26 May 1988
2006 NAB AFL Draft Pick No. 7
2007 AFL Debut
2007 Rising Star Winner
2007 AFLPA Best First Year Player
2007 Geelong Premiership
2008 AFL Grand Final (Runners Up)
2009 Michael Tuck Medal
2009 Robert Rose Most Courageous Player
2009 All Australian Team
2009 Geelong Premiership
2010 All Australian Team
2010 Geelong Best and Fairest
2011 Geelong Premiership
2013 All Australian Team
2013 Captain All Australian Team
Joel is a natural leader who is mature and disciplined as well as skilful and creative. Originally recruited from Sandhurst Football Club, Joel is an AIS/AFL Academy Graduate. Joel’s leadership qualities awarded him with the honour to captain the Under 17 Australian side against Ireland in 2005, where he won the Barassi Medal for best player.
After representing Vic Country in the 2005 NAB AFL Under18 Championships, Joel was named All-Australian. Whilst unfortunately missing most of the 2006 season due to injury, Joel was still drafted in the first round of the 2006 NAB AFL Draft.
The young Cat made his AFL debut in Round 1 of 2007, and played 21 senior games in his first season, averaging 19 possessions. He was awarded with a NAB Rising Star nomination for his efforts in round 5, where he displayed natural leadership qualities and the likelihood that he will be one of the next generations’ AFL stars. He proved this by winning the NAB AFL Rising Star Award and a Premiership in a dream start to what will surely be an outstanding and successful career.
Continuing his good form, in 2008 Joel had the 8th most disposals in the AFL with 607 and the 6th most handballs with 324. Joel played in 24 games including his second straight AFL Grand Final and managed to pick up 29 disposals on the day. Joel was a nominee for All-Australian selection & played for Victoria in the AFL’s Hall of Fame Game. Capping off his 2008 season, Joel received 19 Brownlow votes to finish 5th overall and also finished 5th in Cats Best & Fairest Award.
Joel started his 2009 season off on a high by adding to his premiership medallion with the Michael Tuck Medal for afield in the NAB Cup Grand Final. The Geelong midfielder was the prime mover in the destruction and booted two goals. Following his fine performance early in the season, Joel was awarded the 2009 AFLPA Most Courageous Player & was selected for the first time in the 2009 All-Australian squad. After capping off another fantastic year, Joel played in his third Grand Final in three years and finished fourth in the Cats’ Best and Fairest.
In season 2010, Joel established himself as one of the AFL’s elite players. Adding to his extensive list of honours, Joel won the Geelong Best and Fairest, as well as finishing fourth in the Brownlow Medal, where he polled in every game from round 14-21 and averaged 28 disposals per game. He was also included in the All-Australian team for the second successive season.
2011 was another brilliant season for Joel, capped by a third premiership, finishing runner up in Norm Smith medal voting and being vice-captain for the Geelong Cats for the first time. Joel played 20 games including all three finals and had 20+ disposals in 18 of 20 games. He played his 100th game in a round 8 win over Collingwood and kicked 15 goals, highest total in his career.
In 2012, Joel became captain of the Geelong Football Club, and led by example averaging 26 disposals and 6 tackles a game. Joel reaffirmed his status as one of the leagues elite midfielders, being selected in the All Australian team and placing second in Geelong’s best and fairest.
Joel will be on a quest in 2013 to lift his side back to the top and have another go at premiership success.