K rock Football

250 for Danger

Patrick Dangerfield in action for Geelong in 2019. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

PATRICK Dangerfield’s remarkable career is set to tick off another milestone tomorrow night at GMHBA Stadium, with the superstar midfielder to run out for his 250th AFL game.

Now in his fifth season at the Cattery since crossing from Adelaide, Dangerfield has claimed a Brownlow Medal, four All-Australian nods and three Carji Greeves Medals in a blistering 95-game stint in the navy blue and white hoops.

Earlier in the week, coach Chris Scott was effusive in his praise for the 30-year-old’s impact at Kardinia Park, both on and off the field.

“He’s changed our footy club; he’s been transformational,” Scott said.

“Too often we roll out the cliché that it’s all about the team and everyone has to play their role, and that’s true to an extent, but it also overlooks the impact that some individuals can have on an organisation.

“Not just with what he’s done on-field; he has few peers in that respect. He’s going to go
down as one of the all-time greats in my opinion,

“But he’s been transformative for us as a club, in my opinion.”

Speaking to the media on Thursday morning before the Cats’ Captain’s run’, Dangerfield played down the “transformational” call from Scott.

“I think the club has been an incredibly successful club for a long period of time… I joined a successful club,” said Dangerfield.

“I’ve tried to add my little bit where I can, and I feel incredibly privileged to have played here and to have contributed to what is a wonderful organisation.

“I can’t talk about it without smiling because it’s such a great place to come into work and that’s been reiterated over the last eight weeks when life hasn’t been normal, and we haven’t been able to come in here as players.”

The resumption of the 2020 AFL season gives Dangerfield another shot at the one accolade he cherishes the most – a premiership medallion.

“That’s clearly the overarching reason why you play the game,” he said.

“The more you play the game, the more you understand just how hard it is to get to.

“They’re hard to win; they are hard to get in to.

“I haven’t been in that position so that’s still the burning desire to play as best as we possibly can to give us the best chance to do that.”

Visibly excited by the prospect of footy returning, Dangerfield expects the first few weeks of the season to feel far different from the usual start to a campaign.

“It’s the people; the members and supporters that make the game so special,” he said.

“It’s going to be a season like no other, but it reinforces that the lifeblood of what we do is the people that support it.

“It is definitely odd standing here not seeing any Geelong supporters in the morning or having a chat to Geelong supporters in the café, which is such a special part of what we do.

“We hope it can get back to some sort of normality as quickly as possible because that’s what makes the game so special.”

Despite Cats fans being absent, Dangerfield acknowledged how important it would be to secure early wins in the friendly confines of GMHBA Stadium.

“By the end of the year, everyone will have forgotten what happened between rounds 1 to 5, but we don’t forget, clearly, the wins and losses that you accumulate at the time.

“It’s so important to bank early wins as it will be to start games really well because the game is shortened compared to what we are normally used to.

It all begins Friday night with the latest instalment in arguably the fiercest rivalry in modern footy.

“It’s a great rivalry,” Dangerfield said.

“We add to that as a club, and so does Hawthorn, and we want to make sure it’s really combative and we put on a good show tomorrow night.”

Twitter: @KanePitman