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Season Preview Part Three

by Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Melbourne Demons
With the “tanking” saga behind them and the club coffers $500,000 lighter as a result, the Demons can head into 2013 with a clean slate and better times on the horizon. Chris Dawes comes across from Collingwood in an attempt to provide some help for Mitch Clark inside the forward fifty, while disgruntled midfielder Brent Moloney was given his walking papers to the sunny climes of Brisbane with the Lions. Whilst Shannon Byrnes should slot straight into Melbourne’s best 22 with a fresh opportunity after stagnating somewhat at Geelong, the real

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Cloke Finds Form For Pies

Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from Melbourne, Australia

Final round action saw traditional rivals Collingwood and Essendon lock horns at the MCG but their end of season situations were in stark contrast. For the Bombers, it was a chance to regain some pride. After letting a great start to the season slip by the wayside with their horrible run home, they cost themselves any chance of participating in Finals action. The Magpies on the other hand needed to win the game to sew up a spot in the Top Four and gain the double chance.

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Eagles Surpise Magpies

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

In Round 13 these two teams met in what was a top of the table clash. Collingwood knocked the West Coast Eagles off their top of the ladder perch in a bruising encounter, winning by a slender three points in what many thought was a preview of the Grand Final. Both teams have had a horror patch over the last couple of months, the Eagles having the worst of it and sliding way down from the top of the Ladder to sixth position. Collingwood had no trepidation about the trip west, having not lost a game there since 2007. Dubbed the “House of Pain” by opposing coaches due to the loud roars of parochial hometown fans, Patersons Stadium was packed to the rafters with supporters hoping to see another thriller.

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AFL Grand Final Teams Announced

Johnson Leung reporting for AFANA from Melbourne

Collingwood and Geelong have announced their starting teams for Saturday's AFL Grand Final. In the only change to either team, Pies midfielder Dayne Beams, who only had two possessions in last week's Preliminary Final win over Hawthorn, is out with groin soreness and has been replaced by Alex Fasolo. Pies ruckman Darren Jolly and key defender Ben Reid, who suffered upper-leg injuries in the match, have been retained in the team.

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Finals X Factors

Brook Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

With the home and away season in the books, it’s time for footy fans to turn their attention to important matters. Eight teams are about to embark on what should be a fascinating Finals campaign. With so much at stake, which players will take the next step and write themselves into AFL folklore? All who watch know the magic that gun players such as Dane Swan, Chris Judd, Adam Goodes, Buddy Franklin, Dean Cox, Joel Selwood and Nick Riewoldt are capable of week in week out, but what about the lesser lights who have hit some form at the business end of the season?

In this series, AFANA will focus the spotlight on players who might seemingly come out of nowhere to power their teams through September in a quest for Premiership glory. This is a chance to run the slide rule over each of the Finals' combatants by picking one player from each team, players who may just be the 2012 Finals X Factors.

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Teams Selected For Grand Final Replay

Both Collingwood and St Kilda have made minimal changes to the teams which will line up for the Grand Final replay. One good news story is Saint Ben McEvoy, who played 18 games this season as a back up ruckman to Michael Gardiner.

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