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Sep 5, 2011

Oh yeah, baby. Frame your suffering as a masterpiece. Only one problem - no one's watching. It's boring, buddy, boring as death.

Or, "The Hird is the Word".

The preseason is about to kick off, the long drought is passing. Welcome to the Australian Rules Football thread for 2015!

What the hell is Australian Football anyway? It's the bastard game of a bastard country, that's what. In short, it involves running the ball, punting, catching, dribbling, tackling, and, of course, scoring. Seemingly chaotic, Aussie Rules is a skilful sport that places particular emphasis on athletic ability and physicality.

It is played during the Australian Winter, and while not as harsh as in the Northern Hemisphere, still has its moments.

The main league is the Australian Football League or AFL, which has co-opted the name of the sport itself in some regions. It is considered something of a religion in some parts of the land.

The Goldfields of Victoria in the 1850s, and the cultural upheaval of that time, are credited with influencing early Australian football games. Men who worked on the Goldfields all migrated from across the world with their own version of football; from Gaelic Caid, to English Rugby and bastardised games with compromised rules. Some have claimed that these games were influenced by Indigenous Australian ball games such as Marn Grook.

In 1857, Tom Wills, an able cricketer, returned from studying in England and called for the development of a football code to keep cricketers fit during the off-season so that they might be more competitive. In 1858, the Melbourne Football Club was formed by Wills, his cousin H.C.A. Harrison, W.J. Hammersley and J.B. Thompson, it remains as one of the oldest football clubs in the world. They began working on codifying the first laws of Australian Football. That year, the first recorded match was played between the schools Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College at Yarra Park, the site of the modern Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Fast forward to the modern day and Australian Football has become a dominant football code in Australia despite not being followed universally across the country. The modern national league evolved out of the Victorian state competition, explaining why there is such a large concentration of teams in the city of Melbourne. Over time teams were merged, teams were moved, teams play in Tasmania and sometimes New Zealand, but today the Australian Football League has representation in each of the major cities of Australia. It boasts the largest memberships, attendances, viewership, and best athletes in the country.

The turn of the decade has seen two new teams introduced to grow the game where there is not a strong AFL presence, also being two of Australia's fastest growing regions with large internal and external migration. The AFL is going full evil empire.


Going back-to-back is never easy, especially when your best players are consistently sidelined by injuries, your biggest star defects for a record contract, a hugely talented draft pick quits (then ends up in court) and, to top off what could have been a year from hell, the coach is admitted to hospital and misses five weeks as he recovers from a rare illness. But Hawthorn defied it all, putting an exclamation mark on a remarkable season by demolishing their opponent on Grand Final day to claim a 12th premiership.

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of this season's finals series was the fact that two top-four teams crashed out in straight sets for the first time in the current final system's 15-year existence. In fact, only two sides had ever wasted their double chance in the previous 14 seasons, so it certainly was stunning when Geelong and Fremantle were sent packing by North Melbourne and Port Adelaide respectively in the space of 24 hours.

After 10 years in the job, Andrew Demetriou resigned from his post as the AFL chief executive officer. While his tenure ended on a sour note due to the protracted Essendon supplements saga, his legacy will resonate in the game for generations to come. Under his reign, the game underwent unprecedented growth and change. Mainly for the positive.

Gillon McLachlan, the urbane polo playing toff, was the AFL's deal maker long before he became the competition's new CEO. McLachlan's outcome driven negotiation skills achieved many extra millions for the game's healthy bank balance through a series of broadcast contracts over the past decade, the richest in Australian sport.

At the commission's behest he has driven an era of federal and state government funding that remains the envy of opposition codes, some of which have tried to poach him, and created a network of new and renovated football stadiums across the country. Adelaide Oval's reopening after renovation was one of the big success stories of the year.

However, the 2014 campaign was a patchy one for head office, the disconnect between the league and its fans proved alarming. Especially in Victoria with the state's average match attendances reaching a nine-year low. Poor fixturing and ticket prices were two key reasons for fans turning away from the grounds in their droves. No match symbolised the concerning trend more than the round 15 clash between arch rivals Carlton and Collingwood. The contest was scheduled in the hugely unpopular Sunday night timeslot and attracted a paltry crowd of 40,939. To put that into context, it was the lowest MCG crowd watching the two Victorian heavyweights in 93 years.

Clubs and supporters complained about scheduling, the cost of attending games and the lack of fizz in the match-day experience. The league responded to the attendance crisis by announcing a more fan-friendly fixture for the 2015 season. All this came amid the ongoing Essendon supplements saga, which again cast a shadow over on-field events and has similarly dominated this offseason.

The Essendon supplements scandal took a dramatic turn in June when 34 past and present Bombers were handed show-cause notices by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA). In response, Essendon took the matter to the Federal Court claiming ASADA's joint investigation with the AFL into the club was unlawful. Justice John Middleton ruled against Essendon, which allowed ASADA to proceed with the show-cause process. While Essendon decided against appealing Middleton's decision, suspended coach James Hird opted to appeal it on his own, a decision that reportedly almost cost Hird his job, and prompted interim coach Mark Thompson to make an extraordinary pitch to remain in the role permanently at the club's best-and-fairest awards night, which Hird was told to stay away from. However, Hird lived to fight another day and Thompson is no longer at the club. The players' tribunal hearing has finally begun and is expected to be resolved before the opening of the season. All this has had the effect of turning the Essendon fanbase into some kind of raving survivor cult, like something out of (Football) Fallout. #STANDBYHIRD

Hird, who is displaying the same never-say-die attitude he showed on the field, has outlasted eight rival coaches since the saga came to light early last year. Many coaches were not shown as much leniency this offseason. Guy McKenna (Suns) and Brendan McCartney (Dogs) both entered October, once a time when coaches could look forward to the following year, on shaky ground and finished the month out of their jobs. Adelaide also reacted savagely to a below-average season the previous month by punting Brenton Sanderson.

There will be an extended (and painful) preseason this year, due to the Cricket World Cup. It is sure to be bad and not football so hold on gang, if we're here for each other and talk about soft drinks we can make it!

If you don't know jack about Aussie Rules, here is a quick little introduction to the rules of the sport. If you've got a spare 30 minutes you could just watch this video to get a solid understanding. Otherwise, here's the short and nasty. :downswords:

The length of an AFL match is 80 minutes, broken into 4 quarters, each having roughly 20 minutes of playing time. At the end of a quarter, time is added on to make up for stoppages during the game. There are no player or coaching instigated timeouts in Australian Football.


Play is commenced at the start of each quarter, and restarted after a goal, through a bounce in the centre square. Around the ground if play breaks down with the ball in dispute amongst a pack, the ball is thrown up. At throw-ups and bounces, two opposing ruckmen attempt to tap it to the advantage of their gathered teammates. If the ball goes out-of-bounds (not on the full) it is thrown back into play by the boundary umpire. The position of the ball, and not the player holding it, determines if play has gone out of bounds.

Infringements are penalised by giving the ball to the other team and giving them pressure-free use of the ball from the spot of the infringement. This is called a 'free kick'. The following actions are infringements.
  • A player cannot push an opponent in the back
  • A player cannot trip or ankle tap an opponent
  • No tackles above the shoulders
  • Not allowed to throw, scoop or flick the ball by hand
  • If legally tackled, a player must dispose of the ball by any legal means possible or he will be deemed 'holding the ball'‚¯ and the tackler awarded a free kick
  • If legally tackled and the player disposes of the ball illegally a 'incorrect disposal'‚¯ free kick will be awarded to the tackler
  • When running with the ball, the ball must be bounced or touched to the ground at least every 15 metres
  • A kicked ball, if it travels more than 15 metres and not touching the ground, can be caught and a 'mark'‚¯ awarded. Play can stop and the marker can dispose of the ball by any of the above means as per a free kick.
  • No player can hold or physically restrict another player by grabbing when not in possession of the ball
  • If a ball is cleanly kicked out of the boundary on the full, an 'on the full'‚¯ free kick will be awarded to the opposition player nearest the point of exit of the ball

Fifty metre penalties can also be given for infringing after the fact or for an especially egregious foul. It is not unheard of for multiple penalties to be given after a single play if the offending player keeps offending after the original free kick has been given.

  • A ball kicked through the two large middle goal posts without being touched by any other player is deemed a goal and will be awarded 6 points
  • A ball hitting either of the two large middle posts will be deemed 'hit the post' and 1 point will be awarded
  • A ball that passes through to two extremes of the four posts will deemed 'a behind' and 1 point will be awarded
  • If a ball is kicked on the full through any of the posts but is touched by any player will be deemed 'a behind'‚ and 1 point will be awarded
  • If a ball is kicked and strikes either of the two smaller outer posts on the full it will be deemed as 'out on the full'‚ and a free kick will be awarded to the opposition team

On the field, a team consists of 18 players, and no more than 3 players held in reserve, or the interchange, colloquially known as 'the bench'. Another player is held out of the game as a substitute and may replace another player for the remainder of the game at the discretion of the team. This substitute player is identified by wearing a green vest until activated. After a player is substituted out of the game, they are required to wear a red vest. Players may be interchanged at any time during the match, including during the intervals.

A team may only make 120 interchanges in a single match.

Kicking is the ability to hit the ball with the foot. In Australian football, kicking can be done while running or standing still, and can be used to simply gain ground, or be precise in picking out a team mate. Kicking is probably the most important individual skill in Australian Football. Not only is kicking for goal important, but being able to move the ball down the field while giving the opposition little opportunity to turnover the ball is equally as important. As well as having to be able to weight a kick, or being able to penetrate defensive set-ups, various specialised kicks are used in Australian Football including the torpedo, banana and snap kicks.

The most common type of kick is called the 'drop punt' where the ball is held vertically and the point of the ball is struck by the top (dorsal) part of the foot. This results in the ball spinning backwards end-over-end. This is considered the easiest type of kick and is far and away the most accurate.

Being able to kick effectively requires players to be able to have good depth perception in reading the defence, identify laneways of progress, utilise the correct kick and then weight kicks for a team mate's advantage. Being able to execute this under pressure is a highly sought after skill, especially for those who are expected to kick for goal in tight situations, such as for small forwards.

