The highly decorated, 15-year, 305-game career of Geelong champion Jimmy Bartel has come to an end with Bartel announcing his retirement during the October trade period. While Bartel said he felt he had more to give, he "understood the bigger picture" and respected the direction in which the club wanted to move.
A couple of last minute goals to Lachie Neale and Hayden Ballantyne saw the Fremantle Dockers sneak a win over Port Adelaide Power in their Round 1 clash at Domain (formerly Patersons) Stadium in Perth. Neale’s goal was a shot on the run from 50 meters out in the last minutes of the game, while Ballantyne played on from a match winning tackle by Zac Clarke who won a free kick after chasing down Jasper Pittard in the forward 50 metre zone. A four goal contribution by Matthew Pavlich, two of which were at critical times in the final quarter, also helped the Dockers to a stirring win.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Longest Gap Between Matches Against an Opponent: Kevin Sheedy (GWS) met Essendon for the first time since he was a player for Richmond in Round 17, 1978, on July 29. This gap of 33 years and 302 days is the longest gap in League history for any person between matches against one club. Fitzroy's Paddy Noonan played against Geelong in 1898, then coached North Melbourne against Geelong in 1929, a gap of 30 years, 355 days.
Essendon already had one player from Papua New Guinea on an international scholarship, 17-year old David Meli, who is playing the juniors' TAC competition. Now it is three with the club offering two more international scholarships to Victor Lame and Max Lavai, both 15 years old. The pair spent a week in Melbourne in early May, touring the city, meeting Essendon's senior players and visiting the club's facilities.