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Hird Drops Appeal As Essendon Signs Two More

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Essendon coach James Hird has decided not to appeal his case against ASADA, despite his strong belief that the original investigation was illegal. He said he made the decision not to appeal so he and the club could focus on a successful 2015. In a statement, Hird said he had been fighting "on principle" and still believes that the players and club staff were not afforded the rights they deserved by ASADA.

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Brisbane Axes Coach Voss

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Just days after the conclusion of Round 20, coach Michael Voss was informed by the Brisbane board that his contract would not be renewed. He declined the option to see out the season and assistant coach Mark Harvey was appointed caretaker coach. In making the announcement, chairman Angus Johnson said the club had conducted "a robust, thorough and comprehensive process ... before making the final decision". He also said that Voss had been aware of the process for some months and, having known Voss for 15 years, the decision had been difficult but that the board believed a fresh approach was needed.

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Primus Departs Port

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

In Round 4 last year, Port Adelaide registered its first win of the season over arch-rival Adelaide. The win gave the club and Matthew Primus a respite. However the following week brought a shattering loss to Gold Coast. It wasn't the margin but the fact that it was the Suns' first AFL win in their debut season and somewhat of an embarrassment for Port. Like the Suns, Port went on to win just two more games last year and the blowtorch was well and truly heating up on the club and Coach Matthew Primus. While it could be pointed out that the Suns were in their debut season with many young players still adjusting to the rigors of the AFL, Port came under plenty of criticism. It has not been much different this year with some dismal performances and it all came crashing down for Primus after the Round 19 match against the Kevin Sheedy led Giants who registered their second AFL win.

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Dockers Declaw Lions

Two weeks ago at Patersons Stadium, the Fremantle Dockers played their first game against Geelong as if they were Grand Final material. In Round 3 against the Brisbane Lions they looked second rate. First blood went to the Lions with Todd Banfield awarded a free kick after Stephen Hill bamboozled himself and ran too far with the football. Brisbane was all over the more fancied home side which was hesitant in its disposals and not kicking truly when in possession of the ball. Both teams had a full court press on with their zones and the game resembled a chess match as each side tried to move the ball forward. Unfortunately it was not a Boris Spassky-Bobby Fisher level game but more like their unprepared understudies stepping into the spotlight.

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Blues Carve Up Dockers

Carlton effectively ended Fremantle’s Finals’ hopes in a comprehensive demolition at Patersons Stadium in Round 21. Fremantle had won the last 12 of 14 encounters with Carlton and got off to a great start winning the ball from the first bounce down. Aaron Sandilands was back after injury and tapped the ball down for a Matthew Pavlich clearance. Pavlich chased up his own kick to goal within the first 30 seconds of the game.

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Hawthorn Douses Dockers Finals Hopes

Fremantle’s hopes of playing Finals may have been washed away after their loss to Hawthorn in a torrential rain-soaked Round 19 game. A crowd of over 30,000 fans braved the weather to watch a one sided contest that, in reality, was decided in the first quarter of the match. There was an air of anticipation before the game as last time the two teams met, Fremantle outplayed the Hawks until a spirited fight back saw the Hawks victorious. Coming into the match, Hawthorn was on Final Four pace, having won nine out of their last 11 games.

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Eagles Win Electrifying Derby

South Australia has the Showdown, Queensland the Clash but the Western Derby is considered one of the most exciting games of the entire season. Unlike other games, it doesn’t matter where the West Coast Eagles or the Fremantle Dockers are on the Ladder. The Derby is guaranteed to be a cracking, hard fought match. For the record, this time the teams were fifth and sixth on the Ladder and 41,000 fans were treated to a classic encounter.

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250 Games For Greatest Docker Pavlich

When the bottom team travels to play a team sitting in seventh position on its home turf it is generally a recipe for disaster. The Gold Coast Suns are a developing team with flashes of brilliance and two wins so far in their first season. The Fremantle Dockers wanted to celebrate the occasion of Captain Matthew Pavlich’s 250th game. “Pav” is acknowledged by many as the greatest player in the history of the Fremantle Football Club. Weather conditions were blustery, cold and wet – a rare combination in Perth, but perfect for Aussie Rules football.

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Dockers Hunt Down Lions

Fremantle kept its Finals' hopes intact with a convincing win over the Brisbane Lions at Patersons Stadium in Round 14. The Dockers were without Michael Barlow who pulled up sore after his comeback game last week, but Alex Silvagni was back to add some muscle in defense. Brisbane had been doing well since the return of bruising full forward and captain Jonathon Brown, but had their worries without classy midfielder Drew Banfield in the team.

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Dockers Defeat Lackluster Bombers

Fremantle has been on a downward slide without star ruckman Aaron Sandilands, missing for the last three games with a foot injury. The Dockers have lost their last six games without him in the team. Essendon has also had a topsy-turvy month and were coming off an upset loss to the lowly Melbourne Demons last round.

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