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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round Seventeen

Mundy leads Dockers to upset win

Round seventeen was full of upsets, great finishes and some very big injuries. The Giants resurrected their season with a win over the Tigers, the Eagles rode their big forwards to a classy win over Collingwood, and the Crows celebrated the re-signing of favorite son Rory Sloane by banking a win against the highly fancied Cats.

Biggest loser of the weekend has to go to Port Adelaide, who not only forfeited a chance at second place on the ladder by losing to an undermanned Fremantle,

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Kangaroos Make Second Consecutive Preliminary Final

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Perth

North Melbourne earned a rare distinction in its dissection of the Sydney Swans at ANZ Stadium in the first Semi-Final. The Kangaroos are the only team in League history to make a Preliminary Final from eighth position after making Sydney look all at sea as they ran over them by more than four goals. Sydney never fired a shot in a scrappy and congested game that got away from them and saw some poor decision making by their coach.
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Goodes Leads Latest AFL Departures

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Within the football community, including his teammates and Coach John Longmire, there was speculation that Adam Goodes would retire at the end of the year. And so it came to be after Sydney's season ended at the hands of North Melbourne. There was no fanfare or chairing from the ground as Goodes did not announce his retirement until after the game in the rooms. Goodes was close to quitting mid-season after the widely reported over the top jeering from opposition fans but returned after a week away to see out the season. It is believed he will miss the Grand Final parade and traditional pre-game lap of honor for retiring players due to taking some holiday time. However he will have a chance to farewell the fans at the start of next season.

Although disappointed with the loss and missing out on one more chance at a premiership, Goodes leaves the game having achieved almost all there is to achieve over 372 games. He holds the record for the most games by an indigenous player and is inside the top ten in League history. His work in the community and for indigenous people has also been recognized and commended by many.

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Swans Star Goodes Focus of Global Debate

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Adam Goodes has always been a spokesperson for his people, their indigenous heritage and a strong voice against racism. As a result, he has become highly respected off the football field as well as on and was named Australian of the Year in 2014. In 2013, Goodes heard a fan in the crowd call out to him using a racist slur and Goodes turned and pointed her out to security guards who escorted her from the ground. The fan turned out to be a 13 year old girl.

Goodes later met with her and she apologized. He later stated that it wasn't her fault as she, being so young, may not have realized the hurt her taunt caused. In a recent game against Hawthorn, there was a clash with Hawk Josh Gibson. There has also been criticism of Goodes with some accusing him of behind the play sniping and staging for free kicks. On occasions he has been booed with fans claiming these incidents have been the source of their behaviour.

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Club Awards

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Sydney midfielder Luke Parker has won his first Bob Skilton medal as the Swans' best and fairest. Parker polled in all but three games to finish on 758 votes, ahead of Josh Kennedy (709) and Lance Franklin (688). Parker, 21, is the youngest winner since Michael O'Loughlin in 1998. He also won the Paul Kelly Players’ Player Award, which is voted on by the playing group. Parker led the club in 2014 for tackles, averaging six per game, and was among the leaders for the season in disposals, contested possessions and goals. Coach Longmire praised Parker as a great competitor, saying the win - after just 82 games - was a great achievement. “When you look at the players behind him - Kennedy and Franklin - you quickly get an understanding of how good a season he has had, and how highly we think of him as a player. Luke was taken as quite a late draft pick, but he really is testament to where hard work can get you, and we value that really highly."

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Hawk Warriors Too Tough Too Good

Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia

For just under 100,000 fans packed into the MCG and millions of TV viewers in Australia and around the world, the anticipation and tension in the lead-up to the 2014 Grand Final was mouth-watering. Experts had the Swans as outright favorites for the Premiership Cup, bolstered with an unchanged team and by expensive recruits and big men Kurt Tippett and Lance “Buddy” Franklin. Teamed up with athletic giants Adam Goodes and Ben Reid, the Sydney forward line loomed large and many thought unstoppable. The added drama of a Grand Final clash between ex-Hawk Buddy and his old teammates - with whom he won a Premiership only 12 months ago - laid the ingredients on the table for an outstanding contest. Most predicted a win by the Swans and only a few could mount an argument for the Hawks by the very smallest of margins, such was the perceived might of the Swans after their demolition of North Melbourne in the Preliminary Final.
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Hawks Stake Premiership Claims

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Promoted as a match that was a most likely Grand Final preview, the Sydney Swans versus Hawthorn contest at the MCG in Round 18 lived up to expectations. A big crowd of 72,000 saw a pulsating game of Aussie Rules Football, with both teams showing they have what it takes to lift the Premiership Cup in September.

Lance “Buddy” Franklin - the ex-Hawthorn gun who went north to Sydney on a reported nine year ten million dollar deal - was being reminded of his defection as many of the Hawk supporters let out a mighty “boo” every time he touched the football. In the first quarter, there was a lot of booing as Franklin started the game in fine form, setting up two goals and marking with authority. At the opposite end of the MCG, 200-gamer Jarryd Roughead was providing a strong target for the Hawks. Roughead had the first goal on the board within a minute of the opening siren, before Franklin replied after a couple of misses. Hawthorn had more scoring chances in an uncompromising first quarter. However their accuracy deserted them as they took a four point lead into quarter time that could have been greater given the balance of play.
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Swans Show Class In Wet

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Sydney recorded its 11th win in a row over the West Coast Eagles at a rain drenched Patersons Stadium and now the Swans sit on top of the Ladder, one game clear of the rest of the field. Although the game was a hard fought contest in trying conditions, Sydney showed its class and finished stronger with three goals in the last quarter to knock the Eagles out of the fight.
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Sydney Hall Of Fame

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The Sydney Swans recently held their Hall Of Fame ceremony, with Barry Hall and Craig Bolton the new inductees. The dinner gala also included the guernsey presentations as well as the announcement of club heritage listings. Hall joined the Swans in 2002 and played 162 matches, booting 467 goals. He ranks third on the club's all-time goal kicking table and led the club's goal kicking for seven consecutive seasons from 2002-2008. He was match day captain for the 2005 Premiership and co-captain in 2006 and 2007 alongside Brett Kirk and Leo Barry. Hall's successor as co-captain in 2008 was fellow inductee Craig Bolton.

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