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.
The Rookie Draft was held November 27 with some delisted players getting a second chance. Some players, such as un-registered or international, were pre-nominated under AFL rules. The number in front of the name is the draft selection, the original club in parentheses, followed by age, height and weight.
Saint Kilda honored star player Lenny Hayes who announced his retirement just days before the start of Round 18 by comprehensively thrashing Premiership contenders, the Fremantle Dockers. From the outset the Saints looked sharp and committed to the ball and - for the first time this season - showed the spirit they are famous for. Despite being on the bottom of the Ladder the Saints played above themselves to win one of the most memorable games in their club’s history. No-one gave them any hope of winning before the start of the game. Fremantle coach Ross Lyon even chose this round to rest some of his marquee players and let the lesser lights gain some match experience. The move backfired as his side was left wanting at every stage of the game.
Most Games, Indigenous Player: Shaun Burgoyne (HAW) will play his 240th game in Round 22, putting him equal with his brother Peter in tenth place for most games by an Indigenous player. Ahead of them are Andrew McLeod (340 games, ADE), Adam Goodes (331 games, SYD), Michael O’Loughlin (303, SYD), Gavin Wanganeen (300 games, ESS and PA), Darryl White (268 games, BRIS), Chris Johnson (264 games, FITZ and BRIS), Peter Matera (253 games, WCE), Nicky Winmar (251 games, StK and WB) and Jeff Farmer (249 games, MELB and FRE).
100 consecutive games: Jack Riewoldt (RICH) has played 99 consecutive games for Richmond since Round 10, 2009. His current streak of consecutive games is behind only Brett Deledio (135 consecutive games for Richmond since Round 18, 2007) and Josh Kennedy (102 consecutive games for Hawthorn and the Sydney Swans since Round 14, 2009).
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Longest Gap Between Matches Against an Opponent: Kevin Sheedy (GWS) met Essendon for the first time since he was a player for Richmond in Round 17, 1978, on July 29. This gap of 33 years and 302 days is the longest gap in League history for any person between matches against one club. Fitzroy's Paddy Noonan played against Geelong in 1898, then coached North Melbourne against Geelong in 1929, a gap of 30 years, 355 days.
Over the last few seasons St Kilda has been a team that you could bank on to win just about every game they played. This season, with the loss of their key goal kicker Nick Riewoldt, they have been shaky, losing three out of eight games. The West Coast Eagles have not fared much better but they were coming off two wins in a row and playing at their home ground in front of 38,000 faithful fans. The bookmakers had the game evenly balanced and there was an air of belief in Perth that the Eagles could knock the Saints down a peg or two.