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Mathew Stokes

Last played for Essendon Bombers in 2016
Games: 200     Born: November 22, 1984     Origin: Woodville West Torrens
Playing Height: 176cm     Playing Weight: 75kg     Position: Midfield, Forward
Last Drafted: Round 4, Pick #61 2005 National Draft by Geelong Cats
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Mathew Stokes Biography

Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Mathew Stokes will be sidelined for at least the next three weeks after injuring his hamstring against Carlton.
Saturday, 30 January 2016
Mathew Stokes says he'll always be a Geelong man after signing up to become a top-up player for Essendon.

"I'll always be a Cats man, no matter what," Stokes said.

"But right now I have a job to do for the Essendon footy club and I'm just looking forward to doing that."

He said losing his tag as a one-club player was something he had to get his head around.

"I was really proud to walk off the oval (Simonds Stadium) last year and say I played all my career at Geelong, and that's why I probably never thought about playing after last year," Stokes said.

"I didn't really want to go anywhere else.

"But this is a really unique situation and will probably never happen again in the AFL."

Mathew Stokes says having James Kelly as a fellow top-up player at Essendon was critical in his decision to join the Bombers for their 2016 campaign.

"We've been close mates since I moved in with him 10 or 11 years ago and once I knew they were interested in me and Kel, we were both working at the AFL and in each other's offices and talking about the opportunity," Stokes said of Kelly.

"To be honest, if it wasn't for him coming here, I doubt I would have come.

"It makes it easier when you've got one or your best mates coming through the program with you."

Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Essendon secures Geelong premiership player Mathew Stokes as a top-up player for the 2016 season.
Thursday, 5 November 2015
Mathew Stokes has called time on his 10-year career after choosing not to play on at a second club in 2016.

The 30-year-old wasn't offered a contract for next season by the Cats but was open to offers from other clubs if they were good enough to "twist his arm" into playing on.

No offer could do so, and instead he will finish as a one-club player on 189 games, having played a key role in the club's 2007 and 2011 premierships.

"I got overlooked in the draft three times and Stephen Wells (club recruiting manager) and the Cats were the only ones that wanted to take a chance on me," Stokes said after leaving the Cats.

"I am grateful for being part of this great club that has really changed my life.

"My goal was to play one game and to have been here for a decade and to take away so many great friendships and relationships is the most important thing, even more than the wins and premierships."

Saturday, 5 September 2015
Geelong sends off its departing premiership trio in style with a resounding 39-point win over Adelaide at Simonds Stadium.

At the end of a tough week that saw Steve Johnson, James Kelly and Mathew Stokes told their contracts would not be renewed, the Cats came out purring, kicking five goals in the first quarter to set up the win.

They eventually ran out winners 17.17 (119) to Adelaide's 11.14 (80) and celebrated a Johnson mark and goal late in the last quarter with a group hug involving every Cat on the ground.

The mercurial Johnson finished with 2.6, Stokes had 33 disposals and a goal while Kelly had 30 disposals and nine tackles.

"It's an emotional day for those of us who really care, and there are a lot of people who are in that camp. and I thought it was a fitting celebration of three really influential people on Geelong's success," Geelong coach Chris Scott said.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015
Matthew Stokes will play his 189th and final game with the Cats on Saturday against Adelaide.

Stokes is understood to have been in dialogue with the club over several weeks regarding his future, having played just four senior games since round 12.

Stokes is likely to retire, although he has not ruled out playing on at another club.

"I am grateful for being part of this great club that has really changed my life," Stokes said.

"To have played here and enjoyed the success that we have, and to have done it with people that are and will be my best friends for life, has been a great experience. I hope now that the players that are here set the culture for the club in the future and keep it moving in the right direction.

"I've loved my time here and will miss coming in every day. But my goal was to play one game and to have been here for a decade and to take away so many great friendships and relationships is the most important thing, even more than the wins and premierships."

Sunday, 2 August 2015
Geelong coach Chris Scott says age is the major factor preventing Matthew Stokes from playing in the Cats' senior side.

"The brutal truth, and it is brutal for 'Stokesy', is that on balance, he's probably better than some of the guys who are playing in our team at the moment," Scott said.

"But they're younger and that's working in their favour. It's never easy to hear that but unfortunately for him that's just the reality right at the moment. It doesn't mean that will be the reality next week."

