Footystats Diary, footy's best kept secret, 1995 Review
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1995 Review
October 1994 to September 1995


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OCTOBER 1994

<||> AFL aspirant PORT ADELAIDE proved its reputation as an SANFL powerhouse when it booted nine goals to one in the last term against WEST TORRENS-WOODVILLE for the Magpies to take its 32nd flag, 15.16-106 to 10.9-69 in front of 40,598 at Football Park ...

<||> Carlton reappointed DAVID PARKIN as coach for 1995 ...

<||> without kicking a ball, the Dockers of FREMANTLE have attracted 20,000 foundation members. Collingwood had 20,169 members in 1994, behind West Coast 24,258 and Adelaide who boast 40,214 ...

<||> TONY LOCKETT firms toward Richmond, after keen speculation has included, Collingwood, Brisbane and Sydney apart from the Saints ...

<||> TREVOR BARKER signs on at St Kilda as VSFL and development coach ... a disenchanted JASON McCARTNEY walks out on Collingwood ...

<||> lawyers look at new car brochures as various player-actions are threatened ...

<||> ruck-rover MATTHEW ARMSTRONG and defender MARCUS SEECAMP quit Fitzroy ...

<||> PETER GERMAN leaves Arden Street after 11 senior seasons of 185 games ...

<||> under pressure, DOUG HAWKINS retires after 17 seasons and a record 329 games at Footscray ...

<||> Geelong full-back STEPHEN O’REILLY, Sydney rover SCOTT WATTERS and North’s PETER MANN sign on with Freo, as the Eagles suggest the Dockers are poaching ...

<||> the VFA retains its identity as nine Association clubs – Box Hill, Coburg, Frankston, Preston, Port Melbourne, Sandringham, Springvale, Werribee and Williamstown are named as the VSFL’s new metropolitan base. Prahran, Oakleigh and Dandenong Redlegs chose not to seek a senior licence, taking a role in the VSFL Under-18 competition ...
__________

TONY LOCKETT became a Sydney player on Friday October 21 in a complex deal which will see — St Kilda get Sydney’s first draft selection and Swan player ROBERT NEILL; Sydney will trade SCOTT WATTERS to Freo and in return the Saints get Port Adelaide’s DARREN WAKEMAN who was tied to the Dockers; Sydney trades SIMON MINTON-CONNELL to St Kilda who in turn will pass him to Hawthorn in return for the Hawks first and third draft choice plus JOSHUA KITCHEN; the Hawks will trade GLEN NUGENT for the Saints fourth draft choice ...
__________

<||> After an absence of three years, the Foster’s Cup international exhibition games returned to The Oval in London on Sunday October 18 when Richmond 14.20-104 downed Carlton 13.5-83 while in the curtain-raiser West Coast 14.12-96 ditched Adelaide 8.8-56 ... the matches drew prime-time ratings of 40 for HSV ...

MALCOLM BLIGHT resigned as coach of Geelong. His six-season record was 89+56, taking the Cats to the losing Grand Finals of 1989, 1992 and 1994. Former Hawk GARY AYRES, deputy to Blight in 1994 was appointed new Cats coach.

<||> PAUL ROOS, Fitzroy’s 14-season veteran and captain for six of the past seven years, quit the club but was not traded before the deadline. He now becomes part of the February draft when Sydney are expected to gain him ...

<||> The AFL Sensation in Grand Final Week was well below forecasts of 100,000 drawing only 37,000, and an expected loss of at least $200,000, however the concept will be continued in ‘95 ...

TOM ALVIN retires at Carlton after 218 games ...
__________

Island of Nauru secures the future of Fitzroy
From a consortium of four Government-owned Naruruan-Australian business houses, FITZROY will receive $1-million a year for the next seven years. In exchange for their financial support, the Nauru Insurance Corp, Savoy-Plaza International Hotel, Downtowner Hotel and Air Nauru will use Fitzroy as a vehicle to promote themselves throughout Australia. It is one of the most lucrative set of financial arrangements yet enjoyed by a League club and ensures the viability of the Lions into the 21st century. Under the arrangement the Lions’ debt is immediately eradicated. In return, Nauru achieves its objectives of establishing a link with a Melbourne-based AFL team.

Nauru is the world’s third-smallest country in the world, boasting only 8000 residents on its 21-square kilometres, 53km south of the equator.
__________

<||> Former Geelong ruckman SAM NEWMAN, now a high-profile media personality joins The Age ...

<||> triple-premiership coach KEVIN SHEEDY signs for another two years with ESSENDON – it will extend his coaching term at Windy Hill since 1981, to 16 seasons ...

<||> former Hawk and Bear KEN JUDGE (89 gms 1983-88) also dual East Fremantle premiership coach is named Reserves coach at CARLTON ...

<||> recently retired Magpie champ TONY SHAW rejected the Carlton assistant role and signed with Collingwood as a development coach and will join the match committee ...

<||> in the two-hour televised national draft on Friday October 28, almost 60% of recruits were provided from VSFL Under 18 clubs ... 329-gamer for Footscray, DOUG HAWKINS (35 next May) was draft pick #84 by FITZROY ...

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NOVEMBER 1994

<||> Fitzroy will have a Naruruan rep on its board ...

<||> Tiger football manager DOUG VICKERS resigned after six years ...

<||> Kanga veteran PETER GERMAN will captain-coach Burnie in the TFL next season ...

<||> RODNEY EADE is named fulltime Reserves coach at North ...

<||> MICHAEL CONLAN a popular 210-gamer of 1977-89 returns to the Lions camp as chairman of selectors ...

<||> ANTHONY ROCCA, Sydney’s top national draft pick rejects the Swans overtures for a second time but fails to lodge an appeal with the AFL ...

<||> Sale chases rejected Bulldog SIMON ATKINS who is still aiming to continue in AFL ranks ...

<||> The night series became the ANSETT AUSTRALIA CUP, starting at Fremantle Oval on Friday Feb 24 when the Dockers play St Kilda...

<||> former Xavier College headmaster PHILLIP WALLBRIDGE is named head of the AFL’s traineeship program ...

<||> Geelong captain MARK BAIRSTOW is operated on to remove a cyst from his right foot ...

<||> TONY LOCKETT trained with Sydney at the SCG ...

<||> GARRY FLETCHER recently-axed Cats footy manager is appointed to coach VSFL Ballarat Rebels ...

<||> FRASER BROWN (Car) and TONY MODRA (Ade) asked to explain footy trip incidents ...

<||> JOHN SCHULTZ the Footscray Brownlow winner in 1960 retires after 25 years with the AFL Tribunal ...

<||> The 1995 draw was announced – 176 matches, with 11 Saturday night games, one Monday night fixture (Anzac-eve) and Friday nights in 20 of the 22 rounds with no byes programmed; 47 senior matches are listed for the MCG ...

<||> ROGER MERRETT announces he will play an 18th League season with Brisbane during which he will pass 35 in April ...

<||> international media giant RUPERT MURDOCH plans a 1996 Rugby League SuperLeague of 10-12 teams streamlined especially for television both in Australia and overseas ...
__________

<||> AFL stats guru COL HUTCHINSON laid to rest any previous doubts when he produced the first accurate dimensions of most playing areas of League venues (both current and past). Using the same piece of equipment and in the same manner, from boundary to boundary, not fence to fence, these should settle a lot of argument —

MCG – 159 metres long by 136 metres
Waverley Park – 180 x 142
Princes Park – 151 x 137
Victoria Park – 164 x 133
Western Oval – 176 x 123
Kardinia Park – 171 x 117

Grounds formerly used —
Arden Street – 163 x 121
Windy Hill – 154 x 129
Moorabbin – 160 x 130
Lake Oval – 160 x 130
Junction Oval – 154 x 124
Glenferrie – 160 x 105
Brunswick Street – 147 x 130
Punt Road – 159 x 126
__________

<||> A continuing back injury to Melbourne full-forward ALLEN JAKOVICH hampers pre-season training and places doubts of his future ...

<||> the AFL proceeds with improvement to the playing area of Waverley costing $300,000 ...

<||> the BRISBANE BEARS officially laid to rest the koala bear head logo ...

<||> former Bulldog SIMON ATKINS trained with Collingwood ...

<||> Sydney capped off a wildly successful recruiting campaign when it gained the prized signature of PAUL ROOS at reported package of an annual $170,000; Roos will be the Swans No.1 draft choice ...

<||> Richmond name BRIAN WALDRON as football manager ...

<||> On Sunday November 27 – if you read one newspaper, “this week .. he returns to Melbourne” – the other said “he may stay in Darwin next season”. Essendon’s Norm Smith Medal champion MICHAEL LONG who hasn’t played a senior match since the 1993 Grand Final victory at week’s end was still at the Top End with his “love of the Darwin life-style”...

<||> At a time of revived finances and sponsorship agreements, the soon-departing 62-year old Hawk CEO JOHN LAURITZ  expressed the hope, a favourite son DERMOTT BRERETON will be a Hawk player again. The Hawthorn boss said Brereton, a five-time Hawk premiership player was unjustly suspended in March — “I think he was crucified in the Rayden Tallis case – no way did he stand on his head. He should not have been suspended” ...

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DECEMBER 1994

<||> SAM KEKOVICH joins KEVIN BARTLETT, TONY SHAW and STEVE QUARTERMAIN at Magic 693 for their widening 1995 coverage ...

<||> Fitzroy vice-capt ROSS LYON continued the exodus, quitting the Lions ...

<||> in discussions since the Grand Final, Geelong captain MARK BAIRSTOW is told to accept a pay cut ...

<||> AFL games record holder MICHAEL TUCK (426 matches) is appointed coach of Geelong Reserves ...

<||> the TFL announced it would compete in the VSFL Under 18 competition from 1995, beating 18 rivals for the spot ...

<||> AFL matches on the soon-to-arrive Pay TV are ruled out for 1995 ...

<||> AFL CEO Ross Oakley says the second team from Adelaide is now a ‘distant reality’ but advised the SANFL to continue to prepare for one ...

<||> Australian Rugby League CEO John Quayle announced their $12.5m profit, up from $9m in 1993 ...

<||> CUB set to pull out from its major sponsorship of Carlton ...
__________

The League deregistered Adelaide player TONY MODRA until March 6th and fined his club $5000 after an incident involving an airline hostess on a return flight from London in October. Carlton’s FRASER BROWN who was involved in an incident in a London hotel room, and who was subsequently fined by his club, was cleared by the hearing. Commission chairman JOHN KENNEDY issued the warning, “We don’t want to have the AFL name ruined by ratbag behaviour on aeroplanes or anywhere else for that matter”.
__________

<||> Melbourne sealed a long-term lease on the Oakleigh Hotel as a social club base on which the club will spend $500,000 on refurbishment. The club also revealed a new logo ...

<||> ANTHONY ROCCA and his family are given a weekend in Sydney as the Swans strive to hook the uncertain recruit ... TONY LOCKETT continues at training and starts house-hunting in Sydney ...

<||> PORT ADELAIDE, ever-hopeful on a spot in AFL ranks posted a $364,120 profit, a jump of 420% from last year and an increase to 6000 members. Their AFL surge had cost $200,000 of which more than half was covered by donations ...

<||> Victorian-based AFL clubs on December 5 gave the Commission an ultimatum in their campaign to abolish draft concessions and special assistance for new clubs. The proposal was wholly endorsed by 10 of the 11 clubs and partially agreed by the other, Richmond ...

<||> MARK BAIRSTOW retired from Geelong following several weeks of dispute over salary ...

<||> MICHAEL LONG returned to Windy Hill and was given the all-clear by Essendon’s medical staff to resume full training …

<||> PETER SCHWAB assistant to John Northey is another resignation from Richmond as the former Hawk returns to Glenferrie in marketing …

<||> following weeks of being courted by Sydney, ANG CHRISTOU signs again with Carlton …

<||> ‘fabulous’ PHIL CARMAN is named new coach of SANFL cellar-dwellers Sturt …

<||> PAUL ARMSTRONG, former St Kilda player is named football manager at Geelong …

<||> subject to fitness, DERMOTT BRERETON is invited to Hawthorn’s pre-season training from January 9th …

<||> At the Cats annual meeting, life memberships were awarded to players BARRY STONEHAM and BILLY BROWNLESS, historian and statistician COL HUTCHINSON and long-time supporter JUDE HARVEY …

<||> MELBOURNE clinched a three-year sponsorship deal with Queensland-based bank Metway believed to be worth $500,000 …

<||> Carlton, Collingwood and Essendon announced their intention to play a pre-season triangular lightning premiership series at Princes Park in February. Each match will have two 30-minute halves and will trial the use of four goal umpires. To ensure play is continuous, balls will be positioned beside goal posts so full-backs can immediately restart play after a minor score.

<||> PORT ADELAIDE on December 13th was officially named the next club to join the AFL – when, is the big question …

<||> NORTH MELBOURNE re-signed captain WAYNE CAREY, 23, and wingman WAYNE SCHWASS, 26, for four years, defender MICK MARTYN, 26 for three and ruck-rover ANTHONY STEVENS, 23, for five …

<||> former Geelong captain MARK BAIRSTOW was appointed captain-coach of Geelong FL team, St Joseph’s …

<||> The AFL on December 16th revealed it was $3m ahead of budget for a 1994 operating surplus of $32.642m. Each club will receive a dividend of $1.4m from the League, with $1.4m set aside to be used for debt reduction or for special capital expenditure. The League also announced commemorative medals for Grand Final losers would be re-introduced for the first time since 1981 … AFL gm of football operations IAN COLLINS resigned as a director of the Sydney FC but will remain an adviser to the club …


<||> TED WHITTEN, Victoria’s Mr Football resigned as chairman of the Victorian state of origin team, revealing at 60, he was fighting his toughest contest, a battle against bone cancer …

<||> FREMANTLE announced a five-year $2.5m sponsorship deal with clothing company YAKKA … the MCG will host another Rugby League State-of-Origin match on Wed. May 31 … wingman ANDREW WILLS became the second Geelong player to sign with Fremantle for three years ...

<||> The year ended with the hottest Melbourne December in 34 years capping off an unusually dry season with rainfall down 25% on the yearly average …

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1994 FINANCIAL RESULTS

Adelaide $2,334,489
Brisbane $90,082
Carlton $60,398
Collingwood $198,143
Essendon $$391,155
Fitzroy $193,498
Footscray $76,213
Geelong $$558,963
Hawthorn $233,524
Melbourne $227,692
North Melb $29,573
Richmond $29,805
St Kilda $4,120
Sydney not available
West Coast $3,158,233

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JANUARY 1995

<||> Training in earnest began on Monday the 9th with temperatures in the low 30’s … DERMOTT BRERETON returned to Glenferrie training with the Hawks who allocated the 196-game veteran (seven with Sydney) with guernsey and locker number 56 …

<||> on his return from the US, PAUL ROOS heads to begin training and house-hunting in Sydney …

<||> ominous signs in the struggling, non-committed AFL States of NSW and Queensland as the Seven Network outbids TEN at $16m for five-year rights to Rugby Union …

<||> 21-year old GLEN JAKOVICH signed with West Coast for a further four seasons …

__________

Rule changes
<||> tripping by hand is no longer a reportable offence but will still be penalised by a free kick and a 50m penalty … any of the three officiating field umpires will signify the end to a game … coaches will be permitted to address teams before extra-time matches in finals … gloves will remain a legitimate item of equipment for players … the wearing of sunglasses were also under consideration …

__________

<||> dashing Collingwood half-forward PAUL WILLIAMS underwent surgery to an ankle …

<||> Geelong waters-down critical comments made by ruckman JOHN BARNES against coach GARY AYRES appearing in the Sunraysia Daily

<||> AFL summons players AARON JAMES (Col), BEN HARRISON (Car) and GRANT DEMAMIEL to explain allegations of unruly behaviour at Canberra’s AIS last December threatening to torpedo the trainee scheme …

<||> the sixth prominent Fitzroy player departed as forward DARREN WHEILDON failed to accept a pay-cut …

<||> Demon full-forward ALLEN JAKOVICH still recovering from back surgery …

<||> Sydney rookie MATTHEW NICKS, a 19-year old wingman from West Adelaide broke his leg at training …
__________

Fremantle get started
The Dockers entered fray with the annual Darwin hit-out on January 28. Played in atrocious conditions the Buffaloes knocked-over Fremantle, 4.10-34 to 4.9 before 8000 hardy and loyal followers of the code at the top end …

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FEBRUARY 1995

<||> The SA Cricket Association launched a bold initiative to build a new $14m grandstand with the expectation of seeing major football return to the Adelaide Oval; the plan however was rejected by the SANFL …

<||> EARL SPALDING signs again with Carlton …

<||> Sydney eyes ROSS LYON …

<||> the Hawks court MARK FRASER with big dollars …

<||> as the Channel Seven deal obtaining rights to Rugby Union was confirmed, a $6m five-year sponsorship deal will see the national team become the “Schweppes Wallabies” …

<||> Richmond captain TONY FREE suffered severe concussion and his second broken jaw in six months during training at Punt Road …

<||> the Carlton-Collingwood-Essendon triangular series is named The Big Three Challenge Cup for Waverley on February 19 …

<||> Magpie coach LEIGH MATTHEWS called for a 12-month moratorium on rule changes …

<||> wearing #15, TONY LOCKETT stepped out in a Sydney intra-club trial at Campbelltown, the first of eight scheduled practice matches for the Harboursiders; Lockett will be given his famous #4 for the season by Sydney — Lockett wore #14 with the Saints (1983-1987) before being awarded #4 by Darrel Baldock in 1988 … further minor eye-surgery to Lockett will force him out of the Perth trial versus the Eagles …

<||> in an U23 trial at Leederville Oval, WEST COAST 11.5-71 pipped BRISBANE 10.10-70 …

<||> Melbourne star forward DAVID SCHWARZ suffered a serious knee injury at training …

<||> Demon captain GARRY LYON also restricted with a wrist in plaster following injury …
___________


Rugby SuperLeague dumped
Monday Feb 6 was possibly the most dramatic day in the 87-year history of Rugby League in Australia and accorded a minor three-pars buried deep in the Herald Sun, nought in The Age.

A News Limited offer to form an elite 12-team SuperLeague for worldwide pay-tv exposure starting 1996, was thwarted by the presence of Kerry Packer who returned from Florida to remind the 20 clubs at Phillip Street head-quarters of their commitment to a $70m tv-rights contract held by his Nine Network until the year 2000.

