Demon champion Nathan Jones announced his retirement less than two weeks before the Grand Final. He informed his teammates via Zoom after leaving the club's hub in Perth to return home to be by his wife's side as she gave birth to twins. He flew out Saturday and made it just hours before she gave birth. Jones, 33, has not played a senior game since Round 14. He was an unused sub for Round 15 but was not recalled since. With West Australia's tight border restrictions, it was unlikely he would be allowed back across the border for the Grand Final. His career finishes with 101 wins, 198 defeats, and three draws. He kicked 141 goals in his 302 games. He was a Rising Star nominee in 2006 and 2007 and won the club best and fairest 2012, 2013, and 2014. He was co-captain in 2014 and 2017-19 and captain in 2015 and 2016.
It was a slow starting but fast finishing trade period between October 7 and October 14. The first week was relatively slow with only a dozen or so trades, but the last day was a frenzy with everyone trying to get deals done before the 7:30 PM AEST cut off time. St Kilda was the most active, reaping a bonanza of talent at the expense of draft picks. In the summary, "on-traded" draft selections means a club traded a selection they previously received from another club. All clubs are required to submit "list lodgements" - a current roster of their players by the end of October. This is the first of several they are required to submit to the AFL before the start of the next season. The next listing will be due after the national draft and the final list will be due after the pre-season and rookie drafts.
RICHMOND / GOLD COAST
The bye rounds are over, and as we head into round fifteen the battle for the coveted top four spots and the race for the finals is well and truly on. Geelong moves to top spot on the AFANA AFL Power Poll despite dropping a game on the road to an impressive Port Adelaide, while Collingwood continues to win despite not being at its best in recent weeks.
The big movers are the Adelaide Crows, moving from 8th to 5th on the back of a three game winning streak while Fremantle and Port continue to look the most likely to take a spot in the final eight unless Richmond can end its free fall down the AFL ladder.
by Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia
1. Western Bulldogs (Last Week - 1)
The Bulldogs retain top spot on the AFANA Power Poll after a stirring win over a gallant Sydney Swans. Marcus Bontempelli and Luke Dalhaus were once again magnificent for the Bulldogs who are showing no signs of a premiership hangover.
2. Adelaide Crows (2)
Another big tick for the Crows who came from behind to beat Hawthorn for the first time since 2011. Despite losing tall forward Josh Jenkins early, the Crows were simply too slick for a Hawthorn outfit that is yet to hit their straps in 2017.
On a big night for football in Adelaide - as the revamped Adelaide Oval hosted its first Crows night game mid-week - the biggest question was “now that they’ve built it, will they come?” "Yes" was the resounding answer as a mixture of Adelaide and Collingwood fans flooded into the stadium to create an atmosphere not seen for a long time at an AFL game in South Australia. Also adding to the interest factor in the game was Crows' cult figure Taylor Walker, making his return to AFL action after a 12 month layoff due to a severe knee injury.
As hordes of Adelaide football supporters made their way into the city, the realization was setting in that the Crows were finally going to make Adelaide Oval their home ground. The iconic sporting venue - which is known worldwide as a picturesque cricket venue - has been redeveloped to house over 50,000 fans while still retaining its old school charm, including the manually run scoreboard that was first used back on 3rd November, 1911. Although both Adelaide and Port Adelaide opened the ground last week, it was Port that was the home side on that occasion and a sea of black and teal took over the stands as the Power fans enjoyed their first taste of their new surrounds. Round Three action saw Brenton Sanderson and the Crows with a home fixture and it was their turn to put on a show in front of a sea of red, blue and gold fans.
Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth
Fremantle tuned up its Finals' aspirations with a comfortable win over the Adelaide Crows on a wet, windy evening in the west. It was a strange game, often reduced to periods of tedium as neither side lit up the scoreboard. Fremantle because they had a record low number of forward fifty entries and Adelaide because they couldn’t kick straight.
Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA
Richmond headed to the MCG looking to climb back into the Top Eight after their Round 11 bye. The Adelaide Crows, fresh off a 77 point belting at the hands of a rampaging Sydney Swans, were keen to make amends and show the fans they were still in the hunt for a Finals berth. In the past Adelaide has had the wood over the Tigers winning six of their past eight encounters. However the return of young guns Brandon Ellis and Reece Conca had the bookmakers installing Richmond as the favorites to win over a determined Adelaide outfit.
Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from Adelaide, Australia
After a heart breaking after the siren loss to the West Coast Eagles last round, the North Melbourne Kangaroos were hoping that a home game, back under the roof at Etihad Stadium, against the traveling Adelaide Crows might be enough to get the confidence back up for a push towards the Top Eight. An indifferent start to the season had the Crows in a very similar position on the Ladder so many of the experts predicted a tight tussle with much on the line for both sides. And a tight tussle was certainly what played out with many touting this contest as the game of the season thus far.