HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE

Joel Andrew COREY

Year Inducted 2017
Date of Birth 17th February 1982

 

Player 1999 – 2013 (Geelong 2000-2013, East Perth 1999)

Games: 287 (Geelong 276, East Perth 11)

Goals: 83 (Geelong 79, East Perth 4)

Honours: Geelong Premiership Player 2007, 2009, 2011; Geelong Fairest and Best 2005, 2008; All Australian 2007, 2008;  International Rules Representative 2004;  AFL Dream Team 2008

 

The quiet understated personalities often get overlooked in discussions about great footballers, but the achievements of Joel Corey place him amongst the very elite of West Australian draftees in the national era. A tall, consistent, hard running midfielder more comfortable winning the hard ball than speaking to the media, Corey beat the likes of Ablett, Bartel, Enright and Scarlett to two Geelong Fairest and Best awards, was twice All-Australian and a crucial member of three Geelong premiership teams.

Joel Corey was born at Osborne Park Hospital and growing up in Perth’s northern suburbs he joined the Girrawheen Koondoola Junior Football Club. Talented in several sporting fields, he was a junior Australian baseball representative but gave the game up to concentrate on football. Graduating to East Perth he made his league debut in 1999 and went on to play 11 games in a season where his talent was also recognised with All-Australian selection at the Under 18 national championships.

Always likely to attract draft attention due to his athleticism and advanced ball handling skills, Corey became Geelong’s first selection in the 1999 national draft with the eighth pick overall. Draft profiles commented on his ability to run all day, his strength overhead and his fierce determination to succeed. Arriving at the club, he was quickly bestowed the nickname “Smithy” by teammates who felt that with two first names, Joel and Corey, he desperately needed a surname.

A hamstring strain early in 2000 delayed his progress, but Corey made his AFL debut in Round 17 and recorded a respectable 15 possessions. An extremely hard worker who won plenty of hard contests for the ball and fed out cleanly and effectively to teammates, Corey’s improvement was remarkably steady. His disposal average increased every season for his first nine seasons and he was a clear winner of the fairest and best award in his sixth season (2005).

Although never as high profile as Ablett, Bartel, Ling and many other of his Geelong teammates, Joel Corey was hugely respected within the club for his work ethic and his versatility. He had a tank as big as any going around, could play defensive or offensive mid field roles and was often called upon to be a rebounder off half back. His fierce competitiveness meant that the difference between his best and worst was minimal and coaches loved his consistency and reliability.

Earning his first All-Australian selection in Geelong’s drought breaking premiership year of 2007, Corey went on to have his best season in 2008, when he averaged 29 disposals per game and was rewarded with his second club fairest and best as well as All-Australian selection for the second time.

Always working tirelessly to improve his skills, Corey was particularly fastidious on the defensive side of his game, measuring himself by his tackle count rather than by his kick, mark and handball stats. He was nevertheless, a fantastic ball winner and a major contributor in big games. His possession count in his four AFL Grand Final appearances was a highly creditable 25, 30, 29 and 25.

Later in his career, injury became a factor and a knee injury cost him a number of games in 2010, but Corey always remained a solid contributor before calling time on his career in 2013 with 276 games and a career disposal average in the elite class at 22.4.

Since retirement, Joel Corey has enjoyed further success as a skills coach with the Western Bulldogs but always keeps a low profile away from the city lights. He still considers Western Australia home, but football roles are likely to dictate where his future lies.

Joel Corey was a master of the understatement and set a standard for consistency that few have matched. As a prolific, skilful and high achieving midfielder, Corey ranks among the best West Australian footballers in the 30 years of the national era, and worthily joins the West Australian Football Hall of Fame.