Sliding Doors: How Bartel came to the Cats
Three premierships, two All Australians, a Brownlow Medal, a Norm Smith Medal, and 305 games in navy blue and white hoops.
However, if not for the advocacy of close friend and teammate Cameron Ling, the Cats might never have drafted Bartel.
“Geelong certainly had me on their board to be picked at pick 8 in my draft,” Bartel reveals on Macquarie Sports Radio.
“But they were weighing up a number of players, this is what Lingy did tell me, they were definitely weighing up another player, they were a bit unsure about myself and some athletic traits and different things like that,
“Lingy certainly went into bat for me, he said ‘you have to draft this kid, I’ll vouch for him, I’ve gone to school with him, I know a lot of his mates, he’s a good fella,’
“He went in to bat for me and helped me get drafted to the Geelong Footy Club,
“A couple of people at Geelong – even though they’d never admit it – weren’t probably keen on taking me.”
Geelong drafted Jimmy Bartel with pick number 8 in the 2001 draft and history has proven – many times over – that it was a sage choice.
In a sliding doors moment, had the Cats chosen differently on that fateful evening, can you remember who pick number 9 belonged to?
The Melbourne Demons. Ahem.