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Premiership Champs Bow Out

Burgoyne Contests the Ball

Hawthorn champion Shaun Burgoyne has retired. The game against Richmond in Round 23 was his 407th. He advised his teammates earlier in the week leading up to that game. In early July, he became just the fifth player in league history to notch 400 games. His match tally is the most of any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander player in AFL history. Burgoyne was originally drafted by Port Adelaide in 2000 and debuted in 2002. He played 157 games with Port before crossing to Hawthorn at the end of 2009.

Head of Football Rob McCartney praised Burgoyne for his work both on and off the field, “I know I speak on behalf of anyone and everyone that has crossed paths with Shaun over his football journey in saying that it has been an honor to work alongside a man of his character and skill. He is the epitome of what we value at Hawthorn, with his immense commitment to family values whilst also possessing a relentlessness to constantly strive to get the best out of himself as well as those around him ...".

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Pies Sign Senegalese Player

Daicos Cool Under Pressure

In mid-April, Collingwood signed a basketball player from Senegal. Bassirou Faye, 18, has committed to the Pies on an International Rookie Scholarship. Currently still in his homeland, he will relocate to Australia in late May. Faye, who stands 202 cm (6'5") has never played Australian Rules but had been training with the Oakleigh Chargers in the NAB league and looked impressive with his athleticism. He was forced to return to Senegal due to visa issues.

Faye originally arrived in Australia hoping for a career in basketball but switched to footy through former Tiger and Hawk Tyrone Vickery. Oakleigh's general manager put Faye through a two-month training program at the beginning of this year before Faye joined the Chargers for several sessions.

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12 Added Via SSP, Scully Retires

Scully Handballs Under Pressure

The AFL Supplementary Selection Period (SSP) ended on March 9 with eight clubs selecting 12 players. Several had been delisted by other clubs and were invited to train with other clubs in the hope of being selected. Below are the clubs and their selections.

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Bruce McAveney Steps Away From Footy

By Masoman01 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47352034
Bruce McAvaney

In early March, legendary commentator Bruce McAvaney, who has called everything from footy to the Olympics, announced he was giving up his role as footy commentator with Australia's Channel Seven. Other than a five-year absence between 2002 and 2006 (when Seven lost the TV rights), McAvaney has been there with the free-to-air coverage. He has notched over 1000 games, including 20 Grand Finals; and formed a great partnership with the equally legendary Dennis Cometti (who retired several years ago). Although he is bowing out of football, he will continue with Seven's horse racing carnival and the 2021 Tokyo Olympics - his specialty is track and field.

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2021 AFL Life Members, Jack Titus Award

Defender Taylor's Rare Shot For Goal

The AFL has announced their annual life members and the winners of the Jack Titus Award for service to the game. The life membership awards will officially be presented at the league AGM in March. Nine players and coaches qualified automatically by reaching the total of 300 games as either player or coach, including preseason games and international rules.

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CTE Found In Shane Tuck

Tuck Flies

The Australian Sports Brain Bank has revealed the late Shane Tuck had a severe case of CTE, making him the third AFL player - after Graham "Polly Farmer and Danny Frawey - to have suffered from the crippling neurological disorder. The former Richmond star died in July last year at the age of 38 after a lengthy battle with mental health issues. Tuck’s family agreed to donate his brain to the Brain Bank and it was revealed he had stage three CTE.  Neuropathologist  Michael Buckland said, “It’s the worst case I’ve seen so far.

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New Center Honors Danny Frawley

Just after the AFL Draft. Australian Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced that the government would contribute $8.5 million toward a new meatal health facility to be named after the late Danny Frawley . The Victorian government has also committed $7.3 million and there will be other philanthropic contributions to the Danny Frawley Center for Health and Wellbeing which will be located at St Kilda’s home base of Moorabbin Reserve, near the club Danny loved.

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Club List Changes Under New AFL Rules

Beams Takes A Grab

In mid-November, the AFL announced that club lists will be the following: 36 to 38 senior players, 4-6 Category A rookies and two Category B rookies. Rookie listed players will be allowed to play senior football without having to be elevated to the senior list. So many clubs have had to make hard calls on players, with some clubs even demoting senior players to rookie lists. Although there have already been some trades and free agent signings, the free agency period ran November 25 through November 29 with the first list lodgment due November 25 ahead of the free agency period.

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List Changes: Bombers, Eagles, Saints, Cats, North

Jetta Gets His Kick Away

In mid-November, the AFL announced that club lists will be the following: 36 to 38 senior players, 4-6 Category A rookies and two Category B rookies. Rookie listed players will be allowed to play senior football without having to be elevated to the senior list. So many clubs have had to make hard calls on players, with some clubs even demoting senior players to rookie lists. Although there have already been some trades and free agent signings, the free agency period ran November 25 through November 29 with the first list lodgment due November 25 ahead of the free agency period.

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Ablett GF Honor, Taylor Retires

Ablett On The Move

It comes as no surprise that the 2020 Grand Final was Gary Ablett's last game. There was very little fanfare and no major announcement, most likely due to the fact that almost everyone knew it was to be his last. There is little that can be said about the "Little Master" that has not already been said or written. At the end of the game, all the Richmond players lined up with the Cats to form a guard of honor for Ablett. However, there was much more to it than that.

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