During the week preceding the Preliminary Final, Mark Thompson uncharacteristically focused on Collingwood in a rare display of overt mind games. Mick Malthouse let the Collingwood players do the talking in the media to refute claims of 'hating' Geelong. Before the game, Cats' fans were nervous while Pies' fans were excited in a fearful sort of way.
After the first round of the Finals was completed, the AFL Players Association held their annual awards ceremony. Unlike other League awards, the Leigh Matthews Trophy winner is nominated and voted for by his peers.