Marking is one of the most spectacular and popular aspects of the Australian game. A 'mark'‚¯ is the term used when a player catches the ball when kicked from either an opponent or a teammate. The ball must have travelled a minimum distance of 15 metres, must not have touched the ground, and must not have been touched by any other player on the field.

A player is allowed to leap upon the back and shoulders of another player to artificially elevate himself from the ground and surrounding players to complete the mark. He must not use his hands on his opponents back to assist his elevation - it must be a clean leap. These types of marks are often referred to as 'speckies'¯(spectacular marks), 'hangers' (for the hang time when a player is in the air), or 'screamers'¯.

Handballing, or handpassing, is the skill of punching the ball out of an open palm as a means of passing to a teammate and maintaining possession of the ball. Being able to handball successfully primarily requires good hand-eye coordination and familiarity with the ball. The skill has become a major attacking weapon as players can use handballs to clear quickly from a stoppage or contest and run the ball from defence, being able to attack without exposing themselves to a marking contest.

A player is judged just as much on what they can do with the ball as much as what they can do without the ball. Defensive football focuses on controlling the field and restricting the movement of the ball. This is not only done through a team's structure, but by defensive efforts, sometimes called 'one percenters' , that are intended to apply pressure to players possessing the ball and cause a turnover.

Australian Rules is a contact sport, but the object of the game is to win the ball and score. Keeping that in mind, players try to win the ball by tackling and stopping an opponent from offloading the ball with a handpass or kick. Stopping the player from gaining ground, as is the objective in Rugby and American Football, is less important than forcing a stoppage resulting in less collisions and 'hits' and more plays designed to cause the ball to fumble or spill to your team's advantage.

As there is no offside rule, players can be tackled from any direction, and often blindsided. For this reason, players are permitted to block, or screen, in the immediate vicinity of the ball, even if it is not being carried by a player. This is called shepherding or bumping and is often the hardest contact seen in Aussie Rules as it is directly 'playing the man' in an attempt to protect the ball.

Although there are no restrictions to where a player may move to during the course of play, teams are still selected according to designated positions.

The main role of the forward line to beat their defenders, be delivered the ball, and kick goals. Tall forwards are expected to be good at winning contests, marking, and kicking from set shots. Small forwards are more likely be opportunistic and poach spilled balls, demanding more agility and pace.

The back line's main role is to try and stop the opposition forwards from scoring, turnover the ball, and set up rebounds for their own team.

The midfield is composed of a centre and two wingmen. All require elite endurance and their main role is to link the defence to the attack and to stop the opposition from moving the ball through the middle of the ground freely. The Followers move around the ground with the ball, with a tall ruckman whose main role is to contest ball-ups by trying to tap it to his team's advantage and a couple of rovers, who stated role is to take the ball from the ruck tapouts and deliver it down field one way or another. These players are also called 'on-ballers'.

The Australian Football League, or AFL, is the highest level professional Australian Football competition. It is contested by 18 clubs each season who are spread across Australia, although the majority of these are based in the Australian metropolitan region of Melbourne in the southern state of Victoria.

Players are recruited to the clubs via an annual draft held in November. Players are able to move between clubs via a club trade or free agency, all conducted over a 4 week period in October, after the season-ending Grand Final, and there is a hard Salary Cap used to ensure parity in player spending. The average income for an AFL player sits at just over $250,000.

Unlike many of the major sporting leagues around the world, the AFL has predominantly eschewed the private ownership of its clubs. The majority of clubs are headed by a Board of Directors who make decisions on the direction of the club on behalf of its membership as dictated by that particular club's constitution.

The AFL is currently in consolidation mode, looking to grow the frontier teams it has recently established in Western Sydney and on the Gold Coast in Queensland. The AFL has started to look offshore to expand the playing talent available and the footprint of the league globally, looking to play games in New Zealand, China and India while recruiting talent from the USA and Ireland and even going as far as holding Draft Combines there.

The second tier of competition is made up of a number of state leagues, the VFL (derived from the old VFA), SANFL, WAFL, the TSL in Tasmania, and the NEAFL which covers NT, Qld, NSW and the ACT. Many of the clubs in these have affiliations or are indeed just a reserves squad of the AFL teams. These effectively act as the farm system for the AFL clubs. There's also a national knock-out competition for the best state league clubs which is shown on pay-TV in Australia, but doesn't have a high profile otherwise.

Australian football has a fair representation amongst women. The best women across all the leagues in Australia are chosen to represent their state and play in the AFL's women's elite competition; the AFL Women's National Championships. Abroad, regions often have a female league in place parallel to the men's league.

In 2013, the Melbourne Demons and Western Bulldogs hosted the first AFL women's exhibition game. The teams were drafted from the best players in female football around Australia and the match was played as a curtain raiser for the Women's Round match between the two AFL clubs. The AFL is accelerating plans for a women's league which could debut as soon as 2017.

Clubs are increasingly trying to find a way to improve player performance and fitness in the initial preseason training period. Collingwood became the first AFL club to embark on altitude camps in the USA, which they conducted in Arizona and Utah from 2005. The Magpies initiative, and their relative success in this time, sparked rivals to explore altitude training overseas. Since then however, the AFL has introduced a soft cap to football department spending which has reined in the clubs' proclivity for overseas trips.

Following this preparation period, there are a series of practice matches and then an official preseason competition organised by the AFL. In the past these have not only been used as a means to prepare teams for the season proper, but to introduce rules variations in an attempt to test them for use in the season, or to try and make these games more of a unique event and draw crowds (no one goes). This year, most of these matches will be played in regional Australia during the seasonal period where our sunburnt country is baked into oblivion.

Preseason Fixture

The AFL Home and Away season is conducted across 24 weeks starting early April. These weeks are broken into 'rounds', or groupings of matches usually held over a weekend. The season opening first round has been split across a fortnight. Within this season, an individual team will play 22 matches and have a bye week, or rest week. Each teams bye takes place across a three week span with 6 teams per week having a rest for each week of the three. The byes take place between rounds 11 to 13.

Who a team plays within the season is not determined by strict divisions or conferences, but there is a measure of transparency and flexibility. In the construction of each year's fixture, the final ladder from the previous season will be split into the top six teams, middle six teams and bottom six teams with an intent to better manage the equality of double matchups for all clubs. There is no relegation or promotion between leagues.

AFL matches are played all over the weekend. The marquee matches, aired nationally, are usually saved for Friday and Saturday nights. Multiple matches being played at the same time is usually avoided in order to try and maximise the television audience for each match.

The weekly results of games are tabulated to produce a single table Premiership ladder. The top eight teams on this ladder at the end of the Home and Away Season qualify to compete in the finals.

Home & Away Fixture

At the conclusion of the Home & Away season, the top eight teams on the ladder go through to the finals, a single elimination, 4 week, playoff series.

The top four needs to win only two finals to reach the Grand Final, while the second four needs to win three. Being in the top four also affords the chance for teams to earn a bye in the second week of finals should they win their initial match and gives them a second chance should they lose their first final.

The seeding and progression of the finals are as follows;

The Grand Final itself is arguably the single biggest sporting event in Australia. It is traditionally held on the final Saturday in September (but will be in the first week of October this year) and is always contested at the birthplace of Australian Football, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, regardless of who is contesting the match. The Grand Final is a single elimination final, but unlike the other matches in the Finals, if the scores are drawn at the final siren, the game is replayed the following week. This has happened thrice in AFL history. :psyduck:

The winning team of the Grand Final are crowned the Premiers, receiving the AFL Premiership Cup and the Premiership Flag, which is a large pennant raised at their first home game the following year. All the players in the team who played that day receive a gold Premiership Medallion. The following season that club's AFL logo on their playing guernsey will be detailed in gold rather than red.


Sep 5, 2011

Oh yeah, baby. Frame your suffering as a masterpiece. Only one problem - no one's watching. It's boring, buddy, boring as death.


Founded: 1990
Premierships: 2 - 1997, 1998
2014 Record: 11/11, 116.9%, 10th
Coach: Phil Walsh (1st year)
Key Players: Patrick Dangerfield, Rory Sloane, Brodie Smith, Sam Jacobs, Richard Douglas.

2015 Season Preview
The Hawks were still celebrating their grand final win as the Crows dropped a bombshell on the AFL world. In Sanderson's first season, 2012, the Crows spiked to reach a preliminary final and pushed an ascendant Hawthorn to the very limit. But the last two years have been a disappointment in finishing 11th and 10th.

After the shock of the decision the Crows got busy and amid the swirl of a number of rumours, lured Port Adelaide assistant Phil Walsh from Alberton. Walsh has plenty to work with at the Crows. In the last two years, despite missing finals, Patrick Dangerfield, Daniel Talia and Brodie Smith have all earned All-Australian honours. Sam Jacobs, Eddie Betts also earned All-Australian honours and there is a bevy of talented youth hitting their stride. The ingredients are seemingly there at Adelaide, they just need the right 'chef' to bring it all together.

With a new coach and CEO in place the Crows entered the trade period needing to cover three significant holes in their list – key defenders, ruck support and outside speed. Adelaide were able to cover two of these three areas by bringing in Hawthorn duo Kyle Cheney and Luke Lowden in exchange for draft picks.

Phil Walsh's first year may be as successful as Sanderson's was, or it may be something of a building year, the Crows do have time on their side for now.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Luke Lowden (trd), Kyle Cheney (trd), Jake Lever (d), Harrison Wigg (d), Mitch McGovern (d), Harry Dear (d), Reilly O'Brien (r), Keenan Ramsey (r), Anthony Wilson (r).
Outs: James Battersby (del), Angus Graham (del), Lewis Johnston (del), Shaun McKernan (del), Jared Petrenko (del), Jason Porplyzia (ret), Ben Rutten (ret), Alex Spina (del), Luke Thompson (del).

cmndstab, elentar, Dandy_GO, Chairchucker, Mystical Machine Gun, NTRabbit


Founded: 1996 (from the merger of Fitzroy Lions, founded 1883, and the Brisbane Bears, founded 1987.)
Premierships: 3 - 2001, 2002, 2003 (Fitzroy won 8 prior to the merger.)
2014 Record: 7/15, 69.3%, 15th
Coach: Justin Leppistch (2nd year)
Key Players: Dayne Beams, Tom Rockliff, Dayne Zorko, Pearce Hanley, Jack Redden.

