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2022 AFL Hall of Fame

Matthew Pavlich

In mid-June, the AFL held their annual Hall of Fame function with eight new inductees and one previous inductee elevated to Legend status. The Legend elevation was the late Port Adelaide Magpie (SANFL) centerman Russell Ebert, who was also recently named as Port Adelaide's greatest ever player. Ebert is the 32nd player to be named a Legend. He passed away in 2021, and the award was accepted by his widow Dian.

The eight new inductees represented not only the AFL, but the state leagues and Tasmania. They are Terry Cashion, Bill Dempsey, Mike Fitzpatrick, Brent Harvey, Matthew Pavlich, Michael Taylor, Ted Tyson and Nicky Winmar.

The Inductees:

RUSSELL EBERT - elevated to Legend status

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Dockers Stop Navy Blues

Tom De Koning flies

The Fremantle Dockers played the complete team game to be convincing winners over the Carlton Blues at Optus Stadium. Both teams started cautiously by playing along the boundary lines when defending and attacking. The Dockers’ ruckman Sean Darcy had a slight edge over Carlton’s Marc Pittonet at bounce downs but Carlton’s midfielders Patrick Cripps, Sam Walsh and Adam Cerra combined well to give Carlton first use of the ball. The Carlton tactic was to kick long and high to their twin towers in attack, Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay. The Dockers lined up with three tall men in the last line of defense with Alex Pearce, Brennan Cox and Griffin Logue intent on punching the ball to prevent marks (catches).  

The first quarter was an even tussle, with Matthew Owies snapping Carlton’s first goal when the ball hit the ground after a ruck contest in the forward pocket. The second goal brought Curnow into the game when he marked a centering kick from Jack Martin and kicked truly. Pittonet injured his knee in a ruck contest and retired from the game, which then gave Darcy the chance to dominate in the ruck.

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Blues Defender Refuses Shot, Retires

Liam Jones (#14) vs Collingwood

Just as the free agency period was ending, Carlton defender Liam Jones announced his shock retirement. It is apparently due to his anti-vaccination stance. The league mandated that all AFL and AFLW players get vaccinated or be placed on inactive lists until they comply. Jones, 30, retires after 161 games - 66 with the Bulldogs and 145 with the Blues - and said his decisions were for "personal reasons" but would not elaborate further. In a statement he said, “I want to take this opportunity to thank all who have supported me throughout my journey, both personally and professionally. I love the game and I’ll miss my teammates. I hope that people respect my decision and privacy - neither myself or [sic] my management team will be making any further comment on the matter. ”

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Former Carlton President Passes

John Elliott

The day after the Blues announced Michael Voss as their new coach, they announced the passing of long-time president John Elliott, just 10 days shy of his 80th birthday. His son Tom, a talk show host on radio station 3AW, confirmed the news, "It is with great sadness that we announce the death of John Dorman Elliott. He died Thursday evening at the Epworth Hospital in Richmond after a short illness. Dad will be greatly missed by his four children Tom, Caroline, Edward, and Alexandra. Their partners Elise, Craig, and Georgia plus grandchildren Henry, Sebastian, India, Ava, Lottie, and Mathilda will remember forever their 'Grandpa Jack'. Others to mourn his passing are his brother Ross, sister-in-law Jenny, former partner Joanne, and second wife Amanda. There are also numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren." Elliott, who also served as federal president of the Liberal Party, suffered a fall at his home in early September.

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Teague Out at Carlton

Just days before the finals began and after weeks of speculation, Carlton dismissed senior coach David Teague. Also departing are assistants Brent Stanton, Dale Amos and John Barker. Teague had one more year to run on his contract, but an extensive review of the football department saw the club decide it needed change.

In an email sent to club members, new president Luke Sayers said: "It was identified that there had been confusion associated with the game plan ... the team has under-delivered in its ability to consistently defend, win the contest and apply pressure. This was highlighted, but not limited to, an overt, consistent focus on offense at a detriment to the defensive side of the game. While the easier option would have been to wait a further 12 months in the hope these deficiencies would change, the in-depth data gained ... left no doubt that such an option would not be in the best interests of the club ...".

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2021 AFL Hall Of Fame

Judd vs Bombers

Just a few days after Round 23, the AFL held their annual Hall of Fame ceremonies. Two current members were elevated to Legend status and there were four new inductees. West Australian Merv McIntosh and legendary SANFL coach Jack Oatey were elevated. The inductees were Nathan Burke, Chris Judd, Rob Wiley, and footy female pioneer Debbie Lee. Lee is the first woman to be inducted. Former Sydney star Adam Goodes declined to be inducted, due to his feeling that the AFL failed to support him properly when he was subjected to radial vilification in the last two years of his career. Garry McIntosh, a dual SANFL premiership player in 1982 and 1984 and games’ record-holder for the Norwood, also declined entry, saying he had not played the game for personal honors.

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Retirements and Delistings, 2021 Part Three

Hooker Celebrates Another Goal

Adelaide defender Daniel Talia was told he will not receive a new contract. An off-season knee injury that required surgery and a foot injury shortly after - also requiring surgery kept him sidelined for the entire season. He also suffered some setbacks during his rehabilitation.

Talia, 29, was drafted in 2009 and played 200 games. He won All-Australian selection twice and has been a stalwart in the Adelaide defense. Other honors are the Rising Star award in 2012, the club's best and fairest in 2014, and was a member of the leadership group.

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A Fond Farewell To Eddie Betts

Eddie Shoots for Goal

Eddie Betts played his 350th and final game in Round 23. It came after several weeks of discussions between him and the club with the club saying they would not be offering him a new contract. The announcement was made ahead of the final game of the year to give fans a chance to celebrate an amazing career and farewell (arguably) the most likable player and person to grace the game.

Betts was selected in the 2004 Preseason Draft and debuted in 2005. With his innate ability to kick impossible goals and create something out of nothing, he quickly became a fan favorite. He will go down in league history as one of the best - if not the best - small forward.

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Milestone Game Murphy's Swan Song

Murphy Kicks a Goal

Veteran Carlton midfielder Marc Murphy will play his 300th and final game against Port Adelaide in Round 22. Murphy, 34, made the announcement just after Round 21 concluded. Murphy said, "It has been an up-and-down 16 years. I would have loved to have won a premiership and had some success ... but unfortunately, it's not part of my story. I know there's a lot of (future) premiership players ... at this footy club and I'll be watching as a supporter and lapping it up pretty soon hopefully."

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The Passing Of A Carlton Legend

Just as Round 18 was getting underway, Carlton announced the passing of Sergio Silvagni, aged 83. He is the father of club legend Steve Silvagni - aka SOS - and the grandfather of current player Jack. Steve's son. Ben Silvagni, was also drafted in 2018 but never played a senior debut and was delisted at the end of 2020.

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