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Dockers Fall Over Finish Line

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

Ruck Action


A couple of last minute goals to Lachie Neale and Hayden Ballantyne saw the Fremantle Dockers sneak a win over Port Adelaide Power in their Round 1 clash at Domain (formerly Patersons) Stadium in Perth. Neale’s goal was a shot on the run from 50 meters out in the last minutes of the game, while Ballantyne played on from a match winning tackle by Zac Clarke who won a free kick after chasing down Jasper Pittard in the forward 50 metre zone. A four goal contribution by Matthew Pavlich, two of which were at critical times in the final quarter, also helped the Dockers to a stirring win.
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Peers Vote Docker Fyfe Best

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Fremantle midfielder Nat Fyfe has won the Leigh Matthews Trophy as the AFL Players' Association MVP. The award is decided with players from all clubs nominating three teammates. Each club then tallies the votes for their players. Out of that, the field is narrowed to 54 players. Players then award votes on a 3-2-1 basis for the 54 nominees. Fyfe just edged out Gary Ablett in one of the closest counts in the history of the award.

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Dockers Pinch Thriller

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Fremantle picked a win out of the pocket of Carlton at Patersons Stadium in their Round 19 clash. Pre-game defiant Blues' coach Mick Malthouse was adamant that they weren’t in Perth to “just lay down”. Although their 2014 season has been less than impressive, Carlton had won six out of their past nine encounters in Perth so they had some reason to feel confident. The Dockers brought their "A Team" to the encounter after an embarrassing humiliation in their last game against St Kilda and the Dockers needed every man as the match went down to the last 40 seconds to decide the winner.

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Saints Lift For Lenny

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Perth, Western Australia

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.
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Fremantle Celebrates With Pav

Rick Browner reporting from Patersons Stadium for AFANA

Baby Pav
  
Pavs Big Day

Matthew Pavlich celebrated his 300th game in fine style against Geelong and the Dockers joined the party defeating the Cats by five goals. Patersons Stadium in Perth was bursting at the seams as the Freo faithful packed in to cheer Pavlich on his special day. Football and fairy tales are rarely mentioned in the same sentence, but this game was the exception. The Dockers have been a thorn in the Cats’ side for several years and the Round 9 clash proved more of the same as the Dockers got out to a game winning lead in the first quarter.

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Dockers Burn Off Bombers

Bombers Shot Down

Rick Browner reporting from Patersons Stadium, Perth for AFANA

Essendon players withered on the vine in the stifling 90-degree plus Perth heat and were buried under a burst of third quarter brilliance by the Fremantle Dockers to be overrun by 53 points in their Round 4 clash. Slow and steady was the mantra for both teams during the first part of the match as the strength-sapping temperatures made sustained running almost impossible. The Bombers were patient with the ball and racked up possessions with accurate kicking to teammates in the clear. It was an arm wrestle with the Dockers getting the first couple of goals on the board through Ryan Crowley and Danyle Pearce. Jobe Watson and Joe Daniher evened it up with goals for Essendon, with Watson’s goal surely in contention for goal of the year.
Clarke Flies
He booted it from a very difficult angle deep in the pocket just when a Captain’s goal was needed.





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Outrage Over Essendon Players Named

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Just before the AFL held its season launch activities, Melbourne newspaper The Herald Sun released the names of 14 Essendon players involved in the supplements scandal in 2013. Two of those players are now with other clubs and two others no longer play AFL. Both Essendon and the AFLPA slammed the report. AFLPA VP Matthew Pavlich said all the club captains felt the naming of players fell short of the standards of respect and decency which "should characterize player-media relationships."

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Hawks Reigning Champions

by Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia

Grand Finals come but once a season and the week that precedes them is a bonanza for supporters and commentators alike all around Australia. With the Fremantle Dockers making their first Grand Final appearance in their 19 year history, Western Australia - and particularly the City of Fremantle - was in a state of magnificent anticipation. The streets of "Freo" were lined with purple and thousands of Dockers’ fans made the trek across the Nullabor Desert for the game. There were not enough seats on planes so coaches, buses and cars full of purple clad supporters headed east. It was reported that some supporters even took flights via Adelaide and then hired cars to drive to the Melbourne Cricket Ground while some stalwarts were said to have flown to Melbourne via Asia. Such was the euphoria on the Dockers’ side that many pundits were even tipping a Fremantle Premiership. The Hawthorn club went about its business somewhat quietly during the week, allowing the swirl of excitement and sea of purple surrounding the Dockers to dominate the media but not their team psyche, as they prepared to avenge the disappointment of their 2012 defeat.

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Preliminary Pounding

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium Perth

Sydney limped across to Perth for the Preliminary Final against the Fremantle Dockers, injury ravaged and tired from their Semi Final encounter against Carlton. Fremantle players were fresh after a week off and, playing on their home ground in front of more than 43,000 people, were expected to outlast their opponents and secure a place in the Grand Final.

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Grand Final Milestones

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA

Shaun Burgoyne (HAW, traded from PA) became the 29th player in League history to win a Premiership with two different clubs after the Hawks won the Grand Final. Most recent players to reach this milestone are Darren Jolly (SYD and COL), Stuart Dew (PA and HAW), Cameron Mooney (NM and GEEL), Jason Ball (WCE and SYD), Byron Pickett (NM and PA), Damian Hardwick (ESS and PA), Gavin Wanganeen (ESS and PA), Martin Pike (NM and BRIS) and Blake Caracella (ESS and BRIS).

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