2015 Season Preview
Since their 2004 grand final loss, the Lions have only managed one finals appearance (2009) in the last 10 seasons, presenting as well and truly one of the most under-performing sides over the last decade. Barely 12 months ago former Lion Justin Leppitsch took over the reins from Premiership teammate Michael Voss, with a list, and club, that looked a complete basket case.

Seven wins out of the last 17 games, three Rising Star nominations, including the winner Lewis Taylor, saw the 2014 season end positively and seemingly headed in the right direction. The Lions bloodied 10 debutants in 2014, three more than any other team, and they combined to play 47 more games total than any other team, showing that there is real quality in their youth.

Perhaps the biggest offseason signing across the competition was the addition of Dayne Beams to the Lions setup. After 110 games, a premiership and a best and fairest in six seasons at the Magpies, Beams requested a surprise trade to Queensland to be alongside his ill father.

The Lions may have another lean season, but it might be an exciting one with quality youth across the field that'll be worth watching develop, they may surprise everyone though and be a dark horse for finals.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Dayne Beams (trd), Allen Christensen (trd), Mitch Robinson (f/a), Liam Dawson (d), Harris Andrews (d), Josh Watts (d), Jaden McGrath (d), Josh McGuinness (d), Josh Clayton (d), Billy Evans (r), Hugh Beasley (r), Cian Hanley (int), Matthew Hammelmann (r).
Outs: Jonathan Brown (ret), Jack Crisp (trd), Isaac Conway (del), Nick Hayes (del), Jordan Lisle (del), Ash McGrath (ret), Sam Michael (del), Brent Moloney (ret), Joel Patfull (trd), James Polkinghorne (del), Andrew Raines (del), Patrick Weardon (del).



Founded: 1864
Premierships: 16 - 1906, 1907, 1908, 1914, 1915, 1938, 1945, 1947, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1995
2014 Record: 7/14, 89.8%, 13th
Coach: Mick Malthouse (3rd year)
Key Players: Marc Murphy, Kade Simpson, Bryce Gibbs, Chris Judd, Chris Yarran.

2015 Season Preview
In 2014, scoring was at its lowest since 1968 across the competition. Mick Malthouse teams have typically been hard to score aginst, therefore Carlton conceding 95.8 points per game on average, the highest in Malthouse's career, was a surprise and an indicator to the heart of Carlton's issues. The Blues were terrible at 'two-way running', giving up more points than anyone on the rebound, and gave up more than anyone when turning it over in the midfield.

Carlton are undergoing something of a rebuild without really committing to it. In 2014 they were the 3rd oldest team, with 15 players on their list who were drafted in the top 20 of National Drafts. Many of those were drafted before 2009. Bringing Dale Thomas in revealed the Blues thought they were not far away. In reality they were miles off and were exposed as so in 2014.

To seemingly fix this, Carlton has shed a lot of dead weight, Kane Lucas, Brock McLean, Mitch Robinson. They've traded for youth in acquiring Kristian Jaksch, Jason Tutt and Mark Whiley. The real question for the Blues this year is are the kids any good? If they've traded and drafted shrewdly, the Blues might find themselves in the finals, but this not-a-rebuild might find them in no man's land again and languishing for another year.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Liam Jones (trd), Kristian Jaksch (trd), Mark Whiley (trd), Matthew Dick (f/a), Blaine Boekhorst (d), Dillon Viojo-Rainbow (d), Clem Smith (d), Jayden Foster (d), Jason Tutt (psd), Billy Gowers (r), Bradley Walsh (r), Tom Fields (r), Fraser Russell (r).
Outs: Josh Bootsma (del), Nick Duigan (ret), Jaryd Cachia (del), Jeff Garlett (trd), Kane Lucas (del), Andrew McInnes (del), Brock McLean (del), Luke Reynolds (del), Mitch Robinson (del), Heath Scotland (ret), Tom Temay (del), Jarrad Waite (f/a).

TG-Chrono, drunkill, boss key


Founded: 1892
Premierships: 15 - 1902, 1903, 1910, 1917, 1919, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1935, 1936, 1953, 1958, 1990, 2010
2014 Record: 11/11, 94.1%, 11th
Coach: Nathan Buckley (4th year)
Key Players: Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom, Dane Swan, Jamie Elliott

2015 Season Preview
For the first time since 2005, the Collingwood Football Club failed to make the top eight and did not play in the finals. One of the most successful eras in the club’s history, which netted one premiership from two Grand Finals, as well as three Preliminary Final appearances, seemed over. It came at the end of a very up and down season which saw some inspiring halves of football followed by some of the most insipid displays of the year. Collingwood should've used the Yin & Yang symbol last year because it epitomised them perfectly.

The biggest news from the 2014 trade period came out of Collingwood, when superstar midfielder Dayne Beams announced his intentions to move north to be closer to his family. Naming the Brisbane Lions as his destination club, the Magpies were reluctant to enter negotiations, but with the threat of Beams walking out on the club, traded him. On top of this Nick Maxwell and Luke Ball retired and Heritier Lumumba made his way to Melbourne during trade week. These all seemed moves that would drop the Pies lower in the coming years. But to their credit Collingwood secured one of the Kangaroo’s rising stars in Levi Greenwood along with Geelong premiership player Travis Varcoe to top up a promising draft class.

The Magpies will be bitterly disappointed with their finish to the 2014 season, not helped by a large list of injuries. If they can have better luck with their casualty list this season, they could surprise a few teams despite seemingly standing still in the list management side of the game. However, with a lack of a second key forward to help Travis Cloke, much of their chances fall to the shoulders of the often-injured Ben Reid, and Jesse White. Their backline is young and lacks speed. They still remain a powerhouse in the midfield, and if Dane Swan can return to his best form, they will be able to trouble any team on their day. This might be another Yin & Yang year but hopefully a more competitive one.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Levi Greenwood (trd), Jack Crisp (trd), Travis Varcoe (trd), Jordan De Goey (d), Darcy Moore (d), Brayden Maynard (d), Matthew Goodyear (d), Michael Manteit (r), Brenden Abbott (r), Tony Armstrong (r), Mason Cox (int).
Outs: Tony Armstrong (del), Luke Ball (ret), Dayne Beams (trd), Marty Clarke (del), Ben Hudson (ret), Heritier Lumumba (trd), Quinten Lynch (ret), Nick Maxwell (ret), Caolan Mooney (del), Peter Yagmoor (del).



Founded: 1871
Premierships: 16 - 1897, 1901, 1911, 1912, 1923, 1924, 1942, 1946, 1949, 1950, 1962, 1965, 1984, 1985, 1993, 2000
2014 Record: 12/9, 106.3%, 7th (Eliminated in 2nd Elimination Final by North Melbourne)
Coach: James Hird (4th year)
Key Players: Jobe Watson, Brendon Goddard, Dyson Heppell, Michael Hibberd, David Myers.

2015 Season Preview
In their first final since 2004, the Bombers were up by 33 points early in the 3rd quarter. But like a lot of their games last season, the match turned on its head and the Roos stormed home to win by 12. Typically, when a team goes up by 30 points, they win. Only 4.8% of the time is this not true, which the Bombers make up nearly half. Despite this, under Mark Thompson in 2014, Essendon improved its defence significantly to rank fourth in the league, conceding 78.1 points per game, Essendon's best result since 1989.

While their defence improved, Essendon's weakness in 2014 was their inability to attack, scoring a paltry 83.1 points per game, their lowest average since 1971. Alarmingly, the Bombers haven't really done much to address the lack of goal scoring personnel, bringing in only Jon Giles, James Gwilt and Adam Cooney. It's not all doom and gloom however, Dyson Heppell was a standout all season marking himself as a future leader and a genuine superstar of the AFL. A lot will ride on the further development of Daniher and the form of Carlisle to ensure more goals are kicked.

This is all for nought however, if a ban is imposed on the majority of the playing list for their involvement in the Drugs Scandal of 2013 or if James Hird's time away from the sport has resulted in him becoming a croissant-brained idiot and getting rid of Mark Thompson proves as shrewd as hiring a certain Stephen Dank.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Adam Cooney (trd), Jonathan Giles (trd), James Gwilt (f/a), Kyle Langford (d), Jayden Laverde (d), Shaun McKernan (r), Kurt Aylett (r), Jake Long (r), Conor McKenna (int).
Outs: Kurt Aylett (del), Cory Dell'Olio (del), Sean Gregory (del), Kyle Hardingham (del), Leroy Jetta (del), Johnny Rayner (del), Paddy Ryder (trd), Fraser Thurlow(del), Dylan van Unen (del).

gay picnic defence, thepokey, sixteenstraws, hambeet


Founded: 1994
Premierships: 0
2014 Record: 16/6, 130.4%, 4th (Eliminated by Port Adelaide in the 1st Semi Final)
Coach: Ross Lyon (4th year)
Key Players: Nat Fyfe, Stephen Hill, Michael Johnson, David Mundy, Aaron Sandilands.

2015 Season Preview
A big season was expected from the Dockers in 2014, however they somehow only managed to deliver in patches. It was a lost season the Dockers could ill afford. The time is now for the Dockers, so a straight sets finals exit in the middle of their list's fading years was a bitter pill to swallow for Ross Lyon and his men. This season will be make or break for Freo as it's key position stocks are wearing thin. Matthew Pavlich, Luke McPharlin and Aaron Sandilands will all start the year at age 32 and it's doubtful they'll all go around again next season. Critically, there are no clear contenders to take their position when the time comes. On top of this, 12 players on the Dockers starting list is aged 27 or over.

Fremantle fell short of their stated aim of averaging 100 points per game in 2014 with numerous reasons contributing why. Injury to key players, poor form from others and inability to score off dominant forward pressure were factors, but the key problem with Freo in 2014 was their inability to transition the ball out of the defensive half and chain possession into attack.

There is no doubting that the defensive mind of Ross Lyon is one of, if not the best in the game, but to take that next step he needs to show that he can coach a team to be more attacking (as he has needed to for the past 10 years). If they can fix this, and get big seasons from Brownlow contender Nat Fyfe supported by second string players like Cameron Sutcliffe, Lachie Neale and Hayden Crozier, Freo will be dangerous. This along with a return to form from those lacking at points in 2014 (Hill, Duffield and Mzungu) will hold them in good stead for another shake at the flag.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Lachlan Weller (d), Connor Blakely (d), Ed Langdon (d), Josh Deluca-Cardillo (d), Ethan Hughes (r), Tanner Smith (r), Sean Hurley (int).
Outs: Kepler Bradley (ret), Scott Gumbleton (ret), Sam Menegola (del), Josh Simpson (del), Tanner Smith (del), Michael Wood (del).