The clubs two days later reinforced a 5-year ARL loyalty-pledge, though the only privately-owned Rugby League club, the Brisbane Broncos were tardy and briefly faced expulsion … disappointed (and temporarily defeated) News Ltd CEO Ken Crowley offered a chilling observation (and worthy of AFL note) – “In the future, the survival of any major sport will depend on it becoming global and giving the clubs real financial independence …”

__________

Uncontracted players nominated their fees with the AFL for the Feb 21 draft — Collingwood wingman MARK FRASER asks a guaranteed $300,000 for three seasons; Scray’s KEENAN REYNOLDS a first-season base of $62,000 and $1500 for a win and 26-year old Eagle MATT CLAPE, a two-year contract for a base from $32.5 to $37,500; former Roy DARREN WHEILDON is going for a modest base of $40,000 …

<||> RON DE IULIO and ADRIAN GLEESON close to finalising contracts with the Blues …

<||> the well-travelled STUART WIGNEY (Scray, Swans, Crows) could end up back at the Western Oval …

<||> former high-flyer BRIAN DIXON urged the AFL to internationalise its game to ensure its long-term success …

<||> DAVID SCHWARZ has left knee reconstruction meaning most of 1995 is over for him as dissatisfied Demon officials are ready to delist ALLEN JAKOVICH … Melbourne’s odds for the Ansett Cup blow out to 15/1, as the Redlegs show new interest in BRERETON …
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Prophesy
A prophetic piece by The Age feature columnist Peter McFarline on Friday Feb 10, forecast AFL football could be dead within 20–50 years … “as the pay TV baby grows and grows, there is nothing more certain than that the money available for AFL television rights will steadily become less …”. McFarline’s words recalled those by Ron Barassi in June 1993 — “… it will be a quaint little game played in the corner of Australia and the 21st century will be spent surviving and dying …”
__________

<||> Hawthorn’s longest-serving player CHRIS LANGFORD stepped down from the captaincy, due to work commitments in Sydney. JASON DUNSTALL will lead the Hawks in 95 …

RODNEY EADE named to coach AFL ALL-STARS composite side (representing Tas, Qld, NSW, NT and ACT) to play Western Australia in Perth on the weekend of June 17-18 when the Vics meet SA in Melbourne …

<||> CUB step back from major sponsorship role at CARLTON as the Blues ready for top sponsor nod to HYUNDAI …

<||> even though reports indicate as many as 10 clubs are in breach of the rules, under an amnesty of the AFL’s Five-Year Plan, clubs that willingly divulge contract variances and caps breaches are immune from penalty …

<||> TONY LOCKETT has follow-up surgery to his right eye …

<||> Practice match pace quickens – 15,921 at East Fremantle Oval saw the Dockers 14.11-95 down Essendon 6.9-45 … the Bombers major casualty was PETER CRANSBERG who was on crutches with a possible serious right knee injury – 6-8 weeks on the sidelines is possible … in a spirited outing at Skinner Reserve, Footscray 12.11-83 downed Fitzroy 9.22-76 … Carlton 11.11-77 did it comfortably over Brisbane 7.15-57 at Coolum … at Leederville Oval, West Coast 17.14-116 gave Sydney 6.11-47 a thrashing – PAUL ROOS (Syd) suffered a rib injury … in an intra-club at Waverley, Richmond’s PAUL BULLUSS twisted a knee cartilage outing him for 3-4 weeks … on Monday evening in an energy-sapping 34 at Vic Park, an accurate St Kilda 19.7-121 disposed of Collingwood 16.11-107 to about 9000 fans in their annual charity hit-out; several Saints trialled a new lightweight design Coolmax guernsey …

<||> TRIBUNAL—CRAIG NETTELBECK (Fre) and SCOTT CUMMINGS (Ess) survived misconduct charges of wrestling; ADAM SLATER (Rch) was fined $1500 for abusing an umpire – under a changed ruling with umpires not required to give warnings …

<||> JOHN GASTEV announced his retirement after 143 games (1987-94) with the Eagles and Bears … dumped Cat TIM DARCY nominates for the draft … one-hour before his cutting by the Demons, ALLEN JAKOVICH now 26 announced his retirement, yet seems certain to nominate for the draft … the Bombers surprised when they delisted the 21-year old GLENN MANTON after 21 senior games and two night premierships … overall, 45 players were cut …

<||> Further changes in Sydney saw CEO RON JOSEPH relieved of multiple pressures, to focus purely on football matters. Three directors resigned – Mike Willesee (who will become Patron), Peter Weinert (No 1 ticket holder) and longtime stalwart Craig Kimberley, who will become the club’s Melbourne patron as Sydney prepared to open an office in the Yarra city …

<||> PORT ADELAIDE will amalgamate with local amateur side Port Districts for a name change to Port Adelaide Districts and maintain a presence in the SANFL when AFL elevation arrives …

<||> opening ANSETT CUP match on Feb 24 moved from Fremantle to East Fremantle Oval …

<||> new rumors emerge for a return of PETER DAICOS with the Bombers high on the list …

<||> in a three-year deal worth more than $1.5m HYUNDAI Automotive are new sponsors of CARLTON. The Blues confirmed both STEPHEN KERNAHAN and GREG WILLIAMS have signed contracts to tie them to Carlton until they retire …

<||> Pacific Publications will launch a national magazine Sports Weekly mid-March with a Wednesday sale date. Geoff McClure formerly of The Sun will edit …

<||> The Magpies show pre-draft interest in Dermie …

<||> Hawthorn, Footscray and Essendon following St Kilda’s lead and will use the new Coolmax lightweight guernsey developed by Puma and Du Pont in Ansett Australia Cup matches …

<||> Five weeks from the major opening, FREMANTLE 11.10-76 continued their good opening form downing a sluggish PORT ADELAIDE 5.8-38 at Football Park … WEST COAST 11.17-83 beat ADELAIDE 8.6-54 at Margaret River, but the Eagles will lose CHRIS MAINWARING for 4-5 weeks with a dislocated shoulder … at Skinner, RICHMOND 16.7-103 downed NORTH 11.11-77 with the Kangas COREY McKERNAN outed with a knee injury … in two Waverley trials, FITZROY 10.8-68 beat ST KILDA 9.12-66 and MELBOURNE 7.16-58 beat HAWTHORN 8.9-57 … FOOTSCRAY 11.19-85 downed GEELONG 11.14-80 at Skinner … in heavy rain, SYDNEY 11.19-85 beat BRISBANE 10.11-71 … 18,600 were at Waverley on Sunday for the round-robin challenge played over two 30-minute halves. Collingwood with wins over both Carlton and Essendon took the Cup … the Blues injury problems worsened with STEPHEN KERNAHAN, ANDREW McKAY and FRASER BROWN all injured at the Park – Carlton have worries with up to 12 senior players out …
___________

AFL profits $3.4 million on $61m income
The AFL announced a giant 27% operating revenue increase to a record $61-million, for a profit of $3.4m, compared to $150,000 in 1993 … Scott Palmer in the Sunday Herald Sun (Feb 19) quoted AFL CEO Ross Oakley on the subject of Rugby League — “Oakley argued it was ‘a little weightless’ for rugby league to internationalise by spreading itself via television … League was basically played in six cities in England and two in France … it’s played in NZ, but rugby union is the game over there … to think you can globalise it by taking on some satellite network and hoping people love the game overnight, is just pie in the sky stuff …”
__________

Draft fiasco damages Swans credibility
Top level mismanagement disqualified Sydney from exercising their second draft pick on Feb 21. The Swans grabbed former Fitzroy captain PAUL ROOS with the first pick, Freo were next, taking GREG MADIGAN from Hawthorn. Sydney had third choice and the room was stunned when Sydney recruiting manager Rob Snowden, instead of naming “ROSS LYON, Fitzroy” whispered “pass”.

Minutes before the Pre-Season draft commenced, the League confirmed that Sydney hadn’t done its simple homework. Under its salary cap of $2.3m (plus another $230,000 for player-relocation expenses) the moulting Swans didn’t have enough left to buy a beer — much less add any more players to their list.

November draftee ANTHONY ROCCA refuses to move Harbourside and with this added blunder, SYDNEY faces the new season two short for a list of just 40 players.

Former CEO RON JOSEPH who a week before had stepped down to a lesser role in administration admitted it was his fault saying “I’ve got to take the responsibility and I do … I’ve tendered my resignation. I handed it in last week”. Club support staff including coach RON BARASSI were understood to have been devastated.
__________

Other major players to move homes in the draft were —
BRISBANE: Ross Lyon (Fit)
CARLTON: Matthew Clape (WCE), Glenn Manton (Ess), Alan Thorpe (Fsc)
C’WOOD: Dermott Brereton (Haw)
ESSENDON: Mark Fraser (Col), Tim Darcy (Gee)
FITZROY: Simon Atkins (Fsc)
FOOTSCRAY: Jose Romero (NM)
NORTH: Keenan Reynolds (Fsc)
RICHMOND: Stuart Wigney (Ade)
WEST COAST: Paul Peos (Bri)
__________

Sydney fined $10,000
The League will fine Sydney $10,000 for their late lodgement of draft and salary cap documents last week … Club chiefs called for an AFL investigation into the Swans being forced to “pass” on their No 3 pick … The Age reported, “Basically, most clubs believe it is important to have a successful side in Sydney. But they are frustrated with the continuing allocation of money without results”. Geelong CEO Greg Durham said, “it was important that money be allocated to NSW in order to develop Australian football in that State” …
___________

<||> Adelaide’s inaugural captain CHRIS McDERMOTT stood down in favour of TONY McGUINNESS …

<||> JASON DUNSTALL is named captain of the Hawks …

<||> The Footy Show returns on Channel Nine drawing 619,000 first night viewers in Melbourne …

<||> DALE KICKETT after stints with St Kilda, Fitzroy, West Coast and Essendon, became only the third player in League history to play for five clubs, when he appeared for Fremantle in the Friday Feb 24 Ansett Cup match. He joins LES ABBOTT who turned out with five clubs earlier this century and LES HUGHSON who played with Col, Haw, Car, StK and Fit between 1927 and 1937.
__________

Ansett Cup starts
The ANSETT AUSTRALIA CUP series moved into gear on Friday as ST KILDA 19.7-121 (Loewe 9) thumped FREMANTLE 13.8-86 to 10,028 at East Fremantle Oval … on Saturday night at Waverley, 23,678 saw a strongly finishing CARLTON 20.9-129 (Thorpe 6, Cook 5) run over RICHMOND 13.9-87 (Naish 6) … in searing Sunday heat (it was 42 at Cape Otway) NORTH 17.18-120 were too good for BRISBANE 8.12-60 to 4,737 at the Park … Monday night at Waverley drew 10,469 as ESSENDON 14.10-94 (Cummings 7) were scoreless in the last term but too good for FITZROY 8.13-61 …
__________

<||> in practice, ADELAIDE 19.11-125 (Modra 6) ditched MELBOURNE 5.10-40 at Footy Park on Friday night … to beat the heat it was a 9am Saturday start as GEELONG 12.8-80 beat the Hawks 8.11-59 …

<||> Injuries bite Brisbane – GILBERT McADAM suffered a broken jaw and CRAIG LAMBERT a cracked fibula in their Ansett Cup game against North, meaning both will certainly miss the start of the main season …

<||> deja-vu, as South Melbourne CC in a heated three-hour meeting at their Town Hall voted 71 to 17 against the VCA push to merge with St Kilda. Lake Oval was lost to the 133 year-old cricket club when it was bull-dozed for the Grand Prix …

<||> TRIBUNAL – LAZAR VIDOVIC the Saints key ruckman was suspended for six matches on pleading guilty to two charges of striking against Freo’s Brendan Krummel and Matthew Burton in last Friday’s Ansett Cup opener …

<>

MARCH 1995

<||> AFL boss ROSS OAKLEY and Rugby League chief executive JOHN QUAYLE voice concern over “violence” references in new Nike tv commercials featuring WAYNE CAREY and ARL star LAURIE DALEY …

<||> Channel Seven Network announced new footy programs – Four Quarters with Sandy Roberts as host on Friday nights, AFL Game Day at Sunday midday and an 11.30pm Monday Talking Football both with Bruce McAvaney …

<||> FOOTSCRAY 12.16-88 pitched COLLINGWOOD 12.15 out of the Ansett Cup on Wednesday night at Waverley to 18,310, as the Magpies forward woes continued …

<||> Melbourne businessman DENNIS KRONGOLD sues the AFL for more than $3m for alleged breaches of the Trade Practices Act on merchandise rights …

<||> other sponsorship hiccups surface over – Fitzroy’s aim to feature guernsey logos for Pay-TV Galaxy outlet and St Kilda’s current seven-year deal with Schweppes is threatened. Schweppes have been a Saints sponsor for 25 seasons …

<||> 27-year old Cats ruckman BARRY STONEHAM (154 games) attempt to return to senior football on hold as injuries require further surgery to his fractured right leg …

<||> sacked Crows coach GRAHAM CORNES was reappointed coach of the S.A. State side ...

<||> In further Ansett Cup games, SYDNEY 18.11-119 (Lockett 4) beat HAWTHORN 16.10-106 (Dunstall 7) to 11,464 on Saturday afternoon at Bruce Stadium … at night WEST COAST 16.15-111 (Sumich 7) were too good for MELBOURNE 11.11-77 to 9,348 at Waverley; the Eagles were without eight of their premiership side … on Sunday in front of the Crows’ smallest official crowd at Football Park, 13,866 saw ADELAIDE 23.16-154 (Hall 5) blitz GEELONG 13.15-93 … in a trial FREMANTLE 18.14-122 defeated a ragged RICHMOND 11.4-70 for a slim 4830 fans at Fremantle Oval … BRISBANE 10.21-81 suffered an embarrassing defeat by QAFL club MT GRAVATT 15.10-100 …

In a Monday night thriller for 12,476 at the Park, ST KILDA 12.11-83 clipped CARLTON 12.10-82 … under threat of legal action, the AFL returned St Kilda’s Schweppes signs to Waverley …

__________

Trainees fined and suspended
Unruly behaviour last December by AFL trainees at the Australian Institute of Sport which caused their expulsion, brought strong disciplinary action from the AFL Commission — AARON JAMES (Col) was fined $500 and suspended three matches … GRANT DE MAMIEL (Fit) fined $500 and two matches … BEN HARRISON (Car) a $500 fine and a one match outing … $500 fines were also imposed on, SHANE CRAWFORD (Haw), DUSTIN FLETCHER (Ess), ROBT. STEVENSON (Ess), ROHAN WARFE (Fit), SEDAT SIR (Fsc) and ADAM SIMPSON (NM) …

__________

<||> Fremantle vice-captain SCOTT WATTERS was fined $750 for urinating on the field during an Ansett Cup break against St Kilda on Feb 24. Attention was drawn to the incident when a photograph appeared in The Australian

<||> NORTH MELBOURNE 14.18-102 were 27pt victors over ESSENDON 11.9-75 on Wednesday night to 19,492 fans at Waverley; Kanga captain WAYNE CAREY beat four opponents, kicking seven goals from 12 marks and 18 kicks …

<||> The TAC withdraw their $100,000 sponsorship of Footscray …

<||> illness again strikes Brisbane forward ALASTAIR LYNCH – last year he suffered two broken collarbones and knee surgery. Scans and x-rays reveal Lynch is now suffering chronic sinusitis, leaving him severely fatigued with recurring headaches, dizziness and loss of balance. Should antibiotics fail, Lynch faces nose surgery …

<||> GARRY HOCKING was named Geelong captain …

<||> TRIBUNAL – ANDY LOVELL (Mel) was suspended two matches for striking Peter Sumich (WCE); it was the first occasion the post-match video review by umpires resulted in a charge being laid … at another hearing, DARREN JARMAN (Haw) was cleared of abusive language toward an umpire during the Canberra Ansett Cup match … investigations officer since 1982, MAX CROXFORD was replaced by Melbourne barrister MARTIN AHMAD …
__________

Code of conduct released
The Age (March 10) released details of sweeping proposals contained in a code of conduct. Each player will face a first offence fine of $1000 and $5000 fines for a second and subsequent offence failing to–


›› abstain from illegal or excessive use of drugs or prohibited substances.
›› abstain from gambling or wagering directly or indirectly on any match in which the player is a participant.
›› vilifying a person on the grounds or race, colour, national or ethnic origin.

Players will face a $500 fine for

›› allowing photographs depicting injuries.

Players will also —

›› be forbidden from commenting on AFL policies;
›› will observe “contemporary community standards of behaviour”
›› “have due regard for the traditions of Australian football;

›› play the game “fairly and in accordance with the letter and spirits of the Laws of the Game”;
››“respect the umpires and accept umpires’ decisions without disparagement”

›› “be responsible in making public comments”;
›› “strive to achieve and maintain a high standard of fitness suitable for the playing of Australian football”;
›› cooperate with the AFL and his club in the promotion of Australian Football”.
__________

<||> With new endeavour, SYDNEY 16.10-106 (Lockett 9.3) disposed of FOOTSCRAY 10.12-72 to 10.721 at Waverley in the Saturday night ANSETT CUP outing … on Sunday at Football Park ADELAIDE 14.14-98 thumped WEST COAST 6.11-47 for 18,909 … in practice games, at Bendigo’s QEO, FITZROY 16.18-114 beat BRISBANE 15.12-102 … at Traralgon, COLLINGWOOD 12.11-83 beat HAWTHORN 9.10-64 – the Hawks suffered injury to both Chris Langford and Darren Jarman … at Waverley, RICHMOND continued the Demons poor pre-season form with a 16pt win over MELBOURNE, 12.14-86 to 10.10-70 … also at the Park, FREMANTLE were firm winners over GEELONG, 18.10-110 to 13.12-90 … knee injury to PETER FILANDIA will sideline the Sydney rover for 1995 … Ansett Cup switch will have Sydney meeting Adelaide at Football Park; it will be the Crows third successive home Cup outing …

<||> Game-fixing allegations in the ranks of English soccer, brought several arrests there and the focus upon local activities. Tabcorp reported last season attracted football betting of $5m compared with their racing division of $2m. National Sportsbook took in $6.5m compared with just $400,000 in 1991.

<||> NORTH MELBOURNE 13.14-92 (Carey 6) advanced to the Ansett Cup night final, downing a persistent young ST KILDA 9.11-65 to 15,873 on Wednesday night at Waverley … Tribunal — DEAN WALLIS (Ess) was found guilty of striking Wayne Carey (NM) and suspended for three matches. It was the fourth time in 61 senior games Wallis has been suspended for three weeks, totalling 12 matches … MARK RICCIUTO (Ade) from a video citing was found guilty of charging Peter Matera (WCE) and suspended one match …

<||> Both full-forwards highlighted the Saturday night Ansett Cup game at Football Park to 31,159, ADELAIDE 18.11-119 set-up a Crows-Kanga final when they ran over SYDNEY 14.7-91; Lockett and Modra each kicked eight goals …

<||> In Saturday practice games, just 100 fans were at Waverley when BRISBANE 17.9-111 beat FREMANTLE 9.14-68 … at Lavington a huge Albury night crowd of 20,169 saw ESSENDON 16.9-105 down CARLTON 8.10-58 … on Sunday at the Park, HAWTHORN 17.19-121 (Hudson 6) quashed FITZROY 5.15-45, signalling worries for Lions coach Bernie Quinlan … at Shepparton East, WEST COAST 14.12-96 downed a full-strength FOOTSCRAY 11.13-79 (Grant 5) … 8,000 were at Ballarat’s City Oval where GEELONG 13.7-85 squeaked in from RICHMOND 11.15-81 … also at Waverley, COLLINGWOOD 13.12-90 came home strongly to beat MELBOURNE 11.13-79 … Dermott Brereton played his first full match for the Magpies …
__________


Sydney fined a further $10,000
An aftermath of the Feb 21 salary cap debacle, Sydney were fined $10,000 for the late lodgement of TONY LOCKETT’s contract details and a further $10,000 for late financial details in the lead-up to the pre-season draft. The fines made a dent in the $38,500 prize money they gained from two wins in the Ansett Australia Cup night series.

__________

League rulings
In rulings from the League meeting of March 20—the VSFL name was replaced in favour of the AFL Reserve Grade competition; Reserves games will be 25-minute quarters with no added time … gloves will be permitted but must be flesh-coloured or the dominant colour of the club uniform … players sent off with bloodied guernseys must return with the same-numbered jumper … the AFL warned clubs not to pursue contracts with rival League sponsors with the view Channel Seven may not telecast matches involving clubs that breach their “duty of good faith” … during the 1996 Centenary, the AFL are hoping to schedule matches with players wearing 1897 club garments such as caps and lace-up guernseys …
__________

<||> The Age forecast that Monday night football would be a feature of the 1996 calendar …

<||> GARY BUCKENARA was named coach of Western Australia’s State of Origin side …

<||> AFL approve North application to wear the Kangas new-look guernsey design in regular matches against West Coast and Brisbane …

TRIBUNAL – Melbourne rookie JEFF FARMER fined $1500 for misconduct in using an insulting gesture toward umpire Gavin Dore; Farmer had twice raised his middle finger at Dore … PETER QUILL (Fsc) was suspended one match for tripping Michael Dunstan (WCE) …

<||> thigh injury to Collingwood rover TONY FRANCIS will sideline him 5-6 weeks …

<||> clubs grumble, as umpires receive a pay boost of almost 30%. Senior field are now on $1000 per game, up from $800 last year, boundaries $500 ($390) and goals $450 ($340) – the AFL automatically receives $10,432 from gate receipts as its “match recovery fee” …

<||> In final practice matches — at the Western Oval, ESSENDON 12.17-89 just downed FOOTSCRAY 10.22-82 for 2500 fans … at Waverley, GEELONG 21.17-143 (Ablett 9) beat FITZROY 15.8-98 …

<||> 23-year old BRAD BOYD after just 35 senior games (1992-94) was named to the Lions captaincy …

<||> from intra-club, Collingwood’s ANDREW TRANQUILLI broke an ankle (3 months) and DERMOTT BRERETON with a strained calf will miss the start …
__________

Ansett Cup Grand Final
North break 15-season drought


North Melbourne inspired by veteran full back Michael Martyn and their champion captain Wayne Carey blitzed Adelaide for a comfortable five-goal victory in the Saturday night Ansett Cup Grand Final played at Waverley to 39,393 who paid $282,480.

It was North’s first major football success since their controversial after-the-siren defeat of Collingwood in the 1980 night series.

Mick Martyn held Adelaide’s crack forward Tony Modra to four touches and a single goal. Courage and aggression won Martyn the Michael Tuck Medal for best afield. North took $104,500 as the winners purse.

The Kangas burst away with five goals in the first term and though both sides were relatively even in most departments it was North’s flexible forward-line set-up in which eight players contributed first half-goals.

  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
NM 5.1-31 (16) 10.3-63 (25) 11.6-72 (22) 14.9-93 (30)
ADE 2.3-15 5.8-38 6.14-50 8.15-63
Goals: NM: Carey 3, Armstrong 2, Allison, Scott, Stevens, Nicholls, Roberts, McKernan, Campbell, Longmire. Ade: Brown 2, McCartney 2, Robran, Modra, Connell, Rehn. Best: NM: Martyn, Carey, Stevens, Roberts, Schwass, Allison, Scholl. Ade: Brown, Rehn, Recite, Robran, Lee, McGuinness.
Umpires: Andrew Coates, Chris Mitchell, Grant Vernon.

<||> Geelong captain GARRY HOCKING after surgery removing a cyst from his knee, was re-admitted to hospital with infection – he will miss the opening round and may require further surgery …

<||> from a $52,788 loss in their first (1993) season in Brisbane, the Bears announced a $90,141 profit on an operating revenue of $8,719,392 … Brisbane is a chance for a night final as their $30m upgrade proceeds on target with lighting expected to be ready by round 22 …


<||> A grand final Darwin football umpire DARRYL BROWN was suspended for one year by the NTFL after he physically attacked ABC-TV’s Kevin Naughton over comments made on Brown’s on-field standards.

