The future is bright at the Geelong Football Club if Thursday’s Carji Greeves Medal count is anything to go by.
With 28-year-old Cam Guthrie now adding a club best and fairest to his trophy cabinet to go along with his first All-Australian nod, this year marks the first time since 2011 that someone other than Joel Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield or Mark Blicavs have won the medal, and indeed breaks the stranglehold that the Dangerfield/Blicavs combination have had on the award for the past five seasons.
While the usual suspects like Dangerfield, Blicavs and Mitch Duncan are littered throughout the top 10, it’s the appearance of names like Jed Bews, Jack Henry, Mark O’Connor, and even Gryan Miers coming in at number 11 that should fill Cats fans’ with optimism.
It’s the first time either player has graced the top end of the leaderboard, and if not for injury, they may also have been joined by emerging midfielder Brandan Parfitt.
This season saw Geelong rely less on their marquee names than ever before and the development of players like the 26-year-old Bews who was a key figure in his sides’ finals run, as well as Henry, O’Connor and Myers, all of who are 23 and under, ensures the Cats are primed for another run at the flag in 2021.
The average age of the top 10 in 2019 was 28.1 years old; in 2020 that number was 26.8.