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.”
When two sides that have a history of strong contested possessions meet, you are going to have fireworks. The Dockers were ranked fifth for winning contested possessions and the Bulldogs were ranked sixth. Throw in the significance of the Len Hall match (in honor of the last Western Australian World War One Veteran); and Docker stalwart David Mundy’s 300th game and you have something special. The Bulldogs didn’t travel to Perth to lose and when the ball was up for grabs no player gave an inch.
Defender Liam Dawson has been delisted by Brisbane. Dawson, 22, played 18 games for the Lions in four years. He played only one game in the past two seasons but failed to add to that tally in 2018. Rohan Bewick, Claye Beams, Jake Barrett, Marco Paparone and Tom Bell have also been delisted while Cian Hanley has retired.
Bewick, the nephew of former Essendon 1993 and 2000 premiership player Darren, played 103 games for the Lions in eight seasons. Bewick, 28, celebrated his 100th AFL game milestone in 2017 and kicked 71 goals for the Lions throughout his career. In 2018,, he played three senior games.
As usual at this time of year, clubs whose seasons are over, begin reviewing their player lists and culling players to prepare for the national draft by opening spots on the roster in a process known as delisting. Some players decide it is time to hang up the boots while others decide they want out of where they are at. So here is the latest as the first part of a multi-part post.
North Melbourne delisted Billy Hartung, Tom Jeffries, Oscar Junker, Gordon Narrier, Daniel Nielson, and Josh Williams. Hartung was thrown a lifeline by the Kangaroos in last year's draft after being delisted by Hawthorn. The midfielder played 63 games for the Hawks 2014-17 and 13 games for Roos, with his solitary year with the club ruined by a torn hamstring in Round 14. After making their debuts in 2017,
Clubs which didn't make the post season have begun the process of releasing players they don't feel they need next season and opening spots on the roster for draftees. This is known as delisting. This is the second article in a series.
Essendon informed Brendon Goddard he would not be offered a new contract. Goddard, 33, was shocked at the decision while Coach John Worsfold admitted that it was a very tough call to make. An emotional Goddard, who has played every game this season, informed teammates ahead of the final game of the year.
Just after the conclusion of Round 18, St Kilda's Koby Stevens announced his retirement due to ongoing concussion issues. Stevens, 27, suffered a concussion - the eighth of his career - in Round One this year. He was still suffering delayed symptoms but did not inform the medical staff and played in Round Two. It wasn't until the lead up to Round Three that he finally went to the medical staff. The way he put it, "I'd just come back into the side, so I obviously didn't want to speak up and we had a pretty big game ... against North Melbourne and
The West Coast Eagles controlled the Western Bulldogs for most of the day to put in a workman-like display of winter weather football, to run our comfortable winners. The Dogs fielded a young team with the majority of players in their second or third season, and it showed, against the more experienced Eagles. Playing conditions were tricky with a strong wind blowing and some showers of rain in the second half. The game was unspectacular and dour as players dropped marks (catches), missed easy goals and kicked the ball out bounds without being touched (resulting in a free kick to the opposition) in their attempts to master the vagaries of the wind swirling around the field.
Young Bulldog Clay Smith, 25, has been forced to retire due to recurrent knee injuries. He started training on Thursday ahead of Round 16, but came off the track and reportedly was in tears as he knew it was the end. In making the announcement, said, “It was a very difficult decision ... but the right one ... given my knee hasn’t been able to fully recover. I’ve given everything to try to make ... but unfortunately it hasn’t worked out ... ". Smith went on to thank the club and medical staff for all of their support and giving him the opportunity to play AFL football and said "... “While life without footy will leave a big hole in my life, it has shaped me as a person and helped me grow and I’m thankful for that.” Being a part of the Dogs' 2016 premiership, he said despite all the setbacks, he would not change anything about the seven years he spent at the club.
Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Optus Stadium, Perth
The Fremantle Dockers continued their unbeaten streak at their new home by comprehensively dismantling the inconsistent Western Bulldogs. The Dogs had defeated the Essendon Bombers and pushed the Sydney Swans in recent weeks, showing signs that they were regaining the form that won the a premiership in 2016.