Chichevache, Spedman


Founded: 1859
Premierships: 9 - 1925, 1931, 1937, 1951, 1952, 1963, 2007, 2009, 2011
2014 Record: 17/5, 113.8%, 3rd (Eliminated by North Melbourne in the 2nd Semi Final)
Coach: Chris Scott (5th year)
Key Players: Joel Selwood, Steve Johnson, Jimmy Bartel, Harry Taylor, Steven Motlop.

2015 Season Preview
Geelong has been one of most successful teams of the modern era but many predicted them to start their decline in 2014. The Cats proved their doubters wrong in the home and away season, winning an equal high 17 games and finishing third on ladder. However, Geelong’s underwhelming finals performance raised questions again, with many critics lamenting their reliance on stars Joel Selwood and Tom Hawkins. The consensus outside of Kardinia Park was the Cats had fallen a class below the very best teams.

While experienced stars like Bartel and Enright are a year older and nearing the end of their careers, Geelong’s stable of young players will all benefit from another year of experience. A big year from players like Duncan, Caddy, Steven Motlop, Cam Guthrie and George Horlin-Smith are pivotal to success this season at Kardinia Park.

Geelong played 35 different players last year throughout the season and are expected to do a similar thing this year to give their young players valuable experience. With their best 22, the Cats are good enough to beat anyone, but they’ll need to be more across the season and within games if they want to defeat the likes of Hawthorn and Sydney.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Rhys Stanley (trd), Mitch Clark (trd), Sam Blease (f/a), Nakia Cockatoo (d), Cory Gregson (d), Dean Gore (d), Jordan Cunico (d), Tom Read (r), Cameron Delaney (r), Padraig Lucey (int).
Outs: Nick Bourke (del), Mitch Brown (del), George Burbury (del), Allen Christensen (trd), Joel Hamling (del), Taylor Hunt (del), Jordan Schroder (del), Jackson Sheringham (del), Jesse Stringer (del), Travis Varcoe (trd).

Shmoses, You Am I, Apolis, hiddenmovement


Founded: 2009
Premierships: 0
2014 Record: 10/12, 93.7, 12th
Coach: Rodney Eade (1st year)
Key Players: Gary Ablett Jnr, Dion Prestia, Jaeger O'Meara, Harley Bennell, Nick Malceski.

2015 Season Preview
Gold Coast enter their fifth season of AFL with a weight of expectation on their shoulders. During 2014, the Suns looked likely to seal their first finals appearance until round 16 when Gary Ablett went down with a busted shoulder, leaving the Suns without their leader and most impactful player. Despite being able to carry on to a brave victory that day, Gold Coast couldn't compete without the Son of God.

The disappointing part of the Suns' late season crash was the inability of the midfield group to step up without their leader. In the final seven weeks of the season, the Suns were the worst clearance team in the league. This drop off was obviously alarming to the brass of the Gold Coast, who at season's end recognised that Guy McKenna couldn't take them as far as they needed and headhunted Rodney Eade to take charge.

The first mission for Rocket Eade and his crew is to produce a consistent season and finish in the top eight. Eade has been brought in to use the experience he accrued from coaching Sydney and the Western Bulldogs when those clubs were in similar positions that the Suns find themselves in for 2015. The Suns are off the ground and more than competitive. The realistic goal for them is the final frontier opf the competition. They have one of the most talented lists and are rapidly approaching their peak, this might be the year they start dominating the competition.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Mitch Hallahan (trd), Nick Malceski (f/a), Peter Wright (d), Jarrod Garlett (d), Touk Miller (d), Josh Glenn (r), Adam Saad (r), Keegan Brooksby (r), Tyrone Downie (r), Greg Broughton (r), Andrew Raines (r).
Outs: Jackson Allen (del), Nathan Bock (ret), Greg Broughton (del), Campbell Brown (del), Karmichael Hunt (ret), Jack Hutchins (del), Tom Murphy (ret), Leigh Osborne (del), Jeremy Taylor (del), Matthew Warnock (del).



Founded: 2009
Premierships: 0
2014 Record: 6/16, 76.7%, 16th
Coach: Leon Cameron (2nd year)
Key Players: Callan Ward, Adam Treloar, Ryan Griffen, Devon Smith, Shane Mumford.

2015 Season Preview
The expansion teams will forever be compared, and fair enough. But while the Giants may be 12 months younger than the Suns, they have grown their list in such a way that they seem several years more behind. Last year seemed to start off differently with a shock win against the Swans to begin with, but the young team regressed from there, and sharply. This reliance of the draft to build their team, and the relative lack of success off it as well, has some calling them the Greater Welfare Giants.

Their young midfield took a step up with players like Dylan Shiel, Toby Greene, and Stephen Coniglio taking pressure off Callan Ward, but ended up cruelled by injury. GWS looked to have one of the more exciting forward lines in the competition but the mixture of Jeremy Cameron, Tom Boyd and Jonathon Patton failed to work, with injury and inexperience stopping the young forwards from gelling as a unit.

There was a fair shakeup of the list at season's end though with Ryan Griffen and Joel Patfull being signed, the exact kind of players the Giants needed to add a bit of backbone to their team. If the defence, led by Phil Davis, can not be constantly injured this year, they might improve their record breakingly bad defence, and will have to if they want to be competitive.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Joel Patfull (trd), Ryan Griffen (trd), Jarrod Pickett (d), Caleb Marchbank (d), Paul Ahern (d), Patrick McKenna (d), Jack Steele (d), Jeremy Finlayson (d).
Outs: Tom Boyd (trd), Sam Frost (trd), Jonathan Giles (trd), Stephen Gilham (ret), Josh Hunt (ret), Kristian Jaksch (trd), Jono O'Rourke (trd), Mark Whiley (trd).



Founded: 1902
Premierships: 12 - 1961, 1971, 1976, 1978, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 2008, 2013, 2014
2014 Record: 17/5, 140.8%, 2nd (Won the Grand Final against Sydney)
Coach: Alastair Clarkson (11th year)
Key Players: Jarryd Roughead, Luke Bruest, Jordan Lewis, Sam Mitchell, Luke Hodge.

2015 Season Preview
Hawthorn's 2014 premiership should go down as one of the greatest triumphs in the history of the game. The adversity faced by the playing list was unprecedented for a team that lost key members of their best side for significant lengths throughout the year. They were even without their coach for 5 weeks because of illness. One of the greatest strengths of the Hawks was revealed to be their lack of reliance on individuals and their strength in depth.

Modern footy has been a follow-the-leader affair. Significant changes in game plans by successful clubs have influenced the rest of the competition, with mid-tier teams trying to leverage off the successful teams' methods. Most clubs have adapted by going down an ultra-conservative path. Low risk football, hug the boundary, increase congestion around the ball, play multiple numbers behind the ball. Hawthorn and Port seem to have taken the total opposite approach, using attack as the best form of defence. Nearly all teams in contention for September action seemed to have the defensive side of their game sorted, to a point where attack is now the mark of difference rather than a prerequisite.

Hawthorn's ability to clear the ball and move it effectively to a forward line that can get, and retain the ball, was consistently among the best in the league. This coupled with unerring accuracy at goal saw them sit atop the AFL average points per game, at over 100, outscoring the nearest team by 13% on average. If they can keep this up, they might threaten that Brisbane team as the best football team of the AFL era.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Jono O'Rourke (trd), James Frawley (f/a), Daniel Howe (d), Teia Miles (d), Marc Pittonet (d), Jared Hardisty (r), Jermaine Miller-Lewis (r), Lachlan Langford (r), Sam Grimley (r).
Outs: Kyle Cheney (trd), Dayle Garlett (del), Sam Grimley (del), Mitch Hallahan (trd), Jordan Kelly (del), Luke Lowden (trd), Ben Ross (del), Brad Sewell (ret), Derick Wanganeen (del).

The Deadly Hume, realbez, EnterTheFoo, Testro, Yim, spamman, Box Hill Strangler


Founded: 1859
Premierships: 12 - 1900, 1926, 1939, 1940,1941, 1948, 1955, 1956, 1957,1959, 1960, 1964
2014 Record: 4/18, 68.4%, 17th
Coach: Paul Roos (2nd year)
Key Players: Nathan Jones, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe, Bernie Vince, Heritier Lumumba.

2015 Season Preview
With Paul Roos on board the Demons hyped up their chances of being one of the competition’s big improvers.
Their forward line looked potent on paper but an injury to the much talked about, but yet to debut, Jesse Hogan, along with Mitch Clark taking time away from the game, depleted their stocks. Throughout the season the Demons struggled to shake the tag of cellar dwellers despite winning 2 more games than 2013 and improving their percentage to 68.4, bolstered by the dramatic improvement in points against per game, from 122 to 89.

But don't get too excited Demons fans. While the defence was sterner (really how could it get worse?), the offence was similarly leaner. Melbourne averaged just 66.1 points per game, the clubs lowest since 1920, so long ago they weren't even called the Demons then. Despite having a ravaged forward line, the real problem here was the team's inability to chain possession together for a forward 50 entry and the speed at which they did it (really slow).

The recruiting done in the offseason should help the Demons be somewhat more potent across the field. Heritier Lumumba being in the top 10 of Collingwood's B&F seven years in a row shows he is no mug at the run and carry game. Garlett is a great pressure forward who can contribute plenty of goals if he can stay out of trouble (spoiler alert he can't). Addressing this offensive woe while remaining rigid down back will be the key to Melbourne continuing to reverse their fortunes.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Sam Frost (trd), Heritier Lumumba (trd), Jeff Garlett (trd), Ben Newton (f/a), Christian Petracca (d), Angus Brayshaw (d), Alex Neal-Bullen (d), Billy Stretch (d), Oscar McDonald (d), Aaron Vandenberg (r), Mitchell White (r).
Outs: Dom Barry (ret), Sam Blease (del), Shannon Byrnes (ret), Mitch Clark (trd), Mitch Clisby (del), Michael Evans (del), James Frawley (f/a), Alex Georgiou (del), Daniel Nicholson (del), James Strauss (del), Luke Tapscott (del).

