A home ground so integral to the mythos of the Geelong Cats that they triumphantly bellow its name in the final line of their team song, the Cattery is one of the AFL’s true fortresses. With a passionate and footy-mad crowd behind them, the Cats really make visiting teams and fans feel like they are far from home.

Furthermore, results on the park often have visiting fans and players wishing that the game would end at three quarter time, so they can quickly get on the bus and go home, tail between their legs. Capable of racking up huge victories, none were as impressive than the 2011 thumping of the Demons by 233 points to 47.

Approximately 170 metres long and 115 metres wide, the dimensions of Kardinia Park are among the most unusual in the competition. Since Domain Stadium was vacated at the end of 2017, the Cattery is now the longest ground in the AFL, but also the narrowest. With these dimensions, the game tends to favour the team with the better midfield, as so much of the action takes place in the large middle section of the ground. Fortunately for Geelong, they have one of the best midfields in the competition, and it is the mids that have been the key to their success in the past decade. In particular, the running and handball-based style of 2007 and onwards which saw the Cats storm through the centre of the park was devastating.

Having recently completed stadium upgrades, Kardinia Park is also Australia’s largest regional stadium, with a capacity of 34,000. With stars in Geelong’s midfield, the Cats faithful won’t fail to pack out the stadium this year, or in years to come.