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New Radio Deals Announced

by Johnson Leung, reporting for AFANA in Melbourne

Overseas footy fans will be able to continue to listen to Saturday afternoon matches on Radio Australia, as part of a new three-year radio rights deal. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's international shortwave service will broadcast a combination of first and second choice matches on Saturday afternoons, despite ABC Managing Director Mark Scott's public concerns about the government-funded broadcaster being relegated to a "secondary caller" on Saturday afternoons.

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2006 USAFL National Tournament

by Lisa Albergo, reporting for AFANA from Chicago 

This year's USAFL tournament was held in Las Vegas, and the games were played on a large field adjacent to the University of Las Vegas. It was warm and sunny all weekend with an intermittent breeze providing a touch of relief from the hot weather. Once again, there were a few Australian celebrities in attendance. The biggest - literally - was none other than Robert "Dipper" DiPierdomenico. With him were former Hawk coach and current Match Review Panel chairman Peter Schwab, as well as Dave Matthews and his colleague Tom, who is in charge of AFLQ.
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Trade Week 2006

by Lisa Albergo, reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Trades, Delistings, & Re-Signings

The trading period was conducted from Monday October 9 through October 13 with several big names not unexpectedly finding themselves at new clubs. The biggest names were, of course, Jason Akermanis, Peter Everitt, and Michael Gardiner. Both Akermanis and Everitt got their wish as the Bulldogs (Akermanis) and Sydney (Everitt) successfully negotiated with Brisbane and Hawthorn to obtain the disgruntled duo. And Gardiner has traded in his Eagle wings for a halo as he joins the Saints.
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Saints Name New Coach

by Lisa Albergo,  reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Ross Lyon has been appointed as the new Senior Coach for the next 3 years. Ross Lyon played 127 games with Fitzroy and 2 games with the Brisbane Bears before his career succumbed to injury in 1995. After his playing days, Lyon worked part time as an assistant to Robert Walls at Richmond (1996-97), focusing on the defense. In 2000, he went to Carlton as an assistant and coached Carlton's VFL side the Northern Bullants. He held that position until 2004, when moved to Sydney to be midfield coach for the Swans. 

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AFL Signs New Deal with Telstra

by Johnson Leung,reporting for AFANA from Melbourne and Rob de Santos, reporting from the USA

Telstra has signed Australia's biggest "new media" content deal ever with the AFL, paying A$60 million over five years for the exclusive right to show match footage on mobile phones and the Internet.   This likely means increased costs for North American subscribers to the AFL web site. 

The deal was announced as part of Telstra's major strategy update and the start of a major expansion of high speed Internet access in Australia.    Telstra's BigPond internet service will offer customers (including presumably viewers outside Australia) full match video replays 12 hours after the final siren, instead of 24 hours after the game currently. 

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Player Awards

by Lisa reporting for AFANA from Chicago

As well as the Brownlow Medal, there have been a number of other pre- and post- Grand Final Awards presented. Several clubs have also announced their best and fairest awards. One of the biggest, of course, is the Norm Smith Medal which is presented to the best on ground in the Grand Final. This year it was won by Eagle Andrew Embley. Below is a breakdown of the votes:

NORM SMITH MEDAL VOTES
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AFL Weekly Review Grand Final 2006

by Tim Murphy

West Ghost Weegirls, they’re flying high. It was their turn to triumph in the series of quite amazing, close-fought battles with their rivals the Swans. These games have been great, really and the Coasters deserved to win, even if the Swans let themselves down with their performance. Perth will be swept clean of lager and snortable substances this week.

GF week started well enough for Siddey as Adam Goodes won his second Brownlow Medal with 26 votes, following his triple-tie with Buckley and Ricciuto in 2003. Luckless Bulldog Scott West was runner-up for the second time, he scored 23 votes. Goodes and West were tied going into round 22, Goodes winning BOG honours against Carlton despite spending lengthy periods on the bench while West’s 36 disposals didn’t get him a vote in the Bullies’ 22-point win over Essadun. West’s finished in the top-four five times now and may go down as the unluckiest vote-getter in history.

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Eagles On Top Of The World

By Barry Kennedy, AFANA Reporter in Melbourne, reporting from the MCG

Yesterday's mesmerizing festival of football at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), with the reversal of the result, went into another realm and did what few Hollywood films ever do - the sequel was far better than the original.

Headlines in sports pages this year, particularly in Melbourne, have lamented the AFL style of play going ugly and the interstate dominance as a threat to the game. West Coast yesterday obliterated those arguments with a pulsating running game and third Premiership while their opponents, Sydney, proved the bravest of opponents in a Grand Final for the ages. It's taken forty years for another Grand Final to be settled by the lowest of margins (not counting the draw between North Melbourne and Collingwood in 1977), it may take a century for two sides to be this evenly matched again.
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Congratulations to the West Coast Eagles!

Winners of the 2006 AFL Grand Final

West Coast 4.2 8.7 10.10 12.13 (85)
Sydney     1.4 4.6  8.11 12.12 (84)

Attendance: 97,431
Norm Smith Medallist:  Andrew Embley, West Coast

AFANA's staff covered the Grand Final.  Read our full match report by Barry Kennedy and see the great photos from Derrick den Hollander, AFANA's photographer.

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Eagles Duo Set to Play in Grand Final

by Johnson Leung, reporting for AFANA in Melbourne

West Coast says midfielder Daniel Kerr will take the field in Saturday's Grand Final against Sydney, even though he failed to complete the team's final training run at the MCG on Friday afternoon. Kerr spent most of the light training session away from the main group, kicking the football at one stage, but left the track halfway through the session. Defender David Wirrpanda, who also trained away from the main group, appeared to easily pass a fitness test on his troublesome hamstring and was almost to certain to play as well.

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