Friday, 27 March 2015
Mathew Stokes slams Prime Minister Tony Abbott for his remark about the 'lifestyle choices' of remote communities.

The letter comes after Mr Abbott voiced his support for the closure of over 100 remote Aboriginal communities across Western Australia earlier this month.

"It's the job of the taxpayer to provide reasonable services in a reasonable way, indeed to provide high quality services in a reasonable way," Abbott told ABC Radio in Kalgoorlie.

"What we can't do is endlessly subsidise lifestyle choices if those lifestyle choices are not conducive to the kind of full participation in Australian society that everyone should have."

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, Mathew Stokes says Abbott had isolated indigenous Australians with his comments.

"The fact our Prime Minister is acknowledged as having done so much work in the area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - for him to make the remarks he did, as the leader of our country what must the world think of us?" Stokes wrote in his letter.

"His words have isolated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders even more than they are already."

Monday, 9 March 2015
Joel Selwood will lead the Cats for a fourth season after the club revealed a reduced leadership group for 2015.

Harry Taylor has been named vice-captain, while Tom Hawkins and Andrew Mackie remain in the group.

In what is expected to be his last AFL season, veteran Corey Enright has returned to the group after a two-year absence.

Steve Johnson, Mathew Stokes, James Kelly and Mitch Duncan have been left out of the reduced squad.

"We look forward to working together. We've got a job to do and we're really looking forward to getting down to it," Selwood said.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014
Port Adelaide skipper Travis Boak is one of four players named as finalists for the 2014 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award.

Carlton vice-captain Kade Simpson, Geelong midfielder Mathew Stokes and West Coast defender Beau Waters were also selected as finalists after being nominated for the award by their respective clubs.

Boak's work with the Childhood Cancer Association to raise awareness and funds earned him his nomination, while Simpson, an ambassador for Down Syndrome Victoria, has helped raise more than $30,000 for the organisation.

As the first Aboriginal player to be in Geelong's leadership group, Stokes was selected for his tireless work with the local and national indigenous community to promote a number of Aboriginal health initiatives.

Waters has been involved in a number of organisations over the past decade, including Cancer Council WA, where he is an ambassador, and has been the catalyst for the Eagles raising almost $1million for cancer research.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014
Matthew Stokes could be sidelined for an extended period of time due an ankle injury sustained during Geelong's loss to Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium.

"That's a reasonably significant ankle issue, so he certainly won't play this week," Geelong coach Chris Scott said.

"The long-term prognosis is a bit more uncertain.

"They're telling us somewhere between two and eight (weeks). It won't be eight. It'll be more than one."

Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Matthew Stokes says he is relishing his football since being moved into Geelong's midfield last year.

"Sometimes playing up forward can be like a roller-coaster. Some days you play well and some days you don't. That's the way it works out," Stokes said.

"But I feel that since going into the midfield I've brought a lot of consistency to my game.

"At the same time, you've to work hard when you're in the midfield, and I've got a lot of great blokes around me who have taught me the best way to go about it."

Wednesday, 21 August 2013
Matthew Stokes signs a new two-year deal with Geelong, keeping him at the club until the end of 2015.
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
After playing most of his career as a forward, Matthew Stokes says he is relishing his time in the Cats' midfield.

"He was disappointed in his year last year, and he was aware that we were going to look to promote some younger types that played a similar position to him, which provided an opportunity," Geelong coach Chris Scott said.

"It meant that he could push further up the field and he's taken the opportunity with both hands. He adds a slightly different look to our midfield. He finds the footy; he uses it really well."

Wednesday, 4 July 2012
Everyone from the Cats' media manager to Mathew Stokes' own mum were worried after the forward was 'rescued' on a Gold Coast beach after being stranded on a sandbar.

"I got a call from [Geelong media manager] Kevin Diggerson at about 12 o'clock, saying 'Did you nearly die today?'" Stokes said.

"I actually had my mum ring up, pretty upset, last night. I had to try and explain to her that it was nothing.

"That's what the media can do, they can make something out of nothing, and they did that very well yesterday."

Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Jed Bews, son of former Cat Andrew, declined an offer by Matthew Stokes to wear the number his father sported during his decorated career.

"When we went to Falls Creek [for a pre-season training camp] he pulled me aside and said, 'If you want it, it's yours'," Bews said.

"It was definitely tempting. But I said to him, 'Nah, it's all right. It's your premiership jumper and it probably means more to you. I thought it was better to get a new number and make it my own."

