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Adelaide and Port Adelade Delist Players and Two More Retire

Luke Dunstan (file photo/AFANA)

Adelaide delisted McPherson, Jackson Hately, Tariek Newchurch, and Tyler Brown while Port Adelaide delisted Riley Bonner, Trent Dumont, Brynn Teakle, and Nathan Barkla. Luke Dunstan retired from Melbourne and Gold Coast saw Connor Blakely hang up the boots.

McPherson played 28 AFL games since being drafted in 2017. He had to overcome a series of soft tissue injuries and played nine games. He won both the Mark Bickley Emerging Talent Award and Brian Sando OAM Award for professionalism on Club Champion night. The hard-working defender was a regular in Adelaide’s senior side in 2021 when he played 18 games, however injuries have restricted him to just one AFL game since then. Hately has also played 28 AFL games including 15 with the Crows after he joined Adelaide from GWS at the end of the 2020. He played 11 games in 2021 and one this year while performing strongly in the SANFL. Newchurch joined Adelaide as a Category B rookie from its Next Generation Academy in 2020 and has been a valuable contributor to the Crows’ SANFL side for the past three seasons, as has Tyler Brown who joined the club as a rookie in January and played one AFL game for the Crows to go with 27 at his former club Collingwood.

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Saints Mourn Icon Neale

The same weekend of the passing of Ron Barassi, St Kilda lost champion Kevin Neale at the age of 78. A contemporary of Barassi, he was one of the heroes of their 1966 premiership, played 256 games and ranks eleventh on the Saints games list. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's for some years. After his retirement, he worked in the club's marketing department and waw president of the Past Players Association.

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Footy World Mourns Ron Barassi

Ron Barassi (file photo/AFANA)

The semi-finals weekend was bittersweet, not only for the teams which were eliminated but for the sad news of the passing of the legendary great Ron Barassi. Ron Barassi was 87 and suffered complications from a fall. Tributes from the AFL and the four clubs with which he was involved poured in. His story is well-chronicled, from the time he went to live with Melbourne coach Norm Smith after his father was killed in World War II to his recruitment to the Melbourne Demons, his shock move to Carlton, and his coaching career at Carton, North Melbourne, and Sydney. He was actually retired when he was coaxed to take over at the Swans after their move from Melbourne to Sydney. He coached the Swans from 1993 through 1995 (59 games). He was a board member for seven more seasons.

Sydney chairman Andrew Pridham said the AFL has lost a pioneer, "The Sydney Swans are saddened by the passing of one of the game's all-time greats, Ron Barassi. Ron was a wonderful person and had a huge influence on the Swans, for which we are forever grateful ... ".

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Hibberd Retires from Melbourne and Eagles Cull Six

Hibberd Handballs (File photo/AFANA)

Demon defender Michael Hibberd, 33, announced his retirement after 12 seasons and 197 for Essendon and Melbourne. The West Coast Eagles have delisted defender Luke Foley, Xavier O’Neill, Greg Clark, Connor West, forward Isiah Winder, and utility player Sam Petrevski-Seton.

In making the retirement announcement, Hibberd said, “I have really loved my time at the club. I love the boys and I feel like I could play until I am 40, but I know that’s not the reality. The body gets a bit slower as you get older, and although I like to think that I have a little bit left in me, I feel like going out with a little left in the tank is the right way to go about it ... ".

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Hogan's Heroes Shut Off the Power

Hogan Goals (file photo/AFANA)

The Greater Western Sydney Giants have booked a preliminary final appearance after a masterful display of fast football at Adelaide Oval on Saturday evening. The crowd was left stunned as Port Adelaide had no answers to the Giants clinical ball movement and midfield dominance. Veteran Giants forward Jesse Hogan was magnificent booting four goals along with his nine marks and 17 disposals on the night. Lachie Whitfield (33 disposals) and Stephen Coniglio (30 disposals) were unstoppable for the Giants, Coniglio racking up an unbelievable 13 score involvements for the match. 

