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Swan, Eagle Succumb To Injuries

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The ball in contest as Boyd and Tippett duel for position
Kurt Tippett (left) battles for the ball<br />2016 Grand Final

Sydney Swans forward Kurt Tippett has announced his retirement. Tippett, 30, succumbed to a degenerative ankle. He injured the ankle early in 2017, underwent reconstructive surgery at the end of the season and has been working to strengthen it but decided it would not stand up to the rigors of AFL football. He had remained optimistic about his recovery but the time it was taking gave him doubts he would ever return to full fitness to play.

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Stuart Dew Appointed Suns' Coach

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Former Port Adelaide and Hawthorn premiership player Stuart Dew has been appointed as the new senior coach of the Gold Coast Suns. Dew, 38, won out over Carlton assistant coach John Barker and Collingwood assistant coach Scott Burns. He, like Barker, has completed his Level Four coaching course and won strong reviews throughout the AFL program which was designed to help assistants advance to senior positions. Dew was first interviewed formally by the Suns in mid-September, along with Adam Kingsley (St Kilda), Jade Rawlings (Melbourne) and former Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney. He, Barker and Burns made it to the final interview stage.
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Kangaroos Make Second Consecutive Preliminary Final

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Perth

North Melbourne earned a rare distinction in its dissection of the Sydney Swans at ANZ Stadium in the first Semi-Final. The Kangaroos are the only team in League history to make a Preliminary Final from eighth position after making Sydney look all at sea as they ran over them by more than four goals. Sydney never fired a shot in a scrappy and congested game that got away from them and saw some poor decision making by their coach.
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Goodes Leads Latest AFL Departures

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Within the football community, including his teammates and Coach John Longmire, there was speculation that Adam Goodes would retire at the end of the year. And so it came to be after Sydney's season ended at the hands of North Melbourne. There was no fanfare or chairing from the ground as Goodes did not announce his retirement until after the game in the rooms. Goodes was close to quitting mid-season after the widely reported over the top jeering from opposition fans but returned after a week away to see out the season. It is believed he will miss the Grand Final parade and traditional pre-game lap of honor for retiring players due to taking some holiday time. However he will have a chance to farewell the fans at the start of next season.

Although disappointed with the loss and missing out on one more chance at a premiership, Goodes leaves the game having achieved almost all there is to achieve over 372 games. He holds the record for the most games by an indigenous player and is inside the top ten in League history. His work in the community and for indigenous people has also been recognized and commended by many.

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Dockers Win Thriller to Make Preliminary Final

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

Sydney players will be kicking themselves after letting the First Qualifying Final slip out of their grasp against the Fremantle Dockers. The Swans' inaccurate kicking on goal let them down - they kicked 18 points, two of them within minutes of the end of the game where they could have snatched a thrilling victory. Sydney looked the better team at the end of the day and despite letting the Dockers out to a commanding lead, they were always in the hunt, right to the final siren.
Game Over


Fremantle put Sydney on the back foot with four quick goals in the opening term. Small forward Michael Walters booted two of the early goals against a gale force wind favoring Sydney’s end. Sydney players were spraying the ball badly when they kicked on goals and they had six minor scores on the board before Sam Reid finally straightened one up for a goal. Sadly for Reid, it was his last major play in the game as soon after he pulled a hamstring and substitute Zac Jones made an early entry into the match.
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Tigers Upset Swans in Thriller

Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia

In a Round 13 game played in two distinct halves of football, the Richmond Tigers pulled off a three goal victory over 2014 Grand Finalists the Sydney Swans in a down-to-the-wire thriller at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Franklin Lines Up
The Swans had won their last six games and looked set to run the listless Tigers into the ground before the Tigers found their mojo in the third quarter and produced a scintillating seven goal quarter.

Even before the ball was bounced to start the first quarter, the Swans were showing signs they meant business with Lance (Buddy) Franklin and his opponent Alex Rance
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Club Awards

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Sydney midfielder Luke Parker has won his first Bob Skilton medal as the Swans' best and fairest. Parker polled in all but three games to finish on 758 votes, ahead of Josh Kennedy (709) and Lance Franklin (688). Parker, 21, is the youngest winner since Michael O'Loughlin in 1998. He also won the Paul Kelly Players’ Player Award, which is voted on by the playing group. Parker led the club in 2014 for tackles, averaging six per game, and was among the leaders for the season in disposals, contested possessions and goals. Coach Longmire praised Parker as a great competitor, saying the win - after just 82 games - was a great achievement. “When you look at the players behind him - Kennedy and Franklin - you quickly get an understanding of how good a season he has had, and how highly we think of him as a player. Luke was taken as quite a late draft pick, but he really is testament to where hard work can get you, and we value that really highly."

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Hawk Warriors Too Tough Too Good

Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia

For just under 100,000 fans packed into the MCG and millions of TV viewers in Australia and around the world, the anticipation and tension in the lead-up to the 2014 Grand Final was mouth-watering. Experts had the Swans as outright favorites for the Premiership Cup, bolstered with an unchanged team and by expensive recruits and big men Kurt Tippett and Lance “Buddy” Franklin. Teamed up with athletic giants Adam Goodes and Ben Reid, the Sydney forward line loomed large and many thought unstoppable. The added drama of a Grand Final clash between ex-Hawk Buddy and his old teammates - with whom he won a Premiership only 12 months ago - laid the ingredients on the table for an outstanding contest. Most predicted a win by the Swans and only a few could mount an argument for the Hawks by the very smallest of margins, such was the perceived might of the Swans after their demolition of North Melbourne in the Preliminary Final.
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