ADELAIDE CROWS BACK Foley Rajcic HALF BACK N. Allen S. Allan Thompson CENTER Varnhagen Marinoff Jones HALF FORWARD Martin Ponter Woodland FORWARD Gould Scheer RUCK/ROVERS Metcalfe Phillips Hatchard INTERCHANGE Considine Button Mules Charlton Cox
The AFLW Grand Final will be between the Adelaide Crows and Brisbane Lions - for the third time in five seasons. Adelaide won in 2017 and 2019, defeating Brisbane in 2017 and Carlton in 2019. They missed the 2018 Grand Final which was played between the Lions and the Western Bulldogs. The Bulldogs won in 2019, so Brisbane will be hungry to reverse the trend. The 2020 season was cut short due to the pandemic with the finals and Grand Final canceled.
It can be said that the Crows and Lions are the most dominant teams in the league, but their paths to success have been quite different. From the outset, the Crows did not - and still don't - share their state with a rival club as Port Adelaide opted not to bid for a license for an AFLW side, even when the AFL announced new teams would be added in 2019. This gave the Crows the advantage of accessing talent not only from South Australia but the Northern Territory as well due to Adelaide making a joint bid with the AFL NT for a license. The partnership with the NT ended in 2019 with Gold Coast entering the competition.
HOW THE TWO SIDES HAVE EVOLVED
Just ahead of Melbourne's match against Geelong in Round Four, Melbourne Demons president Glen Bartlett announced during his president's address at the MCG, that he would step aside as club president. He does intend to stay involved at the board level. Bartlett, who has been at the helm since 2013 and was up for re-election in six months, said he believes the time was right to step down. Co vice-presidents Kate Roffey and Mohan Jesudason are believed to be the candidates to take over on an interim basis.
Club CEO Gary Pert confirmed the news to foxfooty.com.au in an email late Saturday night so as not to distract the players or coaches from the Sunday game. Former Demon Jordan Lewis, who does footy commentary for Fox, said of Bartlett, “The beauty about Glen was he wasn’t really seen. He was in the background and provided great stability for a club that was on its knees. He’s done a fantastic job and has always been good to me. I love how he’s staying on the board because he has plenty more to offer.”
Carlton's team song has come under fire from an indigenous activist. Dr Stephen Hagan, who campaigned successfully to have the name of a cheese brand changed from "Coon", has criticized the song because of its original lyrics which he has labeled as racist. He has urged the club to change the melody.
The melody is taken from the 19th-century song "Lily of Laguna" with the lyrics concerning a black man in love with a Native American. The song was often performed in blackface makeup. Hagan describes the tune as “one of the most racist songs of all time”. In an interview, Hagan said he was shocked to learn from the Carlton club that past and present indigenous players supported the song, saying that the lyrics written for the team had “effectively removed the original song’s racist connotations”. Of this attitude, he said, “I’m absolutely shocked they would defend the racist theme song music rather than fight against the clearly racist origins of the melody. It doesn’t make the song any less racist that a couple of Aboriginal players who are very loyal to the club defend it.”
With a rare tropical cyclone approaching Perth’s inland areas, the Fremantle Dockers withstood a stormy challenge from the Hawthorn Hawks to win a second home game. The Hawks were again slow to start, allowing Fremantle to dominate in the first term. If the Dockers had kicked accurately for a goal in the blustery conditions, the game would have been over at quarter time.
Returning from a forced layoff due to concussion, Nat Fyfe began in the center of the ground for the Dockers and the home team dominated clearances in the first quarter. When Fyfe was not winning clearances, it was veteran David Mundy or Caleb Serong. Sean Darcy and Matt Taberner were active in the forward line and Taberner finished with two goals for the quarter. The Hawks had scored only two behinds (worth a point each).
In a hot autumn afternoon when the mercury sat at 89 degrees as the game opened, the Greater Western Sydney Giants wilted and allowed the Fremantle Dockers to run out easy winners. It was only the Dockers’ kicking inaccuracy that saved the Giants from a complete belting. To make matters worse this was the first time since 2013 that the Giants have lost their two opening games. The Giants started with strong intent in an opening spurt, which saw Jacob Hopper swoop on a loose ball and kick truly to open the Giants’ account within the first minute of play. However, from there it was the Dockers who got players to the contested ball to outnumber the Giants in packs. The Dockers won contested possessions 145 to 113 and then outran the Giants in open space to rack up 278 uncontested possessions to 113. The Giants simply did not have the desire to work hard in close and appeared not to have the will to run with the Dockers when the ball found open territory.
Just as the opening round of the AFL season concluded, former Sydney Swan player Elijah Taylor pleaded guilty to aggravated assault against his ex-girlfriend Lekahni Pearce in a Perth hotel room in mid-September of last year. The incident happened after the pair met up at a nightclub and went back to the hotel. Taylor was sleeping but was awakened as Pearce attacked him. The attack was claimed to come because of her seeing a message from another woman on his Snapchat.
The AFL Supplementary Selection Period (SSP) ended on March 9 with eight clubs selecting 12 players. Several had been delisted by other clubs and were invited to train with other clubs in the hope of being selected. Below are the clubs and their selections.
Just two weeks before the 2021 season proper is due to commence, Saint Dylan Roberton, 29, has announced his retirement on the advice of his doctors. In 2018, Roberton collapsed during a game against Geelong, it was discovered he had a heart irregularity. He was cleared to play for 2019, but suffered another incident during the preseason and sat out all of 2019. He made it back for the opening round last season, but then the pandemic hit and he missed the rest of the year. In mid-January, he took a break from the club to consider his future.
West Coast's Willie Rioli was found guilty in 2019 of having traces of marijuana in his system during a routine ASADA check. In August and September of 2019, he was caught attempting to tamper with the boldly fluid sample required by ASADA. He has been serving a provisional suspension since August of 2019. The Anti-Doping Tribunal found him guilty and gave him a two year suspension. However, that suspension has been backdated to August 20, 2019 - the date of the first sample collection - so he will be allowed to return to training in June.