Friday, 23 September 2011
Mathew Stokes has signed a two-year contract extension with Geelong that will keep him at Skilled Stadium until the end of 2013.
Saturday, 22 May 2010
Geelong's Cameron Mooney says he is glad to have Mathew Stokes back in the forward line after the Cats took care of ladder-leaders Collingwood with ease.

"It's great to have him (Stokes) back. I'm very proud of the way he's handled himself and very, very proud that he's back in the team. I couldn't be happier for him," Mooney said.

"To have a guy like that down forward has certainly helped everyone that plays down there and has really provided a bit of a spark for the team."

Thursday, 13 May 2010
As an AFL return looms, Geelong's Mathew Stokes says he's sorry for disgracing his family and his club after pleading guilty to drug charges.

"The last three months have been tough, and the toughest thing about it is that I am responsible for what has happened. I have no one else to blame but myself," he said.

"I'm ashamed of the disgrace I have caused to the club, the players and most of all my family. I have hurt so many people with my actions and let people down that believe in me.

"I am truly sorry for my actions and will be doing everything to make it up to the people I hurt and those closest to me."

Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Geelong chief executive Brian Cook says he is confident small forward Matthew Stokes is not a drug user despite his drug charge.

"I probably trust and have confidence in my people sometimes too much," Cook told SEN radio.

"But, I think the reality is that he wasn't (using drugs). I say that because I do have some privileged and confidential information about drug-testing."

Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Mathew Stokes avoids conviction after pleading guilty to one count of drug possession and accepting a fine of $3000.

"We are comfortable with today's outcome and with the fact that Mathew has accepted responsibility for his actions," Geelong chief executive Brian Cook said.

"We are happy that the trafficking charge has been dropped and now the AFL will determine if this case falls under the League's illicit drugs code.

"Mathew has already shown over the past three months that he is a better person, and we look forward to seeing him continue to grow as a person."

Stokes said that he was embarrassed over his involvement with drugs.

"I am very sorry and embarrassed by my actions. It is an embarrassment to the club and everyone that has stuck by me, especially my teammates," he said.

"I am just looking forward to playing footy again.''

Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Wayward Geelong forward Mathew Stokes is rewarded for the way he's handled his punishment by having his return to football brought forward.

Stokes will play for the Cats' VFL side against Box Hill this Sunday in the curtain raiser to the Geelong-Port Adelaide contest at Skilled Stadium.

"We're supporting him 100 per cent and I'm sure he's going to play really well," Geelong coach Mark Thompson said.

"He's a different guy. He's really determined, he's got a steely determination about what he does and I think he'll be an unbelievable VFL player and he'll force his way back into the (AFL) team Round 8, no question at all."

Friday, 12 March 2010
Geelong coach Mark Thompson says he is still in regular contact with the suspended Matthew Stokes as the small forward prepares to have his day in court on drug charges.

"He's a bit flat about the whole thing and in a lot of pain and doing it pretty tough," Thompson said.

"He is hurting and it's a pretty tough penalty to pay, but that's the ultimate choice we've made as a club - I'm sure he'll get through it.

"We're supporting him, we've handed out the punishment, but that doesn't mean we've forgotten about him. We're in contact with him."

Lawyers for footballer Mathew Stokes argue that the case against him for cocaine trafficking was weak and tenuous, a court heard today.

"It is difficult to imagine a more tenuous or weak case in relation to a charge of trafficking," defence lawyer Mark Dean said.

"The prosecution can take the reasonable course, the fair course and the appropriate course, of not proceeding with the trafficking charge.''

Monday, 8 March 2010
The Geelong Advertiser reports that Matthew Stokes has joined Mount Rothwell Conservation and Research Centre, near the You Yangs with a role in zookeeping and wildlife protection.

"He does all the things (our staff) have to do, there's not one specific task, his work is spread over the whole property and his experience is very useful," Mount Rothwell owner Nigel Sharp said.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Matthew Stokes trains with Bell Park for his first involvement in team footy since he was suspended by Geelong following drug charges.
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Mathew Stokes will accept an invitation to train with GFL club Bell Park during his club-imposed ban from Geelong.

"The offer came from Bell Park and we think it's in the best interests of Mathew and Bell Park for it to happen," Cats chief executive Brian Cook said.

"This is a time when he's not able to train with players from the Geelong Football Club, but he can train elsewhere. It was pretty much a decision on his behalf."

