During the latter part of the season, there was much speculation in the media about Alastair Clarkson's coaching future. Three clubs were linked to him - GWS, Essendon and North Melbourne. In early August, GWS opted not to pursue him and Clarkson himself later admitted his desire to remain in Victoria. Just as Round 23 was getting underway, North signed him to a five year deal. Although he had spoken to Essendon, he said he was "too far down the path" with North to consider Essendon's offer. Clarkson rejected overtures to replace contracted Bombers coach Ben Rutten and described the situation as "unsavory", having been approached about the position by their new president David Barham earlier in the week. He also said he only talked to Essendon out of a sense of fairness and respect for the people he knows at the club. But with Ben Rutten not being axed by the club at the time, Clarkson was not pleased with the situation, saying it had become a circus, "It really disappoints me, what's unfolded with 'Truck' Rutten out at the Bombers. He's a good man and he's a good football person ... ".
Adelaide defender Daniel Talia was told he will not receive a new contract. An off-season knee injury that required surgery and a foot injury shortly after - also requiring surgery kept him sidelined for the entire season. He also suffered some setbacks during his rehabilitation.
Talia, 29, was drafted in 2009 and played 200 games. He won All-Australian selection twice and has been a stalwart in the Adelaide defense. Other honors are the Rising Star award in 2012, the club's best and fairest in 2014, and was a member of the leadership group.
Port Adelaide midfielder and former Brisbane captain Tom Rockliff also announced his retirement. Rockliff, 31, has had a horror run of injuries this year. Early in May, he landed awkwardly during a SANFL match, damaging both knees. He was confined to a wheelchair in early May after surgery. Just a week later, he was hospitalized after complaining of acute calf pain. He was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis and the doctors found blood clots on his lungs. He has been on blood-thinning medication since, and he was barred from taking part in any contact drills when he returned to training duties several weeks ago.
Both Brisbane Coach Chris Fagan and Geelong Coach Chris Scott have been given contract extensions. Fagan's is for two seasons while Scott is signed through 2022.
Adam Kingsley has decided to leave his position at St Kilda to seek new opportunities at Richmond. Kingsley, who played 170 games with Port Adelaide from 1997 to 2006, has been with the Saints since 2011. A highly credentialed coach, Kingsley is a graduate of the inaugural Level Four Coaches Program, was named the AFL Coaches Association’s Assistant Coach of the Year in 2015, and is very highly regarded by his peers.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Adelaide defender Ben Rutten, 31, will retire at the end of the season. It was a decision he made several months ago. In making the announcement, Rutten said he wanted to finish while still contributing to the team and felt the time was right. He believes the club is in good hands with "a talented and motivated playing group". Rutten, who will finish with more than 230 games to his credit, started with West Adelaide as a junior. He was overlooked in two national drafts before the Crows added him to their rookie list in 2002. He debuted in 2003 against Fremantle and kicked three consecutive goals with his first three kicks. He was named All Australian in 2005 and finished top three in the club champion awards in 2005 and 2011.
The following is the time line for the the Grand Final day events including key times for match and TV related activities. All times are listed first in Australian AEST and then in US EDT. This is based on information from the AFL, AFANA, press reports and past history. This story will be periodically updated with late information. (Revised 9/25/14)
|Start Time AEST||Start Time US EDT||End Time AEST||End Time US EDT||Event||US / Can Network Coverage|
|7:00 AM||5:00 PM||11:00 AM||9:00 PM||AFL Game Day from the MCG (Ch. Seven Australia) Not available in US or Canada.||None|
|10:00 AM||8:00 PM||3AW radio pregame begins. NAB Academy All-Stars match (Australia Under 17s v Allies Under 18s) at the MCG (streamed online).
At half-time of curtain raiser, TAC Cup presentation.
Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from AAMI Stadium, Adelaide
Adelaide got out of jail in Round 9 with a dramatic last gasp win in a memorable game against North Melbourne. Crows' fans were looking forward to a confidence filled team taking on the in form Fremantle outfit at home in their Round 10 clash. The Dockers have a mediocre record at AAMI Stadium with their most recent loss there occurring in the Finals just last season.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Mick Malthouse (CARL) and Kevin Sheedy (GWS) are now tied in second place for all-time wins by a coach. Carlton's Round Five win against Adelaide and the Giants' loss to Gold Coast put both on 388 career wins, just behind Collingwood's Jock McHale (467 wins).
Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from AAMI Stadium, Adelaide, Australia
With a win, either Adelaide or Fremantle would be heading to the hallowed turf of the MCG to meet the high flying Hawks in a Preliminary Final. A loss would mean a disappointing end to the season where getting so close would be no consolation. With the end of each season come retirements and Crows’ veteran and their oldest listed player Michael Doughty, has already announced that this is his last season. He certainly played this game like a man who wasn’t ready to finish up. The other old hand back in the Adelaide defense, Ben Rutten, has earned his fair share of criticism for not being the player that he was in past seasons and he too looked like he had a point to prove while going head to head with the Dockers’ in form superstar Matthew Pavlich.
Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from Adelaide, Australia
After a disappointing loss to North Melbourne last week, the Adelaide Crows returned home to face a young Richmond side that has shown plenty of positive signs this year but really needed another win to show that they deserve to be in the Finals mix this year.