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Four Free Agents Find New Homes

Brand Tackles Opponent

It is currently the free agency period for the AFL. This period runs until November 22 and allows clubs to pick up delisted free agent players. In late October, soon after they were delisted, Wylie Buzza (Geelong to Port Adelaide), Jack Newnes (St Kilda to Carlton), Kaiden Brand (Hawthorn to Sydney), Sam Gray (Port Adelaide to Sydney), Harley Bennell (Fremantle to Melbourne) signed with new clubs.

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McCartin Out for 2020 and More Roster Changes Around the AFL

McCartin Handballs

St Kilda's Paddy McCartin has ruled himself out of the 2020 season due to ongoing concussion issues. McCartin, 23, was the number one selection in the 2014 draft but has played just 35 games since debuting in 2015. He has suffered eight concussions since 2014, the last coming in a 2019 preseason game. Former Saint Nick Dal Santo was a boundary commentator during that game. When the news broke that McCartin would not play in 2020. Dal Santo recalled the incident on SEN Radio, saying it appeared to be a "light brush" of the head, but with McCartin's history, it was enough to put him in a bad way. He has been unable to run or train since then. 

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Five More Retirements

Michael Rischitelli

Veteran Gold Coast player Michael Rischitelli has retired as has Adelaide veteran Andy Otten, Essendon's David Myers, Alex Fasolo from Carlton, and veteran umpire Shane McInerney.

Rischitelli, 33, was originally drafted by Brisbane in 2003 and played 111 games with the Lions before crossing to Gold Coast to be a member of the inaugural team in 2011. His game tally after Round 23 is 243. During his time with the Lions, he was a Rising Star nominee in 2006 and won the club's best and fairest award in 2010. Rischitelli reflected on his time in the game, “I’ve loved every moment ...it's been an incredible journey ... I’ve experienced some fantastic moments and a couple of extremely tough times, but I’ve enjoyed the ride.

General manager Jon Haines said, “Michael has been a fantastic leader for our young football club,

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Thomas and Ballantyne Not Offered Contracts

Thomas Chases Goldsack

Carlton's Dale Thomas and Fremantle's Hayden Ballantyne were both informed by their respective clubs that they would not be offered contracts for 2020. Thomas, 32, announced his retirement at the time. However, after Carlton's win over the Saints, he said he would consider offers from other clubs. He played game 100 as a Blue in Round 22 after crossing from Collingwood where he played 156 games including the 2010 premiership. He was named All-Australian in 2011.  

Thomas said he was content with his decision, “While this is something I didn’t want to hear, I was realistic that it was a chance ... I also understand the direction the club is going ... I have experienced so much in my career since walking in as a blond-haired kid ... in 2005. The opportunity to live out my boyhood dream ... I am proud of everything I’ve been able to achieve."

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Teague Gets Carlton Job

Nick Nudges Opponent

Caretaker Coach David Teague has been appointed senior coach at Carlton. Teague, 38, took over for Brendon Bolton and has won five of the past seven games through Round 21. Teague also had the support of several senior players, including co-captain Patrick Cripps. The club approached several candidates, including Hawthorn's Alistair Clarkson and Port assistant Michael Voss but opted for Teague.

Teague played 83 games for North Melbourne and Carlton between 2004 and 2007. After retiring as a player, he embarked on a successful career in coaching, serving as senior coach of the VFL side Northern Bullants from 2008 to 2010, then as an assistant at West Coast, St Kilda, and Adelaide, before returning to Carlton as the forward coach ahead of the 2018 season.

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Captain Cripps Exposes Crows

Cripps Leads His Troops

A commanding performance by the Carlton Blues’ skipper, Patrick Cripps, has left the Adelaide Crows exposed to attack from other teams, as the Crows struggle to maintain their position in the top eight. The Crows faced their D Day at the MCG, as they attempted to establish a beachhead for a finals campaign. Their attack on the Navy Blues failed and they are now hunkering down on the shoreline waiting to make their next move.

The Crows started the game with guns blazing. In the first five minutes ruckman Rory O’Brien had taken a strong mark and veteran Marc Murphy had passed to new recruit Tyson Stengle to goal; this was followed by Lachlan Murphy snapping accurately from the forward pocket to have the Crows two goals up.

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Blues Shock Dockers In Thriller

Murphy Dominates

The reborn Carlton Blues shocked the Fremantle Dockers with a thrilling last gasp victory that left the Dockers vulnerable to dropping out of the top eight. The inspired Blues’ third win moved them from the bottom of the ladder and have now won two of their last three games. The Dockers have lost their last two games against teams sitting in the bottom three on the ladder and will rue their second quarter, where they allowed Carlton to dominate the game for long periods.

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Bolt Out of the Blues

Brendon Bolton

The death knell sounded after Round 10 when Carlton president Mark LoGiudice spoke on Melbourne radio station 3AW, telling listeners that the club was committed to Senior Coach Brendon Bolton. After the Round 11 loss to Essendon,  Mark LoGiudice, CEO Cain Liddle and head of football Brad Lloyd met with Bolton and his manager late Sunday night to relay the news that Bolton's tenure was over. Bolton broke the news to the players the next morning.

Bolton will receive a one-off payout. Bolton took over as coach in August of 2015 but the team has failed to show any consistent improvement during his time. The Blues have won just one match in 2019 so Bolton's record stands at 16 wins and 61 losses. LoGiudice was on the board when the club sacked Brett Ratten and hired Mick Malthouse in 2010. Being president since 2014, he has overseen the axing of Malthouse and now Bolton.

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Two Premiership Players Call Time

Shaun Grigg vs Adelaide Crows

Just days after the conclusion of Round Eight, Tiger Shaun Grigg announced his immediate retirement. Grigg, a member of the 2017 premiership side, has been struggling with knee and hip injuries this year and had yet to play a senior game. Grigg said he had a "horrible preseason" and knew he would be unable to get himself right to play. After discussions with Coach Hardwiick and medical staff, it was up to him to make the decision whether or not he could continue, “... As much as I would love to get back out there … I just couldn’t do it.

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Blues Improve But Swans Winning Heros At Marvel Stadium

The roof was open for today’s Saturday afternoon match at Marvel Stadium.  The conditions overcast but comfortable and a good crowd rolled in through the first quarter.  For those that didn’t make it until quarter time they missed eleven goals and eight lead changes.  Quarters two and three were uneventful as the Swans slowly edged away before a final quarter that saw the Blues open up a window of opportunity but were unable to climb through it.

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