Just as Round 18 was getting underway, Carlton announced the passing of Sergio Silvagni, aged 83. He is the father of club legend Steve Silvagni - aka SOS - and the grandfather of current player Jack. Steve's son. Ben Silvagni, was also drafted in 2018 but never played a senior debut and was delisted at the end of 2020.
The AFL and Google have teamed up to launch a new program to teach the skills of Australian Football. It will give access to anyone, anywhere - whether in Australia or internationally; or whether it be a future player or just a fan who wants to have a try at the skills. It is called Footy Skills Lab and is free and accessible via computer and smartphone with an internet connection. It will allow those who might not otherwise have other resources for learning the skills of the game.
Just after round 15, Levi Greenwood announced his retirement. Greenwood, 32, has not played since suffering a concussion in Round Five. Although the symptoms have subsided, he made the decision after consulting with club doctors and other specialists. Greenwood has a history of concussions and decided to give his health priority.
Greenwood was drafted by North Melbourne in 2007 and played 74 games before being traded to Collingwood at the end of 2014. He played 86 games with the Magpies. He kicked a total of 57 goals in those 160 games.
Just as Round 15 was getting underway, the Adelaide Crows announced four new inductees into the club's Hall of Fame. The inductees were inaugural captain Chris McDermott, dual premiership captain Mark Bickley and premiership players Tyson Edwards and Nigel Smart. The gala was held at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre with 750 guests attending. Many of those were current players from the men's and women's teams.
The club set up the Hall of Fame in 2015. Inaugural inductees were former chairmen Bill Hammond and Bob Sanders, Ben Hart, Tony Modra, Andrew McLeod, Malcolm Blight, Mark Ricciuto, and Simon Goodwin.
After 10 seasons as senior coach of Collingwood, Nathan Buckley announced he would step aside after the Round 13 match. This despite a hard-fought win against the Crows in Round 12. However, it was just the third win for the Magpies who sit 16th in the standings with nine losses. St Kilda legend and long-time assistant Robert Harvey will take over as interim coach for the rest of the season. Football boss Graham Wright said the decision was made collaboratively following six months of chats.
Buckley, 48, made the call to step aside almost immediately and faced the media with Anderson and Wright. The press conference was virtual due to COVID protocols. Buckley said he felt "blessed to be part of this football club” and explained his decision to depart midseason and why he thought the club was in decent shape for the future,
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The AFL held their midseason rookie draft in early June. All 18 clubs had available spots open on their lists and 22 players were selected. The selection order was in reverse to the standings at the end of Round 11.
The eligibility criteria: any player who nominated for the most recent draft, a delisted player (cannot be selected by the club from which he was delisted), a player who has been retired for more than one year. Any player who does not meet these requirements can be nominated by a representative of the AFL Talent Pathway, their AFLPA accredited agent, or the player themselves and be considered for an exemption.
Note: player information is the same as for previous drafts: selection number, name, the club of origin, age, height, weight, and position
AFL Umpire Head Coach Hayden Kennedy has advised the AFL that he will be stepping down from that role after the conclusion of Round 10. Kennedy, a teacher by profession, began umpiring AFL games in 1988 and went on to officiate in 495 games, including five Grand Finals. He retired after Round 17, 2011 as the record holder for most games umpired. That record was broken by Shane McInerney (502) games) before he retired at the end of 2019. Kennedy would easily have surpassed 502 games had it not been for a bout of plantar fasciitis (inflammation of tissue in the foot) several seasons before he retired.
Just as Round Seven was concluded, the footy community was mourning the death of game and Geelong icon Frank Costa. Costa, 83. succumbed to cancer. Costa, a successful businessman in the fruit and vegetable industry, assumed the presidency of Geelong in 1998 when the club was virtually on its knees - badly in debt and without any finals success in decades. Under his leadership, the debt was all but erased, the club became a dominant powerhouse and again tasted premiership success in 2007 and 2009. When he stepped down and handed the reins over to Colin Carter in 2010, the club was in a very strong position both on and off the field, going on to win the 2011 premiership. He is also responsible for bringing in current CEO Brian Cook and former coach Mark Thompson. At one point the trio made a pact that they would remain until the Cats won a premiership. Under his guidance, the club's home ground - GMBHA Stadium - was revitalized, upgraded, and expanded.
It was a warm sunny day at the MCG, with the late 3.20 PMM start meaning that most of the game would be played in the shadows of the stands. Coming into this match Essendon were 14th and Carlton were 15th on the AFL ladder. A solid crowd of 57,447 witnessed the match. Anthony McDonald Tipungwuti kicked the opening goal of the match as Essendon looked slick early.
Mitch McGovern and Sam Walsh kicked the next two goals to show the Blues fans they were up for the fight and much of the quarter it was an even competition. But Essendon got their running game happening and Cale Hooker evened things up on the scoreboard. With Essendon on the rampage, it took a big mark by Eddie Betts in the goal square to keep the Blues in it. He landed heavily with the ball and limped back to kick the goal.