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Flying Eagles Knock Out Bombers

Naitanui Marks

The West Coast Eagles knocked the Essendon Bombers out of the finals series in an emphatic fashion. Having defeated the Fremantle Dockers at the same ground, and seen the Hawthorn Hawks defeat the Eagles at Optus, the Bombers gave themselves a real chance against the reigning Premiers. The Essendon game plan was simple. Run the ball through the middle of the ground to expose West Coast's lack of pace in that area; and then keep the ball low into attack to avoid high marking defenders, Jeremy McGovern and Tom Barrass.

Essendon's first goal, after two minutes of play, went to plan. Michael Hurley intercepted at half forward, a gather from Dyson Heppell and a measured handpass to Andrew McGrath who kicked truly from 48 meters.

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2019 Last Stop for Goldsack and Morris

Dale Morris One Handed Mark

Two long time veterans in Dale Morris and Tyson Goldsack have announced that 2019 is the end of the line. Morris announced his retirement after 15 seasons and 253 games for the Western Bulldogs. He leaves the game as one of the most respected footballers of the modern era; a shining example of perseverance, willpower, skill, determination and sacrifice. His comebacks from multiple injuries - including two knee reconstructions is testament that. In making the announcement in front of teammates and the press, he said, "Everyone who knows me

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Before Finals

Dustin Martin Tore It Up

After 23 rounds of sensational footy we now have our eight finalists ready to battle it out for the 2019 AFL premiership in a weeks time. The Western Bulldogs smashed their way into the last available finals spot by running out 34 point winners over a disappointing Adelaide Crows in Ballarat on Sunday. Just a couple of hours later, Richmond ended Brisbane’s nine-game winning streak with a 27 point win at the MCG, earning the Tigers a double-chance plus a road trip to Brisbane to once again face the Lions in week one of the finals.

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Jordan Lewis Bids Farewell

Lewis vs Fellow Retiree McVeigh

Former Hawk and current Melbourne Demon Jordan Lewis, 33, has retired. His last game was the Round 23 match. In an unusual move, Hawthorn Coach Alastair Clarkson and Melbourne Coach Simon Goodwin both attended the press conference at which Lewis made his announcement. The idea to have both coaches present was Melbourne's and both coaches were full of praise for the impact Lewis had on their teams.

Goodwin said, "We had the opportunity to bring Jordan to the ... club, you heard what a great person he was,

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Five More Retirements

Michael Rischitelli

Veteran Gold Coast player Michael Rischitelli has retired as has Adelaide veteran Andy Otten, Essendon's David Myers, Alex Fasolo from Carlton, and veteran umpire Shane McInerney.

Rischitelli, 33, was originally drafted by Brisbane in 2003 and played 111 games with the Lions before crossing to Gold Coast to be a member of the inaugural team in 2011. His game tally after Round 23 is 243. During his time with the Lions, he was a Rising Star nominee in 2006 and won the club's best and fairest award in 2010. Rischitelli reflected on his time in the game, “I’ve loved every moment ...it's been an incredible journey ... I’ve experienced some fantastic moments and a couple of extremely tough times, but I’ve enjoyed the ride.

General manager Jon Haines said, “Michael has been a fantastic leader for our young football club,

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Crow and Saint Look for New Homes in 2020

Douglas Kicks Away

The Adelaide Crows told veteran midfielder Richard Douglas that he would not be offered a new contract for 2020. The club even released a statement saying Douglas was going to retire at the end of the season. Saint David Armitage also announced he would be leaving St Kilda and looking for another club in 2020.

Douglas, though, has no intention of retiring if another club wants him. Douglas, 32, is also interested in coaching if he cannot add to his 246 game tally. Douglas said he respected the club's decision, "The club's looking to go down another direction

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Lyon Out at Fremantle

Ross Lyon

Fremantle has sacked Coach Ross Lyon. the departure was immediate and he did not coach Round 23. Also departing is CEO Steven Rosich after he and the board came to a mutual agreement. Docker president Dale Adcock said that the process of renewal was needed, as was new leadership. He continued by saying the club not making finals for the past four years was unacceptable. Assistant coach David Hale coached the team for the final round of the year. Chief Operating Officer Graeme Parker will act as interim CEO until a permanent CEO is brought in. Internal and external candidates will be assessed for both roles.

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Kieren Jack Takes Swan Song

Kieren Jack Lays a Tackle

Just ahead of Round 23, Sydney midfielder Kieren Jack, 32, announced his retirement. Hailing from rugby background, he was invited to play Australian football for his school at the age of 11. He was drafted by the Swans as a rookie in 2005 and soon emerged as one of the elite midfielders in the AFL. He was appointed co-captain alongside fellow retiree Jarrad McVeigh in 2013. In Round 5 this year, Jack became just the ninth Swan to play 250 games.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round 22

Elliot Kicks Another Goal

Round 22 was full of stories. There was heartbreak in Adelaide as the Crows and Power likely blew their chance at playing finals, but there were also two of the season’s greatest games played between four of the league’s best teams. Both of those incredible games were physical, skillful contests that came down to one kick for goal that separated the winners from the losers. Brisbane’s last gasp win over Geelong in front of a rampant Lions home crowd came courtesy of a potential “Mark of the Year” by Lincoln McCarthy who goaled for a one point win, while it was Richmond’s favorite rascal in Jack Riewoldt who snapped truly to give his Richmond team a meritorious win against a gallant West Coast Eagles on Sunday at the MCG. All four teams will no doubt play a big part in September.

Other big winners in a stunning round of footy were the Western Bulldogs who followed up 21 consecutive goals the previous week against Essendon with a dozen in a row against a disappointing Greater Western Sydney who let their home fans down.

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Thomas and Ballantyne Not Offered Contracts

Thomas Chases Goldsack

Carlton's Dale Thomas and Fremantle's Hayden Ballantyne were both informed by their respective clubs that they would not be offered contracts for 2020. Thomas, 32, announced his retirement at the time. However, after Carlton's win over the Saints, he said he would consider offers from other clubs. He played game 100 as a Blue in Round 22 after crossing from Collingwood where he played 156 games including the 2010 premiership. He was named All-Australian in 2011.  

Thomas said he was content with his decision, “While this is something I didn’t want to hear, I was realistic that it was a chance ... I also understand the direction the club is going ... I have experienced so much in my career since walking in as a blond-haired kid ... in 2005. The opportunity to live out my boyhood dream ... I am proud of everything I’ve been able to achieve."

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