Brisbane Lions

Young Bomber Named Rookie Of The Year
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Not since 2002, when Nick Riewoldt (drafted in 2000) won the Rising Star Award*, has a Number One draft pick been the winner. Now, Essendon's prized frist selection from 2016 joins Riewoldt in the unique double. He was named and presented with the award on Sept. 1 after an impressive debut season. McGrath, 19, earned his nomination in Round Four against Adelaide. He had 28 disposals, laid four tackles and had five scoring involvements. McGrath becomes the second Essendon player to win the award, following Dyson Heppell's win in 2011.

Predatory Eagles Slay Young Lions
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth.

The West Coast Eagles climbed back into the top eight by sweeping aside the Brisbane Lions in a one-sided game. The Lions had several of their best young players home in Queensland as the visitors put in a brave performance, but were overrun by the more polished and more experienced home team.

The Lions began brightly with several forward-half intercepts and pushes into the attacking arc.

Lachie Whitfield, Officials Suspended
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by Lisa Albergo reporting ofr AFANA from Chicago 

GWS midfielder Lachie Whitfield has been suspended for six months for breaching AFL rules and "conduct unbecoming or prejudicial to the interests of the AFL". It all stems back to 2015 when club officials Graeme Allan and Craig Lambert arranged for Whitfield to spend several nights at Craig Lambert's house, supposedly to hide out from drug testers for fear he would fail the test. At the time, Whitfield was only 19 and Lambert was employed as the welfare officer. Also, at the time, Whitfield's then girlfriend notified the club that Whitfield was taking drugs.

Expansion Teams: Finals Success and Failure
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Up until 1986, there were only 12 teams in the then VFL (the name changed in 1990), comprising the original teams from 1896 as well as Hawthorn, Richmond, Footscray (now Western Bulldogs) and North Melbourne being admitted later (see our Footy FAQ for more history). West Coast v Sydney, Grand Final 2005, photo copyright AFANA.All these teams were based in Victoria, seven in Melbourne and the Cats in Geelong (just an hour's drive west of Melbourne). In 1987, the league decided to expand their horizons in an effort to spread the game.

AFL Inducts Six Into Hall of Fame
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

On Tuesday June 14th, the AFL Hall of Fame welcomed its six newest inductees. The 2016 class included a wonderful mix of stars of the modern era plus those from South Australian and Western Australian football, as well as the emotional induction of the late and great Maurice Rioli, revered by supporters of both his “home” club South Fremantle and his adopted VFL club in Richmond.

Here is the rundown on the six inductees:

Concussion Claims Another Career
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Young and promising Brisbane defender Justin Clarke has announced his retirement due to a concussion he suffered during a training drill in January. He has been sidelined since the injury. In a media statement, Clarke said he had consulted several specialists who told him he could no longer play contact sports. Any sort of head knock, no matter how minor, could cause symptoms to recur, lengthen recovery time, and possibly cause permanent damage. He has had memory issues and has not been able to exercise in any way since the injury. However, the specialists did tell him this all will pass and he will recover in time.

Relentless Eagles Send Message East
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by Chris Kowald, reporting for AFANA from Perth, Australia

Natanui Wins the First Bounce in the Round 1 Eagles vs Lions match in Australian Football. Photo  by David Woodley for AFANAWest Coast Eagles sent a powerful message east. From the first bounce, when Nick Naitanui flew over opposing ruckman, Stefan Martin, it was clear that the Eagles would not be dispensing Easter cheer. Brisbane though were not to be denied, Tom Rockliff was back to his best, as he showed his young charges how to draw first blood, with a goal at the three–minute mark. The Eagles responded a minute later by kicking long into the forward line.

Coaching Appointments
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Former West Coast premiership player Don Pyke is the new Adelaide coach. Pyke, 46, played 132 games for the Eagles between 1989 and 1996. He played in the 1992 and 1994 Premierships and won the Eagles' Best and Fairest award in 1993. His career was cut short due to a shoulder injury but he did play for Claremont in the WAFL after his AFL retirement. Pyke began his coaching career at Claremont and was there for two years before becoming an assistant with the Eagles 2001-2004. He then became an assistant with the Crows under Neil Craig 2005-06 before making a move to working in the oil and gas industry and serving as a coaching consultant to Claremont and Fremantle. He returned to West Coast as an assistant in 2014.

Player Moves Around AFL
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

After the Round 23 game, Gold Coast's Harley Bennell was involved in an undisclosed incident which saw him issued with a "public nuisance" notice.Harley Bennell looks upfield for a teammate during a Round 7, 2015 match. Photo by David Woodley for AFANA. It was the final straw for the Suns who have announced that he will be traded. Bennell has had a number of off-field issues, not the least of which was the publication of photographs of him apparently indulging in illicit drugs. The pictures were from a 2013 trip but were only published in the newspapers in June this year.

After this latest incident, a series of meetings were held between club officials, coaching staff, the leadership group and Bennell's management. CEO Travis Auld issued a statement confirming the decision to dump Bennell was unanimous.

Thanks For The Memories
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

St Kilda forward Adam Schneider announced that the Round 22 game against Sydney would be his last. Schneider was originally drafted by Sydney and played 98 games and kicked 99 goals for the Swans 2003-2007 as a small forward and occasional midfielder. Collingwood player Martin Clarke races Adam Schneider to the ball. Round 21, 2007. Image by Derrick den Hollander for AFANA.He played in the Swans' 2005 Premiership and the losing Grand Final in 2006. He was traded to St Kilda at the end of 2007 along with teammate Sean Demptster. Schneider played a total of 228 games and kicked 259 goals. He played in the 2009 losing Grand Final side as well as both Grand Finals in 2010. Schneider had struggled with injuries in the past three seasons and was delisted at the end of 2014. The Saints added him to the rookie list for the 2015 season, but he was elevated back to the senior list ahead of Round One.

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