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Young Bomber Named Rookie Of The Year

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.

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Two More Bow Out

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago 

Just ahead of Round 23, out of favor Docker defender Garrick Ibbotson and veteran Bomber midfielder Brent Stanton both announced their retirement.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll Round 18

By Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

The big winners in Round 18 were the Adelaide Crows and the Sydney Swans. The Crows win over second placed Geelong in Adelaide gives them a six-point buffer at the head of the table, providing a great chance at finishing in first at the end of the minor round with the bonus of home finals. For the Swans, their big win over the Saints has them sitting 6th as the best performed team in the last two months.

The big loser over the weekend was the West Coast Eagles, whose final quarter capitulation against an undermanned Collingwood dropped them out of the top eight, leaving them with an uphill battle ahead to work their way back into finals contention.

1.    Adelaide Crows (Last time - 1)
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Round 2 AFANA AFL Power Poll

AFANA AFL POWER POLL (Round 2)
by Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia

1.    Western Bulldogs (Last Week - 1)
The Bulldogs retain top spot on the AFANA Power Poll after a stirring win over a gallant Sydney Swans. Marcus Bontempelli and Luke Dalhaus were once again magnificent for the Bulldogs who are showing no signs of a premiership hangover.

2.    Adelaide Crows (2)
Another big tick for the Crows who came from behind to beat Hawthorn for the first time since 2011. Despite losing tall forward Josh Jenkins early, the Crows were simply too slick for a Hawthorn outfit that is yet to hit their straps in 2017.
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American Cox Debuts in Anzac Day Win

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick Reporting for AFANA

Mason Cox had not heard of Australian Rules Football just two years ago. Today, he debuted for arguably the biggest team in the AFL – Collingwood – in front of more than 85,000 fans on a day that holds huge importance on the Australian and New Zealand calendar: ANZAC Day (the equivalent of Memorial Day).Mason Cox goes for the ball. Photo by Kim Densham for AFANA.

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Coaching Appointments

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Former West Coast premiership player Don Pyke is the new Adelaide coach. Pyke, 46, played 132 games for the Eagles between 1989 and 1996. He played in the 1992 and 1994 Premierships and won the Eagles' Best and Fairest award in 1993. His career was cut short due to a shoulder injury but he did play for Claremont in the WAFL after his AFL retirement. Pyke began his coaching career at Claremont and was there for two years before becoming an assistant with the Eagles 2001-2004. He then became an assistant with the Crows under Neil Craig 2005-06 before making a move to working in the oil and gas industry and serving as a coaching consultant to Claremont and Fremantle. He returned to West Coast as an assistant in 2014.

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Crows Appoint Camporeale as Interim Coach

by Johnson Leung reporting for AFANA in Melbourne

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Adelaide has appointed its midfield coach Scott Camporeale as interim Senior Coach for the rest of 2015 season on Monday, replacing the late Phil Walsh. Former West Coast premiership coach John Worsfold also joins the club in the newly created position as Director of Coaching on a short-term contract. The two men will be working together for the first time since 2001 when Camporeale was in the middle of his playing career at Carlton where Worsfold was an assistant coach at the time. Camporeale played 233 games for the Blues from 1995 to 2005 (he was part of the club's 1995 Premiership side) and 19 games for Essendon from 2006 to 2007. He worked as the Bombers' assistant coach for the next four years before he joined the Crows as Midfield Coach in 2010.
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Knee Injury Ends Judd Career

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Six minutes into the first quarter at Carlton's Round 10 match against Adelaide, Chris Judd landed awkwardly and his knee buckled. Later, the worst was confirmed. Judd had ruptured his ACL. When asked by a reporter later that night if it was probably the end, Judd replied "Yep". Two days later, Judd confirmed that he was retiring. Judd admitted that it wasn't easy to walk away from football, calling it his life's passion. Even he knew it was the end when the injury was confirmed. He described his career as "... an incredible fortunate journey" from which he will take many fond memories.

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Tribunal Announces Essendon Decision

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

THE VERDICT IS IN - NOT GUILTY
The saga that has lasted over two years is finally over with the Anti-Doping Tribunal clearing all 34 players involved in the supplements program.The verdict was unanimous and in a statement Tribunal Chairman David Jones spelled out the reasons:

  • The Tribunal was comfortably satisfied that the substance Thymosin Beta-4 was at the relevant time a prohibited substance under the Code.
  • The Tribunal was not comfortably satisfied that any player was administered Thymosin Beta-4.
  • The Tribunal was not comfortably satisfied that any player violated clause 11.2 of the Anti-Doping Code.

The statement also said that a decision regarding "a former Essendon support person" (read: Stephen Dank) would be made at a later date. Whether or not the full 133-page decision document or part of it will be made public is left up to the players, the club and their lawyers. Leaked copies have apparently reached some in the media. In summary, the panel conceded there was insufficient evidence against the players to establish that they had taken TB-4 and it could not be established that the substance they were injected with was in fact, TB-4. The credibility of the key individuals involved was so low and the chain of custody and record keeping so suspect, exactly what was injected could not be proven.

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