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October List Changes, and Trade, Father-Son News

Naismith Gets the Tap-Out

In mid-October, the Kangaroos and Adelaide traded draft selections, allowing the Roos to move up a notch or two in the draft order. North received selection 23 in this year's draft in exchange for pick 59 and a future second-round selection. Gold Coast, Sydney, and West Coast delisted players while Essendon looks to get twin "favorite sons".

The Kangaroos also delisted midfielder Jared Polec. Polec was originally drafted by Brisbane but was later traded to Port Adelaide. He joined North at the end of the 2018 season and played every game in 2019. However, he was restricted to 18 games over the next two seasons due to injury. He was delisted at the end of 2021 and added to the rookie list. Polec, 30, was hampered by a foot injury early in the season and required surgery.

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Mid-October List Changes

Mitch Wallis Tackled (file photo)

In mid-October, Port Adelaide, Adelaide, Essendon, Collingwood, and North Melbourne all made more list changes and two Western Bulldogs players announced their retirements. 

Port Adelaide delisted forwards Martin Frederick and Dylan Williams but has committed to reselecting Williams in the rookie draft. Frederick, a product of the club’s Next Generation Academy, played 14 games after debuting against St Kilda in 2021. He played six games this season. against the Gold Coast in Round 15. Williams, 21, was drafted in 2019 but played just one game in 2021. He played every game for Port Adelaide in the SANFL this season, kicking 20 goals. 

Adelaide delisted James Rowe, Ben Davis, and Brett Turner. Rowe was drafted in 2020 and kicked 27 goals in his 36 games as a small forward while Davis was drafted in 2016 and played 11 AFL games as both a forward and rebounding defender. Turner was picked up in the midseason draft this season but did not manage any senior games. The club is considering redrafting him as a rookie. 

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More 2022 Delistings and Retirements

Jack Redden (file photo)

Following the end of the AFL season, roster changes affected West Coast, Geelong, Sydney, North Melbourne, Carlton, Port Adelaide, Essendon, and Gold Coast. 

Eagle midfielder and Jack Redden has retired. He was originally drafted by Brisbane where he played 129 games in seven seasons before crossing the Eagles in 2016. He played 134 games for the Eagles including the 2018 premiership. He was a key to that winning side and was voted Player of the Finals that year as well as finishing second in the best and fairest. West Coast delisted Jackson Nelson, Hugh Dixon, Patrick Naish, and Tom Joyce. Nelson, 28, was drafted in 2014 and played 102 games mostly in defense but could take a turn in the midfield. Dixon and Joyce were supplemental selections during the club's injury crisis. Dixon was originally with the Dockers and played 10 games for the Eagles while Joyce was sidelined for the year with an ankle injury. 

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Brad Scott New Bomber Coach

Brad Scott (file photo)

On September 30th former North Melbourne coach and current AFL head of football Brad Scott was appointed Essendon's new senior coach. Apparently, Scott had been in talks with the club for a week before formally applying for the job the same day. 

In an email, president, David Barham said, “We believe Brad has all the attributes to be the long-term coach ... He’s a strong leader who will drive standards and establish a winning culture. We look forward to Brad getting started with us and working closely with the broader club and the football department for what will be an important preseason ... ". We are under no illusions about the hard work ahead of us. By the same token, we are excited about the challenge of building a club that our members are proud of and one that delivers sustained on-field success.” Scott coached North Melbourne in 211 games. After departing the Kangaroos, he replaced Steve Hocking at the AFL as head of football operations. 

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Racism Scandal Explodes at Hawthorn

Alastair Clarkson (front) (file photo)

Newly appointed North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson and Brisbane Coach Chris Fagan have become embroiled in very serious allegations stemming from their time together at Hawthorn. It began with an external review commissioned by the club to better understand the indigenous people, referred to as First Nations players, and their experiences at the club. The review led to the allegations being made and the club referring everything to the AFL Integrity Unit. Several of the involved players were interviewed and their stories - and those of their partners, paint a completely different picture of the "family club". The story was made public by the ABC which brought to light the treatment of the young players at the hands of the coaches and club officials.

