Adelaide midfielder Curly Hampton has been forced to retire due to vertigo. Hampton, 25, also said all the setbacks he has had over the past eight years caused him to lose his passion for playing. When announcing his decision, he went on to say, "The past few weeks have been particularly hard ... At times, it has been difficult to train and play but it has also affected my life away from football ... I am confident of making a full recovery but I feel it is best to do that away from the pressures of the AFL industry. This is a good opportunity to focus on the other priorities in my life ... ". He suffered ankle and shoulder injuries in 2014 and a foot injury in 2016.
Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Optus Stadium, Perth
Optus Stadium became an over sized pressure cooker as the temperature rose to 87 degrees Fahrenheit and the Eagles used sizzling ball movement to overcome a wounded but resolute Fremantle Dockers. A record Perth crowd of 56,521 witnessed scintillating football with several dashes of spice, which forced umpires to extinguish spot fires, as tempers rose and passions boiled over.
With just 41 seconds remaining on the clock, the Fremantle Dockers snatched a win from the luckless North Melbourne Kangaroos. The Roos have now surrendered leads three times in the first five games, having lost narrowly to Geelong by one point, the Western Bulldogs by three points and now Fremantle by five points. Conversely, The Dockers have come from behind in three consecutive games to win thrillers.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
In mid-November, Fremantle held its club champion awards function and - despite missing four games through suspension - midfielder Nat Fyfe was the resounding winner of the Doig Medal. It is Fyfe's second consecutive win, capping a stellar season during which he was named the AFLPA's best player and earned All-Australian selection. Fyfe polled 283 votes from his 20 appearances, 20 more than he did from two more games in 2013.
by Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia
Grand Finals come but once a season and the week that precedes them is a bonanza for supporters and commentators alike all around Australia. With the Fremantle Dockers making their first Grand Final appearance in their 19 year history, Western Australia - and particularly the City of Fremantle - was in a state of magnificent anticipation. The streets of "Freo" were lined with purple and thousands of Dockers’ fans made the trek across the Nullabor Desert for the game. There were not enough seats on planes so coaches, buses and cars full of purple clad supporters headed east. It was reported that some supporters even took flights via Adelaide and then hired cars to drive to the Melbourne Cricket Ground while some stalwarts were said to have flown to Melbourne via Asia. Such was the euphoria on the Dockers’ side that many pundits were even tipping a Fremantle Premiership. The Hawthorn club went about its business somewhat quietly during the week, allowing the swirl of excitement and sea of purple surrounding the Dockers to dominate the media but not their team psyche, as they prepared to avenge the disappointment of their 2012 defeat.
Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth
Dockers players (and supporters) find themselves in the heady environs of the top of the Ladder after a comprehensive belting of the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Patersons Stadium in Round 13. In wet and blustery conditions, the football was average at times and the Kangaroos never really left the starting blocks after a dismal first quarter.
North could not find a path to goal at all. Their tackling was ferocious however and they had the Dockers on the back foot for about the first ten minutes of the game. However once they settled and adjusted to the pace, Fremantle began to move the ball forward and started to pepper the goals. The weather made for some inaccurate kicking and the Dockers wasted some gettable shots to tally up three behinds. North, on the other hand, could manage only two of their own, registering a paltry score when the quarter ended. It was only seconds before the siren that Fremantle kicked their only goal after Michael Barlow soccered the ball off the mud for a major and a seven point lead.
Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from AAMI Stadium, Adelaide
Adelaide got out of jail in Round 9 with a dramatic last gasp win in a memorable game against North Melbourne. Crows' fans were looking forward to a confidence filled team taking on the in form Fremantle outfit at home in their Round 10 clash. The Dockers have a mediocre record at AAMI Stadium with their most recent loss there occurring in the Finals just last season.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Most Games: Essendon's Dustin Fletcher is tied with Bernie Quinlan (Footscray and Fitzroy) in sixth place on the all-time games list. Ahead of them are Michael Tuck (426 games, HAW), Kevin Bartlett (403 games, RICH), Robert Harvey (383, STK), Simon Madden (378, ESS), and Craig Bradley (375, CARL). Just behind them are Brad
Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from AAMI Stadium, Adelaide, Australia
With a win, either Adelaide or Fremantle would be heading to the hallowed turf of the MCG to meet the high flying Hawks in a Preliminary Final. A loss would mean a disappointing end to the season where getting so close would be no consolation. With the end of each season come retirements and Crows’ veteran and their oldest listed player Michael Doughty, has already announced that this is his last season. He certainly played this game like a man who wasn’t ready to finish up. The other old hand back in the Adelaide defense, Ben Rutten, has earned his fair share of criticism for not being the player that he was in past seasons and he too looked like he had a point to prove while going head to head with the Dockers’ in form superstar Matthew Pavlich.
Geelong won the 2011 Premiership and despite the loss of some key players to retirement, this is still a formidable side which plays well away. Nevertheless the Cats have had trouble with the Fremantle Dockers. Last year there was one nail-biting finish and the first quarter for 2012 showed that the fans were in for more of the same.