Willie Rioli had two early goals on the board for Port, only to see his efforts matched by Giants superstar Toby Greene. The scoreboard showed just a three-point lead to GWS at quarter time, but the statistics suggested unless Port could turn around a clearance dominance by the Giants then things would turn ugly for the home crowd. That is exactly what happened. 

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Blues Snatch Semi Win in Final Minute

Blake Acres (file photo)

The first Semi-Final at the MCG started tonight with the stadium fuller than it has than it has been in many years, outside of a Grand Final. Max Gawn won the first tap, Carlton the first clearance and inside 50, Melbourne the first 50 clearance. All standard stuff. It was going to be tough night for players and spectators alike, but not all would be predictable.

Charlie Curnow looked to be on song early marking outside 50 for the Blues and his long kick at goal before the defenders could get back was only a degree off being six points. At the other end Charlie Spargo, coming into the side tonight, kicked the first score for the Dees. Advantage was paid to Langdon who kicked the first goal of the match after Kosi Pickett was taken out of the contest, unusually by the furthest umpire from the contest.

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The Sounds of Elimination Drum Saints Out of Finals

Finals Warning (Kim Densham/AFANA)

An overcast spring day greeted the 68,465 supporters at the MCG. The Saints started the first quarter strong with an early mark at top of the goal square by Sharman and he made no mistake with the simple set shot. GWS were quick to respond with an entry to the forward 50. Hard running from Toby Greene saw them rewarded with a goal when he ran onto the ball just outside the goal square. A long ball inside 50 almost saw King with an easy roller off the ground for a goal, but the ball trickled away from his boot. Marshall had better luck though when he added the Saints second goal, able to mark the ball at the top of the square. 

GWS again responded, this time through Hogan who marked in the pack seven meters out from goal. His kick around the corner was a goal.  The Giants took the lead for the first time in the game when Toby Bedford kicked long and straight from 49 meters out. His goal was the first kicked for the day from any significant distance. Callum Brown and Daniels added goals to put the Giants three goal up just before quarter time. Sharman could have ended the quarter as he began it with a goal but his kick from the pocket went wide of the big sticks resulting in a behind to the Saints.

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Retirements, Delistings, and Trades: Brisbane, Adelaide, Geelong

Rich Tackles (File photo/AFANA)

Three clubs made roster changes as the AFL season winds down. Geelong delisted three and Adelaide is facing a trade situation with Shane McAdam. For Brisbane stalwart Daniel Rich, this season will be the last. 

Daniel Rich, 33, was drafted in 2008 and soon established himself as an excellent defender. Rich has spent the latter part of the season in the VFL after battling injuries. Ahead of the finals, he has played 375 games but is under no illusion he will be selected. In making the announcement he said, “It’s been a pretty crazy journey with plenty of ups and downs, I have met so many amazing people and close friends  ... and I love this Club.

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Ed Curnow Retires and Dockers Delist Duo

Curnow tackles (file photo)

Carlton's Ed Curnow announced he would retire when Carlton's season ends and Fremantle delisted veteran pair Travis Colyer and Nathan Wilson. Curnow, 33, was originally rookie listed by Adelaide, but languished in the SANFL for several seasons before being delisted. The Blues drafted him in 2010 and he has played 221 games through Round 23. A reliable tagger and strong ball winner.

ED CURNOW

Coach Michael Voss said, "Footy clubs are built around good people like Ed Curnow. Ed is highly regarded within these four walls, has held a special place in Carlton hearts for over a decade, and deservingly so. He is someone that gives his all every game, won't rest until he's won that contest, with a hunger and desire to finish every game as strong as he started ... He's been here through the tough times, put his body through a lot but the club will forever be a better place for having Ed Curnow as an integral part of it. Ed Curnow is a Carlton person, and the Curnows are a Carlton family. It's been a privilege to coach Ed in his final years at the Blues."

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