Geelong Falcons 2017 review

With the off-season now officially here for TAC Cup clubs, AFL Draft Central will go back and review what 2017 was like for each of the 12 clubs. We kick off the series with Bendigo Pioneers and will end with the Western Jets.

Geelong Falcons

Finished: 1st
Wins: 18
Losses: 3
Percentage: 167
Points: 45 (Premiers)

Players Drafted: (5)

  • Matthew Ling (Sydney)
  • Tom McCartin (Sydney)
  • James Worpel (Hawthorn)
  • Gryan Miers (Geelong)
  • Josh Jaska (Gold Coast)

2017 Review:

Geelong Falcons broke their 17-year premiership drought when they defeated Sandringham Dragons in a thrilling TAC Cup grand final. The first country premiers since Steele Sidebottom booted 10 goals to help Murray Bushrangers to a flag in 2008, the Falcons nearly had it slip through their fingers with a Joel Amartey set shot after the siren fortunately missing for Geelong and the Falcons were able to celebrate.

On draft night it was arguably not as fruitful as it could have been with Matthew Ling the bolter, selected in the first round by Sydney, and he was joined in the harbour city a round later by key position forward Tom McCartin. James Worpel became a Hawk and Gryan Miers remained in Geelong, while Josh Jaska was the first non-previously listed AFL player to be called out in the rookie draft, by the Gold Coast Suns.

Geelong had many unlucky players who had been in the recruiters minds throughout the season including Ethan Floyd – who in our opinion was the most unlucky of any under 18s player to miss out – as well as David Handley, Cassidy Parish and Sam Conway. Others that attracted some interest throughout the season were Cooper Stephens and Harry Benson.


2018 Preview:

Geelong Falcons have a few top-end prospects led by top five hope Sam Walsh who, had he been eligible this year, would have given the number one pick a real shake such is his obvious talents. Others that have stood out are the classy Ed McHenry and the versatile Oscar Brownless – son of Geelong great Billy – who will be eligible as a father/son selection by Geelong.

Oscar Brownless (Geelong Falcons) 186cm | 73kg | Medium Utility
2017 TAC Cup: (10) 25.3 disposals | 4.7 marks | 3.7 tackles | 2.7 inside 50s | 3.2 rebounds | 59% KE | 71% DE | 36% CP

A famous name will appear of Geelong Cats’ 2019 AFL list you would expect with Oscar Brownless firmly in the minds of recruiters. He’s a good size and can play up either end, with a rounded game. It will be interesting to see where he plays next season, with the strong mark capable of roaming through the middle or being a target up forward as well as in defence.

Edward McHenry (Geelong Falcons) 176cm | 67kg | Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (11) 21.7 disposals | 4.1 marks | 4.1 tackles | 1.9 clearances | 3.9 inside 50s | 60% KE | 72% DE | 31% CP

The classy outside midfielder McHenry is a smaller size and a light frame, but he moves well and is a great kick of the football. He spreads across the ground and lays his fair share of tackles, so expect him to up his numbers across the board in 2018 with a great role in the middle next year.

Sam Walsh (Geelong Falcons) 182cm | 68kg | Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (13) 29.2 disposals | 4.5 marks | 4.5 tackles | 3.7 clearances | 4.8 inside 50s | 2.5 rebounds | 55% KE | 63% DE | 37% CP

One of the top prospects for 2018, Walsh is a complete midfielder who just ticks nearly every box. He can win it inside or out – played primarily outside in 2017 due to Worpel and Parish’s influence – can go forward and impact, or run off half-back. He wins clearances, pumps the ball forward and does all the defensive work. It is hard to fault his game and right now he’s a top five pick, certainly top 10.


Others to keep an eye on:

Connor Idun (Geelong Falcons) 189cm | 86kg | Tall Defender
2017 TAC Cup: (15) 10.4 disposals | 1.5 marks | 2.1 tackles | 1.7 rebounds | 67% KE | 76% DE | 52% DE

Blake Schlensog (Geelong Falcons) 195cm | 90kg | Ruckman
2017 TAC Cup: (9) 9 disposals | 2.1 marks | 3.7 tackles | 12.3 hitouts | 1.8 clearances | 1.7 inside 50s | 54% KE | 69% DE | 48% CP

Charlie Sprague (Geelong Falcons) 186cm | 73kg | Medium Forward
2017 TAC Cup: (6) 8.7 disposals | 2.5 marks | 1.8 tackles | 2 inside 50s | 0.8 goals | 74% KE | 77% DE | 37% CP



On the field, Geelong Falcons had the most successful year, breaking their premiership drought and celebrating a long-awaited victory. They had five draftees which would have been below their expectations, but they will regroup and look to 2018 with a number of elite and solid prospects lining up for them once again. They would be up there in terms of ability and expectation as a team so expect them to be around the mark when the whips are crackin.

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