GoughSuppressant, snaeksikn, Windmill Hut, xcore, Tony Jowns


Founded: 1869
Premierships: 4 - 1975, 1977, 1996, 1999
2014 Record: 14/8, 117%, 6th (Eliminated by Sydney in the 1st Preliminary Final)
Coach: Brad Scott (6th year)
Key Players: Brent Harvey, Todd Goldstein, Nick Dal Santo, Daniel Wells, Drew Petrie.

2015 Season Preview
Much hyped as a top four contender, North struggled with consistency throughout the year, wowing the league by defeating Fremantle on the road and Hawthorn at Etihad, then infuriating fans by losing to the likes of Gold Coast and Brisbane. The Kangaroos eventually struck form at the right time of the year hitting the finals with their tails up. A come from behind win against the Bombers and holding on for dear life against Geelong got them to a preliminary final where Sydney simply outclassed them. Nonetheless, it can be considered a strong year for the boys from Arden Street who will be looking to contend for the flag in 2015.

The North of 2014 were characterised by a much improved defence, rising to 3rd overall at 81.6 points per game, only behind the elite defences of Sydney and Freo, and the best for the club since 1976. The forward line also operated at an above average level, with North ranking 3rd, behind Adelaide and Hawthorn, at converting forward 50 entries into goals. So the bookends were operating at a high level, what about the midfield? Well, frankly, they were constantly outmatched and unable to generate enough supply to outscore opponents in every game. The Roos were the only team in the finals with a negative forward 50 entry differential.

So the need for the Roos in the offseason was to strengthen their midfield. Losing Levi Greenwood certainly doesn't help in that regard, but adding Shaun Higgins might. Waite playing up forward might help Aaron Black roam higher up the ground providing another avenue of approach. But the real improvement has to come from the youth of the club to reach that next level and really push for a flag.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Shaun Higgins (f/a), Jarrad Waite (f/a), Sam Durdin (d), Daniel Nielson (d), Ed Vickers-Willis (d), Braydon Preuss (r), Will Fordham (r), Max Warren (r), Robin Nahas (r).
Outs: Liam Anthony (del), Tom Curran (del), Cameron Delaney (del), Levi Greenwood (trd), Taylor Hine (del), Tim McGenniss (del), Robin Nahas (del), Max Warren (del), Mitch Wilkins (del).



Founded: 1870 (AFL Debut 1997)
Premierships: 1 - 2004
2014 Record: 14/8, 129.9%, 5th (Eliminated by Hawthorn in the 2nd Preliminary Final)
Coach: Ken Hinkley (3rd year)
Key Players: Travis Boak, Robbie Gray, Hamish Hartlett, Chad Wingard, Patrick Ryder.

2015 Season Preview
It's rare the same team is the most improved side two years in a row. Before the 2014 season started only 7 of the 18 club captains predicted the Power to reach the finals despite their strong showing in 2013. In the end they were one kick away from the big dance. For most, it's not only the fact 'Poort' are getting results, it's the how of the matter too. A pure brand of exciting and daring offence that thrills the throngs of the renovated Adelaide Oval, average crowds have jumped 20,000 and membership is up by nearly the same amount. They've also surely become the neutral fans favourites to watch.

There can be no disputing that the recruiters at Alberton have collected a wealth of talent over the past 3 seasons, all pretty cheaply. Matt White, Angus Monfries, Jack Hombsch and Jared Polec have all made a significant impact. If you are looking for a team following the 'Moneyball' principle then the Power are your guys. Their drafting has been similarly inspired, grabbing Ollie Wines and Jarman Impey who have missed a collective 4 matches since being drafted.

The acquisition of Paddy Ryder provides the Power with amazing flexibility. Lobbe is a solid ruckman so Ryder can be used as an x-factor all over the ground. Their forward line looks exciting with the smalls of Chad Wingard, Robbie Gray, and Angus Monfries supporting Jay Schulz, Justin Westhoff, and Ryder. If Hinkley can improve the lower rung players to the level of the veteran players, they'll steamroll everyone in the comp.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Paddy Ryder (trd), Dougal Howard (d), Logan Austin (d), Jesse Palmer (d), Billy Frampton (d), Nathan Krakouer (r), Tom Logan (r), Johann Wagner (r/tv).
Outs: Dom Cassisi (ret), Campbell Heath (del), Cam Hitchcock (del), Tom Logan (del), Ben Newton (del), Brent Renouf (del), Lewis Stevenson (del).

Cloud the Cat


Founded: 1885
Premierships: 10 - 1920, 1921, 1932, 1934, 1943, 1967, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1980
2014 Record: 12/10, 105.8%, 8th (Annihilated by Port Adelaide in the 1st Elimination Final)
Coach: Damien Hardwick (6th year)
Key Players: Brett Deledio, Shane Edwards, Trent Cotchin, Alex Rance, Jack Riewoldt.

2015 Season Preview
It was a season of halves for the Tigers. They struggled in the first half with only three wins up to Round 14, everyone firing up the meme engines on their way to kissing Damien Hardwick's career goodbye. Then a few key changes occurred. Anthony Miles, Ivan Maric, Brett Deledio and Alex Rance started playing week in and out, either because of return from injury or improved form. They had an immediate impact, allowing other key players, like Trent Cotchin, to take on other roles. The result was stark and saw the Tigers storm home to improbably make the finals, which was a win in itself. The subsequent demolishing at the hand of Port Adelaide stung but Tiger fans should take heart in this latter half of the season. If that form can be bottled, the Tigers should fare better at the end of 2015.

All 18 clubs strive for flexibility in their players, and especially in goal scoring options. Jack Riewoldt is the team's main man when it comes to scoreboard impact. He is the permanent full-forward and one of the better ones in the competition. But in 2014 the next four Tigers, ranked by scoreboard impact, were all midfielders, a scoring profile not seen at any other club and for good reason. If Richmond can find a second tall goal-kicker they could rightly push for a top four spot but Ty Vickery, Ben Griffiths, and Shaun Hampson struggle with consistency and confidence.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Taylor Hunt (f/a), Corey Ellis (d), Connor Menadue (d), Nathan Drummond (d), Daniel Butler (d), Reece McKenzie (d), Jayden Short (r), Jason Castagna (r), Kane Lambert (r), Matthew Arnot (r), Ivan Soldo (r).
Outs: Matt Arnot (del), Todd Banfield (del), Ben Darrou (del), Aaron Edwards (del), Brad Helbig (del), Daniel Jackson (ret), Jake King (ret), Brett O'Hanlon (del), Orren Stephenson (del), Cadeyn Williams (del).



Founded: 1873
Premierships: 1 - 1966 :sympathy:
2014 Record: 4/18, 60.8%, 18th
Coach: Alan Richardson (1st year)
Key Players: Jack Steven, David Armitage, Leigh Montagna, Nick Riewoldt, Sean Dempster.

2015 Season Preview
New coach Alan Richardson started off with promising results. Three wins from the first five starts and looking likely for more. The Saints were competitive around the footy, averaged more contested possessions than the opposition, tackled hard and were conceding just 84.6 points per game on average. But once the rest of the league woke up from the offseason fugue the Saints dropped harder than an Abbott policy statement via a Round 7, 145 point shellacking (on a wet track!) by Hawthorn. And so began a run of just one win from the next 17 games and a ticket to the number 1 pick in the draft.

The problems for St Kilda were myriad. Teams burnt them on the outside, racking up over 40 disposals more per game on average. They were sloppy by foot, butchering what forward 50 entries they had, which was usually 11 fewer. They conceded a goal from an opposition forward 50, 31.9% of the time, clear worst in the league. Finally, the Saints were the slowest movers of the ball around the ground. The net result of all this was the second worst league points for per game, and the worst league points against per game.

The blueprint for St Kilda is to introduce 18 talented teenage players into their system over a 4 year period. Last year started brightly with the four youngest players on the list all showing promise. Billings, Dunstan, Acres and Eli Templeton will become household Sainter names in the near future, but nonetheless massive improvement is needed from the majority of players aged 25 and under for the Saints to be competitive. If the older brigade struggles at all, with form or injury, it'll be another long season for a long suffering fan base (and Eric Bana too I guess).

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Tim Membrey (f/a), Patrick McCartin (d), Hugh Goddard (d), Daniel McKenzie (d), Jack Lonie (d), Jack Sinclair (r), Ahmed Saad (r), Brenton Payne (r), Adam Schneider (r).
Outs: Trent Dennis-Lane (del), Sam Dunell (del), James Gwilt (f/a), Lenny Hayes (ret), Clinton Jones (del), Beau Maister (ret), Terry Milera (del), Adam Schneider (del), Rhys Stanley (trd).

boy undead, Nutsngum, Periphery, Stumbletron, Ewe2


Founded: 1874 (relocated 1982)
Premierships: 5 - 1909, 1918, 1933, 2005, 2012
2014 Record: 17/5, 142.9%, 1st (Defeated by Hawthorn in the Grand Final)
Coach: John Longmire (5th year)
Key Players: Lance Franklin, Josh Kennedy, Kieren Jack, Jarrad McVeigh, Luke Parker.

2015 Season Preview
Despite the controversy around the Bondi Billionaires and the conflagration around the theft of Buddy Franklin, the Swans stuck true to the key to their success, their smothering defence. For the past two seasons Sydney has been the second hardest nut to crack, only slightly behind the defensive juggernaut at Fremantle. Opposition teams struggle to score against the Swans, who excelled at defensive 50 pressure, conceding the fewest marks inside 50 and subsequently having the lowest goal conversion rate at just 20.2%. Despite all these nice stats that paint the Swans as defensive masters, there has consistently been one team, located about 870km to the south, that has bucked the trend.

In the past six matches between the two, Sydney has conceded seven more goals on average than it has to any other side. Sydney's average points against this team ranks worse than the Saints averaged for the year. If you haven't picked it by now, watch a replay of the 2014 Grand Final and watch Hawthorn dismantle this vaunted defensive team and make them look positively pedestrian. The big dance is not the time to trip over your own feet and give your worst display for the year but the Swans did it and hopefully it doesn't haunt them in 2015.

Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett will continue to give headaches to opposing teams, and their all-over-the-field team defence will continue to cause turnovers forward of halfway and give good supply to a frankly scary forward line. It's hard to see the Swans dropping off in 2015 and an injection of top talent from their academy might give them the quality they need to see them see last year redeemed.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Isaac Heeney (d), James Rose (d), Jack Hiscox (d), Abaina Davis (d), Sean McLaren (r), Nic Newman (r), Lewis Melican (r), Jordan Foote (r).
Outs: Shane Biggs (trd), Matthew Dick (del), Jordan Lockyer (del), Nick Malceski (f/a), Tim Membrey (del), Patrick Mitchell (del), Ryan O'Keefe (ret), Lewis Roberts-Thomson (ret), Tommy Walsh (del).

Xarb, Corzaa, davmo1, Adnar, Rougey


Founded: 1986
Premierships: 3 - 1992, 1994, 2006
2014 Record: 11/11, 116.9%, 9th
Coach: Adam Simpson (2nd year)
Key Players: Matt Priddis, Luke Shuey, Josh Kennedy, Nic Naitanui, Jack Darling.

2015 Season Preview
There were high expectations of the Eagles in 2014. New coach Adam Simpson was going to re-energise the players and a favourable draw had many picking West Coast as the bounce back team to watch. But approaching the first third of the season people couldn't pick where West Coast lie with inconsistent performances. It quickly became apparent that they were nothing but flat track bullies who were found wanting against serious opposition. They were the only team not to register a win against a top 8 team all season.

The challenge for the Eagles will be closing this gap so they are consistently competitive no matter what position on the ladder their opposition sit. Club legends Dean Cox and Darren Glass have retired, therefore a few of the youngsters need to step up into the elite band of players and join the likes of Matt Priddis, who won the Brownlow, and Erik MacKenzie who once again proved to be a solid defender. Josh Hill was restricted to nine games last season and his pace and goal sense was missed by the Eagles. Scott Lycett and Nic Naitanui struggled with form at times last season, failing to establish themselves as the Eagles’ number one. Pretty much any of the Eagles top-30 picks from between 2007-10 have a question mark over their heads, showing glimpses but never enough to satisfy.

For it to be a positive season, this band of players need to reward the faith given to them by the Eagles. If not, it'll be another disappointing season and the West Coast hierarchy will need to start asking some hard questions about the state of their playing list.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Liam Duggan (d), Tom Lamb (d), Jackson Nelson (d), Damien Cavka (d), Alec Waterman (d), Kane Lucas (r), Corey Adamson (r), Paddy Brophy (int).
Outs: Jacob Brennan (del), Adam Carter (del), Dean Cox (ret), Darren Glass (ret), Ash Smith (del), Blayne Wilson (del).

Diet Crack, Doctor Cave, art of spoonbending


Founded: 1877
Premierships: 1 - 1954 :sympathy:
2014 Record: 7/15, 82%, 14th
Coach: Luke Beveridge (1st year)
Key Players: Tom Liberatore, Robert Murphy, Will Minson, Luke Dahlhaus, Stewart Crameri.

2015 Season Preview
It’s been more than 50 years since the Dogs have reached the big dance. To put this in perspective, Richmond, the biggest finals-starved laughing stock of the last three decades, has won five premierships since then. The Bulldogs actually rose one spot up the ladder last season, despite a decrease in wins and percentage from 2013. They were undergoing a thorough rebuild that apparently wasn’t happening swiftly enough for the fans, or in the manner that the senior players liked. The tail wagged the Dogs, and coach Brendan McCartney was sacked. Skipper Ryan Griffen wanted out. Adam Cooney and Shaun Higgins moved to new clubs under free agency. This was seemingly a club in disarray.

New coach Luke Beveridge has a list that looks promising on paper. The Bulldogs have recruited a lot of midfielders who have shown talent at the top tier and an ability to play in multiple positions, giving the team flexibility in the future. On paper Tom Boyd, Luke Dahlhaus, Jake Stringer, Lachie Hunter and Stewart Crameri will be a formidable squad once ball movement into their part of the ground is improved. But the real weakness of the Bulldogs has been down the back end of the field.

There is a plethora of stats to point out just how overmatched the Doggies were all season. They had enough trouble just nullifying their opposition, they couldn't ever entertain the thought of winning the ball back and moving it forward. This will be the big challenge for the new hierarchy out at Whitten Oval and protecting an inexperienced back 6 is one of the hardests jobs around.

Offseason Player Transactions
Ins: Tom Boyd (trd), Shane Biggs (trd), Joel Hamling (f/a), Toby McLean (d), Lukas Webb (d), Declan Hamilton (d), Bailey Dale (d), Caleb Daniel (d), Zaine Cordy (d), Roarke Smith (r), Jordan Kelly (r), Daniel Pearce (r), Brett Goodes (r).
Outs: Mark Austin (del), Adam Cooney (trd), Daniel Giansiracusa (ret), Brett Goodes (del), Alex Greenwood (del), Ryan Griffen (trd), Shaun Higgins (f/a), Christian Howard (del), Liam Jones (trd), Jason Tutt (del), Tom Williams (ret), Tom Young (del).

Testekill, Zetsubou-san


If you would like to add your name to the census, it can be found here

Though sometimes not being the star of their team, and sometimes on a glorified practice squad, the AFL is making strides to introduce the game overseas and recruit the best talent who didn’t quite make it in their original sport. The most prevalent of these are the Irish, especially those with a history in Gaelic football, due to the similarities and exchangeable skills and a desire to play professionally. Recently though, American basketballers have been targeted to help bolster the number of quality and athletic tall players available to clubs and even run international combine to try and attract interested athletes.

There's a great article on the emergence of American talls right here.

Paracausal fucked around with this message at 04:28 on Mar 23, 2015

Sep 5, 2011

Oh yeah, baby. Frame your suffering as a masterpiece. Only one problem - no one's watching. It's boring, buddy, boring as death.

Alright, so you’ve decided you want to watch a game in person or on a screen somewhere, how do you do that?

Television broadcasting of AFL matches within Australia is handled by both pay-tv (cable) and free to air networks. All matches in a round are aired on pay-tv station ‘Fox Footy’ or the alternate Fox Channels, with FTA Channel 7 airing four matches over a round, sometimes using the secondary channel 7mate.

As part of the latest broadcast deal, which was signed in 2011, FTA must broadcast the local games within a state. For example, Giants and Swans games must be aired within New South Wales, and Lions and Suns games must be aired in Queensland. This is done despite the impact airing a game live may have on attendances. There are no league rules that enforce a blackout of a broadcast based on the ticket sales of a game.

It is anticipated that the new broadcast deal will be finalised toward the end of this season, so hold onto your butts for all sorts of controversy there.

Commentary is typically awful all around and people use one of these devices to get the higher quality ABC radio feed through their TV. Ewe2 goes in detail here.

Outside of Australia, some cable networks carry a handful of matches or a highlights package show. The AFL usually keeps a track of who their international broadcast partners are, which include ESPN, Eurosport and Fox Sports. AFANA maintain a schedule of which games are airing when for North American viewers but sometimes do more ‘complete’ international broadcasting schedules.

Back in the modern day, you can absolutely watch the AFL on the interwebs. Within Australia Telstra (unless you use a VPN) are the main online rights holders, who are as awful at content delivery as they are at everything else. Their product is aimed at the mobile market. It's available at for $90 a season.

Everywhere else is lucky enough to have which is a direct emulation of the gamepass offerings available for all the major leagues in the US. Subscription in 2015 for the whole season is $149AUD though there are weekly and monthly options available. The NAB Challenge is free! It is also poo.

Of course if you are really frugal, :filez: options are available through frontrow and vipbox and the like.

The AFL offers radio streaming on its website during the game, most commercial radio is full of ads (stat names being replaced by advertiser names is hilariously awful) and try to make sound bites out of every play.

A good podcast is the Sunday Inquisition, via the ABC:

Australian Football is absolutely a sport that is better to watch in the stands. You get to see the players execute plays downfield, watch the game open up, and gives you a better appreciation of the distance covered and the skill of moving the ball at pace. I strongly urge anyone at least partially interested in the sport to attend a match in person.

While "blockbusters" are usually fully ticketed and most games have good crowds, for most regular season games you'll be able to walk up and get a general-admission ticket for about $20 and experience Australians as you always suspected they would act.

Exceptions would be Perth and Geelong. Both clubs in Perth have waiting lists for memberships due to Subiaco Oval not having enough room for all of them. Geelong games at Kardinia Park (Simonds Stadium) are almost impossible to get into as they're also fully subscribed by members, although Geelong also play quite a few games in Melbourne as well. But no-one from overseas visits Geelong, so that's not really an issue. Adelaide might find themselves in the near future with a similar issue to the Perth teams with Adelaide Oval proving massively popular, though they haven't quite hit a membership ceiling as of yet.

Spectators in the "outer" are not segregated at all, but then we don't burn down stadiums and cast seven-generation hexes on our rivals, just the occasional bit of biffo amongst drunken fans. In fact you'll find that most of the abuse is directed at the umpires. Except Chelsea, and Rose, the goal umpires (they just get the rampant sexism). :allears:

Having a club membership often guarantees a fan has a seat at each game the club plays at their home ground. Memberships are treated differently to season tickets though, in that some of the more ‘complete’ memberships afford a member voting rights on issues relating to the running of the club, and favourable access to finals tickets should the club finish in a position to compete.

Memberships have a variety of options, from 3-game passes, to reserved seating for every game, with social club extras and whatnot, prices vary between $100-$600 a year depending on what you put on your plate. Most clubs also offer international memberships for the foreign fan that includes an AFL.TV subscription and a goody pack.

Hey, awesome! Hope you like running! There’s undoubtedly a club near you, unless you live in the Urals or Nunavut. Within Australia, you can simply use this tool to find a club near you. Many of these clubs will have multiple divisions, from serious meatheads to saturday gin-abouts, so even if you’re a perpetually injured clod like myself, there’s a spot for you.

The larger regions of the world are overseen by an international AFL body such as AFL Canada, AFL Great Britain, AFL Europe, and the USAFL. Through them, local clubs can be found, and new clubs can be established. The website World Footy News is a great resource for prospective players internationally and was created to foster awareness of Australian Football around the globe and to aid communication between clubs, leagues and individuals playing and supporting Aussie Rules. They have a directory of over 50 international leagues and contact details for each.

