Posted: 24 August, 2016

Forced North Retirements "Incredibly Sad"

Kangaroos chairman James Brayshaw reflects on "very hard decision"

(Image: Getty)

North Melbourne chairman James Brayshaw has described the club’s decision to end the careers of four veteran players as a “very hard decision” and “incredibly sad”.

Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Nick Dal Santo and Michael Firrito were all told on Wednesday that their services would not be required in 2017. 

JB was sure that the players would be hurting but stressed that the club was more important than the individual as they put in place their on-field plan  for the next five years.

“Supporters are quite rightly allowed the sentimentality that footy clubs aren’t,” JB told Triple M’s Rush Hour. 

“That’s because they are supporters and they absolutely love the club, they’re members and fans and they love the people that play for the club.

“But when you’re inside a footy club, you can’t think like that. You’ve got to think, ‘How are we going to win our fifth premiership? What do we need to do to get there?’”

As for the timing of the announcement with finals around the corner, JB said the players wanted to know if Round 23 would be their last game in Melbourne so they could notify friends and family to attend.

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Tags: AFL, North Melbourne Kangaroos, Kangaroos

Posted: 24 August, 2016

Hawks Get Whacked For Throwing Towel Over Changeroom Camera

Cop that

(Image: Getty)

Hawthorn have been slapped with a suspended $10,000 fine by the AFL for tampering with a broadcast camera during their loss to West Coast.

A fixed Seven Network camera in the Hawks' change rooms at Subiaco was covered with a towel when ruckman Jonathon Ceglar was taken from the field on Friday night with a knee injury.

AFL football chief Mark Evans said in a statement issued on Wednesday that such action was expressly prohibited.

However, the relatively lenient penalty was given due to the serious nature of the injury to Ceglar.

The 25-year-old, who covered the camera, will be sidelined for up to 12 months after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Evans said the AFL had taken into account that Ceglar was upset and therefore the sanction would be fully suspended.

"(But) it was the AFL's view the player could have been taken to any of the areas within the rooms where cameras were not stationed when he left the field," the statement concluded.

Eagles ruckman Nic Naitanui also ruptured an ACL in the match his side won by 25 points.

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Posted: 24 August, 2016

Houli, Grigg Re-Sign With Tigers

Richmond duo earn new contracts

(Image: Getty)

Defender Bachar Houli and midfielder Shaun Grigg have each earned new contracts with Richmond.

Houli will now remain at Punt Road Oval until the end of 2018 at least while Grigg penned a one-year deal that extends his stay at the Tigers until the end of 2017.

Houli’s 2016 season was interrupted by a broken wrist suffered at training which sidelined him for three months, but he has returned to feature in the Tigers’ last four games.

The former Bomber has averaged 25 touches a game in 11 matches this year.

Grigg has also been consistent for the Tigers in 2016, averaging 25 disposals from 19 games and kicking 10 goals. 

Since crossing from Essendon, Houli has played 122 games in yellow and black for a career total of 148.

Grigg, who began his career at Carlton, has played 123 of his 166 matches with the Tigers.

Both players joined Richmond at the end of 2010.

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Tags: AFL, Richmond Tigers, Tigers

Posted: 24 August, 2016

Howlett Re-Signs With Bombers

Ninth banned Bomber re-commits to Essendon

(Image: AFL Media)

Ben Howlett has become the ninth banned Bomber to re-commit to the Essendon Football Club.

The 27-year-old midfielder has agreed to a one-year deal that ties him to the Bombers until the end of next season at least.

Howlett joins Michael Hurley, Brent Stanton, Tom Bellchambers, Dyson Heppell, David Myers, Cale Hooker, Travis Colyer and Heath Hocking as members of the ‘Essendon 12’ to confirm their return to the club.

The Bombers are now only waiting on Jobe Watson and Tayte Pears to signal their intentions for next season.

Michael Hibberd, so far, is the only member of the group to declare he wants to play for another team from 2017. 

Howlett said the strong bond with his teammates had a profound impact on his decision.

“From what I’ve witnessed and my discussions with ‘Woosha’ (coach John Worsfold) it’s evident the team and club is forging something really exciting, and I’m extremely motivated to be a part of this,” Howlett said.

“With my first child on the way I took the necessary time to determine what was best for my career and my family. In the end it was my strong bond with my teammates that made the decision easy.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to the Essendon members and supporters for their loyalty and ongoing support this season. They’ve not only rallied around me but my teammates which has been incredible.”

Worsfold said he loved the way Howlett goes about his footy. 

“We are really pleased Ben wants to continue playing his footy here. He’s excited about the culture we are building and he can’t wait to get in and start working hard for next season, which is brilliant,” Worsfold said. 

“We’re really excited about where we are heading as a club and to have Ben part of this journey next year is fantastic.

“Ben is the ultimate professional and terrific on-field leader. He’s a tough competitor, he attacks the footy with aggression and his pressure around the ground is the standard we want all our players to emulate.”