<||> TONY FREE retains the Tiger captaincy …

<||> Richmond’s new social and gaming club opens at the Royal Oak Hotel in Bridge Road, as the club confirms its sponsorship with the TAC is extended a further three years …

<||> Footscray will wear its alternate uniform against the Eagles and Dockers in July and August …

<>

Blues-Magpies draw 87,119
Lions scoreless in first half
Kernahan plays his 200th
Ablett passes Doug Wade record


ROUND ONE – Fri-Sat-Sun, March 31, April 1-2.
The Fremantle Dockers officially became the new kid on the street when they played Richmond on Saturday … the Tigers won their first opening round match since 1982 … for the 10th occasion in League history, Fitzroy were scoreless in the first half against Essendon. The last time was in 1953, also at the Western Oval by the Roy Boys versus Scray and before that, by Carlton in 1924 and Essendon in 1903 … Carlton captain STEPHEN KERNAHAN played his 200th senior game … GARY ABLETT passed Doug Wade’s Geelong club record of 834 goals … TONY LOCKETT (Syd) passed 900 career goals … JIM STYNES (Mel) played his 175th consecutive game … DALE KICKETT (Fre) became the third player to play with five League clubs … STUART WIGNEY added a Richmond guernsey – his fourth AFL club …

The Friday night opener brought 24,882 to the G – the Crows led all night and seemingly were to gain revenge until a goal off the ground at 29 minutes by ANTHONY ROCK gave the Kangas a last-gasp win, NORTH 11.13-79, ADELAIDE 10.16-76 … the Dockers went within five points of having a dream debut against the Tigers on Saturday to 26,219 fans – for the record TODD RIDLEY was the first Fremantle goal kicker, RICHMOND 12.18-90, FREMANTLE 12.13-85 … at the Park (14,653) apart from a brief early flurry by the Bears, Hawthorn dominated proceedings to coast to a 57pt victory, outmarking Brisbane 82-45, HAWTHORN 20.7-127 (Dunstall 6), BRISBANE 11.4-70 … at Kardinia Park (22,186) where the “blood rule” was enforced with frustrating regularity, the Cats missing several stars ground out a gritty 14pt win over the Demons, GEELONG 12.15-87 (Ablett 6), MELBOURNE 11.7-73 … Essendon with possibly their strongest line-up since the 1993 Grand Final massacred the Lions at the Western Oval to 17,869 hardy fans – Fitzroy’s first goal thru BRAD BOYD didn’t arrived until three minutes into the third term, and their next, 13 minutes into the final quarter. The Bombers treated the last term as a practice run and their 74pt margin was amazingly frugal given the difference in class, ESSENDON 16.16-112, FITZROY 6.2-38 … the heavyweights drew 87,119 to the MCG under grey skies on Sunday – the Magpies had five first-gamers but the all-match struggle was like an arm wrestle, always tight and frantic until the Blues steadied in the last for a 29pt victory and their 106th win from 210 outings, CARLTON 14.11-95, COLLINGWOOD 9.12-66 … the Swans were conscious of Lockett and the Doggies went away at home (19,189) FOOTSCRAY 15.12-102, SYDNEY 12.13-85 (Lockett 6) … the Saints gave the Eagles a first half shock when they were level at the WACA (27,765), but the reigning premiers took the pressure up a cog in the last half, kicking 12 goals to four to be comfortable 46pt winners, WEST COAST 18.13-121 (Heady 5), ST KILDA 11.9-75 (Loewe 5) …

<||> The League moves the round three Footscray-Carlton match to the vacant MCG on Easter Saturday … Sydney advertise for new CEO … Carlton prez JOHN ELLIOTT ejected by police for smoking at the MCG in a designated No Smoking area; the MCC move future Carlton luncheons to another area …

TRIBUNAL – DARREN JARMAN (Haw) was suspended two matches after pleading guilty to striking ROSS LYON (Bri) under provocation, opening a probe into the incident (the AFL put Lyon on report for a hearing after the Bears weekend game) … for offensive language to a field umpire, SCOTT MAGINESS (Haw) was fined $1000, MATTHEW RICHARDSON (Rch) $1500 with Tribunal chairman Neil Busse instructing the Tigers to counsel their full-forward; the charge on ANDREW BEWS (Bri) was dismissed … cited from video, Collingwood’s key ruckman DAMIEN MONKHORST was suspended two matches for striking Carlton’s Earl Spalding …

<||> the AFL rejects a move from the AFLPA for an independent tribunal appeals board …

<||> no further surgery for GARRY HOCKING (Gee) but antibiotics will hamper his return a further two weeks …

<||> Galaxy Pay-TV ink the National Basketball League to a three-year deal …

<||> Herald Sun speculates this year will reward WAYNE CAREY (NM) with a $335,000 income from footy and associated media contracts …

__________

<||> The week in RUGBY LEAGUE was extraordinary.

A push to create a worldwide-TV SuperLeague by News Limited was renewed. Players and clubs aligned themselves with the attractive News Ltd contracts worth millions of dollars, then the ARL weighed-in with counter-offers.

Defections against the establishment by both NZ and English authorities at week’s end brought the Rupert Murdoch concept closer to reality.

<>

Seven remain undefeated
Eagles ambush the Magpies
Tony Lockett hospitalised
Jason Dunstall reported


ROUND TWO – Fri-Sat-Sun, April 7-8-9.
On the eve of the round, League star TONY LOCKETT was admitted to hospital with a duodenal ulcer, robbing the Sunday SCG shootout with Geelong’s GARY ABLETT … four played their 100th AFL games, PETER MATERA (WCE), BEN ALLEN (Fre), BENNY GALE (Rch) and WAYNE CAREY (NM) … crack forward and Hawk captain JASON DUNSTALL was reported for disputing a decision … seven sides were unbeaten after two rounds …

The Dockers with seven changes gave the Bombers a fright under the Friday night WACA lights to 24,398. With only 90 seconds to go, the margin was two points but a goal 20 seconds from the siren saw the visitors scrape home, ESSENDON 12.19-91 beat FREMANTLE 11.16-82 … at the G on Saturday to 25,010, for three quarters the game was Melbourne’s, but in a surging last quarter (7.5) the Kangas stormed home for the second week in a row, NORTH 16.10-106 (Longmire 6), MELBOURNE 12.15-87 …… at a cold, windswept Waverley (18,136), the Bulldogs with their trademark scrappy, hard-nosed play but with a fair measure of skill were worthy 24pt winners over the Hawks, FOOTSCRAY 14.11-95, HAWTHORN 10.11-71 (Dunstall 6) … the Lions desperate to improve, opened well at Princes Park, then the Blues sorted themselves out to kick eight unanswered second quarter goals and kill the contest by half-time — they won by 69pts, CARLTON 18.17-125 (Clape 5), FITZROY 8.8-56 … on Sunday under skies which brought heavy rain for 33,129 at the MCG, the Magpies still suffering from injuries, controlled most of the game against new “arch-rivals”, the Eagles. Collingwood then were guilty of the most basic of mistakes, three centre-square infringements in the last term. Eagles coach Michael Malthouse suggested his side could have been “arrested for thieving”, WEST COAST 11.14-80, COLLINGWOOD 11.10-76 … at the Park (25,939) the Tigers dominated the first three quarters and were easy 26pt victors. Even though the Saints had 47 possessions more, they wasted most of them. The game brought reports against the two Saints vice-captains Loewe and Burke, RICHMOND 14.11-95 (Richardson 6), ST KILDA 9.15-69 … even without several key players, the Bears at the BCG (8,974) were committed and harassed a haggard bunch of Crows all day to end a drought, BRISBANE 18.18-126 (McIvor 5), ADELAIDE 14.15-99 … in the early evening at the SCG, almost 13,000 saw a scrappy but tight tussle. Four times the scores were level, the lead changed 15 times, and only from a dubious free kick at 25 minutes, did Ablett win it for the Cats, GEELONG 11.14-80, SYDNEY 10.15-75 (Luff 6). TROY LUFF the replacement for Lockett was cut from the list late in 1994, then redrafted. His two (of six) last quarter goals gave the Swans short-lived hope …

TRIBUNAL – in a heavy night, JASON DUNSTALL (last reported 86-R1) had his misconduct charge of disputing umpire Bryan Sheehan’s decision, dismissed … DUSTIN FLETCHER (Ess) was found guilty of striking Anthony Jones (Fre) and suspended one match … ROSS LYON cited from video was cleared of a striking charge against Darren Jarman (Haw) … STEWART LOEWE (StK) pleaded guilty to striking Greg Dear (Rch) and was suspended for three matches. It was Loewe’s first suspension in 10 seasons of 174 games … NATHAN BURKE (StK) pleaded not guilty of misconduct but the charge of striking Chris Bond (Rch) was sustained and he was suspended two matches … cited from video, DALE LEWIS (Syd) was suspended one match for tripping Paul Lynch (Gee) ...

<>

Tigers break 10-year hoodoo
Dockers post first AFL victory
Kernahan kicks 10.7
Eagles devastate the Kangas


ROUND THREE – Fri-Sat-Sun, April 15–16–17.
With victories from the first three rounds, Richmond gave their fans their best start since their last grand final in 1982 … Carlton captain STEPHEN KERNAHAN passed 600 career goals when he kicked 10.7 against Footscray … BRETT HEADY played his 100th senior match … DERMOTT BRERETON played for Collingwood, his third club … Easter was wet in Melbourne but the eight matches played across five States, brought a new Easter attendance record of 239,156 …

Fremantle after two opening misses, won through for their first victory in AFL company on Saturday when they were too polished for a deficient Fitzroy who lacked direction and conviction at the Western Oval to 7561 fans, FREMANTLE 18.13-121, FITZROY 11.12-78 … old rivals met at Kardinia Park (27,514) but it was Geelong with lots of determination and a touch of class (Ablett 7.3) who won by 27pts, gaining their third successive win. Collingwood’s loss for 0+3 (and their 6th loss on-the-trot) nailed the Magpies for the second week to 14th position, their lowest-ever placing, GEELONG 18.14-122, COLLINGWOOD 14.11-95 … losing their big ruckman Scott Wynd from the selected side for the match transferred to the MCG, Footscray wearing their new alternate strip were thoroughly outclassed by a rampaging Blues outfit who enjoyed 150 more possessions than Scray, 41,576 fans saw CARLTON 23.20-158 beat FOOTSCRAY 8.12-60 — Steve Kernahan kicked his second double-digit AFL haul with 10.7 … the Saturday night clash at the WACA to 31,410 turned into a fizzer as the Eagles demonstrated their vast superiority to clearly outpoint the Kangas, WEST COAST 12.19-91, NORTH MELB 5.13-43 — a sobering thought came on ABC Radio from West coach Michael Malthouse who felt a group of his top players were “completely underdone” and the defending premier had room for improvement … on Sunday at the Park, 24,820 watched most of the first half played in pouring rain. The Tigers grafted out a six-point win in a gruelling contest with the Hawks who were without the suspended Jarman and Condon who will be out the rest of the year. It was a gritty and thoroughly deserved first win over the Hawks since 1985 after 16 successive losses, RICHMOND 4.16-40, HAWTHORN 5.4-34 … at the BCG (8172) both sides were missing stars and the match never reached a high standard; the Bears led at every change and were 31pts up almost 20 minutes into the last, but the tenacious Sydney fought back to almost steal the game, BRISBANE 15.14-104 (McIvor 6), SYDNEY 14.15-99 — in his 197th game for the Swans MARK BAYES produced a career best of 7.3 … St Kilda ravaged by injury and suspensions went to Football Park, with 12 changes including seven first-gamers. Adelaide were too efficient to record their first win for 38,046 hometown fans by a margin of 66pts. It was a costly victory as the biggest Crow, SHAUN REHN was stretchered in the second term with a serious right-knee injury, ADELAIDE 13.14-92, ST KILDA 3.8-26 — it was the seventh time since 1925, the Saints had kicked 26pts or less in a League game … the Monday MCG game drew 60,057. They saw a heated second quarter brawl erupt from which TODD VINEY (Mel) was booked for striking MICHAEL LONG (Ess). The Demons were in control until early in the third then the Bombers sparked and went from five goals down for a 46pt turnaround to win strongly. It was the second time in two games, the Redlegs had choked with victory in their grasp, ESSENDON 14.14-98, MELBOURNE 12.10-82 (Lyon 6.3) … at the end of the round, five sides remain undefeated – Car, WCE, Ess, Rch, Gee, with Bri, NM and Scray making-up the top eight …

<||> Fitzroy strike a $50,000 guernsey logo deal with Galaxy Pay-TV; the Lions will wear feature the logo in non-match situations such as coaching clinics so not to contravene AFL directions ...

<||> following a visit from Tony Lockett and Paul Roos, reluctant schoolboy draftee ANTHONY ROCCA finally signed with Sydney ...

<||> surgery to the right-knee cruciate for SHAUN REHN (Ade) will sideline the emerging Crow champion for the rest of the season …

TRIBUNAL – WINSTON ABRAHAM (Fre) is the first Docker suspended, receiving two matches for striking John Barker (Fit) … TODD VINEY (Mel) was outed two matches for striking Michael Long (Ess). In evidence Long claimed he had played on with concussion having no recollection of the game or the incident, thus raising the prospect Essendon may be fined $50,000 for permitting Long to continue to play. The Demons and the Bombers are already under scrutiny for the 21-player-melee which could lead to fines of $50,000 for each club …

<||> like a re-run of an bad old movie DERMOTT BRERETON (Col) under review for “attempting to run through the Cats -time huddle” from the League rule of ‘threatening conduct’ …

<||> Sydney coroner Derek Hand recorded an open finding to the death of AFL commissioner ALAN SCHWAB in June 1993 …

<||> PAUL SALMON (Ess) with a neck injury is rated only a 60% chance of returning to football playing again this season …

<||> AFL clubs to lobby the League to revamp the pre-season competition to a round-robin series …

Fitzroy finally ink a major guernsey sponsor, BIZTEL the telecommunications company for the next three seasons will pay between $60 to $100,000 …

Fitzroy move to have its May 27 game against West Coast transferred from Princes Park to Canberra …

<>

Five day footy feast
Record round brings 291,525
94,825 see Magpies & Dons
Umpires are numbered


ROUND FOUR – Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue, April 21–22–23–24–25.
The fourth round was a footy feast, with matches across five states played over five days. 291,525 fans gave the League an all-time record attendance for any round, topping the previous best of 265,150 set for 1993’s sixth round. The Monday night and Tuesday games at the MCG drew 157,431, with the Magpies–Bombers clash on the Anzac Day Tuesday bringing 94,825, second only to the 1958 Queen’s Birthday record home-and-away figure of 99,346.

Milestones for the record round— for the first time, senior field umpires wore identifying blue numbers on the backs of their white shirts … Ross Smith (NM) 200th … Gavin Brown (Col) 150th … Sean Denham (Ess) and Paul Hudson (Haw) 100th … Tony Lockett (Syd) reported for the 11th time … the eight matches produced a low scoring round of 1472 points, averaging 92 pts …

The Dockers confirmed their arrival in AFL ranks on Friday night under the WACA lights to 26,652 jubilant fans. Fremantle’s sparkling 19pt victory which halted the three-game winning sequence by the Cats could have been greater, as the Dockers Gerard Neesham-inspired possession-at-all-costs style confused Geelong, as confirmed by Cats coach, Gary Ayres. – FREMANTLE 12.22-94, GEELONG 10.15-75 (Ablett 5) … the single Saturday day game drew 25,032 to Waverley as the Hawks dominated affairs to the last change. From 48pts down, the Saints sparked for the first time to kick six goals and draw within 12pts but in the final 15 minutes, the Hawks steadied to be 36pt winners … Saturday night footy at the SCG drew 10,762 fans to see TONY LOCKETT. He set the game alight kicking six first-half goals and led the Swans toward their first points of the season. The Roys were competitive but a last quarter goal-square dust-up produced several reports (Fitzroy's JAMES MANSON was reported by four umpires) and the 11th career booking of Lockett on a striking charge, SYDNEY 17.14-116 (Lockett 7.3), FITZROY 12,12-84 … on Sunday at the BCG (12,009), the Blues first Brisbane appearance produced a booming first term of 7.6 to two behinds, with five great goals from Kernahan which ensured Carlton of their fourth victory of the season. The Bears narrowed the margin in the last but Carlton led by a great defence were solid winners, CARLTON 18.11-119 (Kernahan 7.3), BRISBANE 12.10-82 … at Princes Park (16,916) the Demons suffered their fifth successive loss as the Doggies recovered from their 98pt thrashing by Carlton. Five-goals up at the long break, Melbourne fired in the third term but lacked the necessary commitment and seem destined to face a long winter, FOOTSCRAY 16.7-102, (Osborne 5) MELBOURNE 12.8-80 … the late afternoon fixture at Football Park (42,723) was an enthralling low-scoring contest. Only in the last term did the Crows gain the break over their interstate rivals to stop the Eagles eight-match winning streak, ADELAIDE 7.14-56 (Modra 4), WEST COAST 6.10-46 … the Monday night football experiment was answered by 62,606 at the MCG. They witnessed a Tiger demolition of North, with Richmond kicking six goals in the first eight minutes. The Tigers dominated throughout for a fourth successive win; their best opening since 1982. North coach DENIS PAGAN was quoted – “I wish we hadn’t won the pre-season comp”. RICHMOND 21.8-134 (Daffy 6), NORTH 13.7-85 …

Tuesday was a memorable day – a crowd greater than last year’s Grand Final to see a winless Collingwood challenge an undefeated Essendon. The match produced more thrills and entertainment than most of the recent premiership playoffs. After a terrific first quarter, the Dons gained the break to go in at half-time, up 16pts. The Magpies then produced seven third term goals to be 14pts in front at -time, and they maintained the edge as Rocca kicked his seventh to give Colling-wood a 22pt lead, eight minutes into the last. The Bombers, sparked out of the centre by CHE-COCKATOO COLLINS (a last-minute inclusion)  just 12 minutes later hit the lead. The last five scoring shots in time-on either levelled the scores or changed the lead, with the siren ending the game in a draw, COLLINGWOOD 17.9-111 (Rocca 9.2), drew ESSENDON 16.15-111 … Saverio Rocca with his nine goals became the highest goal-scorer in a drawn match, topping the 8 goals kicked by TERRY DANIHER (Ess), in 1979’s fourth round at the Western Oval when Scray and the Dons tied …

<||> A nine-team VFA started their 119th season — Box Hill, Coburg, Frankston, Port Melbourne, Preston, Sandringham, Springvale Werribee and Williamstown …

<||> following the Monday viewing of video evidence from the SCG game, TONY LOCKETT was exonerated, but charges were laid against MATTHEW DENT (Fit) for striking … at Monday's Tribunal hearing, charges were dropped against JAMES MANSON (Fit) due to a conflict of evidence from umpires …

<||> Fitzroy and Sydney asked to explain on the Saturday night melee …

<||> Fitzroy under investigation of a report, their players staying at the Holiday Inn, Coogee had caused damage to a room on Saturday night …

<||> with the Lions the present flavour, West Coast object to the move of their match to Canberra …

<||> Essendon and Melbourne are each fined up to $15,000 for their part in the Round 3 melee at the MCG; the Bombers were angry and vowed to fight the decision of the League …

<||> ROSS LYON (Bri) undergoes knee surgery likely to keep him absent for at least a month …

<||> in the aftermath of the crush of the 94,825 Tuesday crowd, where estimates said between 10 and 20,000 may have been turned away when the MCG gates were closed, came the call to pre-sell all tickets for big capacity matches …

<||> Rule changes under review to the scrappiness of boundary throw-ins, may look at awarding a free kick against the side that last touched the ball before it goes out of bounds between the 50-metre lines …

<||> Magpie coach Leigh Matthews in a Herald Sun feature also suggested, a return to a single central umpire, assisted by four perimeter (boundary) umpires who would contribute to the decision making process from a different angle …

<||> Brownlow Medal winner GERARD HEALY is named Victorian chairman of selectors …

Collingwood administrator GRAEME ALLEN severed his 15-year association, accepting the position with SYDNEY as football director. Allen is believed to join Sydney for three years on a package worth almost $500,000. The Age report commented “… his departure is the strongest hint yet that the winds of change are beginning to blow through a club (Collingwood) that has not yet won a match this season.” The Herald Sun on Allen’s association with Leigh Matthew suggested, “already there is speculation he will try to lure him to Sydney as coach next year.” …

<||> AFL CEO Ross Oakley publicly criticised his deputy Ian Collins over his premature disclosure on HSV7’s Talking Footy on Monday night that Melbourne and Essendon would be fined as a result of a commission decision earlier that day. However, on Monday neither club had lodged their defence and Melbourne and Essendon were not told of the $15,000 fines until Wednesday. The following day, in a significant backdown, the AFL temporarily withdrew the fines. The incident will now be addressed by the commission at its next meeting.

