldogs, North Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide twice in 2019. The club is already well-acquainted with the Swans and Hawks, having also faced the two sides twice last season.
Breaking the Hoodoo
If you’re sick of the talk surrounding Geelong’s inability to win after the bye, get ready to bunker down in the lead-up to round 14. The last time Geelong won after a mid-season bye was in 2011 – a string of seven consecutive losses.
Add the pre-finals bye to that and you have another four losses and a narrow finals win over the Hawks, taking the overall post-bye record to 1-11 in the last seven years.
The task in 2019 will be Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval, requiring a huge effort to put a stop to the slide.
Start your engines
The Cats will have to hit the ground running in 2019, facing five 2018 finalists in the first six rounds. The Cats will also run into Adelaide and a strengthened Bombers’ line-up by round seven, in a start to the year that could make or break Geelong’s season.
Long time no see
The last time the Cats took on the Pies in a season-opening clash was 1982, resulting in an 88-point victory. It’s also been a while since Geelong started the season with some Friday night football. The Cats took on the Saints under the Friday night lights at the MCG in 2011, securing a one-point victory after trailing at all changes.
Let’s hope the Cats enjoy playing in Adelaide, because they’re heading back to play at the Adelaide Oval another two times in 2019. The ground is the only interstate venue Geelong will see twice in 2019, while the club has a 50 per cent win rate from its eight games at the ground.
Nine lives for Cats
The Cats will need to draw on their nine lives if they hope to succeed in 2019, with nine GMHBA Stadium clashes shaping up as crucial encounters in the context of the season. Eight of the Cats’ 13 wins in 2018 came at the venue, with opposition teams managing only one victory for the year after a trip down the highway.
Two Trips to Marvel
Marvellous. Geelong will play two games at the newly-christened Marvel Stadium, with its first game at the venue coming against North Melbourne in round eight. Despite a shattering loss on the siren to the Dogs last year, Geelong has had recent success at the venue, winning all four game it played there in 2017.
There are plenty of late nights in the mix for the Cats with the club playing 10 night games, compared to seven day games and four twilight fixtures. Geelong went 5-3 under lights during the 2018 home and away season.