In late October, ruckman Shame Mumford announced his retirement, this time for good. Mumford, 35, retired at the end of 2017 due to a chronic foot issue and took up a role as ruck coach with GWS, where he had been playing. The foot problem was resolved and he came out of retirement in 2019. Mumford was drafted as a rookie by Geelong in 2007 and played 21 games for the Cats before being traded to Sydney at the end of 2009. He soon established himself as one of the most imposing ruckmen in the competition. He played 79 games with the Swans, including the 2012 premiership.
In mid-November, the AFL announced that club lists will be the following: 36 to 38 senior players, 4-6 Category A rookies and two Category B rookies. Rookie listed players will be allowed to play senior football without having to be elevated to the senior list. So many clubs have had to make hard calls on players, with some clubs even demoting senior players to rookie lists. Although there have already been some trades and free agent signings, the free agency period ran November 25 through November 29 with the first list lodgment due November 25 ahead of the free agency period.
Richmond destroyed a hapless Greater Western Sydney Giants to win its 12th Premiership flag in style. The 89-point margin was a true reflection on the complete dominance the Tigers had over the Giants. A tight first quarter that promised a competitive match, but Richmond was having none of that. The fierce and determined Tigers took complete control after quarter time and strangled the Giants with the manic brand of football that has made Richmond the best team in the competition over the last three seasons.
The Giants had performed brilliantly to win two tight contests on the road, but when Richmond asked the question for the third time, Greater Western Sydney simply had nothing left to give. The Tigers were hungry for the contest, determined to avenge a 2018 season where they were the best team all season but fell short after going out in the Preliminary final.
There is an old adage in footy that a team has to lose a few finals to win one. it proved true for Richmond as they lost their first ever final in 1916 - a semi-final against Carlton. They then lost their first Grand Final to Collingwood in 1919. They lost again to Carlton in 1920 in a semi-final, but since there were only four teams eligible at that time, they were still through to the Grand Final which they won. They have since gone on to win another 10 premierships.
There is a young footy player in Bendigo, a town in central Victoria about 93 miles northwest of Melbourne. Nothing unusual about that as many young teens play for local clubs. However, 13 year old Bradman Thompson ran into a problem when he went through a growth spurt and shot up to 6'4" since last year. So much so, he could not find a pair of footy socks that would fit and the club he plays for is very strict about team uniforms right down to the socks - no variations.
It is something the AFL has tried, without much success, in the past and is set to try again - a mid-season draft. The league notified the clubs that the draft would take place at the beginning of June after Round 11 and just ahead of the bye rounds. The decision to hold a mid-season draft was finalized by the AFL Commission in October following discussions by the Competition Committee, but the finer details were not determined at that time. To be eligible, players must have previously nominated for an AFL draft or been on an AFL club list.
Several players previously delisted and not selected in the recent drafts have found new homes under the newly created supplemental selection period (SSP). The SSP period runs from December 1 to March 15, allowing clubs to sign delisted or retired players as replacements for players on their lists who suffer season or career ending injuries.
The AFL has introduced a new signing period for players overlooked in the draft and rookie draft. One is the supplemental selection period (SSP) between December 1 and March 15, after all the drafts are over. The SSP is for state league players who miss out on the draft as well as players recently delisted by their clubs. To be eligible, players must have previously nominated for the national draft or previously been on an AFL club list.