<||> Fitzroy fined two players and an official for their part in the damage of the Coogee Holiday Inn after the Roys defeat in Sydney. JASON BALDWIN was fined $5000, suspended two matches and stripped of his vice-captaincy; forward NICK MITCHELL was suspended one match and fined $2000, while club doctor GARTH DICKER was fined $10,000 for unruly behaviour. Despite harsh club penalties, AFL operations manager IAN COLLINS said the AFL would take the issue to the next meeting of Commissioners on May 15 …

<||> At week’s end, Essendon were considering making a formal complaint to the League that their champion midfielder MICHAEL LONG was subjected to “shocking” racial abuse by a Collingwood opponent on Anzac Day – such a complaint would be the first to test the AFLs proposed new code of conduct …

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Blues & Tigers unbeaten
Dockers pipped again
Sydney's whirlwind finish

ROUND FIVE – Saturday-Sunday, April 29–30.
Milestones – ANDY COLLINS, played his 150th consecutive game for Hawthorn … CRAIG KELLY (Col) made his 100th appearance … umpire ROWAN SAWERS in Perth had his 348th senior game …

In the Saturday matches, 24,379 were at the G where the Tigers kept its roll on-going with a 20pt victory over the Bears, but they struggled; coming off their encounter last Monday night, the Tigers led by only two points at half-time. Calling on their reserve, Richmond went away in the last half but captain TONY FREE suffered a knee injury (which sidelined him the rest of the season) RICHMOND 17.14-116 (Edwards 5), BRISBANE 14.12-96 … the Cats at Kardinia Park (19,644) dominated throughout to make the Roys look sub-standard; Ablett was well-held yet still managed five goals, three in the last. PAUL BROWN was the forward star for the hoops, with a personal-best of 7.0, GEELONG 28.13-181, FITZROY 13.14-92 … the Dockers suffered their third AFL defeat by less than 10pts when the Doggies fought back in an exciting Western Oval (16,800) clash to win by two-points. The lead changed five times in the last term, FOOTSCRAY 14.14-98, FREMANTLE 14.12-96 … on Saturday night at the WACA to 30,263, the Demons suffered their fifth loss of the season; the Eagles (with CRAIG TURLEY returning) kicked the first four goals and always had the game in control for a 16pt win, WEST COAST 13.12-90, (Ball 5) MELBOURNE 11.8-74 — injuries may test the Eagles depth as PETER MATERA was an early departure with a hamstring, while MICHAEL BRENNAN suffered what appeared to be a serious shoulder injury late in the match …
__________

Graeme Allen reverses decision
The Sunday matches were preceded by the startling revelation that GRAEME ALLEN who last Wednesday was heading to Sydney as football manager on a Half-Million package had changed his mind and was staying at Collingwood on a new five-year contract …
__________

Soaking rain was experienced in Melbourne on Sunday. At the MCG (42,729) Greg Williams was a late withdrawal from the Blues line-up; it was close until half-time, the Blues then planted the foot and were convincing 34pt victors giving the Kangas bigger worries as the pre-season glamour-side suffered their third successive loss and tumbled to 12th, CARLTON 12.12-84, NORTH 7.8-50 … the Waverley clash (40,615) was important to both sides and though even in the first half, the Hawks in the wet, kicked away to record a positive win over the Magpies, HAWTHORN 14.12-96 (Dunstall 6), COLLINGWOOD 4.13-37; the Maggies score was only one-point short of their lowest-ever against Hawthorn 61-R11-GO … to 17,865 at Princes Park, the Bombers played “fine-weather football” to annihilate the Saints; with seven goals in each of the first three quarters, the Dons cruised to a 116pt win, second only to their 120pts win in 1911 and sending the Saints to the bottom rung, ESSENDON 24.10-154, ST KILDA 5.8-38 … in beautiful Sydney sunshine, 15,491 at the SCG watched the Crows control the game with three first-term (and only) goals from Modra, to lead at every change and by 17pts at the last (86-69). In an amazing final quarter, Sydney took control chiefly through first-gamer MICHAEL O’LOUGHLIN and a revitalised DALE LEWIS for the Swans to hit the lead (89-87) 7 minutes into the quarter – in a 74pt turn-around, Sydney kicked 11.9 to a behind to be 57pt victors, proving footy is a funny game, SYDNEY 20.24-144, ADELAIDE 12.15-87 — it was Sydney’s biggest win since 92-R8-SCG versus Brisbane when the Swans won by 74pts …

The Blues and Tigers lead on 20pts, the Dons 18, Eagles–Cats-Dogs on 16, Hawks 12 and Sydney 8, make up the top eight …

<||> In advance of a formal Essendon submission the League investigations officer MARTIN AMAD interviewed four Bombers, before speaking to Collingwood’s DAMIEN MONKHORST at Victoria Park. Long has claimed Monkhorst called him a “black bastard” during the Anzac Day match at the MCG …

TRIBUNAL – DAVID CALTHORPE (Ess) was found guilty of striking David Sierakowski (StK) and suspended for two matches … DEREK KICKETT (Syd) was found guilty and fined $1500 for making an insulting gesture toward field umpire Shane McInerney … Sydney newcomer SHANNON GRANT was suspended four matches on a kicking charge against Paul Hopgood (Mel) from the SCG reserves game …

<||> The AFL approved the Fitzroy request to move their May 27 match with West Coast from Princes Park to Bruce Stadium, Canberra. In a make-good with Carlton, the August 27th Lions-Saints game will move to Princes Park …

<||> umpire ROWAN SAWERS with League approval will debut as a commentator with MAGIC 693 at the weekend. An umpire will become part of the Magic radio team on a regular basis …

<||> in the days following the press reports on commissioner Samuel’s lunch statement, condemnation flowed from several clubs including threat of legal action …

<||> the most-thoughtful comment came from the respected PATRICK SMITH (Age, May 4) – “The hysterical reaction to Samuel’s speech must stop. There in no more appropriate time than today for the commission and clubs to sit down and talk through all these issues — progress will come from debate; nothing will come from over-reaction.” …

<||> Fitzroy, Sydney, Melbourne and Essendon were each fined $10,000 penalties over melees in opening rounds to the season …

<||> The opening SuperLeague legal battle between the ARL and News Limited began in the Federal Court. Hearings were set for July …
__________

Racism in football
The red-hot issue of racism in football will not be buried but became more confused when the League conducted a carefully staged May 5 media conference to announce the result of an AFL investigation into allegations made by Essendon’s MICHAEL LONG. CEO Ross Oakley said there had been a “perfect resolution” after the players met and discussed the Anzac Day incident. Oakley also stated “penalties are not appropriate in this situation”.

While Long and Monkhorst shook hands for the media, a deal between the League and its clubs silenced both players. At one point (Herald Sun, May 6) a clearly upset Long used mock sign-language to reply to reporters’ questions. Long later said the AFL gag prevented him from saying what was said between him and Monkhorst. But he added: “I was not allowed to say my side of it. Oakley did all the talking. All he wanted to do was hush it up and get on with football. I’ll probably forgive in this case, but I’ll never forget. When is it (racism) going to stop?”
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Commissioner says "Fitzroy should merge"
In a dramatic public statement at a Melbourne luncheon on May 2nd, the AFL's long serving and most senior commissioner GRAEME SAMUEL said Fitzroy should seriously consider merging.

While emphasising his comments were personal and did not necessarily reflect those of the commission, Samuel’s vision for the competition suggested the AFL is tiring of Fitzroy’s continuing struggle. Samuel said be believed mergers should take place between Richmond–Melbourne, Hawthorn–St Kilda and Fitzroy–Brisbane.

On May 3, The Age highlighted Samuel’s comments under the title THE SAMUEL VISION —

›› Port Adelaide’s entry to the AFL is a priority.
›› AFL is being damaged by maintaining 11 clubs in Victoria.
›› Fitzroy should consider merging with Brisbane.
›› Commission should no longer deal with issues of discipline.
›› Waverley Park’s future will depend on how many clubs are in the competition.
›› A minimum salary cap should be considered for clubs.
›› Western Oval is not necessarily the best place for Footscray.
›› Minimum level of contribution to AFL revenue a condition of clubs keeping license.

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Fitzroy break their drought
Ablett's 9.7 destroys the Dogs
Carlton down injury-hit Eagles
Dockers up to 7th place


ROUND SIX – Fri-Sat-Sun,  May 5–6–7.
Milestones – Carlton won their 1200th League game … DERMOTT BRERETON played his 200th senior game – Hawthorn 189, Sydney 7, Collingwood 4; (Dermie after kicking a “Maradona” first term goal left the MCG contest with a hammy in the second quarter) MARK BAYES (Syd) reached 200 matches … 100 games arrived for CRAIG TURLEY (WCE) …

The winless Demons faced the still-shell-shocked Crows and 40,406 fans at Football Park on Friday night. Without big-name forwards, Melbourne were depleted further with the late withdrawal of captain GARRY LYON. The D’s were always close but shaded in the first three quarters by a desperate Adelaide. The Demons hit the front 11 minutes into the last and the shaky Crows were under threat but regained the advantage for a face-saving 8pt win, leaving a plucky Demon outfit struggling in 15th place, ADELAIDE 11.11-77, MELBOURNE 10.9-69 … the Saturday matches in Melbourne were played in the low teens on soft grounds after mid-week rains. The Lions broke their duck with an 11pt victory over a deficient St Kilda. The Waverley game (15,440) lacked skill and was always scrappy but the win was as good as a flag to a revived Bernie Quinlan, FITZROY 12.12-84, ST KILDA 10.13-73 … without seven of its premiership side, the Eagles were always committed but failed to halt the Blues unbeaten thrust to 24,171 at Princes Park. Carlton had the extra run but the dual loss of GREG WILLIAMS (broken fore-arm) and their giant captain STEPHEN KERNAHAN with a shoulder, will add pressure to coming outings, CARLTON 13.12-90, WEST COAST 10.7-67. The Blues sixth win brought up 1200 victories in League competition … at the Western Oval to 20,749, GARY ABLETT fell one point short of defeating the Bulldogs off his own boot. Wearing gloves for the first time (discarding them when kicking for goal) Gazza was only one of a dominating Cats outfit who thrashed the Doggies. Scray coach Alan Joyce declared their performance a “debacle”, GEELONG 22.18-150 (Ablett 9.7), FOOTSCRAY 8.14-62 … continuing injuries led to the Magpies becoming Richmond’s newest victim at the MCG to 59,954 fans. The Tigers established an early grip with young MATTHEW RICHARDSON prominent (10 marks, 18 kicks, 3 goals). The Magpies came back in the last, but the Tigers always-present pressure held them out, RICHMOND 13.16-94, COLLINGWOOD 12.10-82 (Rocca 6) … on Sunday, 32,207 were at the MCG to watch the Kangas burst back to form with a huge effort in the first three quarters. WAYNE CAREY (NM) was back to his best (21 touches including 13 marks), with top performances from BLAKEY, ROBERTS (5 goals) and SCHOLL. A late burst by the Hawks was over-shadowed by the early departures thru injury by Platten, Dunstall, Pritchard and Collins, NORTH 22.12-144, HAWTHORN 14.13-97 … at Princes Park (17,292) the Bombers were in top form and always enjoyed a safe buffer from a competitive but hampered Bears; one of three Brisbane bags were lost at the airport and some of the visitors played in borrowed boots, ESSENDON 19.14-128, BRISBANE 14.16-100 (Hart 5) … at the final WACA game for the year, 21,892 fans saw the early afternoon match start in 25. Sydney were positive early and looked a special, leading by 19pts at the long break when Lockett had kicked five. Up 22pts early in the third, the Swans wilted in the heat to devastating pressure from the Dockers as a free-running Freo added 17 last-half goals for a thumping 58pt win. Full-forward JOHN HUTTON equalled a personal-best of 8-goals (twice with the Bears in 1992) while WINSTON ABRAHAM adding mid-field magic with six goals. The win lifted the AFL debutants to 7th place, FRE-MANTLE 25.13-163, SYDNEY 16.9-105 … Sydney coach RON BARASSI described Fremantle’s play as “the first really new style of football in 20 years …”

Attendances reached 1,374,746 for the first six rounds … Richmond matched their opening six winning rounds of 1931 and 1939, but the Tigers still trail the 1920 start of eight straight wins … the Lions, ended a run of seven successive wins by the Saints  … the Magpies back to 14th place, below Fitzroy … Cats 88pt win equalled their best-ever over Scray, set 94-R2-KP … the Tigers won their second successive meeting against the Woods – first since 1982 … North won their fourth in-a-row against the Hawks, the Kangas best since 1974 versus Hawthorn …

<||> The top eight — Carlton and Richmond (unbeaten) 24pts, Essendon 22, Geelong 20, West Coast, Footscray 16, Fremantle, Hawthorn 12 …

<||> GARRY HOCKING relinquished the Geelong captaincy. In a unique decision, the Cats appointed a troika – GARY ABLETT, KEN HINKLEY and BARRY STONEHAM who will lead on a rotational basis …
__________

AFL admits: Racism is a major issue
<||> in a significant breakthrough, DAMIEN MONKHORST apologised to MICHAEL LONG for his behaviour in their widely publicised Anzac Day racial joust. The resolution was the one everyone had expected four days prior when the AFL on Friday held a press conference on the matter. On May 10th, newspapers carried large advertisements in the form of an open letter to the community signed by the AFL Commission – “Racism is a Major Issue in Football and the Community at Large” …

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PM opens Subiaco complex
Richmond's best since 1920
First wins for Saints & Magpies
Upsets & close finishes


ROUND SEVEN – Fri-Sat-Sun, May 12–13–14.
Milestones — Prime Minister PAUL KEATING in perfect weather opened the new $16-million extension to Subiaco Oval on Sunday. He then unfurled the Eagles 1994 Premiership pennant prior to the West Coast–Fremantle clash playing the inaugural Western Derby for the trophy donated by Swan Brewery …

Richmond won their seventh successive game, the best opener for the Tigers since 1920 … the Blues posted a win in their 1950th League encounter …

The Friday night MCG game played in persistent first-half rain drew 38,791. In a constant struggle where pressure was maintained by both and never more than a few points in it, the Tigers remained unbeaten for their best start in 75 years, RICHMOND 10.12-72, ADELAIDE 9.4-58 (Modra 5) … the G on Saturday had 73,753 and even though there were many errors, it was honest, accountable and crowd-pleasing footy. The Blues without the injured Kernahan, Williams and Pearce in a game always-in-the-balance, hung on to down the Dons, CARLTON 10.15-75, ESSENDON 9.13-67 … sparked by ROBERT HARVEY and NICKY WINMAR, the Saints well behind the Dogs at half-time, fought back gallantly with six unanswered mid-game goals to break the ice at Waverley (13,131), ST KILDA 15.15-105, SCRAY 12.15-87 … even though the Hawks were undermanned, without Platten, Hudson, Pritchard, Lawrence and the late withdrawal of captain Dunstall, they played with great heart to defeat a wayward and more-favoured Cats outfit who kicked 1.8 in the third at Kardinia Park (24,842), HAWTHORN 11.12-78, GEELONG 9.19-73 (Ablett 5) … at the Western Oval to a slim 11,082, after a five-goal deficit, the upset of the season was on the cards when a mid-game streak of eight unanswered goals, put the Lions in the drivers seat. Then the Kangas regrouped, and with Carey taking 13 last-half marks, the Kangas trotted away with a 30pt win – the same end as their half-time margin, NORTH 17.16-118, FITZROY 13.10-88 … rarely have the Magpies waited until the 7th round for their first win and with 4.14 at the long break things didn’t look rosy. The Swans without Lockett (who jarred his knee on Thursday) were 21pts up in the third then blew themselves away again. A crucial turnover led to the Woods gaining the initiative and momentum to get the points, COLLINGWOOD 13.19-97, SYDNEY 11.10-76 … on Sunday, the MCG gathered just 12,783 for a lack-lustre hit-out when the Demons had to dig deep to turn it around. With no replacements left due to injuries in the last term, the move of GARRY LYON on to the ball was a turning point for the struggling Redlegs to get their first of the season, against the Bears who still cannot win away from the BCG, MELBOURNE 12.10-82, BRISBANE 10.15-75 – Demons coach Neil Balme’s verdict was his team’s “worst performance of the season” … the much-awaited meeting of the two WA members drew a below-capacity 41,601 to the resurfaced and manicured Subi. The Dockers scored the first goal but were then annihilated with ruthless efficiency by a booming Eagles squad. The 85pt victory was termed the ‘Mother’s Day Massacre’ by ABC Radio’s GLENN MITCHELL. The Eagles were dominating and their top contributors included BRETT HEADY, DON PYKE, TONY EVANS and PETER MATERA – WEST COAST 23.13-151 (Heady 5), FREMANTLE 9.12-66 …

<||> of six contests, it was the first time the Saints had beaten Scray at Waverley … the Magpies won their eighth-straight over Sydney, matching their efforts of 1960-65 and 1970-74 …

<||> the Eagles and Dockers meet twice this season in Perth – on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day — is there a meaning behind this? …

<||> in interstate footy, Tasmania to 4198 at North Hobart Oval defeated South Australia, 14.15-99 to 12.12-84. Tassy’s previous wins over the Croweaters were in 1923 and 1956 …

<||> AFL Commission fines DERMOTT BRERETON (Col) $5000 for ‘threatening conduct’ in running through Geelong’s -time huddle in round three …

<||> following exploitation of the system, time-on returns to Reserve Grade matches …

<||> St Kilda requests a review of player concession rules to deter raids upon players whose contracts expire …

<||> push for 1996 inclusion of PORT ADELAIDE as the 17th club gains momentum …

<||> Adelaide captain TONY McGUINNESS underwent surgery on his injured right knee …

<||> the Crows crack forward TONY MODRA was fined for the fourth time in his career, this time for oversleeping and missing a compulsory training session ...

TRIBUNAL — from video citings, WINSTON ABRAHAM (Fre) was suspended three weeks for striking Peter Matera (WCE); from the first seven rounds, it was second suspension for the 20-year old Docker … the report on PAUL BULLUSS (Rch) who was charged with striking  Matthew O’Connell (Ade) was dismissed …
__________

Racism probe extends to four states
A probe into new claims of racial abuse extends across four states. The AFL revealed it had a list of up to eight players named as persistent users of racial taunts.

The League called in the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission to conduct a mediation session between Melbourne defender Graeme Yeats and Richmond Aboriginal footballer Justin Murphy over an alleged racist remark. The meeting was convened after Reserves field umpire David Ackland lodged a confidential report with the AFL. After three hours of mediation on Friday at AFL House, Yeats and Murphy signed a statement announcing they had reached a confidential agreement.
__________

<||> JOHNNY LEONARD the 1932 coach of South Melbourne died at the age of 92. Leonard played in WANFL premierships with Subiaco in 1926-27-28-30 and won the Sandover Medal in 1926.

As captain-coach of the VFL Bloods in his only season with South he took them to fourth place, and though beaten in the First Semi-Final, set it up for Jack Bissett’s team to win the 1933 pennant.

South contested four successive grand finals of 1933-34-35-36, but won only the single flag.

