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Ed Curnow Retires and Dockers Delist Duo

Curnow tackles (file photo)

Carlton's Ed Curnow announced he would retire when Carlton's season ends and Fremantle delisted veteran pair Travis Colyer and Nathan Wilson. Curnow, 33, was originally rookie listed by Adelaide, but languished in the SANFL for several seasons before being delisted. The Blues drafted him in 2010 and he has played 221 games through Round 23. A reliable tagger and strong ball winner.

ED CURNOW

Coach Michael Voss said, "Footy clubs are built around good people like Ed Curnow. Ed is highly regarded within these four walls, has held a special place in Carlton hearts for over a decade, and deservingly so. He is someone that gives his all every game, won't rest until he's won that contest, with a hunger and desire to finish every game as strong as he started ... He's been here through the tough times, put his body through a lot but the club will forever be a better place for having Ed Curnow as an integral part of it. Ed Curnow is a Carlton person, and the Curnows are a Carlton family. It's been a privilege to coach Ed in his final years at the Blues."

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Port Power Over Dockers

Powell-Pepper handballs (file photo)

The Port Adelaide Power kept a top two finish in their sights as they overcame a determined Fremantle Dockers, to score a confidence boosting win on the road. It was the first time the Power had won at Optus Stadium and they will look to maintain their momentum by entering the finals with three consecutive wins. The Dockers tried hard but were let down at times with sloppy errors in the midfield and forward line, as they trial a group of young players before their disappointing season finishes.

The Dockers started strongly by making fifteen forward entries to seven in the first quarter which was based on them winning more clearances and contested possessions than Port Adelaide. Early rewards came when Michael Frederick and Luke Jackson had scored a goal each for Fremantle by the nine minute mark. The Dockers applied elite pressure on the Power in attack and in the midfield, inhibiting Port's opportunities to move the ball. However, a perfect centering kick from Todd Marshall to Sam Powell-Pepper who marked (caught the ball) and kicked accurately from a set shot, opened Port's account at the nineteen-minute mark. Port then lifted their intensity. After a boundary throw-in in attack, Zac Butters snapped a clever goal over his shoulder to bring the scores level.

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Dockers Demolish Insipid Eagles

Schultz wins medal (file picture)

The Fremantle Dockers dominated the West Coast Eagles to give the Eagles their worst thrashing in a Western Derby. In a year where the Eagles have already run up a number of "worsts", they suffered their fifth defeat by more than 100 points. The Dockers, on on the other hand, continued with their strong end-of-year form, in a season which would be rated as a disappointment for the young team. Despite having a couple of late withdrawals due to illness the Eagles started strongly and had made eleven forward entries to their oppositions two by the nineteen-minute mark of the first quarter. After five minutes of early play where defenses held sway, Josh Rotham kicked long to Oscar Allen who took a well-judged mark (catch) against Alex Pearce in the goal square. Allen's goal inspired West Coast and three minutes later Tim Kelly received a handpass to kick on the run from forty-six metres to have the Eagles thirteen points up. The Eagles continued to win clearances and dominate the first quarter, but didn't get value for the forward entries.

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Lions Survive in a Thriller

Neale and Serong (file photo)

The Brisbane Lions triumphed in a tight and enthralling game against the Fremantle Dockers, where the lead changed hands ten times. The Lions were fighting for a shot at the top two position after losing two of their past three matches. The win keeps them in the frame for two valuable home finals. The Dockers had the slimmest of mathematical chances of making the top eight and played with confidence after their victory in Geelong last week. It was a game where both teams played a similar game style: pressure around the ball and either careful buildups in attack, or quick transferences from defence to attack. The difference was Brisbane had an edge in the air, taking more marks (catches) than the Dockers, and the Dockers used handball and pace to run the ball into attack.

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Dockers Stop Cats Run

Pearce marks (file photo)

The Fremantle Dockers stunned the Geelong Cats with an upset victory at the Cattery. The Cats started as clear favorites in the match but were caught by the intensity of the Dockers' attack on the ball. The reigning premiers were on a path to the finals but hit a significant road bump on the day that coach Chris Scott set the record for the number of games as a Geelong coach.  Although visiting teams rarely win on the narrow ground at GMHBA Stadium, it is the third time in the last six visits that the Dockers have won. The Cats kicked with a breeze that should have offered a three goal advantage in the first quarter but struggled to break free from the pressure the Dockers applied on the ball. The Cats locked the ball in their forward line for long periods but couldn't convert.

