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Tigers Crash Port Party

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Adelaide Oval

In Round 8, Richmond returned to the scene of last season’s 57 point Elimination Final debacle, determined to put up a better fight against a Port Adelaide team yet to find its best form in 2015. Although the game was to be a celebration of retiring Port legend Kane Cornes on his 300th and final game in front of a home crowd of more than 45,000 fans, it was the Tigers who burst out of the blocks early with a Jake Batchelor goal at the seven minute mark. Port players were being denied the space they crave for their free-running game as Richmond piled on the pressure with fierce tackling and an uncompromising attack on the ball. Jack Riewoldt found Brett Deledio right on the 50 meter arc at the 16 minute mark and Deledio did the rest, sending a towering kick through the goals to give Richmond a handy 19 point lead at quarter time. In a massive turnaround from when the teams last met, Port failed to kick a goal in the first quarter and the home fans grew restless with the slow start.

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Careers End Prematurely For South Australian Icons

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Adelaide Crows' defender Brent Reilly has been forced to retire immediately on the advice of his doctors  and across town, Port Adelaide champion Kane Cornes will walk away from football on his own terms after playing his 300th game in Round Eight to join the South Australian fire department.

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New Committee To Empower Players

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

After a recent survey and discussions between the AFLPA and players, a "Players and the Game Committee" will be formed to allow players a greater voice on the game and its future. The committee will consist of eight players - one from each state and four from Melbourne based clubs - who have strong and respected voices within the AFL industry and well-developed views on the game.

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AFL Life Memberships

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The annual presentation of AFL Life Memberships will take place during the League's AGM in March. Of the 13 candidates, ten automatically qualified during the 2014 season by reaching the 300 game milestone in their careers. The  ten are Jimmy Bartel, Leon Cameron, Kane Cornes, Dean Cox, Nick Dal Santo, Corey Enright, Nick Riewoldt, Brenton Sanderson, Justin Schmitt and Brad Scott. Life Membership was also recommended under the provision of "Special Service to the Game" to long-time club administrators Graeme Allan, Greg Miller and former AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou.

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Football World Mourns Dean Bailey

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Less than a week before the start of Round One, former Melbourne coach Dean Bailey passed away after a brief battle with cancer. Bailey joined Adelaide as strategy and innovation coach in late 2011 after leaving the Melbourne Demons. The club granted him a leave of absence after his illness was diagnosed last November. Shortly after the announcement of his passing, tributes poured in from all sectors of the football community. All and sundry described him as a very positive person, fiercely loyal and one who had a great sense of humor. Bailey was 47 and is survived by his wife Caron and sons Darcy and Mitchell.

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Port Power Over Magpies

Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from the MCG, Australia

After a terrific game earlier in the day between Fremantle and Geelong, expectations of such a formidable contest in the nightcap were not quite so high in some quarters. Collingwood went in as strong favorites against the young Ken Hinkley led Port Adelaide outfit. During the week, comments from President Eddie McGuire about where the Magpies would be playing in the Semi Final (inferring they would have no problem overcoming Port in the Elimination Final) did not go unnoticed by the Power players who started the game with intent and certainly looked like they had something to prove.

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Round 20 Milestones

Round 20 milestones include:

250 games: Gary Ablett (GC)
200 games: Ted Richards (SYD), Brent Stanton (ESS)
150 games: Bryce Gibbs (CARL), Daniel Merrett (BRIS)
100 games: Dennis Armfield (CARL), Chris Mayne (FRE), Tyson Goldsack (COL)
50 games: Phil Davis (GWS), Jack Gunston (HAW)
50 club games: Danny Stanley (GC)

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Round 17 Milestones

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Celebrating milestones in Round 17 are:

200 games: Justin Koschitzke (StK)
200 club games: Scott Thompson (ADE)
100 club games: Sean Dempster (StK)
100 games: Matt White (RICH)
100 games umpired: Shane Stewart, Jacob Mollison
50 games: Shane Savage (HAW), Matt Shaw (GC)
50 club games: Matt Maguire (BRIS)

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Greats Hang Up Boots

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Adelaide veteran Graham Johncock announced his retirement just ahead of Round 15, saying his body could no longer handle the rigors of AFL football. Johncock has played just two games this season, the last the Round 3 Showdown against Port Adelaide. Johncock, 30, has struggled with knee, back and ankle problems since last year. He played only 11 games in 2012. General Manager Phil Harper praised Johncock for his consistency and durability, pointing out his top five finishes in the club's Best and Fairest on six occasions. Johncock, with 227 games to his name, ranks ninth on the club's games list and 11th on the games list of indigenous players. He was awarded life membership to the Crows in 2011.

Johncock declined a farewell game, saying he did not want a "gift" game, believing that games had to be earned. Nor did he believe he could perform at his best. Not only was he struggling to overcome injuries, he said the speed of the game and his battle with skinfold fitness was also getting harder. He acknowledged the supporters in saying, "Walking down the street people keep asking, `What's happening? ... That means to me that people genuinely care ... and I really appreciated that." He also said he was happy with the career he had, never dreaming he would play over 200 games. He did admit that not making it to a Grand Final was disappointing. He played in losing Preliminary Finals in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2012.

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Round 13 Milestones

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Champion St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt will play his 250th game this weekend. Also celebrating his 250 game milestone will be his teammate Nick Dal Santo.

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