Team changes, rookies and the rest
The preseason draft was held on December 16, 2008. It represented the last chance for players to enter or -re-enter AFL ranks for 2009. The biggest story of the day was former Eagle Ben Cousins being picked up by the Richmond Tigers. Players and fans welcomed him with open arms and Cousins promised to repay their faith. He told a massive throng of reporters that he was clean and that his drug rehabilitation was progressing well.
Changes of all off season sorts
In early November, Shane Crawford announced his retirement. Crawford, 34, had been considering his decision for some weeks before informing Coach Alistair Clarkson and football manager Mark Evans. Crawford suffered from knee tendinitis for much of this past season, but was recently cleared by medical staff to play on in 2009 and had agreed in principle to a new contract.
In making his announcement, Crawford said he had achieved everything he had set out to do in his career and that the 2008 premiership was the highlight. He also said ending his career on such a high was the way to leave the game. He thanked the club for their support and said he was proud to have been a one-club player and would look back on his career with fond memories.