K rock Football

Hall of Fame honour for Domsy

Former Geelong defender Tom Lonergan will be inducted into the Cats’ Hall of Fame next month. (AAP Image/David Crosling)

PREMIERSHIP duo Tom Lonergan and Mathew Stokes will be inducted into the Geelong Hall of Fame next month.

Acting Cats president Bob Gartland has confirmed ‘Domsy’ and ‘Stokesy’ will be among four new faces to be honoured at GMHBA Stadium on August 8.

“Last year we inducted a couple of players…their acceptance speeches were very emotional, there were some tears in the room,” Gartland told Geelong Broadcasters.

“If you’ve ever witnessed a Hall of Fame induction you can see pretty clearly what it mean to the players, but also the people around them.”

Drafted with pick No.23 in the 2002 National Draft from the Calder Cannons, the Yarrawonga product played 209 games and kicked 55 goals between 2005-17, including being a member of the 2011 premiership team.

However, his career was nearly over before it started, when an on-field collision against Melbourne in just his seventh game in 2006 left him fighting for life.

Lonergan had a kidney removed and spent four days in an induced coma, with his blood supply having to be replaced three times.

He lost 17kgs and considered retirement, but returned in 2007 to feature in Geelong’s VFL premiership, kicking six goals and winning the Norm Goss Medal as best-on-ground.

Lonergan’s AFL return came in 2008 as a forward, kicking 36 goals, including the first of that year’s grand final loss to Hawthorn.

However, he fell out-of-favour in 2009, before becoming a permanent member of the Cats’ defence from 2010 onwards, retiring following the 2017 preliminary loss to Adelaide.

Lonergan is now Talent Manager with NAB League club Calder Cannons.

Stokes joined Geelong with pick No.61 in the 2005 National Draft from SANFL club Woodville-West Torrens after moving to Adelaide three years prior from Darwin.

He played 189 matches for the Cats, including the 2007 and 2011 premiership wins.

Stokes missed out on the 2009 decider after withdrawing from the preliminary final win over Collingwood due to groin soreness and couldn’t force his way back into the grand final team.

He retired at the end of the 2015 season but returned to playing in 2016 as a top-up player at Essendon, with his 11 games for the Bombers taking his career tally to 200.

Stokes currently works with the Cats while continuing to play with GFL club Lara.

Gartland remained tight-lipped on who the other two inductees will be.

“One will be very popular, and one is very old, so there you go,” he said.

“Their names will sit alongside some of the greatest champions that this club has had over 160 years.”

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