Your Favourite Non-Flag Season

Remove this Banner Ad

NetworkNerd

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 6, 2011
10,691
17,928
Melbourne
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
AFL Member so all clubs I guess.
A real left field one - 1998. Hawthorn had been terrible on field in 1997. But we'd managed to survive the potential merger and we were going great guns in terms of signing members. We were awful for most of 1998 but won the last five games. It felt really felt like a new dawn for the club was approaching. Turned out to be a little bit false (although we did make a prelim three years later) but the feeling at the time was great.
I went 1999 but you make some good points.

1999 Hawthorn won the pre season cup, Crawford got the Brownlow, that great final Waverley game against Sydney. I think we won the last 5 games that year too and just missed out on the 8

That last game at Waverley has 72K people. Never saw anything like that there. It was packed and took ages to get home
 

Log in to remove this ad.

Liam Boy

Premiership Player
Oct 12, 2008
4,680
6,147
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
2007 by far. the list was a combination of aging players from the pagan era, senior players brought in from other clubs, and a few exciting young guys. the club's future hung in the balance, it was widely believed it would be our final season in melbourne and we were tipped by most to finish bottom 4. instead, on the back of great performances from guys like brent harvey, adam simpson, shannon grant, aaron edwards etc, the club rallied on-field to finish top 4 and eventually make a prelim (ran out of steam at that point) and off-field the supporters rallied to ensure the gold coast move could not take place. in the end the club abandoned the anaemic, ahistorical "kangaroos" identity to go back to being north melbourne.

north never really had a chance of winning the 2007 flag but what they did on-field probably saved the club, as someone who was too young to remember the glory of the 90s it showed me what north melbourne was all about and got me really invested.
 

Ambrose Burnside

Premiership Player
Dec 8, 2006
4,200
7,461
WA
AFL Club
West Coast
2011 for me. From last to top 4, beating Judd's Carlton in a final on the way. First final I ever went to and the crowd was so loud we couldn't hear the final siren. Everyone jumping around hugging randoms when we realised the game was over. Just a fun season after the doom and gloom of 2010. Rebirth of the club after Cousins and friends tore it apart. Guys like Nic Nat, JK, Shuey, Darling and Gaff strutting their stuff was a sign of things to come.
 

Kavliaris69

Club Legend
Sep 1, 2011
1,322
1,272
"A Little Left of Heaven"
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Some of us have celebrated more than a few premierships, some not at all.

What is your favourite non-flag season though. One where it was an enjoyable experience during a rebuild taking some big scalps, having a breakout year to almost take it all or just reveling in the shitness of it all.

Mine is 1994. 17 at the time and Geelong entertained like fu**. Absolute dog sh*t up until around 6 weeks or so before the game before winning 5 and losing 1. Another 100+ to Ablett too.

What's your ultimately trophyless but enjoyable seaso.
Good question. I would say the Hawks 2011 was a pretty decent season. Was great to be up there again after the 2009 hangover.
Injected some nice recruits (Burgoyne, Gibson, Smith, Hale, etc.) that made us better. Reached the PF and lost by a kick
to Pies after a Buddy miracle goal deep in the last qtr only to cop one from Ball.

Would have loved another crack at Geelong. You guys were very strong but do you think Hawks would have pushed you more
than Pies in the GF? Hodge, Mitchell, Birchall, Burgoyne, Sewell, Bateman, Smith, Gibson, Rioli, Puopolo, Suckling, Buddy, Rough, etc...
We were much stronger than 2008. Would have been a great GF.
 

Wallaby

Norm Smith Medallist
May 8, 2007
9,610
12,598
vic
AFL Club
Richmond
I'm actually going to say mid-94 through '95.

In 1994 we were rubbish - continuing a glorious sequence of going broke, nearly folding, not being remotely competetive for the last 11 seasons. By rd 9 we were 3-6, situation normal.
Then we went on a great run of winning 6 games on the trot, including a few nailbiters, a bit up and down from there - we didn't make the finals (finished 9th, of course) - but, hey, it was great fun after the previous decade we had.
So 1995 was 'What's going to happen here'? - and we started 11-1. Ok, stumbled a bit after that, but made finals, won a legendary semi vs Essendon (we were never beating Carlton or Geelong). But still - is this what supporting a good side is like?:D And Richo's back from his knee next season:cool:.

So next year - let's dump the coach who has brought us from 13th to prelim in 3 seasons and install Robert ****** Walls for some bullsh!t reasons that no one ever understood.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Partridge

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2002
38,692
44,031
AFL Club
Geelong
Won't be a major surprise to those who can remember it, but for me very easy.

