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Cats hope for eight home games despite stadium works

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 5: (L-R) James Kelly, Steve Johnson and Mathew Stokes of the Cats are chaired off the ground by teammates after their final games during the 2015 AFL round 23 match between the Geelong Cats and the Adelaide Crows at Simonds Stadium, Geelong, Australia on September 5, 2015. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Premiership stars James Kelly, Steve Johnson and Mathew Stokes farewell Geelong

GEELONG hopes to retain eight home games at Simonds Stadium in 2015 despite a temporary reduction in the ground's capacity by 3,000 while a new stand is built.

After a disappointing year on and off the field, Cats CEO Brian Cook told supporters at the best and fairest count on Thursday night that the club had been humbled but would rebound quickly.

The Cats not only missed the finals for the first time since 2006 but expect to lose around $1 million for the year. The shortfall due to a reduction in gaming returns, a gap between budgeted and actual returns of $300,000 for two home games at the MCG and a drop in membership receipts.

"We're very determined to bounce back and we will," Cook said.

The capacity of Simonds Stadium will be 30,000 in 2016, while a new grandstand is built but will reach 36,500 in 2017 and the Cats will lobby to play nine games from thereon at the venue.

The Cats farewelled three premiership players Steve Johnson, Mathew Stokes and James Kelly as well as announcing that Max Rooke was departing after being a development coach for four seasons.

Former skipper Cameron Ling will not continue his part-time leadership mentoring role and Dale Amos has left to join Carlton as an assistant coach.

The club also appointed former Fremantle assistant coach Simon Lloyd as director of coaching last week.

The Cats are expected to be very active in the trade and free agency period as they target Patrick Dangerfield, Scott Selwood, Lachie Henderson and Zac Smith.