K rock Football

Cats unveil indoor facility plans

An artist’s impression of the indoor facility planned for the southern end of the Kardinia Park precinct.

GEELONG has revealed plans for an elite indoor training facility within the Kardinia Park precinct.

The Cats have used Monday night’s annual general meeting to unveil its proposal for a development at the southern end of GMHBA Stadium.

The structure, which is proposed to face Moorabool Street, would cover 2400mand include commercial space and a community hub, with talented athletes from across the region also having access to the training facilities.

Geelong hopes it will ensure its four programs – AFL and VFL men and AFL and VFL women – have year-round access to a training facility at its spiritual home.

“One of the main reasons for it is is the challenges we’re going to face, as far once it becomes a 40,000 seat stadium, there’s going to be a lot of events that are going to take place,” new CEO Steve Hocking said.

“The other part is, when I left to go to the AFL four years ago, we only had two programs, which was a AFL men’s and a VFL men’s.

“We’re now co-ed. We’ve got four programs now; we’ve got AFLW, and we’ve also got VFLW.

“And it’s really important that this precinct supports those four programs moving forward.

“That’s going to be an important facility for us to deliver – collectively (as a) board and also executive as well.

“So we’re going to have a real keen focus as we come out of Stage 5.”

Hocking has also used his first AGM speech as CEO to reveal his top three measures of success.

He reaffirmed the club’s dream of 100,000 members, being a destination club for players, staff, supporters and partners, and winning premierships.

“We’ve been a fabulous club onfield for an extended period of time,” Hocking said.

“We need to be in the top three or four clubs in the competition, and part of that is by driving membership and making sure we’ve got all of our supporters engaged with our club.

“We’re going to provide all of our members with greater engagement, and that’s on mobiles; you’re going to have behind-the-scenes access and so forth.

“We’re really looking forward to delivering a lot more content so that you can actually connect with players.”

Meanwhile, the annual R.J Hickey Award has been presented posthumously to long-serving Cats volunteer Vic Fuller.

Fuller, who served in numerous roles at the Cats for 50 years, suffered a stroke at Geelong AFL training on February 22.

In announcing Fuller as the recipient, Cats AFL captain Joel Selwood said his contribution would “never be matched”.

The award was accepted by Fuller’s son Ian.

“He loved the game; he loved this football club,” Ian said.

“He would have been humbled to see his name alongside some of the greats of the game, this club, and the community.

“There was no bounds to his love for this club.”

Twitter: @tom_king79