Monday, 8 February 2010
Geelong has handed down a raft of sanctions to Mathew Stokes following his arrest on drugs charges.

The sanctions included suspension until round eight of season 2010, a fine of $5000, having to find full-time employment and to establish a relationship with a drug-related community program.

Friday, 5 February 2010
Mathew Stokes explains in detail his latest transgression involving alleged drug-trafficking to teammates at a secret meeting believed to have been held at a teammate's home in Geelong.
Collingwood defender Harry O'Brien has appealed for everyone to treat troubled Mathew Stokes as a human being after the Geelong forward was charged with trafficking cocaine.

"Through his own choices he has placed himself in this situation. A situation which occurs frequently everyday in our country and around the world," O'Brien wrote on the AFL Players Association website.

"Mathew Stokes inherited the tag of being a role model when he entered the AFL. However he is still a human being."

"I would much rather focus on how to be proactive in the prevention of drug abuse and trafficking that affects the masses, than being reactive to one isolated incident."

Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Mathew Stokes has been suspended by Geelong after the 2007 premiership player was charged with drug offences following drug raids on four properties in the Geelong area.

Stokes appeared in Geelong Magistrates Court this afternoon.

"Given the gravity of the charges the club has decided that Mathew will be stood down from all club activity as we attempt to gather all the facts of this matter," Geelong CEO Brian Cook said.

"This is not a rush to judgment but a reflection on the seriousness of the situation. It is important for Mathew that he deals with legal issues at hand as his first priority.

Thursday, 24 September 2009
Mathew Stokes has been unsuccessful in earning a recall for this week's AFL Grand Final against St Kilda.

"We think he's done the really selfless thing for the team and if he is right to play then he probably deserves to get a game," Geelong coach Mark Thompson said.

Geelong forward Mathew Stokes sensed it would be tough to earn a recall after pulling out of the preliminary final with groin soreness but says missing grand final selection has still been hard to take.

"Someone had to miss out and the boys played well last week, so I didn't really expect to come back in," he said.

"You move on, that's life and there's nothing I can do about it now. I just have to support the boys.

"I've moved on from the fact I'm not playing and I've dealt with it and I'm quite happy with the decision because I knew the consequences of me not playing in the prelim final."

Monday, 21 September 2009
Mathew Stokes admits he faces a nerve-wracking few days before finding out whether he has earned a berth in Geelong's Grand Final side as he competes for a spot in the side after recovering from a groin strain.

"It's definitely all about the team," Stokes said.

"If I find out I don't play, I can live with that. I'll be there supporting the boys. Whatever the coaches decide, I'll stay by them."

Sunday, 26 July 2009
Jimmy Bartel kicks the winning point after the siren to sink the Hawks after the Cats had trailed by as many as 28 points in the final quarter.

"I was pretty lucky, actually, to get on the end of it," Bartel said.

"Probably most people didn't see Matty Stokes put an amazing block on for me, and Joel Corey probably stepped around about three blokes to get it away, so I was just on the end of those two doing a good job."

Friday, 3 July 2009
Cats forward Mathew Stokes will not get a bigger stage on which to prove his worth than at Etihad Stadium against high-flying St Kilda tomorrow.

Stokes, dropped twice in the past four rounds, has been given a reprieve before the biggest game of the year so far.

"It's not just about form," Geelong football manager Neil Balme said.

"He actually got a little bit hurt last week and didn't play the full game. But he played pretty well the week before.

"But again it's not just on VFL form, a lot of things have to be taken into account."

Thursday, 28 May 2009
Nathan Djerrkura is in line to make his AFL debut against Essendon on Sunday with forwards Paul Chapman injured and Matthew Stokes suspended.

"We would love to give Nathan the opportunity to play, his last three weeks in the VFL he's performed really well and he's looked like a league player, so this could be a great opportunity to play him,'' Geelong coach Mark Thompson said.

Monday, 25 May 2009
Nathan Lovett-Murray and Mathew Stokes are facing time on the sidelines after the match review panel's assessment of the weekend's action.

In-form Mathew Stokes must sit out Sunday's game against Essendon unless he successfully challenges a striking charge at the AFL Tribunal tonight.

A poor record also came back to haunt Essendon defender Nathan Lovett-Murray when he was outed for three matches for a late hit on Richmond's Kayne Pettifer.

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