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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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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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Club Changes

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA

Adam McPhee announced his retirement shortly before the draft. McPhee had recently signed a one year contract extension with the Dockers, but cited family reasons for wanting to return to

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Resurgent Tigers Overcome Demons

A Round 23 clash between two struggling clubs would normally not attract a lot of attention but this round had a high level of importance for both Richmond and Melbourne. The Tigers had seemingly lost their way after an exciting start to the season but, coming off a thumping 47 point win against perennial finalist Sydney, they appeared to have their mojo back. If they could pull off a win against Melbourne – a feat they had not managed since Round 18, 2009 – some momentum could be regained as the Tigers move into a very important off-season. Melbourne on the other hand, has had its season torn apart over the past month, going from a highly-touted dynasty built around Trengove, Scully and Watts to a team which sacked its coach after some abysmal late season performances. Amazingly, the Demons could still mathematically make the Finals with a win over Richmond and games against cellar-dwelling Gold Coast and Port Adelaide to follow.

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Hawks Demolish Demons

Hawthorn has had the edge on the Melbourne Demons over their last six matches and much was expected from them in this clash. Melbourne was coming off a draw against Sydney, while Hawthorn was winless after a discouraging finish against Adelaide in Round 1.

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Demons Secure Viney And Rally for Austin

Jack Viney, the son of former captain Todd, has already been earmarked by the Demons for a father/son draft selection in 2012 when he will be eligible for the draft. Todd Viney recently left Adelaide, where he had been serving as an assistant coach, to take up a role as general manager of player development with the Demons. The younger Viney, 16, has been attracting interest from other clubs and the Demons are very pleased to make the commitment to Jack who like his father was recruited by club CEO Cameron Schwab.

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Demons Shanghai Lions In China

It would seem the AFL has succeeded in gaining new territory and fans with Melbourne and Brisbane putting on a thrilling show in Shanghai. It was the very first Australian Rules football game ever played in China and the Demons pulled off a stunning come from behind win over Brisbane.

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Seven Newcomers For All-Australian

On the Monday following the Semi-Finals, the AFL held their All-Australian ceremony. Richmond's Jack Riewoldt was presented with the Coleman Medal as the AFL's leading goalkicker for the season, Melbourne's Liam Jurrah was awarded Mark of the Year and Lance Franklin was awarded Goal of the Year.

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Demons Scare Dockers

With the business end of the season approaching, the fight for a spot in the top four is tightening. Finishing top four is important because it means a double chance in the finals. Fremantle has a battle ahead to maintain its current position in fourth place after losing to Richmond in an upset in Round 15. The shock loss of Michael Barlow with a broken tibia and fibula has changed the dynamic of the team.

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