For just under 100,000 fans packed into the MCG and millions of TV viewers in Australia and around the world, the anticipation and tension in the lead-up to the 2014 Grand Final was mouth-watering. Experts had the Swans as outright favorites for the Premiership Cup, bolstered with an unchanged team and by expensive recruits and big men Kurt Tippett and Lance “Buddy” Franklin. Teamed up with athletic giants Adam Goodes and Ben Reid, the Sydney forward line loomed large and many thought unstoppable. The added drama of a Grand Final clash between ex-Hawk Buddy and his old teammates - with whom he won a Premiership only 12 months ago - laid the ingredients on the table for an outstanding contest. Most predicted a win by the Swans and only a few could mount an argument for the Hawks by the very smallest of margins, such was the perceived might of the Swans after their demolition of North Melbourne in the Preliminary Final. read more »
Lance Franklin's move from Hawthorn to Sydney after the Hawks won the 2013 Grand Final is well-documented. Although he was a member of the 2012 side which lost to the Swans, he has the chance to be added to an elite list of players should the Swans again be victorious. While there have been over 70 players who switched clubs and played in Grand Finals for two different clubs, less than half tasted the ultimate triumph with their new teams. read more »
Preliminary Final weekend was not only about the four teams vying for a chance to play in the Grand Final. Justice Middleton, who has been overseeing the Essendon-ASADA court case, handed down his decision after reviewing all the testimony presented in August. He ruled in favor of ASADA, saying all parts of the ASADA investigation had been lawful, including the provision of the interim report to the AFL. He also noted that neither Essendon, James Hird nor the players brought legal proceedings to challenge the provision of the interim report at the time. read more »
In a shock move, the Adelaide Crows have fired Coach Brenton Sanderson with two years remaining on his contract. Those two years were an extension which Sanderson signed just last December. The club said the axing came after an extensive review of the club's entire football operations. Chairman Rob Chapman confirmed Brenton Sanderson's inability to communicate with players was part of the reason for his sacking. read more »
(Update: 9/23/14: Success! Coverage now begins at 11:00 PM in the US and Canada!)Note: We have been advised by the AFL that due to music rights guarantees and payment requested by Seven Network many international broadcasters including Fox Soccer Plus and TSN2 will be unable to show anything except the Grand Final game itself. This will mean coverage will be limited to 12:30 AM to 4:00 AM EDT in the US and Canada. See the petition here.
(Updated 9/21/14 to add changed WatchAFL start time. Updated 9/23/14 to change FSP and TSN2 start times.) Fox Soccer Plus (FSP) in the USA and TSN2 in Canada will carry the Grand Final between Sydney and HawthornLIVE on Friday night / Saturday morning, September 26th / 27th. US coverage on FSP will begin at 11:00 PM EDT Friday. Coverage will continue until 4:00 AM EDT Saturday concluding after the awards ceremony. First bounce is about 12:31 AM EDT. Canadian coverage on TSN2 will also begin at 11:00 PM EDT Saturday and run to 4:00 AM. If you have no access to any of the preceding options, the game will be live via the internet on WatchAFL (payment required) and you can sign up at this link. WatchAFL coverage will begin at 11:00 PM. Fans should check our TV Schedule page for details on the coverage and our TV Info page for more information on FSP and TSN2. For those looking for parties, see our listings on our Grand Final Party page. We will have a timeline of Grand Final Day events posted here.(Note: the only live coverage in North America is via these outlets and they are available nationally via cable and satellite services -- see our TV Info page. Update 9/30/14: a repeat on Fox Sports 2 has been added at 10/1/14 5 PM EDT.) read more »
Fremantle midfielder Nat Fyfe has won the Leigh Matthews Trophy as the AFL Players' Association MVP. The award is decided with players from all clubs nominating three teammates. Each club then tallies the votes for their players. Out of that, the field is narrowed to 54 players. Players then award votes on a 3-2-1 basis for the 54 nominees. Fyfe just edged out Gary Ablett in one of the closest counts in the history of the award. read more »
Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth
Port Adelaide’s Robbie Gray kick-started his team's Semi-Final victory over the Fremantle Dockers and was the difference between the two teams, scoring four goals in the third quarter. Along with brilliant support crew Ollie Wines and Chad Wingard, who threw everything they had at the Dockers, the Power got sweet revenge after being defeated by Fremantle for a Top Four finish just two short weeks ago.
Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Melbourne, Victoria
In a no holds barred Second Elimination Final in front of 78559 fans, Essendon lined up against North Melbourne for the right to advance further into the Finals series. The Bombers had much to prove after two tumultuous seasons marred by the ASADA investigation into the use of prohibited substances at the club in 2012. Banned from the 2013 Finals series as a result, finally they had a chance to play on the big stage and give their fans something to celebrate. For North Melbourne it was “make or break’ type pressure hanging over their heads with the absence of team “barometer” Brent (Boomer) Harvey (through suspension) a definite disadvantage. read more »
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