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.
Brent "Boomer" Harvey, as we all know, holds the record for most AFL games. He kicked 516 goals for North Melbourne, two for Victoria in state games and 11 against Ireland. When he left North Melbourne, he joined his younger brother Shane at North Heidelberg in the Northern Football League. Now, Shane can share bragging rights with Brent - not for a games record, but goals. In a game played on 4/23, Shane kicked eight goals. His fifth was for the match was his 1000th career goal, a record for the Northern League. He is the first to kick 1000 goals in the league .Brent kicked four goals.
In mid-April, Collingwood signed a basketball player from Senegal. Bassirou Faye, 18, has committed to the Pies on an International Rookie Scholarship. Currently still in his homeland, he will relocate to Australia in late May. Faye, who stands 202 cm (6'5") has never played Australian Rules but had been training with the Oakleigh Chargers in the NAB league and looked impressive with his athleticism. He was forced to return to Senegal due to visa issues.
Faye originally arrived in Australia hoping for a career in basketball but switched to footy through former Tiger and Hawk Tyrone Vickery. Oakleigh's general manager put Faye through a two-month training program at the beginning of this year before Faye joined the Chargers for several sessions.
In the buildup to the AFLW Grand Final, Brisbane Lions coach Craig Starcevich was named AFLW coach of the year by the AFL Coaches Association (AFLCA). The voting is done by fellow coaches. Opposing Grand Final coach Matthew Clarke came in second, followed by Melbourne Coach Mick Stinear. Starcevich, who has coached the Lions since 2018, has led his team into three Grand Finals in the past five seasons with Brisbane taking out the premiership in 2021. He was rated as the best-performed coach throughout the season and the Association considered the team's performance, available resources, player talent, and team management.
In accepting the award Starcevich paid tribute to the team, "I’m absolutely chuffed and humbled ... It’s completely related to the quality of our coaching group overall, medical and fitness teams, all of our staff, and most importantly our players. It’s a direct reflection of what they’ve churned out this year."
AFLCA CEO Alistair Nicholson praised Starcevich,
Carlton legend Kade Simpson has decided he wants to return to AFL football. Simpson, who turns 37 in May, was not offered a new contract by the Blues and, according to the 2020 AFL Record Season Guide he "retired". He has been out of the game for a little over six months but said he wants to return after watching the opening rounds of the 2021 season. Simpson, who played 342 games across fifteen seasons, spoke on a podcast hosted by former teammate Dylan Buckley (Dyl and Friends), and said, "I still wish I was playing, like 100 percent. Even now, for some stupid reason, I still run and flog myself. In the back of my head, I’m like, just imagine if someone now with the mid-season draft and all that sort of stuff. I’m pretty fit still. If someone did "come knocking, I’m ready. I wouldn’t be like ‘oh f--k I haven’t done a thing for six months’. I’m still fit."
Under AFL rules, a player must be retired for a year to be eligible for the midseason draft, but he could be eligible since it seems he was
Just as Round Five was getting underway, Jonathon Patton announced his immediate retirement from all levels of football. Patton, 27, was the number one draft selection in 2011, being snapped up by the Giants. He has struggled with injuries across his eight-year career. He played 89 games for GWS before being traded to Hawthorn at the end of 2019 but has managed just six games for the Hawks. The injury issues are only one part of the story. In January, he was stood down from Hawthorn after at least four women complained that he sent them lewd and explicit photos, videos, and messages on social media. He was later hospitalized for mental health issues and released in March. Since his release, the AFL Integrity Unit is free to interview him and ramp up their investigations.
In making the announcement, Patton said, “I have made the difficult decision to retire ... to focus on my health, wellbeing, and future outside of the game.
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