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Blues & Tigers crash
Bombers 1100th in Subi win
Little change to the ladder
Barassi's 500th as coach


ROUND EIGHT – Fri-Sat-Sun, May 19–20–21.
Milestones — Essendon won their 1100th League game … BEN ALLAN (Fre) played his 100th consecutive game … RICHARD OSBORNE (Fsc) kicked 500 career goals … 100 games arrived for DEAN LAIDLEY (NM) and JASON BALDWIN (Fit) …

The biggest crowd at the SCG since 1989s fifth round on Friday night saw the Harbour City crew carve up the Blues, handing them their first defeat for the season. The Swans watched by 23,744 kicked nine-straight in the second term for coach RON BARASSI’s 500th game as a League coach. Lockett and Roos (43 possessions) inspired the Coathangers to a booming victory, including 11-successive goals for an 83pt lead at one stage, SYDNEY 21.6-132 (Lockett 8.2), CARLTON 8.12-60 … on Saturday, 65,335 saw the Cats post their 18th win of the past 20 contests over the previously unbeaten Tigers. The Corio boys cut away after half-time and thrashed a Tiger midfield despite a reasonable defence. GARY ABLETT added 7.7 to his take his tally to 111 goals in 18 games against his Punt Road opponents, GEELONG 24.19-163, RICHMOND 14.7-91 … the Demons at Waverley (24,372) continued their return against a lethargic Hawk outfit, who enjoyed the return of Dunstall and a number of others. Redlegs captain GARY LYON kicked five first half goals but was off for the balance with a leg injury, as former Kanga SHAUN SMITH helped out with five goals, MELBOURNE 17.10-112, HAWTHORN 7.8-50 … a terrible first half, dug a Bulldog grave at Western Oval (17,741) Even a gallant fight back from a six-goal deficit gave the Kangas a brief shock, but the Shinboners steadied then pulled away for a 21pt win, NORTH 15.15-105, SCRAY 13.6-84 … a record score looked possible as the Magpies piled on a 9.2 opening term and led by 11-goals at the long break. A last-half fightback however did gather respect for a defeated Dockers at Victoria Park to 22,656 fans, COLLINGWOOD 20.11-131 (Rocca 6), FREMANTLE 14.9-93 … the night game at Footy Park drew 39,888 but the Crow fans were streaming out the gates early as the much-maligned Roys piled on a 9.1 last term effort to send the City of Churches into crisis talks, FITZROY 15.9-99, ADELAIDE 9.12-66 … on Sunday, the skies were heavy at the BCG where continuing works reduce crowd interest (7648) and capacity. A returning ROGER MERRETT with five first quarter goals (the Bears had a 9.2 opening) set it up for another Bears home-town win, though the Saints drew within four points as STEWART LOEWE repeated the effort in the next term. Generally it was a lack-lustre affair, BRISBANE 17.13-115, ST KILDA 14.10-94 (Loewe 7.3) … the Bombers and Eagles staged a terrific duel at Subi to just 35,135. It was an arm-wrestle for three quarters, but the Dons behind at all changes, out-played West in the final stanza to post a psychological 18pt victory in a match which was a potential forecast for the finals, ESSENDON 16.12-108, WEST COAST 13.12-90 …

It was an unusual parallel where Carlton and Richmond the undefeated leaders both suffered 72pt defeats … Geelong with 8.5 registered their best-ever third quarter against the Tigers … the Demons by 62pts, posted their biggest win over Hawthorn for 30 years and recorded their first run of three victories over the Hawks since 1966-68; the loss brought Hawthorn’s 750th League defeat … the Dons won their first at Subiaco Oval … back after missing two weeks, Collingwood captain GAVIN BROWN tore the same hamstring, expected to sideline him another three weeks … on Sunday following their Fitzroy drubbing, the Crows board of directors met with coach Robert Shaw in Adelaide …

The top eight — Blues & Tigers 28, Dons 26, Cats 24, Eagles & Kangas 24, Hawks and Scray 16 …

<||> TRIBUNAL — The Eagles CHRIS LEWIS was suspended for the fifth time in his 161-game career when found guilty of striking Gavin Wanganeen (Ess). Lewis received two weeks, bringing his total to 13 matches … CRAIG SHOLL (NM) had his charge of striking Tony Liberatore (Fsc) dismissed. It was observed, it was the sixth time Libber had appeared as a witness … in Reserve Grade, Magpie rover TONY FRANCIS returning from injury was fined $750 for abusive language toward an umpire; a similar fine was handed out to BRENT SANDERSON (Gee) … CLINTON WOLF (Fre) is cleared on a tripping charge on Damien Monkhorst (Col) … Port Adelaide upsets Melbourne clubs as the SA Maggies begin an active pursuit of players …

<||> Television rating figures for HSV-7 showed 911,000 Melbourne viewers had watched the final quarter of Sunday’s clash from Subiaco …
__________

ABC-TV's Four Corners reveal talks with News Ltd
Following a claim on ABC-TV's Four Corners by KEN COWLEY, the AFL's ROSS OAKLEY received wide-spread club support for his recent, and previously undisclosed, talks with News Ltd on the subject of television rights from 1998 and beyond, but Oakley vehemently denied the talks related to an Australian Football SuperLeague or any possible AFL version of the plan that has torn Rugby League apart.
__________

<||> the League will inform clubs prior to a June 19 forum, of a series of steps to persuade at least two Melbourne clubs to merge … St Kilda aim to test the Saturday night MCG market in 1996 …

<||> the AFL launched an aggressive marketing campaign in Melbourne for the June 17 State-of-Origin versus South Australia – nine new players were named to wear the Big V …

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Canberra is venue number 32
Ted Whitten Day at the MCG
Richmond in top position
Blues thrashed again


ROUND NINE – Fri-Sat-Sun, May 26–27–28.
Milestones — Richmond went to top place of the ladder for the first time since R22 of 1982 … Bruce Stadium in Canberra became the 32nd League venue … Fitzroy lost its 1000th match to West Coast who played their 200th game … JUSTIN MADDEN played his 250th for the Carlton club … TONY LIBERATORE played his 100th consecutive game for the Bulldogs … Carlton’s 3.6-24 was its lowest score against the Saints since July 13, 1918
  the Blues equalled the Mayblooms' (Hawthorn) 3.6-24 of R9 in 1933… the 56pt margin was St Kilda’s biggest over Carlton in 184 meetings … the Dockers gained their biggest AFL win so far, by an 11-goal margin … fans reached 2,096,932 for the nine rounds …

On Friday night to 44,780 at the G, the Kangas led deep into the second but three quick goals by the Cats reduced it to only one-point at half-time. The Corio Bay outfit gathered 97 possessions to 42 in the third, slamming on 7.5 and finish the contest. North with Longmire playing in defence, were totally eclipsed as the Cats set it up for a tough month ahead in June, GEELONG 20.20-140 (Ablett 7.3), NORTH 12.7-79 … “Mr Football” TED WHITTEN was in hospital following a minor stroke, together with his battle of prostate cancer, as the MCG hosted an emotional contest on Ted Whitten Day with Footscray and Essendon fighting out the inaugural battle for the E.J. Whitten Cup. The match to 38,719 showed a big difference in class and ability as the Dons led most of the day, dispatching Scray to their fourth successive loss, ESSENDON 15.11-101, FOOTSCRAY 9.13-67 … at the Park, 17,902 fans saw the Saints run ferociously at the ball all day to frustrate the Blues into a debacle of massive proportions, for the second week in a row. Carlton in a rare performance for the silver-tails were goalless at half-time and were outplayed all day, ST KILDA 11.14-80 (Loewe 5), CARLTON 3.6-24 … in a chilly 10, the first Canberra match for League premiership points was played at Bruce Stadium. The 12,782 turn-out was below expectations in the nation’s capital where Rugby League and the Raiders are now Kings of the Castle. In an error-ridden outing (bad for the code), the Eagles extended themselves only when they kicked six unanswered second term goals and ran out comfortable winners, WEST COAST 12.10-82, FITZROY 8.6-54 … the tightest contest of the round was fought out at Footy Park on Saturday night to 38,740. Indicative of the double-desperation facing both the Crows and the Hawks, only an accurate, yet wobbly kick along the ground seconds from the end, grabbed a two-point home-town win, ADEL-AIDE 9.6-60, HAWTHORN 7.16-58 … early in the second quarter, the Magpies had already lost Mick McGuane, Craig Kelly and Lee Walker to injury when one of the AFLs great traditional matches was staged at the MCG to 51,774 on Sunday. The game saw the exceptional return of Melbourne forward DAVID SCHWARZ after only 16-weeks recovery from cruciate ligament surgery. He kicked three goals as the Redlegs recorded their third in succession and virtually end the Magpies finals hopes, even this early, MELBOURNE 12.13-85, COLLINGWOOD 7.16-58 … to a sunny SCG, 23,174 fans (plus live local TV) expected the Coathangers to maintain their winning streak. The Tigers coming off a thumping were well held and down in strike-power, after both Matthew Richard-son and Stuart Wigney were stretchered with severe leg injuries. The revitalised Swans until the last break were always in touch, then Edwards and Maxfield produced stunning last quarter efforts as the Tigers blazed in 7.6 to be well-deserved 26pt winners and take over as League leaders, RICHMOND 17.14-116, SYDNEY 14.6-90 … in the Subiaco clash for a mere 17,830, the Bears after the first change were almost blasted away by an efficient Docker outfit who thumped the “away from the BCG Jekyll-and-Hyde characters” by 11-goals. The win returned the Dockers to the top eight, FREMANTLE 17.18-120, BRISBANE 8.6-54 …

The top eight, Tigers 32, Dons 30, Cats, Blues 28, Eagles 24, Kangas 20, Dockers and Hawks 16 — outside, Crows and Scray, also 16 …
__________

<||> The SCG Trust complied with a League request to increase the distance between its fence and boundary line. This followed criticism when Richmond officials blamed the present narrow distance as reason for the serious knee injury suffered by key Tiger forward MATTHEW RICHARDSON. His injury sustained against Sydney on Sunday will require surgery and reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee. The new SCG dimensions will operate when Sydney play Essendon on July 2.
__________

<||> STUART WIGNEY (Rch) who broke his left leg in Sydney, may be back in six weeks …

<||> an “at home” injury to presently suspended Docker WINSTON ABRAHAM will sideline him another six weeks – a friend sat on a leg dangling over a couch, breaking it …

<||> Collingwood’s MICK McGUANE’s torn calf muscle will keep him out another four-to-six weeks …

<||> TRIBUNAL – PETER SOMERVILLE (Ess) was found not guilty of striking Steve Macpherson (Fsc) ... from video citings, PAUL BULLUSS (Rch) had the charge of eye-gouging Jason Mooney (Syd) dismissed … JOHN PLATTEN (Haw) unreported in 206 senior games was suspended one week for striking Greg Anderson (Ade) …
__________

The MCG hosted another Rugby League State-of-Origin game on Wednesday May 31 to a crowd of 52,994 (with a reported 18,000 comps it was down from 87,161 of last year) when Queensland 20 defeated NSW 12 …
__________

<||> The AFL thru CEO ROSS OAKLEY came out strongly in support of the AFLPA forming a player commission …

<||> concern that an on-going strained medial ligament to the left knee of TONY LOCKETT (Syd) will cause him to miss the SoO against SA …

<||> boundary umpires requested to “slow down” in their return of the ball to the centre following a goal, to meet the required 30 second television commercial break; seems the umps have been taking only 28 or 29 seconds, and the bounce of the ball is sometimes missed …

<||> The Age (May 31) reported Channel Seven may have offered the AFL $180-million for free-to-air and pay-TV rights covering 1999 to 2003 …

<||> Blues captain STEPHEN KERNAHAN convened a players meeting to halt the Carlton form-slump …

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Richmond retain top place
Blues thump the Hawks by 102pts
Gifted Schwarz crashes again


Richmond Retain Top Place
Blues Thump Hawks by 102pts
Gifted Schwarz Crashes Again

ROUND 10 – Fri-Sat-Sun,  June 2–3–4.
Milestones — Richmond with their 900th League win retained top possie for the second week … season crowds at the MCG reached 1,059,653 … Carlton set several new club records when they burst back to form with a 102pt Princes Park victory. Of their 137 contests against the Hawks their 9.3-57 opening topped their 41-R14-GO score of 7.5; at half-time it was their biggest score and long-break lead over Hawthorn and their seventh straight win gave them their best since 1945-52 when they won 13; at the siren, it was their second highest score and third biggest margin over the Glenferrie lads … GAVIN CROSISCA (Col) and GARRY HOCKING (Gee) played their 150th (Hocking was also reported for tripping), PAUL KELLY (Syd) and STEVE KOLYNIUK (Fsc) their 100th senior matches …

Friday night fans of 59,354 at the G were treated to a beauty when the Kangas took on the high-quality Bombers. North appeared to have won in the third, then the Dons came back and deep into the last still led. The Shinboners stepped up their rate and with five unanswered goals in the last six minutes grabbed a 27pt win in a thriller, NORTH 19.12-126 (Carey 7.1), ESSENDON 15.9-99 … good footy weather continued on Saturday when first quarter sensations brought three stretchers. At the MCG, only six days after his successful comeback, Demon fans were stunned as the left knee of star forward DAVID SCHWARZ collapsed when he tried to change direction suddenly, tragically repeating injury damage certain to end his season; Adelaide’s high-profile full-forward TONY MODRA at Geelong retired after a going for a mark, landed awkwardly injuring his right knee and ankle. At Vic Park, Fitzroy’s JOHN McCARTHY was concussed, taking no further part in the game. A knee injury didn’t keep TONY LOCKETT from the MCG contest (26,630) when the Redlegs made it four in-a-row with an easy 25pt win over the Coathangers, MELBOURNE 15.12-102 (Lyon 7.1, Smith 5.4), SYDNEY 11.11-77 (Lockett 5.5) … from only three points difference at half-time, the Dockers scored an important Melbourne win when it completely controlled the last two quarters kicking 13 goals to two for a thumping 71pt success to 14,731 at Waverley, FREMANTLE 20.11-131, (Mann 5.0) ST KILDA 9.6-60 … the Crows gained some respectability when they gave the Cats a fight at Kardinia Park (26,283) – an off-target Ablett (5.7) may have let the Crows off-the-hook but it was exciting stuff, GEELONG 16.20-116, ADELAIDE 14.7-91 … staring another defeat in the face, Magpie fans at Vic Park (22,856) jeered their team at the last break – the Roy Boys who had led throughout, hit the brick-wall in the last as the Woods slammed on 7.3 to 1.5, to get out of jail, COLLINGWOOD 13.15-93, FITZROY 10.19-79 … the fine weather stayed for Sunday as 33,042 at the MCG watched the Tigers generally control proceedings; though Scray got to within four points in the third, the Punt Road fellars went away in the end, RICHMOND 13.18-96, FOOTSCRAY 9.10-64 … a big crowd of 29,339 packed Princes Park to see the Blues lay their recent ghosts to rest, barnstorming to a big win. With Kernahan back, the Blues outclassed the Hawks all day, with Mitchell giving one of his best (35 possessions) since moving from the Maggies, CARLTON 26.16-172 (Kernahan, Hanna, Pearce each kicked 5), HAWTHORN 10.10-70 – 19 year-old SIMON BEAUMONT kicked a goal for the Blues with his first kick in League footy … at sunny Subiaco, (26,127) the Bears who had stayed over in WA for their two successive Perth games, regained creditability with an honest dip against the Eagles. They tried hard but had little up forward. West finished full of running to be easy 45pt victors, WEST COAST 17.10-112, BRISBANE 10.7-67 …

Results dumped the Hawks out, with Melbourne after four on-the-trot moving into 8th spot. The eight – Tigers 36, Cats and Blues 32, Dons 30, Eagles 28, Kangas 24, Dockers 20, Redlegs 16 – outside, Crows, Hawks and Scraggers also on 16 …

<||> Essendon’s STEPHEN ALESSIO spent two days in hospital with a lacerated kidney after his Friday night injury; he was discharged Monday … Collingwood ruckman LEE WALKER will undergo his third knee reconstruction following injury in the R9 game versus Melbourne … elbow surgery to remove chipped bone for veteran ROGER MERRETT (Bri) … DAVID SCHWARZ (Mel) will have surgery next Saturday to his left knee … STEVE KRETIUK (Fsc) facing an extended spell after tearing a hamstring the third time this season  … TONY FRANCIS (Col) back only two matches expects surgery to a knee injury … knee surgery also for ADRIAN GLEESON (Car) …

<||> TRIBUNAL – GARRY HOCKING (Gee) a consistent placegetter in the Brownlow was suspended one week for tripping Mark Bickley (Ade) …

<||> The VSFL banned the use of gloves in their Under 18s comp, joining the early season decision of the Amateur body …

<||> AFL to place a lucrative merger package before its clubs … the Channel Nine Network understood to have entered discussions for AFL television rights …

<||> former League star JACK BAGGOTT passed away aged 88. He played 128 games for 140 goals (kicking 12 in a 1928 match) with Richmond between 1928 and 1935 being a member of the Tigers 1932 and 1934 premierships. Jack later coached Essendon in 1936-37 where he played a further 19 matches …

<||> Carlton-Richmond R14 game is moved to the MCG …

<||> finals tickets will peak at $56 for the Grand Final.

<||> TED WHITTEN became the first inductee to the Australian Football Hall of Fame, and the first honoured with the title Legend of the Game ...

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278,091 for eight matches
Ablett passes 900 goals
Umpire Sawers sets benchmark 354 matches
Tigers lead the way at half-way mark


ROUND 11 – Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon, June 9–10–11–12.
Milestones — The Queen’s Birthday split round of eight games drew 278,091 fans, but fell short of the 291,525 set in last April’s fourth round … umpire ROWAN SAWERS with the Essendon-Geelong appointment reached 354 senior games (since 1977) breaking the record set by IAN ROBINSON in 1987 … St Kilda lost their 1150th League game … kicking 8.3 against the Bombers, GARY ABLETT (Gee) passed 900 career goals … JOSE ROMERO (Fsc) played his 100th …

Chilly weather after several days of heavy Melbourne rain drew 36,528 to the MCG on Friday night as the Magpies produced another soft victory, but their fourth win of the season momentarily lifted the Woods into the eight. Without great pressure (save for the first eight minutes), the Maggies gave the Saints a 74pt thumping, COLLINGWOOD 25.11-161, ST KILDA 13.9-87 (Loewe 6.1) … on Saturday, 77,643 at the G were treated to a tight, relentless contest for three quarters when the Bombers and Cats clashed. The Dons led by 34pts in the second term but watched that advantage whittled away and it was the sensational Ablett who kicked four and had a hand in another as the accurate Cats reversed a 7pt last change deficit to go to an 11pt win, GEELONG 19.9-123 (Ablett 8.3), ESSENDON 17.10-112 … shock of the round was at Princes Park (17,732) where the Tigers with devastating all-day precision thrashed the reigning premiers by 10-goals. It was one of the few occasions where many Eagles went missing. The win maintained the Tigers leadership and brought what their club run-through had stated at the start, ‘now we expect to be shown some respect’ — RICHMOND 18.15-123, WEST COAST 9.9-63 … at night on Football Park (36,955) a less than impressive Crow outfit kept their hopes alive with a big win over the poor Doggies who slumped to a sixth successive defeat, ADELAIDE 12.18-90, FOOTSCRAY 6.10-46 … on Sunday at the BCG (8,209) the woefully inaccurate Bears posted yet another home ground win when they completely outclassed the Roys in a game befitting a match of the lower-rated members, BRISBANE 17.30-132 (Chris Scott 5.6), FITZROY 10.14-74 … at Subiaco, 27,997 saw a pumped-up Kanga line-up serve up a 71pt thrashing of the Dockers who were never in the contest. WAYNE CAREY even with a sore shoulder was near-to-brilliant with 14 marks, NORTH 22.11-143 (Carey 6.0, Archer 6.1), FREMANTLE 11.6-72 … the two Monday games in Melbourne drew 53,290 to the G and 19,737 to the Park — after a close arm-wrestle with the Demons for three quarters as Redlegs captain GARRY LYON almost became the match-winner, the Blues broke away in the final term for a 32pt win in the hard-fought contest, CARLTON 16.16-112, MELBOURNE 12.8-80 (Lyon 6.1) … even against a deficient Hawk line-up, for only the first 15 minutes did the Swans appear to have the necessary talent at Waverley. Generally it was one-way traffic as the Glenferrie lads deserved a much greater win, but were overtaken by several important injuries, HAWTHORN 17.11-113, SYDNEY 9.17-71 … captain JASON DUNSTALL was only one Hawk casualty, and his knee injury may sideline him for four-to-six weeks … in a spate of injuries, the wounded Hawks will also lose NICK HOLLAND with a dislocated shoulder for up to six weeks ...

Richmond gained their first win of the 90’s after 10 successive losses against West Coast … over the Eagles – it was the Tigers biggest score, their biggest margin, their biggest fourth quarter and for West, the game gave the Eagles their lowest score of 15 meetings versus Richmond …it was Hawthorn’s ninth successive win over Sydney … bleak days ahead for Scray who went to their sixth straight loss and slumped to 13th … another failure saw the Swans go into familiar territory at 14th place … only one game short of his 150th, the season ends for Essendon’s DARREN BEWICK who was stretchered on Saturday from the MCG with a left knee injury …

At the half-way mark of the season, Richmond 10+1 on 40pts; Geelong and Carlton 9+2 on 36; Essendon 7+3+1 on 30; West Coast and North Melb 7+4 on 28; Fremantle and Adelaide 5+6 on 20 – making up the top eight. Outside on percentage were Hawthorn 20, followed by Collingwood 18, Melbourne, Brisbane and Footscray 16, Sydney 12, Fitzroy and St Kilda in 15th and 16th places with 8pts.

