At the end of Round 17, three more players announced their retirements- Hawks Ben Stratton and Paul Puopolo and Carlton defender Kade Simpson. Both Stratton and "Poppy" were selected as mature-age recruits in the 2009 and 2010 drafts respectively. Both quickly cemented their positions in the side and were part of the club/s incredible run of success, Stratton as a tough and clever defender, Puopolo as a reliable forward who could apply plenty of pressure on opposition defenders. Stratton, 31, assumed the captaincy in 2019 when Jarryd Roughead retired at the end of 2019.
Melbourne rolled to a 29-point win over a hapless Geelong on the back of a scintillating first quarter at the MCG on Friday night. Long suffering Demons fans celebrated wildly as their team broke a decade long finals drought and the party might not stop here. The dominant performance would have resulted in a much larger winning margin had the Demon forwards brought their kicking boots, with Melbourne managing just 1 goal, 10 behinds in two quarters of football to give Geelong a sniff of a comeback after halftime.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Most Games, Pair of Brothers, Burgoyne family: Hawk Shaun Burgoyne played his 219th game in the Qualifying Final against Collingwood. This, combined with brother Peter's 240 games, puts the duo equal with Michael and Brett Voss in 11th place on the League's list of most games by two brothers. The leaders are Madden, 710 games (Simon 378 and Justin 332), Nankervis, 578 (Ian 325 and Bruce 253), Coventry, 533 (Syd 227 and Gordon 306), Richardson, 518 (Wayne 277 and Max 241), Wakelin, 513