Port Adelaide midfielder and former Brisbane captain Tom Rockliff also announced his retirement. Rockliff, 31, has had a horror run of injuries this year. Early in May, he landed awkwardly during a SANFL match, damaging both knees. He was confined to a wheelchair in early May after surgery. Just a week later, he was hospitalized after complaining of acute calf pain. He was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis and the doctors found blood clots on his lungs. He has been on blood-thinning medication since, and he was barred from taking part in any contact drills when he returned to training duties several weeks ago.
Veteran Carlton midfielder Marc Murphy will play his 300th and final game against Port Adelaide in Round 22. Murphy, 34, made the announcement just after Round 21 concluded. Murphy said, "It has been an up-and-down 16 years. I would have loved to have won a premiership and had some success ... but unfortunately, it's not part of my story. I know there's a lot of (future) premiership players ... at this footy club and I'll be watching as a supporter and lapping it up pretty soon hopefully."
Just days after Round 20 concluded, three players announced their retirements - Collingwood's Chris Mayne, Eagle Dan Venables and Bulldog Lon Jong.
Defender Chris Mayne announced he would retire at the end of the season. in making the announcement, Mayne said, “The time is right, personally and professionally. From a family perspective, Britt and I have two young children and we want them to settle and share more time with our families in Perth. From a football perspective, I don’t feel that I can squeeze much more out of myself. I still love the game and want to continue trying to get a kick at some level next year but at the highest level I recognize it’s getting tougher, not easier.”
Earlier this month, the Hawks - led by president Jeff Kennett - announced a succession plan which would see club legend Sam Mitchell take over as coach from Clarkson at the conclusion of next season. However, there were reports that neither Clarkson nor Mitchell were happy with the terms of the agreement. Meetings were held following Round 20 involving CEO Justin Reeves and football director Richie Vandenberg, as well as members of the senior leadership group, who communicated the situation wasn't working.
Just as Round 18 was getting underway, Carlton announced the passing of Sergio Silvagni, aged 83. He is the father of club legend Steve Silvagni - aka SOS - and the grandfather of current player Jack. Steve's son. Ben Silvagni, was also drafted in 2018 but never played a senior debut and was delisted at the end of 2020.
The AFL and Google have teamed up to launch a new program to teach the skills of Australian Football. It will give access to anyone, anywhere - whether in Australia or internationally; or whether it be a future player or just a fan who wants to have a try at the skills. It is called Footy Skills Lab and is free and accessible via computer and smartphone with an internet connection. It will allow those who might not otherwise have other resources for learning the skills of the game.
Just after round 15, Levi Greenwood announced his retirement. Greenwood, 32, has not played since suffering a concussion in Round Five. Although the symptoms have subsided, he made the decision after consulting with club doctors and other specialists. Greenwood has a history of concussions and decided to give his health priority.
Greenwood was drafted by North Melbourne in 2007 and played 74 games before being traded to Collingwood at the end of 2014. He played 86 games with the Magpies. He kicked a total of 57 goals in those 160 games.
Just as Round 15 was getting underway, the Adelaide Crows announced four new inductees into the club's Hall of Fame. The inductees were inaugural captain Chris McDermott, dual premiership captain Mark Bickley and premiership players Tyson Edwards and Nigel Smart. The gala was held at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre with 750 guests attending. Many of those were current players from the men's and women's teams.
The club set up the Hall of Fame in 2015. Inaugural inductees were former chairmen Bill Hammond and Bob Sanders, Ben Hart, Tony Modra, Andrew McLeod, Malcolm Blight, Mark Ricciuto, and Simon Goodwin.
After 10 seasons as senior coach of Collingwood, Nathan Buckley announced he would step aside after the Round 13 match. This despite a hard-fought win against the Crows in Round 12. However, it was just the third win for the Magpies who sit 16th in the standings with nine losses. St Kilda legend and long-time assistant Robert Harvey will take over as interim coach for the rest of the season. Football boss Graham Wright said the decision was made collaboratively following six months of chats.
Buckley, 48, made the call to step aside almost immediately and faced the media with Anderson and Wright. The press conference was virtual due to COVID protocols. Buckley said he felt "blessed to be part of this football club” and explained his decision to depart midseason and why he thought the club was in decent shape for the future,
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