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Swans Still in the Race

Parker Kicks (file photo)

The Sydney Swans kept their finals flame flickering with a victory over the Fremantle Dockers at Optus Stadium. The game was won by their stronger bodied midfielders setting up a four goal lead in the first quarter, which the Dockers couldn't to bridge. The Dockers fielded with the most inexperienced team in the competition, with only five players who have played more than 100 games. In total games played, the Sydney team had more than two thousand more games of experience and it was their experienced players who did what needed to be done to keep the Dockers from getting back into the game.

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Carlton Crush Disappointing Dockers

McGovern spoils (Woodley/AFANA)

The Carlton Blues crushed the Fremantle Dockers at Optus Stadium to move within one win of the top eight. The Carlton victory was emphatic. Their bigger more experienced players pressured the young Dockers all over the ground, causing multiple turnovers. The Blues were dominated in the ruck by the Dockers big man, Sean Darcy, but they won more clearances and were much cleaner with their use of the ball. Carlton got numbers to the ball and won contested possessions 155 to 135, with their twin tower forwards, Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow, sharing 24 marks (catches) and booting three goals each. The inexperienced Docker forwards were out-hustled by Jacob Weitering, Nic Newman and Mitch McGovern, who either intercepted or spoilt Jye Amiss and Josh Treacy's attempts to mark . The Blues dominated the midfield battle and set up sixty forward entries, with former Docker Adam Cerra completing eleven, whilst the home team struggled to get clean entries due to the pressure applied by the Blues' midfielders.

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Dockers Damage Bombers' Belief

Jackson & Henry celebrate (file photo)

The Fremantle Dockers bounced back from a poor display against the GWS Giants to end the Essendon Bombers run of four consecutive victories. The Dockers' return to winning form started slowly with Essendon leading for most of the first quarter. The Bombers started well by winning contested possessions and out-running the Dockers to create loose players. After four minutes of play the visitors had booted two goals. The first, courtesy of a clever chip kick out of a pack by Zach Merrett, was marked (caught) by Kyle Langford. Langford's set shot was accurate. Merrett was involved two minutes later when he intercepted a Docker handball to chip to Darcy Parish, who handballed to Jye Caldwell who slotted a running goal from just thirty meters. After an initial shock, the Dockers settled and were more competitive around the ball. Despite the pressure, the visitors still won more contested possessions but the Dockers were well served by their defenders. A free kick to Sam Switkowski for a high tackle resulted in the home team's first goal after eleven minutes of play.

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2023 Midseason Rookie Draft

Narkle Breaks a Tackle (file photo)

The mid-season draft was held at the end of May with clubs allowed to fill out their lists provided they had open spots available. Often these are players who were either overlooked in the regular drafts or they are "mature-age" players who perhaps weren't ready to be drafted at 18 or 19 years old.

The number of the pick precedes the name of the player selected and the current club of the player follows their name. Two rounds were held but not all clubs had picks in either round. Carlton, Gold Coast, Adelaide, St Kilda, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Collingwood didn’t participate in the draft as they didn’t have any available list places. GWS had selections 5 and 14 but passed on both. Clubs are listed in alphabetic order.

ESSENDON

(9) JAIDEN HUNTER (Perth, WAFL), 21, 190cm (6'1"), 93kg (204 lbs), tall forward
Has been eligible for the draft for the past few years with several clubs showing interest. Came back from a recent injury to kick 11 goals in his past three games

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Docker Pressure Cooks Geelong

Toohey Caught (Woodley/AFANA)

The Fremantle Dockers have re-energized their season with their third consecutive victory to sit just outside of the top eight. The Geelong Cats were beaten by the Richmond Tigers last week and were determined to return to their best. However, with a number of players unavailable through injury, the Cats found the pressure on the ball and the run of the Fremantle Dockers too much to handle. With the afternoon temperature nudging 79 °F, the big Cats lacked the fitness and stamina to stay with the young Dockers.

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