1989.

We had a new coach who immediately changed the vibe of the place. The "Home of the Country Cats" slogan on the back of the old Member's stand was replaced with "Home of the Mighty Cats". We had a very good pre-season and lost but weren't disgraced against Melbourne in the Grand final. From just the pre-season you could see the team was gelling, and younger guys like Couch, Stoneham, Garry Hocking, and Brownless were all looking better.

Plus of course we won 9 straight during the middle of the year playing scintillating football, and became the first team since South in the 1930s to kick 20 goals or more for five successive games*. Kicked a club record score against St.Kilda including the then highest three quarter time score ever (27.12). Ended up making the Grand final and came pretty close in what's certainly the best Grand final I've ever seen.

And the best part of all, it was a career best season by Gary Ablett. Started with him having a good pre-season on a half back flank (and for about the first 4-5 weeks of home and away), but then moved to a forward flank and played with an incredible, reliable brilliance. If not for him deciding to own up at the tribunal who knows how he would have gone in Brownlow voting as he was red hot when he got suspended (8 votes from previous 3 games).

Then after having a great home and away season (with 60 goals), he kicked 27 goals in the finals series with the last 3 being as good as any games you'll ever see from anyone. The Prelim against Essendon is close to the best game he ever played, but his effort against Melbourne the week before wasn't far behind (7.7 including 14 marks, one of the few times I've seen opposition players openly shaking their heads at him during a game). And it wasn't just the number of goals. It was spectacular mark, amazing goal, over and over. Things that we'd never seen before he was doing every week. So lucky to have seen it live.

(* - Exceeded by our 1992 team which did it 6 times.)
 

tswizzle

Rookie
Sep 29, 2020
35
41
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
2013.

After our pretty shitty 2008-2012, it was just nice to be a decent team again. We had heaps of epic come-from-behind wins, two awesome Showdown wins and were even lucky enough to win one final away from home.

We had a bit of "everyone's second team" about us that year and we got a lot of support from neutrals.
100% 2013.
After the years of being absolutely rubbish being mocked by other teams (see Port Adelaide v The Bye), then ending season 2012 with no captain, coach or CEO, and Geelong brashly making a play for our player in Boak, Port Adelaide felt like a lost cause. Somehow we convinced Boak to stay and we found a coach. We picked up a few good draft picks, a few discards... but still, the faith from the competition was limited. Then suddenly, we were competitive. Suddenly we were making awesome comebacks and winning games (see 40-odd points down against West Coast), and it wasn't just a flash in the pan moment. It was such a surreal season as I'd started losing the passion for Port as they were so bad. Ended up going to the Collingwood elimination final and hugged random Port supporters after the game because we somehow won. We then gave Geelong a legitimate shake the next week, but had an admirable loss. What a year.

2014 was also awesome, despite the heartbreaking finish. Just stop the tape with 1 minute to go in the Prelim Final against the Hawks, where the MCG had almost turned into a home crowd for Port and that'll do.
 

BF Tiger

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 5, 2007
7,870
18,382
9th
AFL Club
Richmond
I’m with other Tigers in nominating 2018.
Reigning premiers.
1st or 2nd on the ladder from round 5.
Ladder leaders from round 13.
Jack winning the Coleman.
Eight players in the AA squad, four in the final team.
Deep into the finals.
No crushing grand final defeat.
 

Catsace

Premiership Player
Apr 15, 2007
4,408
2,937
Geelong
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
Golden State Warriors
Won't be a major surprise to those who can remember it, but for me very easy.

1989.

We had a new coach who immediately changed the vibe of the place. The "Home of the Country Cats" slogan on the back of the old Member's stand was replaced with "Home of the Mighty Cats". We had a very good pre-season and lost but weren't disgraced against Melbourne in the Grand final. From just the pre-season you could see the team was gelling, and younger guys like Couch, Stoneham, Garry Hocking, and Brownless were all looking better.

Plus of course we won 9 straight during the middle of the year playing scintillating football, and became the first team since South in the 1930s to kick 20 goals or more for five successive games*. Kicked a club record score against St.Kilda including the then highest three quarter time score ever (27.12). Ended up making the Grand final and came pretty close in what's certainly the best Grand final I've ever seen.

And the best part of all, it was a career best season by Gary Ablett. Started with him having a good pre-season on a half back flank (and for about the first 4-5 weeks of home and away), but then moved to a forward flank and played with an incredible, reliable brilliance. If not for him deciding to own up at the tribunal who knows how he would have gone in Brownlow voting as he was red hot when he got suspended (8 votes from previous 3 games).