Selected in the 2009 rookie draft, Howlett has played 117 games and kicked 57 goals for Essendon.

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Tags: AFL, Essendon Bombers, Bombers

Posted: 24 August, 2016

Adcock Calls It A Day

Western Bulldogs veteran to retire at season's end

(Image: Getty)

Western Bulldogs veteran Jed Adcock has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

The former Brisbane captain was thrown a lifeline by the Bulldogs at the end of last year via the rookie draft after the Lions axed him.

He has played seven games for the Dogs this year, but hasn’t featured in the senior line-up since Round 19.

Adcock thanked the Bulldogs for giving him the chance to keep playing this year. 

“Although it’s only been one year, I’ve learned a lot both as a player and from a coaching standpoint,” Adcock said. 

“I’m ready to move on to the next phase of my life and career, which includes pursuing coaching at AFL level.”

Adcock played 206 games for Brisbane over 12 seasons.

He was originally selected by the Lions at pick No.33 in the 2003 AFL draft.

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Tags: AFL, Western Bulldogs, Bulldogs

Posted: 24 August, 2016

North Melbourne Just Lost The Entire Bulldogs Side In Experience

Insane!

(Image: Getty)

After today's explosive revelation that Brent HarveyDrew PetrieMichael Firrito and Nick Dal Santo will not be given new contracts for 2017, the news is just starting to sink in.

And here is the crazy stat that shows just how much impact this massive cleanout could have on the club.

The big 4 that got axed, as of last weekend's game against Sydney, shared 1337 games experience amongst each other.

Remarkably, this is more than the entirety of the Western Bulldogs side that defeated Essendon on Sunday afternoon.

The Dogs' clocked up 1328 games experience.

The North Melbourne veterans are all aged over 32 years-old, but the announcement has still come as a large shock to the AFL public.

Harvey will still have the opportunity to add a few more matches to his current record-total of 430 career games.

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Posted: 24 August, 2016

Harvey, Dal Santo, Firrito, Petrie Shown The Door

Champion North Melbourne quartet won't be offered new contracts

Brent Harvey will not be offered a new contract by North Melbourne for the 2017 season.

Drew Petrie, Nick Dal Santo and Michael Firrito have also played their last season with the Kangaroos.

Harvey broke the VFL/AFL all-time games record a few weeks ago and is currently sitting on 430 career games.

The 38-year-old, playing his 21st season, is one of the club’s greatest ever players with a premiership, four All-Australians and a club record five best-and-fairests to his credit.

Harvey is also a member of the North Melbourne Team of the Century.

He is averaging 21 touches a game this year and is on track for a career-high goal tally with 34 already next to his name for 2016.

Petrie is also one of the club’s great players with 314 games and 428 goals over 16 seasons.

The 33-year-old led the club’s goalkicking on five occasions and earned All-Australian honours in 2011.

After crossing from St Kilda at the end of 2013, Dal Santo has pushed his career out to 320 matches at North Melbourne.

Dal Santo is a three-time All-Australian.

Firrito, a reliable defender over much of his 14-year career, has 273 games to his name.

"It's a heartbreaking decision and one that wasn't taken lightly," North Melbourne coach Brad Scott said.

"The decision was taken to move the announcement forward because we were determined to give them the opportunity to play in Melbourne.

"The decision has been made in the best interests of the football club

"I spoke to all four boys yesterday. To the boys' credit, they completely understand where the football club is coming from.

"I agree that (all four players) could contribute in 2017. But the future goes longer than that.

"I'm not ashamed to say I love these guys and if they were here in 2017, I'd play them. That would not be in our best interests.

"It's about where the club is positioned for the mediun to long term.

"Michael Firrito is the ultimate clubman, everything we love about North Melbourne.

"If we continued to play our senior players, we'd lose them in a year and we'd lose our younger guys because of a lack of opportunity.

"(Having) potentially the last game in Melbourne this week accelerated this decision.

"The lead up to the decision has been a roller coaster of emotions.

"If it was solely about Boomer's ability to play next year, he'd play on. But the opportunity cost to the club is far too great.

"Having the players walk off the ground in Melbourne not knowing their futures would have been disastrous."

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Tags: AFL, North Melbourne Kangaroos, Kangaroos

Posted: 24 August, 2016

Byrne-Jones Commits To Power

Port Adelaide youngster earns new two-year contract

(Image: Getty)

Port Adelaide youngster Darcy Byrne-Jones has been rewarded for an impressive debut season with a new two-year contract.

The 20-year-old has been a positive for the Power in a disappointing season, averaging 16 disposals across 19 games and booting three goals.

Byrne-Jones, who earned a Rising Star nomination in Round 10 for his career-high 23 disposals against Melbourne, will now call Alberton home until the end of 2018 at least. 

“Playing my first AFL game earlier in the year was a dream come true, and it’s been a thrill getting the chance to go out and play all season,” Byrne-Jones said.

“I’ve learned a lot from my coaches and senior teammates down back, and I’ve still got plenty more to do.

