Just a few days after Round 23, the AFL held their annual Hall of Fame ceremonies. Two current members were elevated to Legend status and there were four new inductees. West Australian Merv McIntosh and legendary SANFL coach Jack Oatey were elevated. The inductees were Nathan Burke, Chris Judd, Rob Wiley, and footy female pioneer Debbie Lee. Lee is the first woman to be inducted. Former Sydney star Adam Goodes declined to be inducted, due to his feeling that the AFL failed to support him properly when he was subjected to radial vilification in the last two years of his career. Garry McIntosh, a dual SANFL premiership player in 1982 and 1984 and games’ record-holder for the Norwood, also declined entry, saying he had not played the game for personal honors.
In the buildup to the AFLW Grand Final, Brisbane Lions coach Craig Starcevich was named AFLW coach of the year by the AFL Coaches Association (AFLCA). The voting is done by fellow coaches. Opposing Grand Final coach Matthew Clarke came in second, followed by Melbourne Coach Mick Stinear. Starcevich, who has coached the Lions since 2018, has led his team into three Grand Finals in the past five seasons with Brisbane taking out the premiership in 2021. He was rated as the best-performed coach throughout the season and the Association considered the team's performance, available resources, player talent, and team management.
In accepting the award Starcevich paid tribute to the team, "I’m absolutely chuffed and humbled ... It’s completely related to the quality of our coaching group overall, medical and fitness teams, all of our staff, and most importantly our players. It’s a direct reflection of what they’ve churned out this year."
AFLCA CEO Alistair Nicholson praised Starcevich,
The AFL has announced their annual life members and the winners of the Jack Titus Award for service to the game. The life membership awards will officially be presented at the league AGM in March. Nine players and coaches qualified automatically by reaching the total of 300 games as either player or coach, including preseason games and international rules.
The AFL recently listed the 40 nominees for the 2020 All-Australian team. Out of those, 22 were selected. The 40 nominees were:
BRISBANE: Harris Andrews (2019 AA), Hugh McCluggage, Lachie Neale (2019 AA)
CARTON: Jacob Weitering
COLLINGWOOD: Taylor Adams, Brayden Maynard, Darcy Moore, Scott Pendlebury (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2019 AA, nominated 2009, 2015, 2016, 2018)
ESSENDON: Jordan Ridley
FREMANTLE: Nat Fyfe (2014, 2015, 2019 (captain) All Australian, nominated 2011, 2013), Luke Ryan, Matt Taberner
The AFL began announcing its annual Hall of Fame inductions at the beginning of June. Due to the pandemic, the usual gala ceremony could not be held. The announcements were made gradually over a period of days and everything had to be done remotely. Brisbane premiership teammates Jonathan Brown and Simon Black were inducted, joining fellow teammates Michael Voss (2011), Jason Akermanis (2015), and Nigel Lappin (2016). Their admissions reinforce Brisbane's status as one of the most dominant teams of the early 2000s. Beloved St Kilda stalwart Lenny Hayes was another inductee. Also inducted were two greats of the Port Adelaide Magpies in the SANFL: John Albey and Greg Phillips; as well as former Eagle ruckman Dean Cox and beloved commentator Dennis Cometti. Coaching great John Kennedy Sr was elevated to legend status. Kennedy was one of the inaugural inductees as a coach in 1996. AFL boss Gil McLachlan visited Kennedy and his wife at their home to inform Kennedy of his elevation.
Just ahead of Round 12, the AFL held their annual Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Three were honored posthumously - the late Trevor Barker, the late Jim Deane and the late Ron Evans. The other three were Brad Hardie, Mick Malthouse and Ken Hunter.
St Kilda 1975-1989
In mid-January, the AFL presented their annual life memberships to eight recipients. Five players and umpires were automatic recipients for having reached 300 games during the 2018 season: Ray Chamberlain, Lance Franklin, David Mundy, Scott Pendlebury and Heath Shaw. The other three were North Melbourne Team of the Century member and former North Melbourne CEO John Dugdale for Special Service to the Game, Richmond Team of the Century member and long-time Essendon Recruiting Manager Merv Keane, and SANFL Hall of Fame Inductee and Life Member Wally Miller.
Bill Hector was awarded the Jack Titus Service Award for outstanding service to football, for his 50 years’ service to the Western Bulldogs in various roles starting as a Timekeeper in 1969 to most recently being the Club’s Senior Doorman.
There are many adjectives one could use to describe Kevin Sheedy - pioneer, ambassador, quirky, madcap, innovator, eccentric, master coach, a legend in his own time. Now the latter is official as Sheedy, already in the Hall of Fame, was elevated to Legend Status. He becomes the 28th Legend.
The 2018 AFL Hall of Fame ceremonies were held on the Tuesday evening after Round 10. Along with Sheedy's elevation, six players were inducted - Terry Wallace, David Neitz, Wayne Johnston, Matthew Scarlett, Mel Whinnen (WA) and Bernie Naylor (WA).
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Not since 2002, when Nick Riewoldt (drafted in 2000) won the Rising Star Award*, has a Number One draft pick been the winner. Now, Essendon's prized frist selection from 2016 joins Riewoldt in the unique double. He was named and presented with the award on Sept. 1 after an impressive debut season. McGrath, 19, earned his nomination in Round Four against Adelaide. He had 28 disposals, laid four tackles and had five scoring involvements. McGrath becomes the second Essendon player to win the award, following Dyson Heppell's win in 2011.