Ben McGlynn

Gone But Not Forgotten, AFL Retirements
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 by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The highly decorated, 15-year, 305-game career of Geelong champion Jimmy Bartel has come to an end with Bartel announcing his retirement during the October trade period. While Bartel said he felt he had more to give, he "understood the bigger picture" and respected the direction in which the club wanted to move.

Peers Vote Docker Fyfe Best
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

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.

Hawks Stake Premiership Claims
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Promoted as a match that was a most likely Grand Final preview, the Sydney Swans versus Hawthorn contest at the MCG in Round 18 lived up to expectations. A big crowd of 72,000 saw a pulsating game of Aussie Rules Football, with both teams showing they have what it takes to lift the Premiership Cup in September.

Lance “Buddy” Franklin - the ex-Hawthorn gun who went north to Sydney on a reported nine year ten million dollar deal - was being reminded of his defection as many of the Hawk supporters let out a mighty “boo” every time he touched the football. In the first quarter, there was a lot of booing as Franklin started the game in fine form, setting up two goals and marking with authority. At the opposite end of the MCG, 200-gamer Jarryd Roughead was providing a strong target for the Hawks. Roughead had the first goal on the board within a minute of the opening siren, before Franklin replied after a couple of misses. Hawthorn had more scoring chances in an uncompromising first quarter. However their accuracy deserted them as they took a four point lead into quarter time that could have been greater given the balance of play.

Swans In Finals Masterclass
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 Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from AAMI Stadium, Australia

Adelaide was abuzz all week as the hometown Crows returned to the Finals. 2011 was a season to forget so with a young, exciting team that sat second on the ladder at the completion of the minor round, Crows' fans around town saw a chance for some genuine success. The Swans were heading to Adelaide having spent most of the latter part of the season sitting in top spot but a drop down to third gave them the tough task of starting their Finals campaign on the road.

Jarrad McVeigh won the toss for Sydney and chose to kick

Round 20 Milestones
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Damien Hardwick (RICH) qualified for AFL Life Membership in Round 20 with his 300th league game as a player and coach. He debuted with Essendon in 1994 and played 153 games with the Bombers before crossing to Port Adelaide where he played 54 games. Hardwick has the distinction of being a Premiership player with both clubs, won the Best and Fairest at Essendon in 1998 and was named All-Australian in 2000. He played 13 pre-season games with Essendon and five with Port, four International Rules games, and has coached Richmond in 63 games.

Round 14 Milestones
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Peter (241 games) and Shaun (210) Burgoyne became the 12th pair of brothers in League history to reach a combined total of 450 games. The leaders are: Madden (710 games - Simon 378, Justin 332), Nankervis (578 - Ian 325, Bruce 253), Coventry (533 - Syd 227, Gordon 306), Richardson (518 - Wayne 277, Max 241), Wakelin (513 - Darryl 252, Shane 261), Rocca (499 - Saverio 257, Anthony 242), Matthews (487 - Leigh 332, Kelvin 155), Cornes (483 - Chad 248, Kane 235), Hocking (473 - Stephen199, Garry 274), Collier (470 - Harry 253, Albert 217), Voss (459 - Michael 289, Brett 170), and the Burgoynes.

Tigers Earn Their Stripes
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

A solid crowd of 40,000 plus pushed through the turnstiles of the MCG to witness the Round 7 twilight clash between the Richmond Tigers and the Sydney Swans. The Richmond faithful, feeling good after a win against Port Adelaide, were once again pinning their hopes on victory against a Top Four contender, this time in the guise of the ultra-consistent Sydney. The Swans on the other hand were looking to rebound after a shock home loss to the Adelaide Crows after previously being undefeated.

Sydney Slides Home
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Late July and early August is when teams either make or break their seasons. Fremantle had been losing consistently over the last few weeks with the loss of top line players to injury proving telling. Sydney hadn’t fared much better and a win in this contest would consolidate their top eight position and put pressure on Fremantle for a home ground Final.

Round 20 Tribunal
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TRIBUNAL
Paul Chapman (GEEL), striking Bulldog Liam Picken: assessed as intentional conduct (three points), low impact (one point), and body contact (one point), equaling five activation points, a Level Two offense, 125 demerits, and a one game suspension.

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