Geelong were the feel-good story of the 2004 season, making an improbable run to a preliminary final and almost ending Brisbane’s grand final streak.
While the Cats had assembled the talented young core that would go on to win a premiership three years later, there was one gaping hole: a good ruckman.
Enter Richmond star Brad Ottens, who had become disillusioned with life at Punt Road.
After being picked 2nd overall by Richmond in the 1997 draft, Ottens had blossomed into an All-Australian by 2001, kicking 46 goals.
However, his form plateaued in the seasons that followed, prompting a change of scenery.
Ottens was dealt to Geelong in exchange for picks 12 and 16, which became Danny Meyer and Adam Pattison. Those players combined for 92 career games.
Success wasn’t instant for Ottens, who struggled in his first season and was a constant source of criticism from the media.
In a career-defining moment, the media scrutiny caused Cats coach Mark Thompson to tee off at reporters.
“For some silly reason, you people want to assassinate him,” he said.
“It’s just rubbish. You people, all of you, ALL OF YOU, leave him alone!”
Ottens would finish up a storied part of Geelong’s club history playing in 116 games and three premierships before retiring in 2011.