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2017 Rookie Draft
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2017 AFL Draft
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2018 AFL Schedule Released
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by Johnson Leung reporting for AFANA from Melbourne

There was two surprises in the 2018 schedule revealed at the end of October. First surprise was that Carlton, which finished 16th at the end of 2017 season, were given four Friday night games next year, while 15th placed North Melbourne missed out on Friday night action along with Brisbane, Fremantle and Gold Coast. In the past couple of years, Friday night games were allocated to clubs which had the best on-field form in the previous season. AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan admitted it was worth a gamble to give the Blues so many Friday night games next year, because they are building a strong team and are well coached by Brendon Bolton.

More List Changes
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by Lisa Albergo reprotinf for AFANA from Chicago 

The Magpies have made list changes ahead of the draft. Defender Ben Sinclair, 26, has retired after just 63 games for health reasons. He suffered several concussions in 2016 and a serious hamstring injury in a 2017 preseason game ended his year before it began. Fellow defenders Adam Oxley and Jackson Ramsay have been delisted, but the club is committed to redrafting Oxley to their rookie list. Oxley has played 31 games for the Pies since 2012 while Ramsey, 22, has managed just 17 games in in five years due to injuries. Shin issues ended his 2015 season early while a knee reconstruction cut 2016 short.

2018 JLT Preseason Schedule Released
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by Johnson Leung reporting for AFANA in Melbourne

The AFL has released the schedule for the 2018 JLT Community Series, with several variations from previous years. One major change is that each club will only play two instead of three games during the period. Since the AFL preseason was revamped in 2014 with no ranking or overall winner, each AFL club was allocated three practice games during the period.

2018 AFLW Schedule Released
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by Johnson Leung reporting for AFANA from Melbourne

The first ever AFL game (men or women) to be held at the brand new Perth Stadium is the main feature of the 2018 AFLW schedule. Fremantle’s twilight game against Collingwood on Saturday February 10 will be played at the 60,000-capacity stadium.  The National Rugby League had announced in late August that a doubleheader would be held at Perth Stadium on March 10, 2018 (confirmed in early October to be Canterbury v Melbourne and South Sydney v New Zealand Warriors), however the AFL responded in mid September, scheduling the Dockers’ first home game in Round 2 at the new venue to make sure it will be the first football code to be played there.

More Retirements And Delistings
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago 

With the trade period concluded, clubs embarked on the next phase of list changes in the form of delistings. Two veterans, Shane Mumford and Travis Cloke also announced their retirements.

AFL Trades, Delistings and Retirements
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 by Lisa Albergo reporting from AFANA from Chicago

On October 6, the two-week free agency/trade period began, as well as several clubs delisting players to make places available for newcomers. The biggest news ahead of this period was Gary Ablett requesting a trade back to Geelong despite a year left on his contract with the Suns. Others to request trades have been: Port's Jarman Impey designating Hawthorn his preferred choice, Giants Nathan Wilson and Devon Smith, Adelaide's Jake Lever and Charlie Cameron. The Bulldogs were also seeking to trade Jake Stringer, whose inconsistent form has seen fall out of favor. Melbourne was also seeking to trade Jack Watts, who was bitterly disappointed at not being able to remain with the club.

2017 Watch AFL was quite good!
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Now that the 2017 season is over I can say the improvements made to Watch AFL online are impressive.  I enjoyed watching everything Watch AFL had to offer, especially seeing the Fox Footy channel, complete with Australian domestic commercials.  The pictures were sharper and clearer, we heard audio in stereo for the first time. Watching live and on demand was almost trouble-free, just some very minor buffering once in a great while.  The post-production editing of games on demand was very smooth and professional looking plus we got to see the victory songs in the locker rooms after the games.  Coverage of the womens' games was great. The off or on button for seeing scores is nice.  Easy navigating the whole site.  Closed captioning would be nice.  That's one improvement that could be made.  I'm a satisfied customer and look forward to 2018.

Separate pre-game coverage on the 7 Network and Fox Footy
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Is there separate pre-game television coverage of the Grand Final, ANZAC Day, Queens Birthday, and/or Thursday and Friday evening games on the Seven Network and Fox Footy?  I'm certain these games are simulcast on both channels, with Seven being the originating channel.  But it seems I've seen pre-game coverage of Grand Finals from both channels.  I recall seeing Seven (or maybe it was Ten) pre-game programs starting with their morning breakfast program a few years ago on espn3.com.  This year everything pre-Grand Final on Watch AFL originated with Fox.