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Melbourne President Steps Aside

Brad Green Celebrates A Goal

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.”

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Activist Wants Club Melody Changed

Carlton FC - Wikimedia

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.

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Dockers Respond To Hawk Challenge

Blake Acres kicks for goal

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).

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Dockers Dominate Sleepy Giants

Sproule marks over Darcy

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.

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Ex-Swan Guilty Also Sanctioned By AFL

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.

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12 Added Via SSP, Scully Retires

Scully Handballs Under Pressure

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.

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Roberton Retires

Roberton Handballs

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.

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Willie Rioli Verdict

Rioli Kicks For Goal

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.

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Bruce McAveney Steps Away From Footy

By Masoman01 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47352034
Bruce McAvaney

In early March, legendary commentator Bruce McAvaney, who has called everything from footy to the Olympics, announced he was giving up his role as footy commentator with Australia's Channel Seven. Other than a five-year absence between 2002 and 2006 (when Seven lost the TV rights), McAvaney has been there with the free-to-air coverage. He has notched over 1000 games, including 20 Grand Finals; and formed a great partnership with the equally legendary Dennis Cometti (who retired several years ago). Although he is bowing out of football, he will continue with Seven's horse racing carnival and the 2021 Tokyo Olympics - his specialty is track and field.

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McGuire Resigns From PIes

Eddie McGuire - courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Eddie McGuire

In January, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire announced that he would be stepping down from his role at the end of year. However, he has decided to step down immediately after calls for his resignation and criticism of comments he made after a report of a "culture of racism" at the club was leaked to the media prematurely. The club had commissioned an independent investigation last June after former defender Heritier Lumumba (aka Harry O'Brien)  told of the racism he encountered during his time at the club. He said on social media that he was subjected to racist jokes and nicknamed "Chimp". He also said Coach Nathan Buckley failed to support him. He was eventually traded to Melbourne where he saw out his career. 

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