Three players and their partners told their stories but had their names changed for the publication. The families allege that players were told to part ways with their partners, even though the women were pregnant, were forced to move out of their homes. Their partners were allegedly told to terminate unborn children. The families say the players had the SIM cards removed from their phones to further separate them from family. Essentially, they were told football came first and that was to be their primary focus. In many cases, they were bullied into choosing the club and those involved had no compassion for the players or their families. [Ed. note: the ABC has stated that Clarkson and Fagan were given multiple opportunities to respond before the allegations were made public.]

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Retirements and Delistings Roll On

Callum Sinclair marks (file photo)

Sydney, Carlton, and North Melbourne saw more players move on. North Melbourne delisted Kyron Hayden, Matt McGuinness, and Patrick Walker. Hayden was drafted in 2017 and debuted in 2019. He played 17 games as a defender. In early 2020, injuries curtailed his season. He managed five games in 2022. McGuinness was an Academy selection in 2019 and Walker was selected in the 2020 rookie draft. Both played 17 games in the VFL in 2022. Neither managed any senior games.

Just after the conclusion of the season proper, Sydney ruckman Callum Sinclair and defender Colin O'Riordan announced their retirements. Sinclair, 32, was originally drafted by West Coast in 2012 and has played a total of 118 games. General Manager Charlie Gardiner said, "Callum has been a real warrior for us. He has played some really good senior football with us ... but in recent times his work with our VFL squad has been enormous. He has played a selfless role for the team and been a terrific leader amongst our developing players. Cal is a hugely popular player ... ".

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Clarkson In but Rutten Out

Ben Rutten

During the latter part of the season, there was much speculation in the media about Alastair Clarkson's coaching future. Three clubs were linked to him - GWS, Essendon and North Melbourne. In early August, GWS opted not to pursue him and Clarkson himself later admitted his desire to remain in Victoria. Just as Round 23 was getting underway, North signed him to a five year deal. Although he had spoken to Essendon, he said he was "too far down the path" with North to consider Essendon's offer. Clarkson rejected overtures to replace contracted Bombers coach Ben Rutten and described the situation as "unsavory", having been approached about the position by their new president David Barham earlier in the week. He also said he only talked to Essendon out of a sense of fairness and respect for the people he knows at the club. But with Ben Rutten not being axed by the club at the time, Clarkson was not pleased with the situation, saying it had become a circus, "It really disappoints me, what's unfolded with 'Truck' Rutten out at the Bombers. He's a good man and he's a good football person ... ".

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North Melbourne Sacks Coach Noble

The Monday after Round 17 saw North Melbourne and coach David Noble part company.  He had coached the team for less than two seasons and comes away with just five wins from 38 games and accepted the blame for the team's poor performance. Noble said he was not surprised at his termination, saying it was the right call for all, “I am comfortable that I gave my all … but ultimately the scoreboard doesn’t make for great reading,” He believes he has laid a foundation for future success but warned, “There’s a little bit of pain to go before the team really kicks into gear. Until you get that next group of 20-gamers into the 50s and the 70s into the hundreds, there is still a little bit to go. But it’s a great club, it has got a great future …".  Ahead of Round 18, the team had just one win and endured a 14-game losing streak. Assistant coach Leigh Adams will be North’s interim coach for the rest of the season. 

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Majak Daw Calls Time

Daw Kicks a Goal (file photo)

At the end of June, Melbourne's Majak Daw announced his retirement after 12 seasons. He was the first player of Sudanese decent to be drafted by an AFL club. He was drafted as a rookie by North Melbourne in 2010 and debuted in 2013. He was elevated to the seniors in 2015, delisted and "re-rookied" at the end of 2016. He played 54 games and kicked 43 goals for North before being delisted at the end of 2020. He was set to play in the Northern Football League in 2021 but the Demons selected him in the 2021 Supplemental Selection Period. He failed to play any senior games for Melbourne, but was a consistent player in the VFL.

Daw said he was extremely proud of the of what he achieved during his career, “I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that North Melbourne and Melbourne ... have provided me ... I walk away from the game with immense pride in what I’ve been able to achieve and the challenges I’ve been able to overcome. With my current injury troubles, I’ve taken the opportunity to reflect on where I’m at and where I’m heading and in speaking with my management and the club, we’ve all agreed that the timing is right for me to retire ... I can focus on the next stage of my life and spend much more time on my most important and favorite job, being a loving and caring father to my son Hendrix. I would like to thank my family, friends, teammates, coaches and the wider football community for their support and care ... I walk away ... with life-long memories and friendships and real pride in what I’ve achieved.”

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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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