<||> A media spotlight fell upon the ugly scenes of Monday’s ruck-wrestling contests between JIM STYNES (Mel) and JUSTIN MADDEN (Car). The display is certain to be drawn to the attention of the panel of review on the laws of the Game …

<||> With an emphasis toward the addition of Port Adelaide in 1996, the AFL reveal a multi-million plan to encourage at least two Melbourne clubs to merge …


<||> from video JEFF HILTON (Mel) and SHANE WATSON (Col) will face the Tribunal  … the AFL were also investigating a melee incident not fully captured on video from the Brisbane-Fitzroy match …

The Age
forecast, “AFL club lists may be cut to 36 next year to coincide with the abolition of the reserves competition” …

<||> former Eagle STEVAN JACKSON was told by Richmond officials, his services were no longer required; two serious knee injuries cost Jackson his place …

<||> the 1980 Brownlow Medalist KELVIN TEMPLETON was named by Sydney as their new CEO, succeeding Ron Joseph …

<||> the AFL rejected a $200m Nine Network offer for tv rights … free-to-air and pay-TV rights for 1999 to 2003 are rumoured will stay with the Channel Seven Network for $250m …

<||> following their sixth straight loss, Footscray officials hold talks with key players …

<||> GARY ABLETT is named captain of Victoria with GARRY LYON his deputy for the State-of-Origin …

<||> Collingwood Cricketers likely to bow to progress to move from Vic Park. The Diary reported in 1994 that they would move to Yarra Bend, but the footy club bucked at the $500,000 costing …

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64,186 honour Ted Whitten
Vics "stick it up 'em"
The Allies down WA


STATE OF ORIGIN – Saturday-Sunday, June 17–18.
Milestones — One of the greatest players of the Australian game was honoured when 64,186 braved the rain, hail and freezing winds of only nine degrees as the MCG hosted the Saturday State-of-Origin encounter. Before the match, TED WHITTEN, proud but ailing from cancer and two recent strokes was driven around the vast stadium accompanied by his son and his grandchildren. As Andrew Rule wrote in The Age – “wave after wave of applause washed over the three generations of Whitten's. Ted waved, then rasped his infamous war cry, “Stick it up ‘em”, then summoned the strength to punch the air. On the boundary line, a policeman with a fierce moustache had tears in his eyes …”

Victoria with an awesome six goals to one in the first quarter set itself up for their first win over South Australia since 1991. The quality twin-pronged forward line of Lockett and Ablett delivered 11-goals and was unstoppable. TONY LOCKETT kicked 7.1 in a performance which won him the E.J. Whitten Medal he rated as meaning “as much as winning a Brownlow Medal.” Lockett had 15 kicks, 12 marks and strong body work — VICTORIA 18.12-120 (Lockett 7.1, Ablett 4,3), SOUTH AUSTRALIA 8.9-57. Best for SA was Simon Tregenza, winner of the Fos Williams Medal … on Sunday at Subiaco, 15,711 watched the Allies concept, represented by 10 players from Tasmania, and six from the Northern Territory. Together with players from Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT the combination wore colours of black, white an blue, standing for “racial harmony in an island nation”. Both Western Australia and the Allies were hampered by the wide with-drawal of originally selected players. The Allies however proved an efficient unit and led throughout to be 31pt victors, ALLIES 13.14-92 (Brownless 5), W.A. 8.13-61 … the Alex Jesaulenko Medal for the Allies was won by Essendon’s RYAN O’CONNOR while the Graham Moss Medal winner was TONY EVANS …

<||> TRIBUNAL (charges from Round 11) – JEFF HILTON (Mel) was suspended three matches for striking Dean Rice (Car) … SHANE WATSON (Col) after pleading guilty received a one match sentence for striking Nathan Burke (StK) … DARRYL WHITE (Bri) on pleading guilty was fined $1000 for abusive language toward a field umpire when a member of the Allies squad against WA at Subiaco …

<||> on the eve of his return to footy after a 10-month absence, BARRY STONEHAM (Gee) suffers a severe right leg infection requiring removal of a steel plate. The 154 game veteran of 10 seasons, has managed only eight matches in two seasons. Stoneham is certain to be grounded the rest of the season …
__________

Channel Seven retained tv and pay-TV rights to AFL matches for a further three years of 1999 to 2001 for between $120m and $150m …
__________

<||> at an all-club summit held at Leonda, the Commission upped the merger incentive to $6m – the League requires a merger decision by October 31st …

<||> in a feature Centenary event, the Allies are mooted to meet Victoria at the MCG in 1996. The poor Sunday response in Perth appears to have ended State matches in WA …

<||> PORT ADELAIDE announced it will spend $1 million over the next few months in preparation for its expected AFL entry. A further $380,000 will be spent toward upgrading training and administrative facilities at Alberton Oval.

<||> News Limited offer the Victorian Rugby League $22.5m to join the breakway competition for an entry in 1997 … Rugby Union nations Australia, New Zealand and South Africa took their code closer to professionalism when they assigned all television rights from 1996 to 2005 for a reported $766m with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp…

<||> Essendon with 24,137 members claim the crown from Collingwood who have 22,700 — the Bombers are still below Adelaide 1994 figures of 40,546 Crows …

<||> Seven Network md BOB CAMPBELL is a casualty of a inner-sanctum brawl, for his failure to fully consult the Board on the purchase of AFL rights into 2001 …

<||> WAYNE JACKSON a former player and administrator with West Torrens in the SANFL was appointed to the AFL Commission, replacing John Winneke who retired last month …

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Blues and Cats stage a classic
Close-call for Richmond
Magpies draw again
Sydney scare the Eagles


ROUND 12 – Fri-Sat-Sun,  June 23–24–25.
Milestones — Sydney played their 300th game as a Harbour City club … GARY ABLETT passed 900 club goals for Geelong … Football Park hosted its 50th AFL game … 100 AFL games arrived for ANDREW GOWERS (Bri) and DAVID GRENVOLD (Ess), 50 AFL matches to JASON McCARTNEY (Ade) … Carlton extended their home ground winning run to 14 games … Footscray and Collingwood played their first drawn encounter … it was the first time in 86 years the Magpies have twice drawn in a season, since 1909-R9-MCG v Mel and 1909-R16-EM v Uni … Sydney and the Eagles played the League’s 242nd one-pointer …

The Bombers' PAUL SALMON emphatically returned to the seniors (his third game for the year) kicking their first three goals as the round opened on Friday night at the G to 47,237 fans. Coming off two successive losses, Essendon looked the goods when the below-strength Hawks had a dreadful first half but fought back from a 49pt deficit in the third to give the Dons the staggers; greater desperation enabled the Bombers to win by 18pts and stay in touch with the leaders, ESSENDON 10.18-78, HAWTHORN 8.12-60 – talented Hawk midfielder DARREN PRITCHARD broke his left leg in the last term adding to long-term injury woes of Jason Dunstall, Nick Holland, Shayne Stevenson and Jonothon Robran … top versus bottom of the ladder produced a heart-stopping six point win for the Tigers at the MCG on Saturday for 26,403. Richmond had to fight back when the Roys took over mid-game to lead by 28pts in the third and threaten a boil-over – the Tigers regained control and momentum but it wasn’t until time-on they stole the lead; five goals by CHRIS NAISH was a telling factor, RICHMOND 15.19-109, FITZROY 15.13-103 – tensions in the Lions camp overflowed after the final siren when JASON BALDWIN and JOHN McCARTHY were seen to scuffle, then separated by their teammates … the Magpies were disappointing, kicking their first goal only four minutes before half-time. Footscray were in charge for most of the contest at Waverley (27,379) with the Dogs leading by as much as 35pts early in the last but withered in the concluding 15 minutes. There were many lowlights, including a controversial second quarter decision awarding a goal to DERMOTT BRERETON which on tv-replay was clearly a behind – it was Scray’s seventh without complete success, for the Woods, their second draw for the year, and the first tied encounter between the two in 121 contests since 1925, FOOTSCRAY 10.11-71, COLLINGWOOD 10.11-71 … gates were closed at 1.15pm as a crowd of 32,368 packed into Princes Park to see what press reports accorded the words – “a classic battle’ – seven first term goals in seven minutes, scores level many times, three goals to Ablett in eight minutes, and even though the Cats were goalless from 14 minutes into the second until early in the last — it was a great all-day battle, with Blues coach DAVID PARKIN saying the match was “as close to a final as you could get” – GREG WILLIAMS wearing a protective cover on his right forearm returned from injury and STEPHEN KERNAHAN was also back for the Blues, CARLTON 16.16-112, GEELONG 15.19-109 … on Saturday night at Football Park (40,981) the Crows short on ruck strength, retained their tenuous place in the Eight, with a match-long lead over the Dockers – youngsters ANDREW McLEOD and NICK PESCH gave the Crows good service, ADELAIDE 16.9-106, FREMANTLE 12.12-84 … on Sunday in Brisbane, the BCG had 11,996 vocal fans but the Kangas zipped away to take a strangle-hold producing eight different first term goal-kickers – North were never headed but the Bears hampered by a long injury list showed last stanza spirit when DARRYL WHITE swiftly kicked four goals – the Kangas enjoyed their sixth win from seven outings, NORTH 20.13-133, BRISBANE 13.11-89 (White 5) … at Waverley (18,390) the Demons dominated the Saints for three quarters, then went on a worrisome backfoot as the Saints discovered their heart to give a last-gasp effort of 7.4 to lose by only 17pts – it was a Demon win, but an unconvincing outing, MELBOURNE 13.12-90, ST KILDA 11.7-73 … at Subiaco (24,564) in strong, windy conditions, the Harboursiders faced the Eagles in a make-or-break outing and mid-way through the third term led after TONY LOCKETT kicked three in eight minutes – however the Swans started to tire in another Perth contest yet dug deep to give the Eagles one heck of a last quarter scare; they were not the premiers of old – a kick after the siren brought Lockett’s fifth and the League’s 242nd one-pointer, WEST COAST 11.7-73, SYDNEY 10.12-72 – Eagles KARL LANGDON returned for his first AFL game of the season …   Two goal umpires will be stood down for two weeks from A1 games following a review of weekend performances …

<||> TRIBUNAL – DOUG HAWKINS (Fit) was fined $1000 (the minimum) for disputing an umpires decision. The 35-year old Hawkins was noted saying, it was worst decision he’d seen in 18 years of football, when a critical free kick was awarded against teammate JEFF BRUCE for running the ball out-of-bounds in the dying moments of Saturday’s game. A resultant 50m penalty against Hawkins resulted in a Matthew Knights (Rch) goal and a six-point win for the Tigers … NICK DAFFY (Rch) pleaded guilty and was suspended two matches for striking JEFF BRUCE (Fit) … JASON McCARTNEY (Ade) pleaded guilty and was suspended two matches on striking Craig Callaghan (Fre) … GILBERT McADAM (Bri) was cleared of a charge of attempting to strike David King (NM) … from video JASON TAYLOR (Haw) was suspended one match for striking Scott Cummings (Ess) …

<||> The AFL will take no further action on the after-match MCG incident between two Fitzroy players, leaving it to the club to deal with …

<||> the Bears long injury list is added to – CRAIG STARCEVICH playing for QAFL club Kedron Grange suffered a triple hand fracture …

<||> AFL and Vic Police warn public on ticket forgeries – 120 were confiscated at weekend matches in Melbourne …

<||> Seven Network chairman IAN HOLMES resigns as AFL chief Ross Oakley declares the League’s multi-million dollar tv deal was watertight; Holmes departure followed the recent exit of m.d. BOB CAMPBELL …

<||> ST KILDA with debts of $950,000 and crippling interest repayments, launched a $1.5m appeal to supporters for funds to ensure its future. Titled “S.O.S” – “Save Our Saints” unless the fund-raiser meets its mid-October deadline, the Saints board are expected to go to members and recommend a merger, possibly with Melbourne …

<||> following its investigation, the League will not proceed over a BCG incident from the Bears-North game, not captured on video …

<||> Brisbane reveal ROBERTS WALLS will retire as coach at the end of this season – his resignation was tendered two weeks ago …

<||> the AFLPA serves its log of claims to the League, asking for senior match payments for double to $1500, full match payments for Ansett Cup games …

<||> Vic Police raided a Bayswater printing factory on Tuesday; two men were later charged on the forged AFL tickets matter …

<||> Players, clubs and community groups acclaimed the AFL’s new code of conduct on racism. Under the League’s racial and religious vilification rule, clubs can now be fined up to $50,000 if their players are found guilty of an offence.

<||> Port Adelaide hire RON JOSEPH to advise …

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Ablett booked for "charging"
Tigers, Bombers, Eagles crash
Crowds top three million
Carlton take back leadership


ROUND 13 – Fri-Sat-Sun, June 30–July 1–2.
Milestones — GLEN JAKOVICH at 22 became the fastest to achieve 100 senior games when he appeared for the Eagles at Kardinia Park against Geelong. He achieved the record in four years and 22 days, ahead of WAYNE SCHIMMELBUSCH (NM) 4 years 32 days, STEPHEN KERNAHAN (Car) 4 years 35 days and JOHN PLATTEN (Haw) 4 years 42 days … PAUL SALMON (Ess) reached 200 games, GREG ANDERSON (Ade) and BRETT ALLISON (NM) 150, with five other players attaining 100 – ALAN RICHARDSON (Col), DARREN JARMAN (Haw), ANDREW OBST (Mel) and two Kangas ANTHONY ROCK and ANTHONY STEVENS … it was Sydney’s 150th club game at the SCG … SAVERIO ROCCA (Col) kicked 10.3 under lights at the MCG … the Melbourne-Richmond game was match number 10,900 … 184,345 for the games gathered 3,029,134 for the first 13 rounds …

The Magpies kicked five goals in the first nine minutes of Friday night’s MCG encounter to 32,858 fans who roared approval to the bombardment. The game-long blitz swept the Crows off the paddock for yet another Melbourne embarrassment. The win lifted the Maggies into the Eight for the first time this season, COLLINGWOOD 24.8-152 (Rocca 10.3) ADELAIDE 7.14-56 … heavy rain swept most grounds during the four Saturday games, which was highlighted by the devastation the Cats at Kardinia Park (23,743) heaped upon an Eagles outfit who continued their decline. Even though the Corio Bay boys had a goalless opener, they took control in the closing stages of the second term then unleashed one of their best terms for years as they kicked 8.6 (Ablett 5) to nil in the third to clinch the contest. It was one of the few occasions of their 19 contests, the Cats by their fifth win had been outstanding victors over the Eagles. GARY ABLETT was booked for charging Mitchell White (WCE), GEELONG 17.14-116 (Ablett 8.3), WEST COAST 9.10-64 … at the MCG, the Demons inflicted the Tigers second defeat of the season to 42,548 fans. The Redlegs held an edge for most of the day with key forwards GARRY LYON and DAVID NEITZ grasping the lead from their winning midfield, but the Tigers were persistent and lost none of their fans, MELBOURNE 14.11-95 (Lyon 5), RICHMOND 12.12-84 … the Kangas at Waverley (14,301) took three-quarters to shake off the Saints, but then emphasised their talent with a 9.3 last term to run out comfortable 37pt winners, NORTH 18.13-121 (Carey 4), ST KILDA 12.12-84 … there were only 11,519 at the Western Oval to see the Doggies win their first since April 29th. An upset looked likely as the Bears led by 10pts at half-time but it was yet another worrisome fade-out for departing coach Robert Walls as the Bears failed to respond to Scray’s last half challenge, kicking only one other goal beyond the long break, FOOTSCRAY 9.15-69 Grgic 5), BRISBANE 8.5-53 … Sunday saw perfect footy conditions as 21,853 at the SCG watched the Harboursiders pressure the fourth-placed Dons with a crowd-pleasing first half. With GREG STAFFORD (Syd) finding new ruck energy and DEREK KICKETT performing well against his old coach, it was however the dual forward-line zip of Rocca and Lockett who set up another win for the Swans. Bombers coach Kevin Sheedy at half-time briefly addressed his players on the ground he later referred to as “the Roman Colosseum revisited”. The last-half Swans maintained their lead, though a final-quarter Bomber comeback brought back the final margin to 19pts, but it was the Swans first win of the 90’s after seven successive losses, SYDNEY 21.12-138 (Lockett 6, Rocca 4), ESSENDON 17.17-119 … a slim 12,456 were at Princes Park and even an off-target second term of 3.10 didn’t relieve the Lions from a big 99pt thrashing from the Hawks. Without the injured Dun-stall, the former Blues and Swans full-forward SIMON MINTON-CONNELL kicked 8 for the fifth time of his 76-game career. Lions captain BRAD BOYD played a lone-hand in another embarrassing outing for the struggling Maroons, HAWTHORN 21.25-151, FITZROY 7.10-52 … in sunny Perth, 25,067 were at Subiaco where the Blues (without Williams) controlled proceedings throughout, against the Dockers who lacked forwards and all-day contributors — the 57pt thumping tumbled them to 12th place, as the Blues regained top place on the ladder, CARLTON 15.16-106 (Kernahan 7.1), FREMANTLE 7.7-49 …

<||> TRIBUNAL — the 11th appearance of superstar GARY ABLETT drew a media contingent of 35 to headquarters on Monday night. The Geelong captain pleaded not guilty of ‘charging’ Mitchell White (WCE) and was cleared. Chairman NEIL BUSSE after a 75-minute hearing, rebuked the Cats superstar, advising the player to learn the rule, and be more responsible for his actions … MICHAEL MANSFIELD (Gee) was found guilty of striking Don Pyke (WCE) and suspended two matches … ANDREW JARMAN (Ade) was suspended one match after pleading guilty to striking Scott Russell (Col) … MARTIN PIKE (Fit) was cleared of striking Simon Minton-Connell (Haw) …

<||> The early days of their tin-rattling generated $40,000 for the St Kilda appeal for $1.5m …

<||> Crown Casino head LLOYD WILLIAMS offered to assist discussions, suggesting Hawthorn and Melbourne would be his “perfect” merger …

<||> Magpies admit failure of Vic Park pokies venture and will slash 51 machines from their social club …

<||> Friday night final tipped …

<||> ROSS LYON (Bri) undergoes further knee surgery … Rugby League books the MCG for a June 1996 Test between Australia and Great Britain …

<||> TRIBUNAL #2 – from video, JOHN WORSFOLD (WCE) was found not guilty of grabbing GARRY HOCKING (Gee) by the throat – Hocking was cleared of an eye-gouging charge against Worsfold …

<||> Sydney request the South Melbourne element of their origin before 1982 not be promoted during the League’s Centenary celebrations …

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Dons devastate Adelaide
191,733 attend three MCG games
300th game by Justin Madden
Cats sign Ablett 'til 1997


ROUND 14 – Fri-Sat-Sun, July 7–8–9.
Milestones — JUSTIN MADDEN became the 31st to play 300 League games, joining his brother Simon who played 378 with Essendon, 1974-92. Justin began with the Bombers in 1980 and after 45 matches moved to Carlton in 1983 … ROBERT WALLS reached 100 matches as Brisbane coach … 200 games for TONY McGUINNESS (Ade) – the first 100 club games for a Crow to CHRIS McDERMOTT (Ade), – 50 for MARK MERCURI (Ess), GREG MADIGAN (Fre) and ANTHONY KOUTOUFIDES (Car) … Geelong signed GARY ABLETT until the end of 1997, while two others PETER RICCARDI and SHAYNE BREUER also have a Corio Bay home for three more seasons … 281,801 fans saw the 14th round … Essendon kicked the biggest score, and posted the widest margin of the season with their 122pt thrashing of the Crows … it was Scray’s 1400th League game … a three-day attendance high was established at the MCG with 191,733 seeing games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday …

66,719 watched a furious and fiery opening to the Friday night MCG clash, but it was one-way traffic after that as the Kangas made it four-in-a-row over the Magpies who although they showed spirit at times were not impressive. North had the forwards, with Carey, Longmire and McKernan proving too strong, reaping the benefit from their active midfield, NORTH MELB 18.17-125 (Longmire 7.3), COLLINGWOOD 10.13-73 (Rocca 5) … the Crows coming off their 96pt thrashing by the Woods, were devastated by the Bombers before 40,269 at the MCG on Saturday. It was another embarrassing defeat by a massive 122pts, and put to question the structure and commitment of the Crows, outside of the security of West Lakes, ESSENDON 27.20-182 (Salmon 8.3, Wanganeen 4), ADELAIDE 8.12-60;  … after several weeks in the doldrums, the Eagles returned to form with a comprehensive defeat of the Hawks at the Park (19,373). A major plus was the form of both PETER MATERA and CRAIG TURLEY for the Sandgropers, while the Hawks of old showed further evidence of decline, WEST COAST (Turley 4) 14.13-97, HAWTHORN 8.8-56 … at home to 22,459, the Cats struggled all day against an enthusiastic and persistent Bears who were always a threat on a Kardinia Park surface which was heavy and taxing to both sides – the Cats slipped away in the third, but had to hang-on grimly in the last to score the four points, GEELONG 15.21-111 (Ablett 6), BRISBANE 15.9-98 (Merrett 5) … Carlton and Richmond staged a terrific struggle for more than three quarters on Sunday to 84,745 at the G. The prize of outright leadership went to the Blues who broke the shackles, kicking a last term of 5.2. Earlier the Tigers had placed great pressure on the Blues defence and it was goal-for-goal. In defeat, the Tigers again would have lost nothing in respect yet their third loss sent them to third, behind Geelong on percentage, CARLTON 17.13-115 (Kernahan 6), RICHMOND 12.13-85 … at the Western Oval, 16,745 saw the battle of the co-tenants. The Bulldogs led all day, scoring a 67pt victory, their best run of nine successive wins over the Roys, as the Doggies became beneficiaries of the weekend results, slipping back into the Eight, FOOTSCRAY 23.8-146 (Grant 7.1), FITZROY 12.7-79 … the Saints scored the upset of the round at the SCG to 14,979 when they led throughout the last half against the odds-on Harboursiders. Lockett with 5.1 did the job against his old side, keeping the disappointing Swans in striking distance of the mistake-riddled contest, ST KILDA 17.17-119, SYDNEY 14.10-94; it was the Saints 10th straight win over the Swans, their best since 1897 … at Subiaco, only 16,512 saw the forward-less Dockers crash for the fourth week in a row. The Demons had all the answers, the teamwork and desperation required romping away for a 52pt win, MELBOURNE 15.12-102, FREMANTLE 7.8-50 …

The Top Eight — Carlton 48, Geelong, Richmond 44. North 40, Essendon 38, West Coast 36, Melbourne 28, Footscray 26 … out-side, Woods, Hawks, Crows 24 …

<||> TRIBUNAL – SCOTT TURNER (Rch) was suspended three matches for striking Brett Ratten (Car) even though the reporting umpire GREG SCROOP believed the blow was accidental … JARROD MOLLOY (Fit) was suspended two matches, being found guilty of charging Tony Liberatore (Fsc) …

<||> St Kilda’s upset Sunday win over Sydney has boosted the club’s $1.5m appeal, with $110,000 already raised …

<||> GEELONG was fined $3500 for public comments made after R13 – $1500 about umpires, and $2000 for releasing contents of a written report prior to the Tribunal …

<||> TRIBUNAL 2 – despite an emotional plea for leniency – from video, DERMOTT BRERETON (Col) was found guilty of striking ROSS SMITH (NM) and suspended two matches. Brereton has now been charged on 17 occasions, had penalties imposed 10 times and suspended a total of 39 weeks and a $5000 fine.

