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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 Free Agency Skeptics

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

While the AFLPA and players may view the new free agency rules as a chance for players to go home, find better opportunities with other clubs or get a fresh start elsewhere, not everyone sees this as a good thing, Some believe it will only make strong clubs stronger and leave poorer clubs in the lurch as they may not be able to match the asking price

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Sydney Success Steeped In Bloods Culture

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

It is 1981 and a proposition is on the VFL table to relocate the financially strapped club South Melbourne to Sydney. They had previously played a handful of games there but now it would be a permanent move. There was great angst among South fans at the prospect. A "Keep South at South" movement was started and they fought to keep their beloved club in Melbourne. However, it was a case of move or fold and in 1982 the club moved to Sydney. Unlike Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney today, there was no detailed planning, no draft concessions for the South players who refused to move, little financial backing or publicity to boost their profile once the move was made.

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1996 Sydney Hawthorn Elimination Final

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

While Hawthorn was making the Finals in the early 1990's, Sydney was languishing at the bottom of the ladder and collected consecutive wooden spoons 1992-94. In 1993, the legendary Ron Barassi was coaxed out of retirement to take over the coaching role for the Swans. Barassi, a Premiership player and coach, was (and still is) one of the most respected and well-known football personalities in football. He had been critical of the lack of support given to South Melbourne during the move to Sydney. He was talked into "putting his money where his mouth was". It was believed he could lift the Swans on the field and their profile off it in the tough Sydney market.

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Brisbane Honors Stars

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Earlier in the day, the Brisbane Lions thumped the Western Bulldogs in their Round 13 game. Afterwards, the Lions hosted a 900-plus crowd gathered for the annual Hall of Fame ceremonies at Melbourne's Crown Palladium. The event brings together and celebrates players and supporters of the Fitzroy Lions, the Brisbane Bears and merged entity the Brisbane Lions. At the end of 1996, when the merger of Fitzroy and Brisbane was agreed upon, Brisbane pledged to keep alive and honor the memory and history of Fitzroy, one of the eight foundation clubs of the VFL in 1896.

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Swans Sign USA Basketballer

Former Sydney Swans coach Paul Roos, whose wife is American, was in California last summer. While there, he conducted a footy clinic. Among the attendees was Alex Starling, a talented college basketball player who has also played American football. In August, Starling spent three weeks in Australia for more testing and impressed Sydney Coach John Longmire, development manager Stuart Maxfield and head of player personnel Kinnear Beatson. So impressed is the club that it has signed Starling under the AFL's International Scholarship plan.

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Hannebery Riewoldt Winners

Sydney's Dan Hannebery is the 2010 Rising Star. Just ahead of the first Finals series, Hannebery was presented with the Ron Evans Medal by 2009 winner Daniel Rich from Brisbane.

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Leave Rules Alone Says Roos

Sydney Coach Paul Roos, who will leave the Swans for a position in junior development next year, has again voiced his concern over constant rule changes. He said there has been too much confusion among players, coaches, fans and commentators in recent seasons. He further stated that he is now seeing that confusion filtering down to junior football and he believes this will affect the development of young players.

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Paul Roos To Coach In 2011

Sydney Coach Paul Roos, who will step aside at the end of the season, will not be lost to Sydney or footy next year. He has been appointed head coach of the QBE Sydney Swans Academy. QBE has been a major sponsor of the club for over 20 years and is one of the main sponsors of the academy.

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Sydney Slides Home

Late July and early August is when teams either make or break their seasons. Fremantle had been losing consistently over the last few weeks with the loss of top line players to injury proving telling. Sydney hadn’t fared much better and a win in this contest would consolidate their top eight position and put pressure on Fremantle for a home ground Final.

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