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AFL Reveals New Spending Plan
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by Lisa,  reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Cash For All
Last week, the AFL announced its new spending plan for the next five years. Called the "Next Generation - Securing the Future of Australian Football", the plan will see massive amounts of cash invested in the AFL clubs, the competition, game development, and facilities with a view to the future. The "strategy" details the distribution of a record $1.4 billion over the next 5 years and includes a $650 million package to shore up the future of the 16 AFL clubs.

AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou said the Next Generation "strategy" was a responsible and prudent balance between providing for clubs and the competition today as well as  investing in building the next generation of supporters, participants, members and viewers.   Demetriou acknowledged the supporters and their passion for the game and said they would also benefit from the improved funding

West Coast Not Done Yet
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By Tim Stone, reporting for the AFANA from Subiaco Oval, Perth.
An emphatic 74 point victory has put West Coasts Premiership plans back on track, systematically dismantling the signature running game of the fairytale Western Bulldogs in the first Semi Final on Saturday night at Subiaco Oval.  The heartache of last week's 1-point loss to Sydney has been converted into a sense of optimism, with the Eagles now poised to battle against the Adelaide Crows in the Preliminary Final for the second consecutive year.    West Coast won the encounter last year by 16 points at Subiaco -- this time around they must travel to AAMI Stadium to earn a spot in the 2006 Grand Final.

Fremantle Overcomes Finals Demons
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By Tim Stone, reporting for the AFANA from Subiaco Oval, Perth.
It has been 12 years in the making, but Fremantle has at last achieved Finals success, overcoming a feisty Melbourne side by 28 points in the First Elimination Final at Subiaco. Their success on a balmy Friday night was the equivalent of reaching the summit for their season 2006 aspirations -- Coach Chris Connolly and the Fremantle Football Club's goal of “making and winning a Final” .
The victory is reward for players such as Shaun McManus and Shane Parker who have been with the club since its AFL debut in 1995. Their only Finals appearance before 2006 came in 2003 where they finished fifth,

Canadian Grand Final Coverage Confirmed!
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As of Fri 15 September, live coverage of the Grand Final in Canada has now been confirmed!

Canadian Grand Final coverage, will be on Fox Sports World Canada as it has been since 2001.   Coverage will begin at 12:00 MN EDT 30 September and run for 4 hours.  (This is a slightly different schedule than in the US.  US coverage on Setanta Sports will begin an hour earlier.) For the full schedules see our TV schedule page.

Bulldogs Speed Run Over Magpies
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By Barry Kennedy, AFANA Reporter in Melbourne

The gulf in finals experience between the seasoned Collingwood side and the greenhorns from the Western Bulldogs loomed as a decisive factor in the first Elimination Final at the MCG yesterday. A lack of Finals experience had already proved detrimental to Fremantle in Adelaide. Additionally Collingwood were back on the Finals stage for the first time since its humiliation by Brisbane in the 2004 grand final and for skipper Nathan Buckley and company, surely this was their day for the Magpies to reassert themselves in Finals play. After all, the Western Bulldogs had experienced an awful year on the injury front and had no forwards over six foot, unheard of in almost any era of Australian Football. Seemingly the Bulldogs didn't read the script,  with a swag of well manufactured goals and an unstoppable combination of flair, pace and instinctive football overwhelmed the flat-footed Magpies. 

A bruising intensity underlined the first quarter, established from the opening bounce when Magpie hard-nut Brodie Holland cleaned up the Bulldogs Brett Montgomery in one of the most ferocious hip-and-shoulders seen in many years.

Feds Want Players Named
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by Lisa, reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The Australian Federal Government has urged the AFL to review its current anti-drug policy, abandon the secret testings, and reveal the names of players caught.  Federal Minister Rod Kemp, who was one of the forces behind the push to adopt WADA' policy, said the AFL's current system of sanctions and reporting were "out of touch with community expectations". He said the government had "zero tolerance of doping in sport".  Relations between the AFL and the Federal Government became fractured when the league initially balked at signing WADA's code, but was eventually forced to do so under threat of losing government funding on multiple projects.

Kemp went on to say he believed clubs would want to know the names of players who tested positive,

Swans Win Finals Epic
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By Tim Stone reporting for the AFANA from Subiaco Oval, Perth.
The Swans have taken a decisive next step in their bid to claim their second consecutive Premiership. A one point thriller has seen Sydney beat West Coast in what has been hailed as one of the greatest Finals in recent years. Syndey earned themselves a home Preliminary Final and are now just one win away from another crack at the coveted trophy.
An enthralling battle took place between two quality teams that left nothing on the field, the lead changing 7 times from the last 7 goals before O’Loughlin was able to put the winning goal on the board in the dying minute of the game. In an era which is producing one of the most memorable rivalries for the ages, this match was a showcase for why the Swans and West Coast have joined the likes of the Brisbane Lions as the dominant teams of the 2000's. 

Demons Rise To Topple Saints
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By Barry Kennedy AFANA Reporter in Melbourne

A rare all-Victoria contest -- albeit an Elimination Final -- kick-started the 2006 AFL Finals Series at the MCG last night. Melbourne has had much pain inflicted on it at this time of the season ever since it was overrun by Essendon in the 2000 Grand Final. In the last two seasons, Melbourne had bowed out of the flag race after failing at this hurdle.  St Kilda’s long suffering supporters have seen their side progress further into September over the last two years, but have themselves been at the wrong end of two painful Preliminary Final losses, despite their star-studded line-up. So with the specter of a quick exit from the finals race looming for the loser, there were plenty of reasons for these two aspiring sides to hit the ground running. 

Ben Graham Named Jets Co-captain
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Rapid Rise for Former Cat 
 by Johnson Leung, reporting for AFANA in Melbourne

Former Geelong captain turned NFL punter Ben Graham has been named one of the six co-captains of the New York Jets.   In a vote completed by teammates, Graham was named captain of the Jets' special team alongside linebacker Matt Chatman. The other co-captains are left guard Pete Kendall and quarterback Chad Pennington on offense, and linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Shaun Ellis on defense.

According to the Newark Star-Ledger, Graham is one of the few players to ever be a captain on a professional team in two different sports. Also, it's rare in the NFL that a punter is voted a captain.  Eric Mangini, in his first year as Jets head coach, says he is looking into whether that makes him the first Australian to hold such a position. 

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AFL Standings

 W  L  D %   Pts
Crows  15  6  1  135.98  62
Cats  15  6  1 117.38  62
Tigers  15  7  0  118.29  60
Giants  14  6  2  114.85  60

Full AFL Ladder (standings)

2017 JLT Challenge Schedule and results

2017 AFL Draw (schedule or fixture)

2017 AFLW Draw (women's schedule or fixture)

2017 AFLW Standings (women's standings)

 W  L  D %   Pts
Lions Women  6  0  1  151.4  26
Crows Women  5  2  0  157.3  20
Demons Women  5  2  0  141.0  20
Blues Women  3  3  1  112.5  14

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