Welcome to the first AFANA AFL Power Poll for 2019, and what a crazy couple of rounds of footy we have witnessed to kick off the season! If what we have seen so far is any indication, Aussie rules football fans are in for a crazy ride in 2019. Nothing should surprise us given the last three premiers have come from 8th, 13th and 6th on the ladder in the year prior to taking out the big one.
by Lisa Albergo reporting from AFANA from Chicago
On October 6, the two-week free agency/trade period began, as well as several clubs delisting players to make places available for newcomers. The biggest news ahead of this period was Gary Ablett requesting a trade back to Geelong despite a year left on his contract with the Suns. Others to request trades have been: Port's Jarman Impey designating Hawthorn his preferred choice, Giants Nathan Wilson and Devon Smith, Adelaide's Jake Lever and Charlie Cameron. The Bulldogs were also seeking to trade Jake Stringer, whose inconsistent form has seen fall out of favor. Melbourne was also seeking to trade Jack Watts, who was bitterly disappointed at not being able to remain with the club.
The Adelaide Crows led from start to finish, cruising to a crushing 61 point Preliminary Final win over a disappointing Geelong at the Adelaide Oval on Friday night. Pre-game concerns about their scoring capability in the absence of an injured Mitch McGovern were quickly dismissed, as the speedy Charlie Cameron kicked five goals in the Crows 61 point victory.
What a difference a week makes. Richmond players and coaches traveled to Adelaide on a high after defeating premiership favorite Hawthorn, confident they could defeat an Adelaide Crows team that had been demoralized by the Sydney Swans just a week earlier. The Crows knew they had to win to keep their Finals hopes alive, while the Tigers' Top Four chances depended on a victory over the Crows in front of a sell-out Adelaide crowd.
Richmond received bad news on the eve of the big clash with the news that Brett Deledio - their four-goal hero against Hawthorn - would not take his place in the team due to a bad case of influenza. With Deledio missing, the onus was on Jack Riewoldt and Ty Vickery to produce enough goals to win against the hard running Crows.
Returning to the football field after the murder of their coach Phil Walsh, the Adelaide Crows came to Perth for a Round 15 encounter with a West Coast team that also had strong connections with Walsh, an assistant coach under John Worsfold from 2009-2013. The wounds were still raw and emotions close to the surface for both teams as they stood together arm in arm for a moment’s silence in memory of Walsh before the start of play.
Adelaide players were a little sluggish at the start of the match after a fast start by West Coast,
On a big night for football in Adelaide - as the revamped Adelaide Oval hosted its first Crows night game mid-week - the biggest question was “now that they’ve built it, will they come?” "Yes" was the resounding answer as a mixture of Adelaide and Collingwood fans flooded into the stadium to create an atmosphere not seen for a long time at an AFL game in South Australia. Also adding to the interest factor in the game was Crows' cult figure Taylor Walker, making his return to AFL action after a 12 month layoff due to a severe knee injury.