He said Mitch Duncan and Sam Menegola had also benefitted from the shutdown while Patrick Dangerfield – who plays his 250th game in round two – is also better for the rest than he may have been otherwise.
The Cats are not overly fussed where the milestone matches are scheduled given there are no crowds but they are keen to play all their home games at GMHBA Stadium this year.
With crowds unable to attend matches for the foreseeable future, the Cats see no reason why home games against Hawthorn and Collingwood, which have traditionally been played at the MCG due to the need to maximise attendances, could not occur at their home ground.
However, there is a chance the AFL could restart the season with a traditional blockbuster clash between the Cats and the Hawks in Melbourne – which remain fierce rivals – as they plan to resume the season with high profile matches, with Richmond playing Collingwood on Thursday night and the Showdown between Adelaide and Port Adelaide scheduled on a Friday night for the first time.
Geelong have not played Hawthorn at GMHBA Stadium since 2006 while Collingwood have not played at the venue for premiership points since 1999.
The Cats joined a number of clubs in providing their members with options to consider given there are no crowds allowed, with the club offering to add value through signed jumpers, social club events and merchandise vouchers, as well as putting price freezes in place for 2021.
Clubs also believe the AFL is open minded about potentially playing games that don’t involve Geelong at the venue depending on how the season evolves.
If the borders in South Australia and Western Australia remain shut for a lengthy period of time, clubs from those states might attempt to have games against Melbourne teams played at a more neutral venue in Victoria rather than the MCG or Marvel Stadium.
The Western Bulldogs remain keen to have at least two games in Ballarat, with the club hopeful the AFL would find a way to schedule those matches late in the 17-game season. The Bulldogs have generally played their home games at the venue at either the start or end of the season, so there is a chance games might be played there from August onwards.
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.