The 2020 AFLW schedule was announced at Melbourne’s Moorabbin Oval, St Kilda’s administration and training base, on October 29, two days before the AFL schedule was revealed. The new season sees the introduction of four expansion teams (Richmond, St Kilda, Gold Coast and West Coast) making it a 14-team competition. The controversial conference system, introduced in the 2019 season, has been retained, with seven teams each in the conference.
The big winners when the AFL announced the 2020 schedule on October 31 included Richmond, Collingwood, Essendon, the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane. Richmond will play on Thursday nights in first two rounds of the season as well as six Friday night games, while Collingwood will appear on Thursday night three times and Friday night five times. The Bulldogs scored five and the Lions earned four Thursday or Friday night games - up from just one for each club this year, as reward for their form improvements during the season. Essendon will play four Thursday night games and two Friday night games. At the other end of the scale, St Kilda and North Melbourne will each make one appearance on a Friday, with Fremantle and Gold Coast missing out on both prime time slots.
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.
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.
It was a slow starting but fast finishing trade period between October 7 and October 14. The first week was relatively slow with only a dozen or so trades, but the last day was a frenzy with everyone trying to get deals done before the 7:30 PM AEST cut off time. St Kilda was the most active, reaping a bonanza of talent at the expense of draft picks. In the summary, "on-traded" draft selections means a club traded a selection they previously received from another club. All clubs are required to submit "list lodgements" - a current roster of their players by the end of October. This is the first of several they are required to submit to the AFL before the start of the next season. The next listing will be due after the national draft and the final list will be due after the pre-season and rookie drafts.
RICHMOND / GOLD COAST
Before and after the trade period, October 7 through October 14, there were numerous delistings (released) as the clubs make room for the coming draftees and there were a few more retirements not previously reported: (front page readers click on "Read more" to see all clubs)
DELISTED: Ben Keays, Josh Walker, Ryan Bastinac and Nick Robertson
Fremantle has appointed Justin Longmuir for the next three seasons as the senior coach. Longmuir has spent the past two seasons as Collingwood's defensive coach. Longmuir, 38, is the first West Australian to be appointed to the position at the Dockers. He has spent the past 10 years in the coaching ranks as a senior assistant, assistant and development coach at Fremantle (2010), West Coast (2011-2017) and Collingwood. Longmuir was drafted by the Dockers and played 139 games 1999 to 2007 with a degenerative knee injury cutting short his career at the age of 26.
Longmuir said he was honored by the appointment, especially with the club where his career started, “It means everything to me to coach Fremantle.
Richmond destroyed a hapless Greater Western Sydney Giants to win its 12th Premiership flag in style. The 89-point margin was a true reflection on the complete dominance the Tigers had over the Giants. A tight first quarter that promised a competitive match, but Richmond was having none of that. The fierce and determined Tigers took complete control after quarter time and strangled the Giants with the manic brand of football that has made Richmond the best team in the competition over the last three seasons.
The Giants had performed brilliantly to win two tight contests on the road, but when Richmond asked the question for the third time, Greater Western Sydney simply had nothing left to give. The Tigers were hungry for the contest, determined to avenge a 2018 season where they were the best team all season but fell short after going out in the Preliminary final.
Congratulations to the Richmond Tigers!
Winners of the 2019 AFL Grand Final
Richmond: 2.3 7.5 12.9 17.12 (114) GWS: 1.2 1.6 2.7 3.7 (25)
For the first time since 2010, the AFL Grand Final pregame entertainment will not feature an international artist. Paul Kelly will lead an All Australian line-up including hit pop acts Dean Lewis, Tones & I, Conrad Sewell, country superstar John Williamson and veteran performer Mike Brady. Kelly, Lewis, Sewell and Tones & I along with AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan met the media at the MCG on Thursday, and each singer was presented with a special jumper, a composite of Richmond and GWS playing jumpers.