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Goodes The Toast Of The AFL

By Barry Kennedy, AFANA Reporter in Melbourne

Swans utility Adam Goodes claimed his second Brownlow Medal on Monday night, foiling local favorite Scott West of the Bulldogs who even in finishing second proved his remarkable consistency - it was the fifth time the Bulldog star had finished in the top four.

But it was Goodes, the affable Sydney star who staked his claim as one of the most durable winners in the history of the medal. His previous win - jointly taking out the award alongside legends Nathan Buckley of Collingwood and the Crow's Mark Ricciuto in 2003 - had been while playing as a ruckman.  Now a free wheeling midfielder, Goodes has often played matches on a higher plane than opponents and team mates alike this season, dominating proceedings as a big kid dominates underage games.
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Swan Player Escapes Penalty

by Lisa, reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Sydney's Amon Buchanan is free to play in the Grand Final. The Match Review Panel viewed the incident between Buchanan and Docker Troy Cook and deemed that Buchanan had made a legitimate spoiling attempt. Although contact was also made to Cook's back, the Panel ruled that the nature of the contact was not a reportable offense. On the day, a free kick and a 50 metre (55 yd) penalty was awarded to Cook.


Fremantle's Jeff Farmer and Justin Longmuir were both cited for striking offenses by the Match Review Panel - Farmer for striking Sydney's Craig Bolton and Longmuir for striking Sydney's Barry Hall.

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Cats Keep Thompson

by Lisa, reporting for AFANA from Chicago

After an exhaustive two month review of the all club operations, Geelong Coach Mark Thompson will continue for at least one more year, when his contract expires. His reappointment comes after he convinced the board, some of whom had their doubts, that he was still the man for the job. CEO Brian Cook refuted recent rumors that Thompson had "lost" the players.  The players themselves also indicated to Cook that they still believed in Thompson and his coaching ability.

However, there will be changes both on the field and off. Defender Tom Harley will replace Steven King as captain, with King stating he no longer wanted the role. CEO Brian Cook will fill in as temporary football operations chief while the club seeks a full-time person for the job. Coach Thompson had been involved with the off-field operations, but will now concentrate on match day coaching.

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Another Chance For Eagles

by Lisa reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The West Coast Eagles have earned the right to a rematch of last year's Grand Final by beating the Adelaide Crows, in Adelaide.   The Blue and Gold battled back from a 22 point deficit at half time and recorded one of the club's best wins in a Final ever.   The opening of the game was tight and tough as one would expect from two of the best performing teams of 2006. But it was the Crows who were the first to settle, and had the Eagles on the back foot with three goals to just two behinds from the Eagles.  Those goals had the home crowd roaring. The first was a long bomb from Bock, the next a clever snap from Welsh, and the third came from a strong mark from Burton in the goalsquare. The Eagles added just two more points for the term, giving the Crows a 17 point lead at quarter time.

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Swans Through To Defend Title

by Frank Ienco, reporting for AFANA from Sydney

The Sydney Swans will play off in their second successive AFL Grand Final after a characteristically hard-fought 19.13 (127) to 14.8 (92) Preliminary Final win over a spirited Fremantle Dockers at Telstra Stadium.


The Swans, who led at every change, were challenged during each of the first three quarters, before slamming on the accelerator in the final term to secure a return trip to the MCG on the last Saturday in September. But unlike last year, they had over 61,000 red-and-white fans to celebrate with them.  Both sides entered the match in sparkling form, the Swans winning eight of their last nine; Freo nine of their last 10.

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Preliminary Finals Teams

by Lisa reporting for AFANA from Chicago

B: Richards, Barry, Malceski
HB: Kennelly, Roberts-Thomson, C. Bolton
C: Buchanan, Kirk, Ablett
HF: O'Keefe, O'Loughlin, J. Bolton
F: Schneider, Hall, Fosdike
FOLL: Jolly, Goodes, McVeigh
I/C: Mathews, N. Davis, Dempster, Doyle
EMG: Spriggs, Bevan, Vogels


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Adelaide Regains Stars

by Lisa, reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The Adelaide Crows received a boost this week with the return of Andrew McLeod (foot) and Brett Burton (hamstring).  Both resumed training last week, while Ken McGregor (hamstring) resumed in the SANFL last week. Despite getting the all-clear to train, Mark Ricciuto (virus) still was not fit enough to play in this week's preliminary final.

In other news:

The woman who filed an assault complaint against former Swan player and Geelong/Brisbane assistant coach Darryn Cresswell withdrew the complaint last week.

A routine "clean-up" arthroscope revealed that Collingwood's Alan Didak had a partially torn anterior cruciate ligment (ACL) and will require knee surgery, delaying his start to the preseason. He hopes to be ready for Round 1 in the 2007 season.

Source: Melbourne Age

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ABC Boss Blasts AFL Stance on Radio Rights

by Johnson Leung, reporting for AFANA in Melbourne

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Managing Director Mark Scott has warned of consequences for the AFL if the government-funded broadcaster is not allowed to cover the best Saturday afternoon match as part of the new radio rights.   In a newspaper interview, Scott, who joined the ABC in June, criticised the league of being more interested in money than letting the ABC take the game to a national audience, and not recognising the broadcaster's role of promoting Aussie Rules around the country.

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AFL Weekly Review Week 2 Finals 2006

by Tim Murphy

AFL Semi-Finals

Grant Thomas exited out! The Stainers dropped a bomb last Tuesday by sacking Thomas, for reasons which are still not clear. Apparently the Sainter board believed Thommo would never win a flag, after finals failures in the last three years in which the Saints led all three games at three-quarter-time. A lot of ‘threes’ in that sentence. Injured players were a clear factor in those losses, but other reasons for the axing emerged, such as Thomas’s autocratic rule over the Saints’ footy department. But the axing reeks of things unknown. Thomas, while disagreeing with the decision obviously, took it with reasonable grace. The Stainers have certainly come a long way from mid-2001

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AFL Reveals New Spending Plan

by Lisa,  reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Cash For All
Last week, the AFL announced its new spending plan for the next five years. Called the "Next Generation - Securing the Future of Australian Football", the plan will see massive amounts of cash invested in the AFL clubs, the competition, game development, and facilities with a view to the future. The "strategy" details the distribution of a record $1.4 billion over the next 5 years and includes a $650 million package to shore up the future of the 16 AFL clubs.

AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou said the Next Generation "strategy" was a responsible and prudent balance between providing for clubs and the competition today as well as  investing in building the next generation of supporters, participants, members and viewers.   Demetriou acknowledged the supporters and their passion for the game and said they would also benefit from the improved funding
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