Another alternative, and a great introduction, is AFL 9s (or Metro Footy), which is a social, co-gendered, touch only version of AFL football. It is played outdoors on a rectangular field and places focus on developing the skills and awareness needed to play Australian Football. It was developed as a means to spread recreational games of Aussie Rules outside of a club setting, which could be intimidating to newcomers, or simply not available in regions that did not have a strong football infrastructure in place.

International leagues have been making social leagues a focus of development, seeing it as the perfect means to introduce people of all types to the skills and tactics required to succeed at the more competitive levels. This usually leads to a transition to a more traditional club environment and was indeed the successful template for development undertaken by the Sacramento Suns of the USAFL.

For the last couple of years fantasy football has grown to become a major part of AFL fandom. Originally borrowing concepts from US fantasy sports, fantasy football has undergone several iterations and exists in a number variations.

Fantasy football gives points to players for a variety of onfield actions. Handballs, kicks, marks, tackles, and goals, nearly all actions are awarded points. How these competitions vary is how they weight the value of each disposal, or if they deduct points from players for negative actions such as giving away a free kick.

Player selection varies in there either being a draft at the start of the season, where players are selected in turn by the various teams, or by there being a salary cap that allows teams to select anyone in the league they can afford. During the season, players can be traded in and out from the team.

I’ll update this part once the varying competitions open up, I’ll only be running Supercoach and UltimateFooty this year so if someone wants to run another league, put your hand up.
Goon Cash Splash: input code 775659 upon registering
Jason Laycock Cup: input code 190750.

Goon Golden Spoon 3 - UltimateFooty Draft League.
Password lljk


As with every year, we have an informal tipping competition, because, hey, tipping competitions are fun. At least until you get stung by a few upsets or you forget to tip for a week and lose interest for the rest of the season. Just put in who you think will win each round, and if you pick perfectly, you get a free Hamburger from Hungry Jacks! :barf:

Goon Tipping Comp

The password for the comp is goons.


Footy jumpers is an awesome resource that details the history of each teams guernsey.

Footywire is a great stats website.

AFL irc channel

Goalsneaker does some pretty cool visualizations.

Twitter Lists
AFL Clubs and HQ
AFL Players and Staff
AFL Insiders

So, finishing up, you don’t have to be a football devotee to post here, we go through our own cycle of food chat, beer chat, bogan chat and so on, so :protarget:

Come on goons, put your money where your mouth is.

TG-Chrono - If Collingwood have more wins that Carlton at seasons' end, I'll get a Nathan Buckley hulkatar avatar.

GoughSuppressant - If Melbourne lose the Queens Birthday match I will adopt a Collingwood themed avatar and title until the end of the home and away season.
- If Melbourne finish below collingwood on the ladder I will adopt a collingwood themed avatar and title from the time Melbourne can mathematically no longer finish above Collingwood until the first game of the 2016 home and away season.
- If Melbourne finish the regular season with 16 or fewer premiership points I will do a banme thread and never return to SomethingAwful.

realbez - If the Hawks do not win the premiership this year I will sport a James Hird avatar until the start of the 2016 season.

thepokey - If I get less than 104 in the tipping comp I'll get that Bootsma picture as my avatar and one of you witty people can come up with a title, I'll keep that until the start of the 2016 season.

drugs - If Patrick Dangerfield leaves as a free agent, I will change my username to "BigDangerfieldFan" and commission a high-quality Dangerfield avatar in SA-Mart. Both will remain throughout for 12 months from the day he signs with a new club. If he goes to Hawthorn I will permaban.

WAR FOOT - If the Hawks DO win the Premiership this year, I will sport the smuggest picture of Clarkson or Hodge with text chosen by the thread, until the start of 2016 season.

Paracausal fucked around with this message at 07:42 on Mar 1, 2015

Oct 15, 2009

by FactsAreUseless

up the suns, bitch

Diet Crack
Jan 15, 2001


Mar 23, 2005

Fun Shoe

Cool op chrono.

:toxx: If the Hawks do not win the premiership this year I will sport a James Hird avatar until the start of the 2016 season. :toxx:

Aug 15, 2012

i wear this armour to protect myself from the histrionics of hysterical women


I didn't get a go on the Crows supporters list :saddowns:

Mar 12, 2010

Kangaroos hate Hasselblads

Great work, but I'm missing from the Freo list, so I'm afraid you're gonna have to start again TG :v:

put both hands in
Nov 28, 2007


This is West Coast's year. Book it. :ohdear:

Sep 29, 2011

"Most mornings I'll apologise in advance to my wife."

I missed the Geelong one.


Port - Awesome. Young. Premiers
Hawthorn - Aweomse. Old. Runners up.
Sydney - Very good, no Malcheski, Goodes is old
North - This is predicated on their older players not falling apart but yeah they should go at least as well
Richmond - I'm writing in hope more than anything but their midfield was legit decent at times last year and they have some real talent so this is my smoky pick for the year
Geelong - I can't tell. I'm not impartial. Extreme concerns over the depth of the midfield. Could finish anywhere from 4th to 10th imo
Fremantle - Also old
GC - Should sneak in

Brisbane - Should be miles better but their key stocks are lovely
Radelaide - Will spend all year being destabilized by the Dangerfield question, which will be resolved when Dangerfield goes to Hawthorn on a million bucks a year
West Coast - I cannot see a reason to be excited about them this year I just cannot
Essendon - :goatdrugs:
Footscrazy - Lost a lot of senior players last year, I think they did well in the trade period but we wont see it for at least another season
Collingwood - No Beams, No Lumumba, dubious trade ins, Swan's getting old
Melbourne - I wanna think they will be better but then I shut my eyes and see the GWS game late last and yeah nah
Carlton - Crap
St.Kilda - Total rebuild mode
GWS - :gitgud:

hiddenmovement fucked around with this message at 13:47 on Feb 25, 2015

Sep 25, 2007

me @ ur posting

Fallen Rib

Bootsma image :negative:

Great OP otherwise, looking forward to April when the footy starts (pre-season comp means nothing)

Apr 3, 2009

I like the OP, I'll miss the drugs tag though (it was nice that both the cricket and AFL threads had pink tags, they stood out nicely in my user control panel). Also the Dempsey gif is great, I haven't seen that one before.

I usually follow the thread, though I rarely post much. But at the start of this year I moved to England, so whilst I'm now missing out on the daily AFL media cycle, I'll trust in this thread to keep me up to date on anything remotely interesting going on. I'm also quite excited for the start of the NAB cup (usually I'll just read the newspaper reports and wait for the season proper). I've also got a WatchAFL subscription set up, so whilst I'm not going to be able to attend any games this season, I'll be able to watch any of them on my computer.

Sep 29, 2011

"Most mornings I'll apologise in advance to my wife."

A reminder that Schmoses and I will be at the Rose in Fitzroy on Saturday to watch Richmond surge to a massive lead before capitulating in hilarious fashion

Oct 9, 2004

I don't think it's nice, you laughing.

I got literally zero response to this idea from Bigfooty so thought I might repost it here in sanity land.

AFL is looking to introduce a proper womens AFL league by 2017.

So I propose this.

10 teams per state= 9 home and 9 away matches. With one bye that should finish at the end of round 19 AFL.

Then standard 3 weeks of finals with a likely top 4 system with a grand final for each in round 22 AFL.

Then a bye for all the grand finalists brings us to the end of the home and away season.

Then SoA begins going over three weeks with the winning premier going to represent their state.

Two matches each with your standard points ladder. Top two go on to play saturday night State Grand Final the week before the AFL premiership.

Would this spark legitimate interest in a womens only league? I really think that the SoA aspect would garner decent interest, particularly whilst most people's teams are out of the finals.

Sep 29, 2011

"Most mornings I'll apologise in advance to my wife."

Broadcast it for free on in the internet if you want people to show interest


Jan 28, 2015

Cruel Bifaunidas demanded that you [stand]🧍 I require only that you [kneel]🧎

Haven't really followed footy since I left Vic, but as a Western Bulldogs supporter (even after all these years it's still weird to not call them Footscray) you always hope that this year is THAT year.

Jul 20, 2004

Let me start off with a basket of chips. Then move on to the pollo asado taco.

Absolutely epic TG, great effort!

Also, there is already a Supercoach goon league at code 190750 with a few people in it, so you could either edit that into the the OP or people from that league will have to migrate across if they're not aware. I see you were able to get a league with the word goon in it, when I tried to create that it was telling me I was using a forbidden word :v:

Also, I'd probably be 100% behind a state of origin match if it were to be recreated like this

a little bit of a shame hats and waistcoats/ties have been phased out of the game.

thepokey fucked around with this message at 17:30 on Feb 25, 2015

Oct 9, 2004

I don't think it's nice, you laughing.

Zetsubou-san posted:

Haven't really followed footy since I left Vic, but as a Western Bulldogs supporter (even after all these years it's still weird to not call them Footscray) you always hope that this year is THAT year.

That year being?

Also there seems to be 5 people in the supercoach league. Hop to it guys, last year was full.

Nutsngum fucked around with this message at 17:30 on Feb 25, 2015

Jul 20, 2004

Let me start off with a basket of chips. Then move on to the pollo asado taco.

Nutsngum posted:

That year being?

Jul 20, 2004

Let me start off with a basket of chips. Then move on to the pollo asado taco.

Also, as for a :toxx: , I've never done one before, but what the hell. This will be based on my tipping because I always loving forget to tip and when I do I'm generally pretty terrible and always end up being totally poo poo. So, working off getting half tips right every round would be 4.5 x 23 = 103.5, rounded up to 104. If I get less than 104 in the tipping comp I'll get that Bootsma picture as my avatar and one of you witty people can come up with a title, I'll keep that until the start of the 2016 season.

The Deadly Hume
May 26, 2004

Let's get a little crazy. Let's have some fun.


Oct 15, 2009

by FactsAreUseless

hiddenmovement posted:

Broadcast it for free on in the internet if you want people to show interest


victorian meeja bias imo. no blow on the gold coast.

Sep 5, 2011

Oh yeah, baby. Frame your suffering as a masterpiece. Only one problem - no one's watching. It's boring, buddy, boring as death.

