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2021 Midseason Draft

The AFL held their midseason rookie draft in early June. All 18 clubs had available spots open on their lists and 22 players were selected. The selection order was in reverse to the standings at the end of Round 11.

The eligibility criteria: any player who nominated for the most recent draft, a delisted player (cannot be selected by the club from which he was delisted), a player who has been retired for more than one year. Any player who does not meet these requirements can be nominated by a representative of the AFL Talent Pathway, their AFLPA accredited agent, or the player themselves and be considered for an exemption.

THE DRAFT

Note: player information is the same as for previous drafts: selection number, name, the club of origin, age, height, weight, and position

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Hayden Kennedy To Step Down

AFL Umpire Head Coach Hayden Kennedy has advised the AFL that he will be stepping down from that role after the conclusion of Round 10. Kennedy, a teacher by profession, began umpiring AFL games in 1988 and went on to officiate in 495 games, including five Grand Finals. He retired after Round 17, 2011 as the record holder for most games umpired. That record was broken by Shane McInerney (502) games) before he retired at the end of 2019. Kennedy would easily have surpassed 502 games had it not been for a bout of plantar fasciitis (inflammation of tissue in the foot) several seasons before he retired. 

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Footy World Mourns Costa

Gary Ablett, Jr and Frank Costa

Just as Round Seven was concluded, the footy community was mourning the death of game and Geelong icon Frank Costa. Costa, 83. succumbed to cancer. Costa, a successful businessman in the fruit and vegetable industry, assumed the presidency of Geelong in 1998 when the club was virtually on its knees - badly in debt and without any finals success in decades. Under his leadership, the debt was all but erased, the club became a dominant powerhouse and again tasted premiership success in 2007 and 2009. When he stepped down and handed the reins over to Colin Carter in 2010, the club was in a very strong position both on and off the field, going on to win the 2011 premiership. He is also responsible for bringing in current CEO Brian Cook and former coach Mark Thompson. At one point the trio made a pact that they would remain until the Cats won a premiership. Under his guidance, the club's home ground - GMBHA Stadium - was revitalized, upgraded, and expanded. 

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Blues Blow Away Bombers After Slow Start

Hooker Battles Cox (2019)

It was a warm sunny day at the MCG, with the late 3.20 PMM start meaning that most of the game would be played in the shadows of the stands. Coming into this match Essendon were 14th and Carlton were 15th on the AFL ladder.  A solid crowd of 57,447 witnessed the match. Anthony McDonald Tipungwuti kicked the opening goal of the match as Essendon looked slick early.

Mitch McGovern and Sam Walsh kicked the next two goals to show the Blues fans they were up for the fight and much of the quarter it was an even competition.  But Essendon got their running game happening and Cale Hooker evened things up on the scoreboard.  With Essendon on the rampage, it took a big mark by Eddie Betts in the goal square to keep the Blues in it. He landed heavily with the ball and limped back to kick the goal.

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Shane Harvey Sets Goals Record

Harvey Leads Team Out in Game 300

Brent "Boomer" Harvey, as we all know, holds the record for most AFL games. He kicked 516 goals for North Melbourne, two for Victoria in state games and 11 against Ireland. When he left North Melbourne, he joined his younger brother Shane at North Heidelberg in the Northern Football League. Now, Shane can share bragging rights with Brent - not for a games record, but goals. In a game played on 4/23, Shane kicked eight goals. His fifth was for the match was his 1000th career goal, a record for the Northern League. He is the first to kick 1000 goals in the league .Brent kicked four goals.

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Pies Sign Senegalese Player

Daicos Cool Under Pressure

In mid-April, Collingwood signed a basketball player from Senegal. Bassirou Faye, 18, has committed to the Pies on an International Rookie Scholarship. Currently still in his homeland, he will relocate to Australia in late May. Faye, who stands 202 cm (6'5") has never played Australian Rules but had been training with the Oakleigh Chargers in the NAB league and looked impressive with his athleticism. He was forced to return to Senegal due to visa issues.

Faye originally arrived in Australia hoping for a career in basketball but switched to footy through former Tiger and Hawk Tyrone Vickery. Oakleigh's general manager put Faye through a two-month training program at the beginning of this year before Faye joined the Chargers for several sessions.

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AFLW Coach Honored

In the buildup to the AFLW Grand Final, Brisbane Lions coach Craig Starcevich was named AFLW coach of the year by the AFL Coaches Association (AFLCA). The voting is done by fellow coaches. Opposing Grand Final coach Matthew Clarke came in second, followed by Melbourne Coach Mick Stinear. Starcevich, who has coached the Lions since 2018, has led his team into three Grand Finals in the past five seasons with Brisbane taking out the premiership in 2021. He was rated as the best-performed coach throughout the season and the Association considered the team's performance, available resources, player talent, and team management.

In accepting the award Starcevich paid tribute to the team, "I’m absolutely chuffed and humbled ... It’s completely related to the quality of our coaching group overall, medical and fitness teams, all of our staff, and most importantly our players. It’s a direct reflection of what they’ve churned out this year."

AFLCA CEO Alistair Nicholson praised Starcevich,

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Return Of Kade Simpson

Simpson Tackles Magpie Greenwood

Carlton legend Kade Simpson has decided he wants to return to AFL football. Simpson, who turns 37 in May, was not offered a new contract by the Blues and, according to the 2020 AFL Record Season Guide he "retired". He has been out of the game for a little over six months but said he wants to return after watching the opening rounds of the 2021 season. Simpson, who played 342 games across fifteen seasons, spoke on a podcast hosted by former teammate Dylan Buckley (Dyl and Friends), and said, "I still wish I was playing, like 100 percent. Even now, for some stupid reason, I still run and flog myself. In the back of my head, I’m like, just imagine if someone now with the mid-season draft and all that sort of stuff. I’m pretty fit still. If someone did "come knocking, I’m ready. I wouldn’t be like ‘oh f--k I haven’t done a thing for six months’. I’m still fit."

Under AFL rules, a player must be retired for a year to be eligible for the midseason draft, but he could be eligible since it seems he was

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Patton Retires Amid Scandal

Patton vs North Melbourne's Firrito

Just as Round Five was getting underway, Jonathon Patton announced his immediate retirement from all levels of football. Patton, 27, was the number one draft selection in 2011, being snapped up by the Giants. He has struggled with injuries across his eight-year career. He played 89 games for GWS before being traded to Hawthorn at the end of 2019 but has managed just six games for the Hawks. The injury issues are only one part of the story. In January, he was stood down from Hawthorn after at least four women complained that he sent them lewd and explicit photos, videos, and messages on social media. He was later hospitalized for mental health issues and released in March. Since his release, the AFL Integrity Unit is free to interview him and ramp up their investigations. 

In making the announcement, Patton said, “I have made the difficult decision to retire ... to focus on my health, wellbeing, and future outside of the game.

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AFLW Grand Final Teams

Foley Celebrates A Goal
ADELAIDE CROWS
BACK          Foley     Rajcic
HALF BACK     N. Allen  S. Allan  Thompson  
CENTER        Varnhagen Marinoff  Jones
HALF FORWARD  Martin    Ponter    Woodland
FORWARD       Gould     Scheer
RUCK/ROVERS   Metcalfe  Phillips  Hatchard
INTERCHANGE   Considine Button    Mules
              Charlton  Cox
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