Geelong has announced the following retentions and list changes today.
Defender Tom Ruggles will not be offered a contract extension. Ruggles has spent the past two seasons with the club. He debuted in round 3, 2016 against the Brisbane Lions and went on to play 18 games in his maiden season, including the qualifying final win over Hawthorn.
Ruggles played only four times at AFL level in 2017, the last of which came in the round 4 win over the Hawks. Over his two seasons Ruggles played 22 games, with the Cats winning 19 of those encounters.
A local product that earned his way onto the list through strong performances as a VFL listed player, Ruggles was originally selected at pick 44 in the 2015 rookie draft.
Matthew Hayball, who was selected with the 70th pick in the 2015 draft, will be delisted. Hayball has yet to make his debut but has played 32 times at VFL level. In the event that Hayball is not selected by another club during the draft period, he will be added to the Cats rookie list for 2018.
Four rookies, Jamaine Jones, Zach Guthrie, Sam Simpson and Jack Henry will be retained on the rookie list for 2018.
Guthrie made his AFL debut in round 15 against the GWS Giants and went on to play nine games, including two finals.
Simpson also debuted against the Giants in round 15, and played five games in 2017.
Jones and Henry played the year at VFL level. Henry was promoted from the rookie list last in the season as injury cover, and was named as emergency once.
“We would like to thank Tom for his efforts over the past two years,” Geelong’s General Manager of Football Simon Lloyd said.
“He has been a hard worker and popular member of our team. We also thank Matthew for working with us around our list management and expect him to return to the club on the rookie list.
“In retaining the four rookies, all four players have demonstrated an ability to progress their careers. Sam and Zach earned spots in our team late in the season, and Jack was an emergency and close to selection. Jamaine improved markedly from the start of the year. We believe they will continue to improve and push for selection.”