“I’m really happy to be staying around for another two years.”

Byrne-Jones hasn’t missed a game since debuting in Round 3 this year.

He was originally selected at pick No.52 in the 2013 AFL draft.

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Tags: AFL, Port Adelaide Power, Power

Posted: 24 August, 2016

AFL Academy Names 20-Year All-Star Team

Some big names!

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To celebrate 20 years of the NAB AFL Acadmey, a 20-man all-star team has been assembled with some of the biggest stars in the game.

Three-time premiership Cat Joel Selwood was named captain of the side.

AFL national talent manager Kevin Sheehan was in charge of the selection panel and said it was a tough side to choose.

"It was just terrific because we all had two views. One was a very accurate recall of our time involved in the academy, and the coaches' times involved in the program and their interpretation of the young guys they had in their midst," Sheehan told AFL.com.au.

"You could see how passionate they were about recalling some of those moments.

"And then to see them debate like a normal match committee, it reminded me of the All-Australian selectors at AFL level and Victorian state of origin selectors.

"They had to give very hard and clear views about great players and separate them, and that's very, very hard to do. Then they had to come to a decision at the finish."

NAB AFL ACADEMY 20 in 20 TEAM

DEFENDERS: Joel Corey (Geel), Ben Reid (Coll), Luke Hodge (Haw), Grant Birchall (Haw), Michael Hurley (Ess), Jarrad McVeigh (Syd)

MIDFIELDERS: Chris Judd (WC/Carl), Patrick Dangerfield (Adel/Geel), Shaun Burgoyne (PA/Haw), Joel Selwood (captain, Geel), Cameron Ling (Geel), Nic Naitanui (WC)

FORWARDS: Cyril Rioli (Haw), Lance Franklin (Haw/Syd), Chad Wingard (PA), Luke Parker (Syd), Josh Kennedy (Carl/WC), Jarryd Roughead (Haw)

I/C: Scott Thompson (Melb/Adel), Daniel Wells (NM)

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Posted: 23 August, 2016

Swanny’s Plan For His Retirement 'Gap Year

'I just want to take a deep breath relax and have a couple of retirement parties'

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Collingwood pulled out all stops for Dane Swan’s retirement press conference…

Members of Collingwood playing group, Swanny’s family and past teammates packed the auditorium at the Pies Holden Centre.

The Brownlow medallist was asked at one point what the next year had in hold for the champ - and Swanny was all too happy to outline his plan…

“I’m going to try get a bit of travel in. Take a gap year I think. Do a bit of that,” Swanny said.

“Go to Europe for 6-weeks or so. Maybe go to Coachella and things like that.”

“Do a bit of media I guess… I don’t know if my manager is in here? But its about time to put in the work and see if he can get me a job,” Swanny said.

“Obviously I’m retired now, I don’t have a job I can walk into tomorrow. I just want to take a deep breath relax and have a couple of retirement parties.”

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Tags: Dane Swan, Collingwood Magpies

Posted: 23 August, 2016

Dane Swan's Letter To Collingwood Members

"I am not indestructible"

Collingwood superstar Dane Swan has announced his retirement.

The Brownlow medallist confirmed the news in a letter to members, with the club holding a press conference at 12.30pm.

 

DANE SWAN'S LETTER TO MEMBERS:

I once said that Collingwood couldn't get rid of me. I joked about being an indestructible pest, a cockroach, capable of surviving anything life or the game could throw at me.

Football had been kind to me. Never easy and not always straightforward, but forgiving. It was an easy thing to say.

Playing football, for Collingwood, was fun and fun, as some of you may have gathered over the years, is a powerful motivation of mine. 

The truth, of course, is that I am not indestructible and with a surgically repaired foot that aches with every step, I have played my last game.

The end has arrived.

But in retirement there is still something very true in what I said about staying at Collingwood.

It is the place that, in football terms, I have called home for the last 15 years, somewhere I will always feel I belong. That I can return to.

In a way, I will never leave Collingwood because I know Collingwood will never leave me.

Collingwood and the people who make it so special accepted me for who I am.

This acceptance, and occasional tolerance, allowed me to be the player I became.

It was a gift, from you, from everyone at Collingwood, I will always treasure.

You should know that whatever I was able to give back, whatever my career amounted to, I will always owe Collingwood. Owe its wonderful people, their passion and heart. 

I wore our black and white stripes with pride, always feeling that you were equally proud to see me waddle out in number 36. We were good together.

Thanks for so many great times,

Swanny

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Tags: Dane Swan

Posted: 23 August, 2016

Dane Swan Posts Farewell Message To Instagram

"That's a wrap"

Dane Swan has confirmed that he is hanging up the boots on his Instagram page.

Dane Swan's retirement message: That's a wrap. To everyone that supported me through the ups and downs just know it meant more to me than you probably know. I always felt loved and appreciated from all football fans and I'm very grateful. I'm sad to finish up but can't wait for the next part of my life to start to invest more time into my friends and family who have invested 15 years of there life into mine.

 

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