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Delistings and Retirements Part 2

Goddard in action

Clubs which didn't make the post season have begun the process of releasing players they don't feel they need next season and opening spots on the roster for draftees. This is known as delisting. This is the second article in a series.

Essendon informed Brendon Goddard he would not be offered a new contract. Goddard, 33, was shocked at the decision while Coach John Worsfold admitted that it was a very tough call to make. An emotional Goddard, who has played every game this season, informed teammates ahead of the final game of the year.

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Lukewarm Pies

Michael Johnson played his last game

The Collingwood Magpies had to battle until the dying minutes of the match to pull off a narrow win over a spirited Fremantle Dockers side and lock up a top four position at the end of the home and away rounds. Fremantle took the game right up to the Pies, who traveled west in one of their rare forays across the country. It was Michael Johnson’s last appearance in a distinguished 244 game career, and his teammates dug in for him to nearly cause a "boil-over".

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Demons Thump Giants to Secure Home Final

Max Gawn (from Round 22)

In a prelude to the spring conditions awaiting in September, the final Sunday afternoon home and away match at the MCG for 2018 got underway in sunny conditions. The Demons were wearing their commemorative 160-year jumper and the Giants in their white away jumper.  While not quite do-or-die with both teams assured a spot in the final eight, today’s result would determine who and where they would play in week one of the finals. A win to Melbourne would mean a home final at the MCG against Geelong, a loss would mean an away match in Sydney. A win to GWS would mean a home final in Sydney and a loss an away final against the Swans at the SCG.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round Twenty Two

The Demons are back in the finals.

With just one round to be played before the finals series begins, the top eight is finally taking shape, but there is still plenty to be decided with some big match-ups in the final round. The big winner out of round 22 was Melbourne, which finished strongly against the West Coast Eagles in Perth to book their first finals appearance in 12 seasons, much to the relief of Coach Simon Goodwin. Last year the Demons crashed out of the race late in 2017. Collingwood strengthened its hold on a top four finish with a big win over Port Adelaide at the MCG, effectively ending Port’s finals campaign in the process. 

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Melbourne Ruffles Some Feathers

Demons Celebrate the Win

Apparently no one had read the script to the Melbourne Demons. They hadn’t beaten a team in the top eight all season and it was a West Coast Eagles home game, Optus Stadium is a fortress and at 75 degrees, it was supposed to be too hot for Melbourne teams to last four full quarters. All that mattered little when the siren sounded and the Demons put on a display worthy of finalists when they ran over the Eagles in an upset in the West.

From the very first moments it was clear that Melbourne had come to play. They were ferocious in their tackling and hunted the Eagles down in packs all over the ground. West Coast were rattled and started to make disposal errors that played right into Melbourne’s hands.

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Saints Pressure Almost Derails The Hawks

Gunston Takes A Mark. 2016.

Outside it was cold and wintry (by Melbourne standards) but good conditions under the roof at Etihad on Saturday night shielded fans. Inside, it was the Hawks who nearly got the chill. Despite the indoor game, the crowd numbers were down on recent clashes between these two teams. 

Early it was Gunston who opened the scoring for the Hawks. The Saints worked hard around the contests to shut down Hawthorn's run and delivery into the forward link.  Burgoyne finally managed to eke out a second for the Hawks.  St Kilda had plenty of the ball, but not a lot of it in their forward 50.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round Twenty One

It's been a dark year for the Blues

Twenty one rounds into the AFL season and incredibly the finals and top four races remain wide open and just two weeks to go. A big win to Richmond over the Suns has locked up a top two spot for the reigning premiers while an amazing last gasp win to the Eagles – in almost identical fashion to their final in 2017, and once again over a distraught Port Adelaide – leaves them in great shape to finish in the top two and secure a home final.

A gutsy win to Hawthorn over Geelong has catapulted the Hawks into fourth position on the AFL ladder, in turn sending the Cats crashing out of the eight, while the Giants 14 point win over Adelaide kept them in great shape for a finals double chance while ending the Crows chances of any finals participation in the process.

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Fremantle Fights Off The Blues

Fremantle team enters stadium

It took until the third quarter for the Fremantle Dockers to break the shackles after a pedestrian start to take down bottom of the ladder dwellers the Carlton Blues. Carlton were struck a blow when their premier ruckman Matthew Kreuzer was omitted, possibly for the rest of the season, with an elevated heart rate when training the day before the match in Perth. After having lost five of the last six matches in the West, Carlton were going to need all the help they could get.

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Four More Call Time

Gibson Goes For Smother vs St Kilda

As the 2018 season heads towards finals, some players have already started toward the door by announcing their retirements. With just a few weeks left, Melbourne's Harley Balic, Adelaide's Sam Gibson, Gold Coast's Matt Rosa and Fremantle's Lee Spurr have all called time on their careers. 

Balic was originally drafted by Fremantle in 2015 but a wrist injury kept kept him sidelined in 2016. He finally debuted in 2017 but played just four games. He took a leave of absence from the club in May and later July 2017, and returned to Melbourne for personal reasons. He then asked to be traded back to Victoria, also for personal reasons. He had struggled with homesickness and feelings of isolation during his time in Perth.

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Initial Schedules for Finals Coverage in 2018 Posted

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Over the weekend, we updated our TV schedules page and companion Google calendar to include the preliminary scheduled times up to the Grand Final for Fox networks and WatchAFL. For Fox, all finals in weeks one to three are live on Fox Sports 2 (FS2) only and repeats on Fox Soccer Plus (FSP). The Grand Final is on FSP only. WatchAFL has all matches, live and on-demand. Canadian schedules haven't been released yet but we're expecting something soon.

All live times are, of course, subject to change since the AFL adjusts match times during finals on a weekly basis. We've gone with what Fox provided us and for WatchAFL, with what the AFL did last season. The two vary a little for week one but we should have something firm by the end of August. The weeks 2 and 3 plus the Grand Final all line up and agree with recent years. We'll continuously update the schedules as we get closer to the end of the season and more info comes in.

We also are offering discounts for all WatchAFL subscriptions through the end of the season. It's 10% off for fans using code AFANA10. Be sure to go to https://mbsy.co/lhBGw and enter the code before you select which subscription option you want. Then click apply and choose the length of your subscription. If you have a bar, pub, or other venue hosting a party or showing AFL matches, contact us for a special code and save massively.

Need meat pies? Save 15% at DUB Pies using code afana18 (lower case) at https://www.dubpies.com/ Using our links and discount codes helps fund what we do at AFANA. We receive no financial support from the AFL or networks and depend entirely on you, the reader, to keep us going.

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