Ok, first pass of edits made, included all the things you've brought up. I'm also watching that F1RST BOUNCE AFL morning show with Campbell Brown and Cameron Ling and it's not terrible! Shock!

Paracausal fucked around with this message at 20:59 on Feb 25, 2015

Sep 5, 2011

Oh yeah, baby. Frame your suffering as a masterpiece. Only one problem - no one's watching. It's boring, buddy, boring as death.

Nutsngum posted:

I got literally zero response to this idea from Bigfooty so thought I might repost it here in sanity land.

AFL is looking to introduce a proper womens AFL league by 2017.

So I propose this.

10 teams per state= 9 home and 9 away matches. With one bye that should finish at the end of round 19 AFL.

Then standard 3 weeks of finals with a likely top 4 system with a grand final for each in round 22 AFL.

Then a bye for all the grand finalists brings us to the end of the home and away season.

Then SoA begins going over three weeks with the winning premier going to represent their state.

Two matches each with your standard points ladder. Top two go on to play saturday night State Grand Final the week before the AFL premiership.

Would this spark legitimate interest in a womens only league? I really think that the SoA aspect would garner decent interest, particularly whilst most people's teams are out of the finals.

I don't know if I'd like the teams to be aligned with the existing AFL clubs like the W-League to the A-League or if I'd like a standalone competition raised from existing women's competitions.

"One proposed model for the formation of a women's league within two years would see two teams based in Victoria and one from every other Australian state and the Northern Territory. McLachlan did not rule out future AFL club alignments."

This seems like a solid model tbh, too many teams might spread the support too thin, I'd like to see it nonetheless, even if it's a money sink for the AFL, it's a positive one that grows an important need in Australia, high level competition for women.

Gough Suppressant
Nov 14, 2008

The long hard summer is almost over, friends. Soon we shall open the throat of a new season and slake our thirst on it's lifeblood.

Sep 29, 2011

"Most mornings I'll apologise in advance to my wife."

TG-Chrono posted:

Ok, first pass of edits made, included all the things you've brought up. I'm also watching that F1RST BOUNCE AFL morning show with Campbell Brown and Cameron Ling and it's not terrible! Shock!

I actually know Nat. She's been spamming this all over facebook.

Gough Suppressant posted:

The long hard summer is almost over, friends. Soon we shall open the throat of a new season and slake our thirst on it's lifeblood.

I was going to have a glass of Sarsparilla but ok

Sep 13, 2002


Sep 13, 2002


Gough Suppressant
Nov 14, 2008

I have to completely retrain my brain to not look for the DRUGS tag when trying to see the thread

Jan 22, 2009

As a relatively recent Tasmanian migrant it's becoming increasingly apparent to me that not following a team or AFL in general is a borderline criminal offence. Those that will continue speaking to me after discovering this fact inform me that a good choice of team would be the Kangaroos. Is there an AFL equivalent of that footy banter app Richard Ayoade uses in the IT crowd, else, can someone provide me with a short list of important terms and phrases that will let me participate in communication in this region of Australia?

Gough Suppressant
Nov 14, 2008

I have an irrational hatred of the kangaroos, but trying to look at it objectively they are a decent choice. They rarely do super badly(although the shinboner spirit bullshit is a joke) and they survive with no reliance on pokies. Brad Scott, Brent Harvey, Scott Thompson and Lindsay Thomas are all still irredeemable turds though.

Sep 29, 2011

"Most mornings I'll apologise in advance to my wife."

Cpaf just complain about the umpiring if anyone tries to talk to you about a particular match

Gough Suppressant
Nov 14, 2008

Also the easiest way to sound like you are a super knowledgable footy supporter is be a Melbourne supporter.

Then all you have to do is talk about what a disgraceful performance it was, Jones is the only thing holding the club together, and you wish young Jack(there's like ten of them) would finally realise his potential.

Oct 15, 2009

by FactsAreUseless

OP is pretty weak in the hair department. Needs some Dustin Martin and old Harley Bennell action.

Sep 16, 2003

LOAD "NICE!",8,1

FOOTY great work chrono

cpaf I've started to warm to the roos, always kind of ignored them but i like that they don't have pokies and i go to all of their games at bellerive so :shrug:

Oct 15, 2009

by FactsAreUseless

You could always follow GWS and no one could call you out for outright lying about the team. Outside of Ryan Griffen and Cameron, you could probably just make up the rest of the players names as you see fit.

Gough Suppressant
Nov 14, 2008

Dumping the drugs tag may have been premature


UPDATE: A COCAINE ring at the Gold Coast Suns has been identified in intelligence reports.

The Herald Sun can reveal that Suns players came to the attention of police two years ago over allegations some were supplying and using cocaine among themselves.

While reports did not name individuals, it was alleged players used cocaine in private homes as long ago as 2012.

The suspected use occurred outside the official AFL competition season and club officials were kept in the dark.

One then current player sourced cocaine more than once and supplied it to teammates, according to the claims.

Police and AFL officials have publicly flagged concerns about drug use among players in recent years.

Some former club figures have even raised concerns about use among club officials.

Lifting the lid on football’s hidden culture in its drugs in sport report, the Australian Crime Commission also stated: “There is ... evidence to suggest that some athletes are supplying others with illicit drugs.”

The explosive report, published in early 2013 following a long investigation called Operation Aperio, continues: “Information obtained by the ACC suggests that illicit drug use by professional athletes remains an ongoing issue, with official statistics for illicit drug use within professional sports likely to significantly understate the extent of actual use.”

The ACC would not elaborate, saying: “The ACC has never publicly commented on the teams or individuals involved in Project Aperio.”

The revelations come as one former Suns player, Karmichael Hunt, prepares to face court on four counts of supplying cocaine between June and December last year.

Hunt is among eight people, mostly elite athletes, who have been caught up in a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation into a cocaine trafficking network operating in southeast Queensland.

Managers of worried Suns players have this week made contact with lawyers in case the club is the next target in the investigation, which has plunged the NRL into crisis.

So far, six current and former Gold Coast Titans players have been charged.

The CCC, which investigates serious organised crime, says more athletes could be charged later this week or early next week.

“Based on current information, the CCC expects any further arrests of current or former sportspeople will occur by the end of this week or early next week,” the CCC said. “However, if new information comes to hand the CCC may consider further arrests.”

Superstar Hunt, 28, played across three major footy codes and left the AFL at the end of last season.

Suns coach Rodney Eade says his club is unable to act on any alleged link between cocaine use and his players as he doesn’t have any details.

Eade said his club took the matter seriously but had little to go on.

“This is the first we’ve heard about it,” he told First Bounce today.

“There’s actually no information, there’s no facts around it.

“Obviously as a club and an industry we take drugs very seriously but we can’t act unless we’ve got facts and the information and we haven’t got that.

“So we certainly would act but at this stage there’s nothing there.”

And former Sun Campbell Brown, who played at Gold Coast from 2011-13 before being sacked following an off-field altercation with a teammate, said he never witnessed any cocaine use during his time at the club.

“I was very shocked when I saw that story (involving Karmichael Hunt) break last week,” Brown said.

“I suppose it’s one of those things that, unless you do it, you’re completely unaware of what’s happening ... It certainly doesn’t surprise me that it has bobbed up in the AFL because there’s so many young players, high-profile players with big incomes.

“But certainly I never saw it in my time at the Gold Coast.”

Eade yesterday said club officials had spoken to players about the unfolding cocaine drama, inviting anyone with information to volunteer it.

“The CEO, Andrew Travis, addressed the players as did footy operations manager Marcus Ashcroft and I had a chat with them as well,” Eade said.

“It was a bit of an education process informing them of what’s been happening, but asking them as well if they have been notified by anyone or if they have any information to come forward.

“We haven’t had any players come forward at this stage, so it’s just been business as usual to be honest.”

Suns spokesman Stephen Wilson also said last night that before Hunt’s charge, the club had never received any information about cocaine use among players.

He said they remained in the dark on the CCC probe.

“The AFL is on the record saying they have spoken with the CCC, but have no more information than has been aired in the media.”

The CCC has declined to comment.

Sources familiar with the CCC probe say athletes were not the target of the cocaine investigation, rather they were bit players in a network whose key suspected members are in Sydney.

A former AFL official told the Herald Sun that as alert as they have been to the possibility players might have been using drugs, such use is hard to detect if it happens behind closed doors in the off-season.

“We look for changes in behaviour and that sort of thing but it is hard to pick,” the ex-official said.

The AFL has one of the toughest illicit drug testing policies in sport, testing for illegal drugs even outside of the competition season. Victoria Police acting sergeant Melissa Seach said: “Drug use has no place in any sport.”

Sep 29, 2011

"Most mornings I'll apologise in advance to my wife."

"Did you see that disgraceful performance last night?"

"The trouble with Arsenal is they always try and walk it in." "Holy gently caress Ray Chamberlain/Brian Taylor is such a dickhead."

Sep 16, 2003

LOAD "NICE!",8,1

gabensraum posted:

FOOTY great work chrono

cpaf I've started to warm to the roos, always kind of ignored them but i like that they don't have pokies and i go to all of their games at bellerive so :shrug:

cpaf the more I think about this the Roos are probably a good choice. You wouldn't be bandwagoning but they'll go alright this year, could surprise and go very well, and they play three games in Hobart if you wanted to see them.

Round 6 – North Melbourne v Richmond, Saturday May 9, 1.45pm
Round 10 – North Melbourne v West Coast Eagles, Sunday June 7, 3.20pm
Round 20 – North Melbourne v St Kilda, Saturday August 15, 2.10pm

The first one is guaranteed to sell out (the 20,000-odd seats).


Jul 16, 2010

I don't like people who take drugs. Customs agents, for example - Albert Einstein

cpaf posted:

As a relatively recent Tasmanian migrant it's becoming increasingly apparent to me that not following a team or AFL in general is a borderline criminal offence. Those that will continue speaking to me after discovering this fact inform me that a good choice of team would be the Kangaroos. Is there an AFL equivalent of that footy banter app Richard Ayoade uses in the IT crowd, else, can someone provide me with a short list of important terms and phrases that will let me participate in communication in this region of Australia?

Congratulations, not knowing anything about the game is a crucial step on the road to becoming a loud and obnoxious supporter!

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