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Coaching Appointments

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Just weeks after his resignation as the Western Bulldogs' senior coach, Brendan McCartney was appointed development and strategy coach with the Melbourne Demons. He joins Brett Allison, Brad Miller and newly appointed full-time Casey coach Justin Plapp, in Melbourne’s development team for 2015. He will remain in that role until assistant coach Simon Goodwin takes over from Paul Roos in 2017 as senior coach, at which time he will move into a mentor and management role.

In making the announcement, football operations manager Josh Mahoney said the club was delighted to have McCartney on board. “He has a proven record and reputation in developing players and his appointment adds valued experience to our development program ... Simon has previously worked with Brendan ... at Essendon and identified him as the ideal candidate ... to assist his transition into senior coaching."

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Coach Departs Bulldogs

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

In the middle of the trade period, Western Bulldog coach Brendan McCartney tendered his resignation. Although club president Peter Gordon denied there was a rift between coach and players, he did cite communication issues as the reason. He said that the club had "lost their direction in 2014" with some deterioration in the second half of the season after progress during McCartney's first two seasons in charge. He denied that the club had been close to sacking McCartney in September but did admit his position was under review after a tepid finish to the season. Gordon also said that Bulldogs' Captain Ryan Griffen's shock trade request played a part in the coach's departure.

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Round 23 Farewells Part One

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Round 23 saw the curtain come down on eight more players: GWS defenders Josh Hunt and Stephen Gilham, Bulldog Daniel Giansiracusa, Sydney's Ryan O'Keefe, Magpie Luke Ball, Gold Coast rugby convert Karmichael Hunt and St Kilda duo Clint Jones and James Gwilt.

Josh Hunt began his career with Geelong where he played 198 games and was a key to their 2007 and 2011 Premierships. Hunt, 32, played a total of 13 games with the Giants since joining them at the end of 2013 to bring his game tally to 211. Hunt played in the 2008 International Rules series and Geelong's 2006 and 2009 preseason premierships.

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Thanks For The Memories

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.

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West Coast Form Ominous

Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Western Australia

A blisteringly hot Perth day did not keep over 36,000 die hard West Coast Eagles fans away from Patersons Stadium for their clash against the Western Bulldogs. Round One had already produced some unexpected results, the biggest being the upset defeat of the Sydney Swans by fledgling hometown rivals, the GWS Giants. Wins by Fremantle, Gold Coast, Port Adelaide, Geelong and Essendon point to a tightly contested season while Hawthorn’s easy defeat of the Brisbane Lions signals they are again the team to beat. None of these outcomes affected West Coast fan’s enthusiasm at having their “boys” back on the park after a 2013 season which went horribly wrong. Injuries to high profile players, underwhelming performances in home fixtures and a jaded game plan sent the Eagles from a widely-predicted Top Four finish to a lowly 13th on the Ladder.

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Essendon Heads For Court

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Former Essendon high performance manager Dean Robinson initially filed suit in October against Essendon for breach of contract. Robinson was stood down shortly after the supplements scandal broke in February. It is believed he is seeking compensation in excess of $2 million. Robinson, who stated in a TV interview that Hird approved a "black ops" program with Stephen Dank and himself took a banned substance, claims the club made him a scapegoat. He also believes that his reputation is damaged the extent that he will be unable to find employment at another club. Hird denied the accusation. Nor was Robinson's claim substantiated by ASADA's report.

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Darling Day Out

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Jack Darling returned to good goal kicking form to help West Coast put the Western Bulldogs to the sword in the Round Six clash at Patersons Stadium. The Eagles ran all over their opponents after Darling kicked five goals in the first half then went on into the second half to assist his forward mate Josh Kennedy boot four of his own.

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Club Changes

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA

Adam McPhee announced his retirement shortly before the draft. McPhee had recently signed a one year contract extension with the Dockers, but cited family reasons for wanting to return to

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Matthew Scarlett Retires

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Opposition forwards will be relishing the start of the 2013 season. In recent weeks, it was widely speculated in the media that 2012 would be Matthew Scarlett's last season. This was confirmed after the Cats lost their Elimination Final to Fremantle, with the ace defender later making it official.

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