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Dockers Exorcize Demons

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

Fremantle secured the Minor Premiership (top position on the Ladder) for the first time in club history with a relatively easy win over the Melbourne Demons in the penultimate round of the home and away (regular) season.
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The Dockers' ride to the Finals looked decidedly wobbly after they dropped their last two games and they needed to stamp their authority on this outing to secure the top rung. They did that well and truly with five first quarter goals, followed by another six in the second quarter before Melbourne scored their first for the match.
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Neeld Third Man Out

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chcago

In late May, a Melbourne board meeting led to media speculation that Coach Mark Neeld was going be sacked. That rumor was quashed with Neeld himself saying it was simply a routine meeting. However, at a meeting on June 14, the board decided to tell Neeld his services were no longer required. Recently appointed CEO Peter Jackson held off on delivering the news to Neeld until the Monday following the completion of Round 12 due to concerns that the information would be leaked to the media before Neeld could be told.

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Freo Finds Finals Form

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium in Perth

With the Top Eight determined the previous round, all that was left was the shuffling of the deck chairs to find out which teams would play against each other in the Finals. It was down to percentage for the Fremantle Dockers as to where they finished, with the possibility that they could meet the West Coast Eagles in an Elimination Final if they finished in eighth position. Coach Ross Lyon talked about “managing” the result, a veiled reference some took as meaning not playing to their best to achieve that result.

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Round 20 Milestones

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Damien Hardwick (RICH) qualified for AFL Life Membership in Round 20 with his 300th league game as a player and coach. He debuted with Essendon in 1994 and played 153 games with the Bombers before crossing to Port Adelaide where he played 54 games. Hardwick has the distinction of being a Premiership player with both clubs, won the Best and Fairest at Essendon in 1998 and was named All-Australian in 2000. He played 13 pre-season games with Essendon and five with Port, four International Rules games, and has coached Richmond in 63 games.

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Round 16 Injury Update

COLLINGWOOD
Brad Dick, shoulder, 1 week
Anthony Corrie, knee, 1-2 weeks
Nick Maxwell, calf, 1-2 weeks

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