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.
Round 20 milestones include:
250 games: Gary Ablett (GC)
200 games: Ted Richards (SYD), Brent Stanton (ESS)
150 games: Bryce Gibbs (CARL), Daniel Merrett (BRIS)
100 games: Dennis Armfield (CARL), Chris Mayne (FRE), Tyson Goldsack (COL)
50 games: Phil Davis (GWS), Jack Gunston (HAW)
50 club games: Danny Stanley (GC)
Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Most club games: Lenny Hayes (StK) played his 265th game in Round Two, putting him equal with Gary Colling in fifth place on the all-time club games list. Ahead of them are Robert Harvey (383 games, 1988-2008), Nathan Burke (323 games, 1987-2003), Stewart Loewe (321 games, 1986-2002), Barry Breen (300 games, 1965-82). Following them are Stephen Milne (260 games, 2001-through Round Two, 2013), Kevin Neale (256 games, 1965-77), Justin Peckett (252
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
The AFL preseason draft and rookie draft were held on December 11. Geelong and St Kilda were the only two clubs who did not participate. Player age, height, weight, draft selection and previous club are in parentheses.
Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia
It was a Grand Final for the ages. A crowd of 99,683 screaming fans was treated to an outstanding contest after a week of talk about the weather potentially spoiling the spectacle. Meteorologists were forecasting bitter cold, strong winds, heavy rain and hail so when the storm clouds held off to provide a windy but otherwise clear afternoon, there were sighs of relief around Australia. Rumors that swirled pre-game about Sydney ruckman Shane Mumford, all-Australian Ted Richards and Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge under injury clouds also appeared groundless with both teams lining up as expected. In a notable first, goal umpire Chelsea Roffey became the first female and the first Queenslander to officiate at an AFL Grand Final.
Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth
At the end of the last round, Sydney Swans found themselves on top of the AFL Ladder by what looked like a feat of legerdemain. Throughout the season the Swans have quietly crept up the table under the radar of their opponents and must now be seen as serious Grand Final contenders. The West Coast Eagles were below them in second position prior to the round but needed to win this important match up to stay in touch for the all-important double chance in the Finals.