Then after having a great home and away season (with 60 goals), he kicked 27 goals in the finals series with the last 3 being as good as any games you'll ever see from anyone. The Prelim against Essendon is close to the best game he ever played, but his effort against Melbourne the week before wasn't far behind (7.7 including 14 marks, one of the few times I've seen opposition players openly shaking their heads at him during a game). And it wasn't just the number of goals. It was spectacular mark, amazing goal, over and over. Things that we'd never seen before he was doing every week. So lucky to have seen it live.

(* - Exceeded by our 1992 team which did it 6 times.)
Pretty much mine, what Geelong began to do in '89 was far beyond anything i had seen before with massive high scoring and huge smashing wins. Admittedly in 1980-81 Geelong were very good, and they did win consecutive games at K.P in '81 over St.Kilda and North (the week Peake arrived by helicopter), but '89 saw Geelong exceed their highest score (of just 184 points) several times. It was a rollicking ride, and '92 was similar with the exception that later season losses to both Hawthorn and the Eagles at K.P (and a smashing at the hands of the Crows late in the year) were ominous portents in September. But earlier in the season Geelong were a scoring dynamo, and it was just thrilling seeing them play like that.

I'm guessing like you Partridge, you'd have seen Geelong stumble along in the late 70's with mediocre wins with mediocre scores (kind of a lot like the last 3 weeks or so!) but what we got from the Blight-era Cats was memorable even if no Flag was won in that era.
 

The_Eagles

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 30, 2005
5,646
1,754
North Fremantle
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
australia
2004 for the Mighty Eagles.
Judd entered his prime years, fast as a gazelle and strong as a bison. Cox emerged, Chad Fletcher looked like a champion (which would evaporate). Eagles won like 9 of last 11 and you could tell we were destined for top 2/4.
 

Mantastic

Premiership Player
Jun 22, 2011
3,345
3,941
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
Man City, Cleveland Browns
Almost any out of '89, '92-'95. Gazza was my hero and getting to see him live a dozen+ times a year was unreal, even if we couldn't get across the line on that last day. Even now as I type this, I sit in a home office with no less than 3 of his signatures on the wall, plus a few for Junior and Nathan. It's funny how big an influece even losing seasons can have on your life.
 

jim boy

Umpires Association Head
Jun 4, 2002
13,524
5,767
Location!
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
pivotonians
1984 - Two recruits by the name of Gary Ablett and Diesel Williams burst on to the scene. We were still a woefully inconsistent team but with those two and we missed the finals, but we knew we had a future (just not with Williams :'()
 

Roobs321

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 28, 2008
9,417
6,328
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Arsenal Kilmarnock
2011 was pretty great. 17-5, won a final, trounced the Dogs, clutch in thrillers, Nicoski lol, but trapped in 4th so could just harmlessly enjoy the bullet rise. That season was also the sub year and exciting around the new Suns and upcoming Giants. And losing a W3 prelim had some novelty value for Eagles fans. Season overall restored our reputation.

2002-03 were pretty good too but Freo were a little more intriguing then given they were heading into uncharted waters, and the Lions, Port and Maggies were all distracting then as well. Likewise undermanned 1996. 2011 rocked because the sides above were all the usual boring suspects so we could self-involve more heartily.

and despite how 2005 ended, that finals series was just wild, even in the weeks preceding with a minor premier decider and the late run of the Dees and Bulldogs. Other than lurking Port it felt like a fresh adventure. Just a shame about our 22 on the day, was bittersweet without Phil Matera for one.
 
Last edited:

PCORF

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 3, 2007
5,153
1,756
AFL Club
Adelaide
Adelaide = 2012. Nobody gave us a chance that year. But we played with our heart all season long and came damn close to winning it all that year. That was an enjoyable season for sure. Tex was awesome, Dangerfield and Sloane brilliant. Everyone contributed.
 
Last edited:

Catsace

Premiership Player
Apr 15, 2007
4,408
2,937
Geelong
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
Golden State Warriors
1984 - Two recruits by the name of Gary Ablett and Diesel Williams burst on to the scene. We were still a woefully inconsistent team but with those two and we missed the finals, but we knew we had a future (just not with Williams :'()
Ironic that 30+ years apart, we lose very talented centremen wearing #11 at Geelong having played only two seasons at the club. Reckon if Geelong was able to accede to the relatively modest extra demands Williams wanted we could have kept him and who knows into the high scoring era. But the Edelsten led Swans with their big chequebook were a hard offer to turn down given Geelong's dicey md 80's financial situation.
 

Remove this Banner Ad