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AFANA Finals Preview: Melbourne vs Geelong

Melbourne Demons vs Geelong Cats (MCG)

State of Play:

This is a battle between two differing line-ups: the finals hardened Cats and the young enthusiastic Demons. After a disastrous end to 2017, Melbourne finished strongly this season to book their finals berth for the first time in 12 years. By contrast, Geelong has missed the finals only once in the same 12 year period. The contrast continues with the Cats playing two easy beats in Gold Coast and Fremantle to complete the minor round, winning both games by over 100 points each.

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AFANA AFL Power Poll - Round Eighteen

The Eagles are on the march.

Round eighteen gave us some sensational football with Geelong stealing the limelight. Twenty nine points down in the final quarter to a steadfast Melbourne, the Cats conjured some more Kardinia Park magic to steal a two-point win on a goal after the siren to Zach Tuohy. The Giants won a hard fought away game against a suddenly struggling Port Adelaide, setting themselves up for a top eight finish in the process. 

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Hawks Fliy West In Trade Week

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The Trade period in mid-October was a very busy time for most clubs. Perhaps the two biggest were Hawks Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis heading to West Coast and Melbourne respectively. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was Bryce Gibbs unable to return home to Adelaide. Gibbs, still with three years remaining on a five year deal, had requested a trade home for family reasons. However, with the Blues demanding more than what Adelaide was willing to give up, a deal could not be struck. Below are all the trades in order as they happened.

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International Rookies Signed

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Sydney has added another North American as an international rookie. American Patrick Mitchell, 24 and 6'1, comes from Des Moines and has been playing basketball with the University of North Dakota.

Coach John Longmire said the club was impressed with Mitchell’s athletic capabilities as well as his determination to learn the game. Using Canadian rugby convert Mike Pyke as an example, Longmire said there was potential for players with no AFL background to learn the skills of the game. He believes Mitchell has the attributes to succeed, those being the athleticism required as well as determination to succeed and the willingness to learn and work. Mitchell will arrive in October.

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Round 21 Milestones

Steve McBurney will become the third umpire in League history to reach 400 games in Round 21. Ahead of him are Hayden Kennedy (495 games) and Rowan Sawers (410 games).

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Eagles Top Blues

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

With sixteen consecutive winning games at Patersons Stadium, the West Coast Eagles were favorites to win against the Carlton Blues. This was the 600th game for West Coast since entering the competition in 1987. Carlton has been on a slide going down as they struggle to win with key players out injured. The Eagles were coming off a bye and were well rested ahead of the game played in wet and wintry conditions.

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Jim Stynes Big Man Big Heart

Former Melbourne star Jim Stynes passed away several weeks ago after losing a long battle with cancer. His ashes were taken to Ireland and scattered in a favorite place by his family.

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Eagles Outlast Fast Finishing Blues

A bumper crowd of nearly 43,000 fans witnessed an epic Semi-final contest in perfect football conditions in Perth. West Coast was charged up to win a game and go one step closer to a Grand Final berth. Carlton had never won a Finals match away from Melbourne but this did not seem to faze them as they produced a cracking start in the opening minutes of the game.

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