In early October, the AFL announced four new members for AFL life membership. The new members are Neil Craig, Peggy O'Neal, Kevin Sheehan, and Greg Swann for their respective roles within the game. The formal induction will take place next year during the 2024 season launch. Six players who reached 300 games also qualify by rule. They are: Luke Breust, Dustin Martin, Luke Parker, Isaac Smith, Callan Ward, and Jack Ziebell.
North Melbourne great and former club captain Jack Ziebell announced he will retire at the end of the season. He said he could leave the game knowing he gave his all, " ... it’s always a hard decision to give up the thing you love the most, but ... I think my body will thank me for it. From the time I walked into the place I’ve felt right at home, and I’ve made some amazing lifelong friendships and connections. This is a special place and I’ll always cherish being part of the club. I’ve given everything I can ... but I think the time is right for me to pass the baton to others to take us forward. I truly believe we have the building blocks to eventually go far as a club. I think back to those finals wins in 2014 and '15 and how amazing the feeling around the club was and I know those times aren’t too far away. To our fans - you have been amazingly supportive ... I can’t thank you enough and I look forward to seeing the joy on your faces when we do turn things around ... ".
It has taken until the completion of round sixteen, but the reigning premiers are back at the top of the AFANA AFL Power Poll after thumping cross-town rivals Fremantle by 91 points on Saturday. The Eagles win coincided with Geelong going down to an improved Western Bulldogs and Collingwood being run over in the last quarter by Hawthorn on Friday night, signaling a change in not only the AFANA Power Poll but betting markets all over the country.
The Brisbane Lions announced to the rest of the competition that they are not only big improvers but a genuine threat to the top four with an away win full of merit against the fancied Greater Western Sydney Giants. Port Adelaide continued it's up and down season by crushing the favored Adelaide Crows in the "Showdown" at Adelaide Oval and the resurgent Kangaroos had another comfortable win, this time over a faltering Saint Kilda.
Round seventeen was full of upsets, great finishes and some very big injuries. The Giants resurrected their season with a win over the Tigers, the Eagles rode their big forwards to a classy win over Collingwood, and the Crows celebrated the re-signing of favorite son Rory Sloane by banking a win against the highly fancied Cats.
Biggest loser of the weekend has to go to Port Adelaide, who not only forfeited a chance at second place on the ladder by losing to an undermanned Fremantle,
By Troy Thompson reporting for AFANA, from Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.
Billy Hartung had an early chance to get a goal against his old club, opening the scoring for North Melbourne but could only manage a behind. By the end of the quarter he would be glad to be in his new colors. The opening goal of the match came from Jarrad Waite after two Hawks defenders collided in the air Frawley and Mirra, leaving Waite to clean up and drill it home.