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Kieren Jack Takes Swan Song

Kieren Jack Lays a Tackle

Just ahead of Round 23, Sydney midfielder Kieren Jack, 32, announced his retirement. Hailing from rugby background, he was invited to play Australian football for his school at the age of 11. He was drafted by the Swans as a rookie in 2005 and soon emerged as one of the elite midfielders in the AFL. He was appointed co-captain alongside fellow retiree Jarrad McVeigh in 2013. In Round 5 this year, Jack became just the ninth Swan to play 250 games.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round Twenty Two

The Demons are back in the finals.

With just one round to be played before the finals series begins, the top eight is finally taking shape, but there is still plenty to be decided with some big match-ups in the final round. The big winner out of round 22 was Melbourne, which finished strongly against the West Coast Eagles in Perth to book their first finals appearance in 12 seasons, much to the relief of Coach Simon Goodwin. Last year the Demons crashed out of the race late in 2017. Collingwood strengthened its hold on a top four finish with a big win over Port Adelaide at the MCG, effectively ending Port’s finals campaign in the process. 

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AFANA Power Poll - Round Sixteen

Thumbs up for top spot on the Power Poll!

After another top notch round of footy, Richmond holds onto top spot on the AFANA Power Poll as a result of its 47 point win over the Adelaide Crows, damaging the Crows chances of returning to finals football in 2018. Collingwood had to fight hard to defeat a determined Essendon, while the Swans stumbled at home against a very impressive Geelong.

Port Adelaide kept in touch with the top two after a comfortable win over Saint Kilda, the Eagles returned to the winners list in the “battle of the decimated forward lines” as they held off the Giants in Perth, and the Hawks solidified their run at the finals with a second half blitz to defeat the Bulldogs. 

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Lance Franklin Out Indefinitely

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Shortly after Round 23 concluded, the Swans announced that Lance Franklin was suffering from, and being treated for, an undisclosed mental health issue.

It was also reported that Franklin had suffered a minor epileptic seizure at a cafe on the Friday morning before Sydney's match against Gold Coast. He was taken to a hospital, treated and released. Although hospital doctors recommended he not play that weekend, Sydney's medical staff cleared him to play.

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Swans Star Goodes Focus of Global Debate

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Adam Goodes has always been a spokesperson for his people, their indigenous heritage and a strong voice against racism. As a result, he has become highly respected off the football field as well as on and was named Australian of the Year in 2014. In 2013, Goodes heard a fan in the crowd call out to him using a racist slur and Goodes turned and pointed her out to security guards who escorted her from the ground. The fan turned out to be a 13 year old girl.

Goodes later met with her and she apologized. He later stated that it wasn't her fault as she, being so young, may not have realized the hurt her taunt caused. In a recent game against Hawthorn, there was a clash with Hawk Josh Gibson. There has also been criticism of Goodes with some accusing him of behind the play sniping and staging for free kicks. On occasions he has been booed with fans claiming these incidents have been the source of their behaviour.

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Swans Nine In A Row Over Tigers

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Premiership favorites the Sydney Swans were on the back of an eight game winning streak when they faced a Richmond team fighting for respect during a nightmare season that has seen them slump to a 3-9 record. The Tigers' struggles were reflected in a poor MCG crowd of just under 35,000 fans, many of them supporting the juggernaut Swans and their ten million dollar recruit, Lance “Buddy” Franklin. For Sydney it was a chance to shine on the MCG, a venue the Swans must be hoping to grace later in 2014 for the biggest day on the Australian sporting calendar, the AFL Grand Final.
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Swans Ground Crows

Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from Adelaide Oval, Australia

As hordes of Adelaide football supporters made their way into the city, the realization was setting in that the Crows were finally going to make Adelaide Oval their home ground. The iconic sporting venue - which is known worldwide as a picturesque cricket venue - has been redeveloped to house over 50,000 fans while still retaining its old school charm, including the manually run scoreboard that was first used back on 3rd November, 1911. Although both Adelaide and Port Adelaide opened the ground last week, it was Port that was the home side on that occasion and a sea of black and teal took over the stands as the Power fans enjoyed their first taste of their new surrounds. Round Three action saw Brenton Sanderson and the Crows with a home fixture and it was their turn to put on a show in front of a sea of red, blue and gold fans.

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AFL Preseason Draft News

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The AFL preseason draft and rookie draft were held on December 11. Geelong and St Kilda were the only two clubs who did not participate. Player age, height, weight, draft selection and previous club are in parentheses.

ADELAIDE
Nick Joyce

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Malthouse To Ireland

Mick Malthouse, fresh from coaching Collingwood to the 2010 AFL Premiership, had little or no time to relax afterward as he began preparations for the Australian team to play against Ireland in the International Rules Series.

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Club Awards

One week after the drawn Grand Final, there was another tie. While nowhere near as dramatic or media grabbing, it did set another record. Veteran Kangaroo Brent Harvey took out his fifth best and fairest award.

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