Ross Smith was fined $1000 for giving unsatisfactory evidence. The only recorded parallel is from 1932 when KEITH FORBES (Ess) was suspended two matches after giving evidence to a report from the 1932-R15-WH Saturday August 13 game against St Kilda …

<||> Melbourne and Geelong have been earmarked to kick-start the 1996 Centenary season on Friday night, March 28th …

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Round of boilovers as Dogs, Saints & Swans win
Robert Walls, 300th milestone
Fitzroy: "bloody embarrassing"


ROUND 15 – Fri-Sat-Sun, July 14-15-16.
Milestones — ROBERT WALLS reached 300 matches as a League coach (Fit 115, Car 84, Bri 101) … PETER DEAN (Car) played his 200th … MARK ZANOTTI (Fit) 150 … KARL LANGDON (WCE) and LEON CAMERON (Fsc) 100 …BRAD BOYD (Fit) and STEPHEN O’REILLY (Fre) 50 … STEWART LOEWE (StK) kicked his 300th goal … Carlton won their 15th successive game at Princes Park – as Adelaide lost their 15th successive game in Melbourne …

The offer of a contest between Essendon (5th) and Richmond (3rd) drew 76,628 to the MCG on Friday night despite 9 and threatening rain. The Bombers with four early goals seemed destined to streak-away from the Tigers who were down on manpower through injury and sus-pension, and were also coming up after only a five-day break. The Tigers clawed back and the match developed into a tremendously exciting contest and was voted one of the best match-ups of the season, resulting in the League’s 120th tie, and the 18th for the MCG, ESSENDON 15.11-101 (Hird 5), RICHMOND 15.11-101 (Jurica 5) … following their successive defeat-disasters totalling 218 points, the Crows were at the longest-possible odds for their Saturday visit to Princes Park which drew 22,502. The first half was tight and an unexpected boilover seemed certain when the Crows kicked two early goals in the third term extending their lead to 29pts. Suddenly, CRAIG BRADLEY took over in the centre, grabbing the bulk of JUSTIN MADDEN’s tapouts, with the Blues proceeding to blast eight unanswered goals for the third quarter. Unchallenged, Carlton went on to win by 33pts and retain top place, but the Crows would have to be heartened, CARLTON 20.13-133 (Clape 7.0), ADELAIDE 15.10-100 (Ricciuto 5) … coming off their slump against the Saints, the Harboursiders faced 4th-placed North at the MCG to 22,524 — proving form is fickle, the Swans took control in the second, and with a spirited team-performance were never headed as CRESSWELL, LEWIS and McRAE had a field day down the middle. But it was the purposeful game by DUNKLEY against the Kanga powerhouse WAYNE CAREY which drew the plaudits, SYDNEY 16.17-113 (Lockett 5), NORTH 12.12-84 … the Hawks with JARMAN and PLATTEN giving the leadership, led the Dockers all day at Waverley (14,167). Pressure throughout gave the Hawks a comfortable win to keep their finals hopes alive, HAWTHORN 18.10-118, FREMANTLE 11.8-74 … “It was bad, pretty bad, yeah” said Roys coach Bernie Quinlan. The worst? “Ah, don’t know about the worst, but it was pretty bad.” And that passage in the third term? (when in a chain of six handpasses, not one found its target) – “Bloody embarrassing.” That’s what a meagre 8862 fans saw at the Western Oval when the Demons after a dreadful six-loss start, won their 8th (of the past nine) in the easiest of fashion, MELBOURNE 20.11-131 (Lyon 6) FITZROY 7.8-50 … in 24 Sunday sunshine, a sell-out 11,467 at the (still under construction) BCG was marked by the 100th game as captain of the Bears by ROGER MERRETT and 300th for ROBERT WALLS in League coaching ranks. An early flurry gave Bear fans hope but after the first break, the Magpies gripped control and never let up, sweeping to an easy 49pt win, to keep their finals hopes alive at ninth position, COLLINGWOOD 19.15-129 (Rocca 6), BRISBANE 11.14-80 … under cloudy skies at the MCG (37,382), the Cats enjoyed early control, then the Saints struck back and gained a firm grip with a 25pt lead at half time. In trouble, several brilliant individual efforts by ABLETT and BROWNLESS lifted the Corio outfit but the Sainters as though playing for their survival were ferocious and in the third were equal to any Pivotonian challenge. But again, the Cats came back and with his sixth Ablett brought the Cats to within one point midway into the final term. Still the Saints didn’t crumble with HARVEY goaling after a great mark from WINMAR who was undoubtedly b.o.g; Harvey’s great goal gained welcome space for them, with the desperate Saints holding for on for their second successive win, ST KILDA 13.15-93 (Loewe 5), GEELONG 13.7-85 (Ablett 6) … the late game at Subiaco (30,169) saw the off-target Doggies more aggressive against an Eagles outfit who did not play with urgency until the third term when they led for the first time (41-40). But it was Scray who more desperately wanted the points as they added five unanswered goals then went on to a well-deserved victory and retain 8th place, FOOTSCRAY 12.15-87 (Osborne 5), WEST COAST 8.13-61 – after eight defeats (four at WACA and four Subiaco, it was the Doggies first win in Perth — CHRIS LEWIS (WCE) was placed on report in the last term for abusive language …

<||> Kanga full-back MICK MARTYN is expected to miss 4-5 games following surgery to strained stomach muscles … Sunday’s BCG match was telecast live into Brisbane; Sydney however was denied AFL coverage, station chiefs choosing a rugby union state game instead …

<||> TRIBUNAL – at his 10th appearance CHRIS LEWIS (WCE) though making a public apology to umpire Bryan Sheehan, was fined $1500 on a charge of abusive language … GLEN COGHLAN (StK) was found not guilty of striking Bill Brownless (Gee) … a charge against DARREN KOWAL (Mel) of attempting to kick, was withdrawn following video scrutiny … from the June 11th R11 game at the BCG, Fitzroy were fined $15,000 and Brisbane $10,000 under the melee ruling; the Lions suffered a greater penalty as a second offence of the season …
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<||> AFL investigations of players continue on the Friday night incident involving MICHAEL GALE (Rch). Gale who was forced to retire under the blood rule. He returned to play and later suffered a broken collarbone which will sideline him up to six weeks. Further investigations were under way into another incident which resulted in STUART MAXFIELD (Rch) suffering a broken jaw in two places … Essendon and Richmond have been asked to show cause why they should not be fined under the AFL’s melee rule …
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<||> Carlton captain STEPHEN KERNAHAN will miss up to six weeks with a broken finger to his right hand …

<||> Many guernsey changes are likely for season 1996, with traditionalists Melbourne and even Collingwood planning alternate strips …

<||> CARLTON won approval from City of Melbourne commissioners for a new single tier stand to boost Princes Park capacity to 35,000 but lost on the installation of light towers for night football after objections from local residents; the Blues had initially sought 45,000 seats – extensions will also stretch the playing surface by six metres from its length of 151m …
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<||> Following comments the rule is legally flawed, ROSS OAKLEY concedes the AFL’s controversial melee rule is in need of an overhaul …
__________

<||> following an inquiry by AFL investigation officer Martin Amad, GAVIN WANGANEEN (Ess) was cleared on any wrongdoing in a clash with MICHAEL GALE (Rch) …

<||> the League will feature a three-day Lightning Premiership round-robin involving 15 matches of two 20-minute halves at Waverley Park, across Friday, Saturday, Sunday, February 9–11 …

<||> St Kilda’s S.O.S Appeal reaches $150,000 …

<||> after 127 matches across eight seasons, 23-year-old ROBERT HARVEY signed with St Kilda for another four years at a figure reported as just shy of $1-million …

<||> clubs asked by Commission to consider. the transfer next season of the “third-best” match each week to either Waverley or the MCG for live-to-air as part of Channel Seven’s pay-TV agreement with Optus Vision – the switch could involve matches scheduled for any of the lesser venues such as Victoria Park, Western Oval, Princes Park or Kardinia Park, if the third-ranked match is rostered there …

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Bears amazing BCG comeback
Pies & Blues gather 78,934
Tigers hold on to second place


ROUND 16 – Fri-Sat-Sun, July 21–22–23.
Milestones — 150 games arrived for DAVID HART (WCE), 100 for FRASER BROWN (Car), CHRIS NAISH (Rch), ADRIAN FLETCHER (Bri – 50 matches for GORDON FODE (StK), DAVID PITTMAN (Ade), RYAN TURNBULL (WCE) … Fitzroy played its 1900th League match (and lost its 1007th) …

The Friday night contest at Football Park was played in miserable conditions of cold and heavy rain. The Kangas failed narrowly to break their duck on SA soil as the Crows kept their faint finals hopes alive. North captain WAYNE CAREY after a clash of heads was stretchered off early in the second but returned to the fray only nine minutes later though his mobility was affected with a badly corked thigh. The Crows set-up their win with a grinding third term and were able to hold the Kangas at bay in their last quarter fight back, to fail by only 11pts – to 33,801, ADELAIDE 9.11-65, NTH MELB 7.12-54 … The Bombers dominated in every phase to thoroughly outclass and bring the Lions eight successive defeat in their 1900th game at the MCG to 25,295. After a 9.3 opener and enjoying a 43pt lead at the first break, the rest was little more than a training run as Sheedy tried many experimental moves, ESSENDON 22.18-150, FITZROY 12.7-79 … the Cats at Princes Park (19.073) had the Demons on toast leading by as much as 52pts, then eased off mid-game, and in the tricky breeze kicked ten straight behinds to let the Redlegs back, but it was only a brief lapse, as the Cats held second position, taking out a 29pt win, GEELONG 15.21-111 (Ablett 6.9), MELBOURNE 12.10-82 (Lyon 1.5) … in the Waverley chill to 13,490, the bigger and more-robust Eagles had 5.1 before the Saints first score; it was a mismatch as West regained confidence and the Saints unable to live to the promise shown in the previous fortnight, WEST COAST 19.8-122, ST KILDA 9.10-64 … on Saturday night at the SCG (15,708), the Doggies on their first Sydney visit since 1992 had an even first-half with the Harboursiders; then Dogs sighting their top eight placing were tenacious, blistering through 10.1 in the third to swamp the hot-and-cold Swans and finish the contest, as disgruntled fans streamed home with even a quarter left, FOOTSCRAY 21.8-122 (Osborne 5), SYDNEY 12.7-79 (Lockett 5) … on Sunday, Hawks captain JASON DUNSTALL returned after injury at the BCG to 8209 fans – for three-quarters, the Hawks were in masterly control and heading for an easy win, leading by 45pts (13.10 to 5.13) at the last change; in a complete turn-around, the last-ditch Bears swept back to level the scores at 22 minutes then a goal to STEVEN LAWRENCE at the 25th minute gave the Bears the lead for the first time; it was answered two minutes later as Dunstall with his 5th tied it up at 97pts-all, then the Bears came again with a further goal to ADRIAN FLETCHER in his 100th game; another behind gave the Bears an amazing 7pt win in one of the greatest comebacks, BRISBANE 14.20-104, HAWTHORN 14.13-97 (Dunstall 5.4) – it was the Bears second win and ended nine straight defeats from Hawthorn … as Carlton celebrated with the 25th anniversary luncheon of their 1970 Grand Final triumph over Collingwood the AFL’s greatest rivals met for the 211th time to 78,934 at the MCG – the Blues dominated the first-half (9.9 to 5.4) and were certain of victory; the Magpies in a dramatic first 15 minutes of the third, kicked 5.3 to electrify the game and draw within three points; but the Blues steadied and regained control and to the last break, up by 24pts; as the lights came on, the game flickered out – the Magpies had run their race and the Blues held them out for a decisive 22pt victory, CARLTON 12.18-90, COLLINGWOOD 10.8-68 … the Tigers form (on 11 wins) was way-off the pace in their first-half performance against the Dockers at Subiaco (18,350); the Punt Road boys soon struck back yet found the going heavy until they briefly hit the front early in the last, but the dogged Dockers came again; in a tight desperate finish by both with WAYNE CAMPBELL (33 disposals) playing a decisive role for Richmond; point-for point, it was only a 7pt margin but it gave the Tigers their first win in WA and hold them into second place, RICHMOND 10.14-74, FREMANTLE 9.13-67 … it was the Dockers six-straight loss …

<||> ROGER MERRETT was appointed assistant coach of BRISBANE for the remainder of this season (as under-study to the departing ROBT WALLS); Merrett was named to continue in the role into 1996 and 1997 …

<||> TRIBUNAL – NICKY WINMAR (StK) was found guilty and fined $1500 of disputing umpire Anton McKernan’s decision at Waverley last Saturday … a charge of head-butting against TIM HARGRAVES (Haw) was withdrawn following scrutiny of video evidence …

<||> PORT ADELAIDE signs Ansett Australia and Nike as second-tier sponsors and said it was close to finalising a major sponsor …

<||> knee damage to ANDREW GOWERS (Bri) will end his season …

<||> BRETT CHALMERS (Ade) suffered a broken jaw at the weekend playing with Port in the SANFL …

<||> Richmond midfielder WAYNE CAMPBELL shortens to 5/1 for the Brownlow; Carey is at 6/1, with Ablett at sevens …

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Dunstall, Ablett, Stynes enter new League records

ROUND 17 – Fri-Sat-Sun, July 28–29–30.
Milestones – JASON DUNSTALL (Haw) with two goals against Footscray became the second-highest goalkicker in League history. His 1058 goals still leaves him short of the all-time great GORDON COVENTRY of 1299-goal fame, as Dunstall passed DOUG WADE (Gee-NM) who kicked 1057 between 1961-75 … GARY ABLETT became only the fifth player in League history to kick 100 goals in three successive seasons when he booted 7.5 at Kardinia Park against Sydney. Ablett is the oldest player (at 33 years and 301 days) to kick a century and was the first player to do so on the day he was captain of his club. Ablett joins BOB PRATT (SM) 1933-34-35, PETER HUDSON (Haw) 1968-69-70-71, PETER McKENNA (Col) 1970-71-72, and JASON DUNSTALL (Haw) 1992-93-94 … Melbourne’s JIM STYNES played his 191st consecutive game to equal the record of JOCK McHALE (Col) amassed between 1906 and 1917 – Stynes next target is the 204-straight games of JACK TITUS (Rch) achieved in 1933-43 … 150 games to STEVEN FEBEY (Mel), 50 to ROD KEOGH (StK), while in his 57th game, the accomplished JAMES HIRD (Ess) kicked his 100th goal …

The Kangas dropped their third successive contest when the Demons grasped the opportunity of a brittle North defence at the MCG on Friday night in cold conditions to 28,838. GARRY LYON (Mel) was the chief destructor with on on-target 7.2, as a down-on-form WAYNE CAREY (NM) was shifted from attack to defence then back again. Facing tough matches, the Kanga cause wasn’t helped as one of their consistent match winners WAYNE SCHWASS was booked for striking, MELBOURNE 15.12-102 (Lyon 7), NORTH MELB 12.8-80 … on Saturday, the accurate Bombers (10.2 in the first half) received a third quarter shock when a gritty Freo got back to within four-points on a heavy MCG to 29,102 fans. The difference was the brilliance of JAMES HIRD and MICHAEL LONG who had outstanding games for the Dons. Though failing to produce their normal free-flowing game, the Bombers were comfortable winners, ESSENDON 21.9-135 Hird 5, Salmon 4), FREMANTLE 13.9-87 … a controversial okay by officiating umpires saw Fremantle replace SCOTT WATTERS who was injured in a pre-match warm-up. After Freo officials checked, JOHN HUTTON took Watter’s place in the 21-man side named on the team-sheet, to the vocal complaints from Essendon who demanded an inquiry … at Princes Park (15,183) the embattled Saints landed the scalp of another top of the table club, this time – Richmond. In blustery, windy conditions the Moorabbin boys had winners everywhere with Winmar, Harvey Loewe and Burke producing games to which the Tigers had no answer, applying pressure as the Punt Road brigade slipped to third, ST KILDA 15.17-107 (Loewe 5), RICHMOND 9.8-62 … the gods were smiling in rain and sunshine as a year-best of 28,599 turned out at Kardinia Park to watch GARY ABLETT gather his 100th goal of the year. The day came in fit-and-starts, including two frustrating ground invasions, lengthening both the second and third quarters. Urged on by the ground announcer, and a goal umpire’s mistake, fans swarmed onto the park near the end of the second term, when Ablett missed a shot. It happened all over again 1m 25s into the third when the 100th finally came. The Cats remained focussed and with a brilliant second-half display by GARRY HOCKING, aided and abetted by the work of PAUL COUCH and LIAM PICKERING, Corio Bay celebrated a 77pt thumping and their 100th win over the Swans, GEELONG 23.13-151 (Ablett 7.5), SYDNEY 11.8-74 (Lockett 4) … on an energy-sapping Western Oval to 16,673, after days of rain, the Dogs and Hawks ground-out a slogging contest which brought just three last-half goals. The Tricolors posted their fifth-straight win, to scrape home by just five points, as the Hawks dream of a 14th successive finals series slipped away, FOOTSCRAY 8.9-57 (Grgic 4), HAWTHORN 7.10-52 … the three Sunday matches were played in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide — at Subiaco, 35,332 witnessed what was to be one of the big struggles as the Eagles tried for a higher place – the Woods to stay in touch with the Eight. Subi was soft after heavy rains as West opened in impressive fashion before the out-of-confidence Magpies were on the board, indeed in the first half all the Woods three goals were kicked by Saverio Rocca. The Eagles controlled proceedings yet eased back in the last to be just 50pt victors and finish the Magpies, WEST COAST 18.21-129 (Lewis 6), COLLINGWOOD 11.13-79 (Rocca 6) … when top-place met the bottom, the Blues improved their percentage when they dominated proceedings in every facet of play over the hapless Roys at the Park (15,567) to record an effortless 97pt win. BRAD PEARCE and ANTHONY KOUTOUFIDES were front-runners for the Blues, CARLTON 24.17-161 (Clape 5), FITZROY 9.10-64 … rain and single-digit temperatures for the late-evening game for 33,829 at Football Park didn’t depress the aggression and commitment of the Bears who swept to lead by 34pts deep into the second term, before the Crows posted their first goal. The Crows aiming to take advantage of results of the round and move closer to the Eight staged a comeback. But the Bears retained their focus to post their first win at Footy Park. The result of this and others of the round almost sealed the Final Eight with a two-game gap between 8th and 9th, BRISBANE 11.10-76 (McRae 4), ADELAIDE 6.10-46 …

The Eight – Carlton 60, Geelong 52, Richmond 50, Essendon 48, West Coast 44, North Melb 40, Footscray 38, Melbourne 36 — outside, Hawthorn, Collingwood and Adelaide all on 28 …

<||> Fremantle were cleared of any wrong-doing in the playing of JOHN HUTTON. Though team-sheets are lodged nominating interchange players who will not take part at the commencement, AFL operations manager IAN COLLINS confirmed a player can be substituted up to the start of a game ... “the time right up to the opening siren” ...

<||> TRIBUNAL – NICK DAFFY (Rch) WAYNE SCHWASS (NM) and STEVE MACPHERSON (Fsc) all had charges withdrawn after umpires viewed video; GLEN COGHLAN (StK) however was charged after the review on a charge of striking Chris Bond (Rch) and at his hearing was suspended for two matches …

<||> TRARALGON and NORTH BALLARAT set to join the eight-surviving VFA clubs to form a second-tier 1996 state-wide competition likely to be the ‘Victorian Football League’ …

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Blues post 9th-straight win
1995 attendances pass four million
Fitzroy suffer 10th successive loss
Hawks' finals era ends


ROUND 18 – Fri-Sat-Sun, August 4–5–6.
Milestones – JIM STYNES (Mel) played his 192nd consecutive match to become the second highest long-serving player in League history … ROGER MERRETT kicked his 400th League goal in a 291-game service with Essendon and Brisbane 1978-1994 … PAUL SALMON (Ess) passed 500 League goals in his 204th match … 150 games arrived for MATTHEW ARMSTRONG (NM), ROBERT SCOTT (NM) … 100 for GAVIN WANGANEEN (Ess) and MICHAEL SEXTON (Car) … 50 matches for DAVID MENSCH (Gee), MICHAEL VOSS (Bri) and DUNCAN KELLAWAY (Rch) … CARLTON won their ninth successive game of the season, their best since 1982, R3 to R11 incl … BRISBANE won their third straight, the Bears best effort since their wins of 89-R20-21-22+90-R1 … Hawthorn’s third successive defeat will end their achievement of 13 consecutive finals, five day and five night premierships, eight grand finals, two Brownlow and four Norm Smith Medals …

After a soggy Melbourne July, daily rain continued in the early days of August … the round opened on Friday night at the MCG to 37,543. SCOTT TURNER returned from suspension as Richmond’s on-ballers applied vigorous pressure to unravel the Hawks running brigade in an impressive performance as the Tigers head for their first appearance in the finals for 13 years, RICHMOND 13.21-99 (Rodgers 4), HAWTHORN 8.7-55 … STEPHEN ALESSIO was back for the Bombers (following a ruptured kidney) adding to the tall-man power (against the usual trend) taken into a match in heavy conditions when the Dons met the Demons on Saturday at the MCG to 52,523 fans. The Bombers were too slick and sharp in the crowded contest as MARK HARVEY also returned to defence after a lengthy injury absence. The Demons didn’t gain much, other than the realisation, they are under pressure to hold their place, ESSENDON 15.16-106, (Salmon 4, Alessio 4) MELBOURNE 11.7-73 (Smith 4) … it was a foul weather scene at Arctic Park (Waverley) to 13,141 – the Crows in the last half suddenly found all the answers hitting the front early in the last over the Saints in a drought-breaking downpour after 699 losing days in Melbourne, ADELAIDE 14.14-98, ST KILDA 10.8-68 … Princes Park was heavy (12,121) as the Kangas bounced back after their three-game losing streak. The Eagles did not have the commitment of their opponents in the gluepot conditions as North got very good value from 150-gamer ROBERT SCOTT and WAYNE SCHWASS plus the unusual Denis Pagan moves of using COREY McKERNAN at full-back and WAYNE CAREY opening in the square, NORTH 15.16-106 (Allison 4), WEST COAST 7.2-44 … 62,212 at the MCG on Sunday in bone-numbing weather saw a vintage DERMOTT BRERETON, marking strongly, kicking long goals as the Magpies grabbed an exciting four-point win over the Cats in an all-day close contest which could have swung either way; the victory returned the Maggies into the run for a place in the finals, COLLINGWOOD 15.9-99 (Brereton 5, Rocca 4), GEELONG 14.11-95 (Ablett 6.1) … veteran ruck JUSTIN MADDEN orchestrated the Blues hard-fought 25pt win on the wet and muddy Princes Park (24,206) against Scray; a vital factor was Madden’s palming ability and the Blueys midfielders reading of the play. After troubling the Blues early, the Bulldogs were always behind after Carlton kicked four third term goals in eight crucial minutes, CARLTON 15.16-106, SCRAY 11.15-81 … on a firm SCG in sunshine, a miserly 8157 saw the Bears continue in fine late-season form, winning two games in a row away from home for the first time in their history. The Swans suffered the loss of two players being stretchered during the game, ANDREW DUNKLEY (concussion) and SHANNON GRANT (ankle) but with players like the irrepressible SHAUN HART, the Bears teamwork outshone the Swans commitment, BRISBANE 19.12-126, SYDNEY 17.9-111 (Lockett 6.1) … in Perth, (19,639 at Subiaco) the Dockers ended seven weeks of defeat when they buried the Lions with a 7-goal to one third term burst, then went on with it until the siren brought them a 52pt win – the main problem for the Roys was finding someone to kick a goal, FREMANTLE 17.14-116, FITZROY 9.10-64 …

JASON DUNSTALL (Haw) against Richmond was held goalless by SCOTT TURNER (Rch) for the 10th time in his 221-game (1985-95) career – last time 94-R13 v Fit; as full-back in 92-R7-P, Turner had eight of the 17 goals Dunstall kicked that day … WEST COAST versus the Kangas failed to trouble the goal umpires in their final term and suffered its second scoreless quarter in six weeks –  3rd R13 v Gee … BRISBANE won its sixth successive game over Sydney … ADELAIDE in beating the Saints at Waverley, won its first home-and-away match in Melbourne since 93-R1-MCG v Rch (the Crows won their 93-1EF-MCG v Haw) … FREMANTLE broke their seven-game losing streak, inflicting the Roys 10th successive loss … PAUL SALMON (Ess) crashed in the closing minutes at the MCG on Saturday and x-rays at Epworth Hospital later confirmed a hairline fracture to his ankle … 229,542 for the round brought up 4,180,389 for the 144 matches played …

CARLTON gained a two and-a-half-game break (10pts) to lead the ladder with 64pts … the Tigers are second on 54, followed by Essendon and the Cats on 52, the Eagles and Kangas have 44, ‘Scray 38 and the Redlegs with 36 make up the eight … hopefuls include the Maggies and Crows, both on 32 in ninth and tenth positions …

<||> TRIBUNAL – GAVIN CROSISCA (Col) pleaded guilty to disputing an umpires decision and was fined $1500 … CRAIG KELLY (Col) was cleared of attempting to trip Bill Brownless (Gee) … PAUL BARNARD (Haw) pleading not guilty, was suspended for two matches for striking Nathan Bower (Rch) …

<||> a bone scan revealed Essendon giant PAUL SALMON has suffered no fracture but ligament damage to his right ankle …

<||> League investigation officer MARTIN AMAD interviewed CRAIG KELLY (Col) following media speculation that he ‘niggled’ the Cats' GARY ABLETT by continually ‘pushing, shoving and bumping, despite the ball being at the other end of the field’ — and, ‘he repeatedly pinched DAVID MENSCH’– Kelly was cleared of the allegations …

<||> St Kilda’s NATHAN BURKE signed a two-year deal believed worth $175,000 a season …

<||> the Saints fund-raising campaign has brought in $180,000, but the giving has slowed to a trickle …

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Lockett kicks 16-straight
Maggies within a sniff
Eagles score biggest victory


ROUND 19 – Fri-Sat-Sun, August 11–12–13.

Milestones — matches on Saturday in 17-degree Melbourne sunshine observed one minutes silence to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific and the end of World War Two … 50 games to LEIGH TUDOR (Gee) and DREW BANFIELD (WCE) … Sydney full-forward TONY LOCKETT in his 199th game produced a career best when he kicked 16.0 against Fitzroy on Sunday at the Western Oval; it was a best for the Swans club, topping the 61-year old (34-R3-AP) BOB PRATT effort of 15.3 versus the Dons. Lockett now on 988 is poised to become the fourth player to break the 1000-goal barrier. The result also brought in 184 contests with Fitzroy, the Swans biggest score, and their margin topped their 81pts victory of 35-R6-AP … West Coast with a 135pt victory over the Crows at Subiaco recorded their biggest win of 210 contests; it was also the 100th Eagles win under coach MICHAEL MALTHOUSE; West went within one point of kicking the highest R19 score … North made it 50 wins over the Tigers … breaking his jaw in two places only four weeks ago, speedster STUART MAXFIELD turned out again for Richmond …

In good conditions the round opened at the MCG to 51,247 with the Friday night clash between second-placed Richmond and North (6th). The Tigers began in fierce style and with their solid defence and midfield enjoying dominance; they appeared certain winners when leading by 38pts early into the third term. In a turn-around, WAYNE CAREY (NM) produced a quality performance leading a thorough Kanga comeback. The last term was a classic as Carey grabbed a handful of marks and a swag of kicks, well-supported by Bond, Armstrong, Schwass and Scott. North charged home to be 10pt victors, NORTH MELB 16.14-110 (Allison 5, Carey 5), RICHMOND 15.10-100 … the Dons and Magpies staged another torrid contest on Saturday to 77,448 at the MCG. The Bombers led for most of the game and by almost five goals in the third. Then the Woods rallied with Rocca who had been threatening all day with one of his four last term goals making it only a point the difference at 21 minutes. In a match highlighted by great defensive effort by both sides, the final margin was just eight points, ESSENDON 16.14-110 (Hird 5), COLLINGWOOD 15.12-102 (Rocca 8.4) … at Waverley (19,852) a first term blitz by the Saints of 7.5 to 2.2 set up their win over the Hawks. After beating the three top sides in the five previous weeks, the Saints were expected to struggle against poorer opposition but a two-prong attack of Loewe and Everitt proved too much for the Hawks to handle, ST KILDA 16.9-105 (Loewe 6, Everitt 4), HAWTHORN 14.13-97 (Dunstall 5) … after kicking 4.3, GARY ABLETT left Kardinia Park (20,679) in the second quarter with a hamstring injury but by then, the Cats were well in control. However, as further injuries started to wound the Cats, Freo struck back cutting what was a 54pt deficit and with a seven goal last term brought the final margin to just 23pts … GEELONG 16.10-106, FRE-MANTLE 12.11-83 (Chisholm 4) … Western Oval had a pressure contest for Final Eight placings when the Scraggers and Redlegs engaged in an all-day struggle for 17,697 fans. It was kick-for-kick most of the journey with possibly the early-free count, an amazing last term goal for the Dogs by RICHARD OSBORNE and the Demons inaccuracy being the tilt factors, SCRAY 11.12-78 (Sexton 4), MELBOURNE 7.16-58 – Demon midfielder TODD VINEY had his season ended when he broke his left arm in the second quarter … Bears coach ROBT WALLS earlier in the week had predicted “if we can get within eight goals of the Blues, we’d be happy” – the Bears did much better than that on Sunday at Princes Park to 18,407. The Blues captain KERNAHAN failed to return from his broken figure injury as well as SILVAGNI while DEAN was a late withdrawal. Slow to begin, the Bears re-organised and took the lead by half-time. In the boggy conditions the last half was tight, with only one goal each in the final term as only wayward kicking by the Bears failed to produce the upset of the season, CARLTON 11.19-75 (Pearce 4), BRISBANE 10.11-71 – it was the Blues 17th straight win at Princes Park …

TONY LOCKETT produced one of the all-time great full-forward performances when he kicked 16.0  for Sydney on Sunday at the Western Oval to only 7426 fans. The Swans were relentless as they chopped the Lions to pieces. PAUL KELLY gave a great captain’s display with 39 possessions, and was well supported by Roos, Kickett, Cresswell and Crawford. The 126pt thrashing produced a Fitzroy crisis meeting with Roys president DYSON HORE-LACY stating, all positions including coach Quinlan’s would be reviewed at the end of the season, SYDNEY 27.8-170 (Lockett 16.0, to half-time Lockett had kicked 10.0). FITZROY 6.8-44 … the Eagles at Subiaco (30,833) were simply awesome, as the Crows were terrible when West Coast recorded their biggest AFL victory by 135pts. Previously lacking forward-line impact, coach Malthouse was delighted as his team produced 14 goal-scorers, with Matera on the eve of the finals displaying great midfield form, WEST COAST 26.21-177 (Ball 4), ADELAIDE 5.12-42 … Perth’s ABC Radio forecast PETER SUMICH will be sold to the Dockers, as the Eagles eye the out-of-contract Sainters STEWART LOEWE …

<||> TRIBUNAL — A key-onballer for the Kangas ANTHONY STEVENS was suspended one week for charging Chris Bond (Rch); when reported for the offence prompted Stevens to remark ‘Ablett does that every week’ … youthful DANIEL HARGREAVES (Fsc) was cleared of using insulting language toward a field umpire …

<||> the AFL Commission penalised North Melbourne, Collingwood, Richmond and Essendon, $10,000 each under the contentious melee rule from R14 and R15 match incidents …

<||> umpires coach DAVID LEVENS to discuss with Melbourne, their complaint of standards in the match versus Scray …

<||> Collingwood asked to explain why it allowed the Magpie cheer squad to use a controversial banner against Essendon at the MCG. The banner featured a large black and red dummy and read, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.’– opinions suggesting the banner referred to the earlier complaint that MICHAEL LONG (Ess) had been racially abused by DAMIEN MONKHORST (Col) at their previous contest in R4 – the AFL took no action …

<||> an Ansett Cup game is mooted will be played in the United States during Superbowl Week next January …

<||> On a unanimous vote by the Fitzroy board, BERNIE QUINLAN was dismissed as Coach after only two wins from 19 matches. His replacement for the rest of the season is Reserves coach ALAN McCONNELL.

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Ted Whitten passes
"Mr Football" accorded State Funeral


E.J. Whitten lost his battle with cancer and passed away aged 62 on Thursday, August 17th. ‘Mr Football’ was earlier this year named the first ‘Legend’ to the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

His passing gathered extraordinary media attention, culminating with one of the biggest funerals seen in Melbourne.

A State Funeral was conducted at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne on Tuesday (22nd), the event receiving live television coverage by both HSV-7 and GTV-9.

He was later cremated at Altona North Cemetery in a private ceremony.

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Carlton are minor premiers
Lockett makes it 28-straight
Bears demolish the Tigers
Freo thump Dogs at Subiaco


ROUND 20 – Fri-Sat-Sun,  August 19–20–21.
Milestones — Melbourne matches on Saturday and Sunday were played in 20 temperatures as supporters at all AFL grounds throughout Australia observed one-minutes silence in respect for the passing of TED WHITTEN last Thursday ...

Star-forward JOHN LONGMIRE in his 150th game kicked three against Carlton for 476 goals to overtake North Melbourne record-holder JOCK SPENCER (475 goals, 1948-57) … 200 matches arrived for TONY LOCKETT (Syd) who with six against Brisbane, 16 versus Fitzroy and 6 over Adelaide made it 28 goals without a behind … 150 games also for CRAIG LAMBERT (Bri) … 100 games TONY FRANCIS (Col) … 50 for ILIJA GRGIC (Fsc), DARREN KOWAL (Mel) and ROHAN SMITH (Fsc) … BILL BROWNLESS (Gee) achieved 400 goals … JOHN WORSFOLD led West Coast as captain for the 100th occasion … DARRYL WHITE (Bri) against the Tigers gathered a career-best of 7.1 ...

Balmy weather drew 51,746 for the MCG Friday night opener; despite a second-half fade out, the Magpies with the advantage of early effort (they led by 7-goals near half-time) and superior personnel survived by a split second from a last-minute charge by the Hawks – DARREN JARMAN (Haw) roamed the ground to collect 23 classy disposals, COLLINGWOOD 15.14-104 (Rocca 4), HAWTHORN 15.11-101 (Dunstall 4) – as remaining week-end results unfolded, the Woods were still in the finals race … in a crossroads contest on Saturday to 24,874 at the MCG, the Eagles swamped the Demons with a 7.2 to 1.3 opener and maintained their control to win by 29pts, even though the Redlegs enjoyed a 342 to 248 possession advantage; however, injuries to key Eagles may be a worry, WEST COAST 16.8-104 (Gehrig 5), MELBOURNE 10.15-75 (Smith 5) – the Demons 8th position was now under stress … the Waverley outing to 34,121 saw a closely-contested first-half as the Saints led by four points, but they were crushed in the last half as the Bombers flexed their muscles, kicking 18 goals to four, and gripped second place with a thumping 76pt victory, ESSENDON 23.13-151 (Long 4, Young 4), ST KILDA 10.15-75 (Loewe 6) … the gates were closed at one o’clock as 32,065 crammed into Princes Park – the Blues stamped their authority over the Kangas with a booming first quarter of 6.5 to 1.2, leading by 53pts in the second; Bradley, Williams, Rice and Brown had big games for the Blues; North after the long break exerted some pressure but the final margin, flattered the Roos, CARLTON 18.14-122 (Williams 5), NORTH 15.13-103 (Roberts 5) — the Blues as minor premiers now head the ladder with 18+2 … the Cats looked lost in the first half without the injured Ablett against the plucky Lions at the Western Oval (9196); they won by 7-goals, kicking 9.9 to 2.11 in a last half where that statistic said it all, GEELONG 15.16-106 (Breuer 4), FITZROY 8.17-65 … at Football Park under lights (38,529) much of the focus was on the two full-forwards, as Lockett for the Swans neared his century and 1000, while Modra enjoyed a return with 4.6; Sydney in lifting their work-rate after quarter time, exposed the Crows limitations, as Lewis, Kelly, McRae, Garlick and Cresswell were top performers; the Swans kicked 8.2 in both the second and last terms to be easy 46pt winners, SYDNEY 22.7-139 (Lockett 6.0), ADELAIDE 13.15-93 … the Bears with a full-on effort handed the fourth-placed Tigers a BCG (11,524) shellacking by 77pts; McAdam sliced up the Tiger midfield while Clarke in the ruck and Darryl White up-forward were almost unstoppable – coach John Northey refused to blame the heat factor for the Tigers effort where their attack was found wanting when the Bears kicked the last eight goals of the match; NICK DAFFY (Rch) scavenged for 5.0 in a solo effort, BRISBANE 24.16-160 (Darryl White 7.1, Voss 5), RICHMOND 13.5-83 … the Bears though suffering a poor percentage climbed to 10th with 32pts, and became a rough chance for the Eight … at Subiaco to 18,097, the signs were never good for the Bulldogs in an emotional week, although they were competitive in the first half, the worrying signs were there, and the Dogs were surprisingly flat; kicking six unanswered goals mid-game, Freo went out to lead by 44pts and while goals kept Scray in touch, the Dockers (12 goal-scorers) were worthy winners, FREMANTLE 17.14-116 (Bandy 4), FOOTSCRAY 12.13-85 …the 20th round produced the highest points tally of the season at 1682 …

<> The State Government denied the League access to the MCG prior to the normal 1996 season. The AFL had intended to play the Ansett Cup grand final there on Saturday March 9th, and stage a centenary ball with a guest list of 4,000 at the MCG on March 26th …

<||> a charge against CRAIG KELLY (Col) of striking Dunstall (Haw) was withdrawn after video scrutiny …

<||> The Herald Sun reported Collingwood had initiated discussions aimed at a merger with Fitzroy — denials followed …
__________

Barassi ends a 42-year career
RON BARASSI brought to an end a 42-year football career, when he resigned as coach of Sydney FC. Barassi will remain with the Swans as a Melbourne-based football director. Ron’s career will end with his 515th match as coach of four League sides, Carlton, North Melbourne, Melbourne and Sydney on Sunday September 3rd.

<>

Lockett achieves 1000 goals
Hawks worst run for 25 years
Blues hold on at Subi for 19th win
Five million fans passed


ROUND 21 – Fri-Sat-Sun,  August 25–26–27.
Milestones — TONY LOCKETT after 183 games with St Kilda and in his 18th appearance with Sydney became the fourth player to pass 1000 goals, joining Gordon Coventry 1299, Jason Dunstall (presently on) 1071 and Doug Wade 1057 — on Sunday at the SCG he kicked 7.4 against Fremantle to also register 103 for the season, and his fourth career-century (117 in 1987, 127 in 1991 and 132 in 1992); Lockett kicked 29 successive goals across four matches in rounds 18-19-20-21 before his next behind mid-term of the first quarter against the Dockers; Lockett on 103 is the equal of Warwick Capper for the Swans in 1987 … Hawthorn with their sixth consecutive loss suffered their worst run since 1970 when they lost their first seven matches … the Saints win over the Lions was only their 14th success at Princes Park from 112 contests there since 1897 … their victory at Kardinia Park was only the fifth for Footscray at Geelong in 50 years … Adelaide kicked their highest quarter of all 110 AFL contests when they scored 11.3-69 in the second term versus Melbourne at the MCG on Friday night … DOUG HAWKINS (Fit) played his 350th game … GRAHAM WRIGHT (Col) his 150th … KEVIN SHEEDY coached Essendon for the 350th occasion … STEPHEN KERNAHAN captained Carlton a 187th time, equalling the record of JOHN NICHOLLS … TONY MODRA passed 250 AFL goals… the game at Subiaco brought the 243rd One-Point Result … 21st round crowds of 213,825 took totals to 4,857,955, with five-million set to tumble next weekend …

The Friday-night opener to 22,800 at the MCG saw the Demons dominate the first term, and the feeling was ‘by just how far’ they would beat the Crows – after the first break, Adelaide directed their aggression at the ball and with gritty football plus Modra at the goal-front back in form, pressed home their accuracy kicking a close-to-record-breaking 11.3-69 in the second quarter to throw the Demons finals hopes into turmoil as the Redlegs lost their fourth-straight, ADELAIDE 23-8-146 (Modra 6.3), MELBOURNE 18.7-115 – it the Crows 4th successive win versus the Demons … Saturday for the Tigers-Woods clash brought 70,809 to the MCG; a desperate Punt Road mob striving to regain second place had a paralysing but a wayward 4.11 first quarter to put their stamp on their contest – the Maggies made every imaginable move and while they did claw it back in the second, the efficient Tigers were simply too good and romped away as 54pt victors, RICHMOND 14.25-109 (Jurica 4), COLLINGWOOD 7.13-55 – WAYNE CAMPBELL (Rch) in the midfield had another outstanding game; GAVIN CROSISCA (Col) with a broken thumb, ended his season with the Woods hanging on grimly to 9th spot … the Hawks at the Park to 21,513 were a limp opponent as the Kangas controlled most of the game, even though Carey (NM) was out of touch – DARREN CROCKER (NM) returned after a pre-season knee reconstruction, added another string to the Shinboners bow, NORTH MELB 17.11-113 (Longmire 5), HAWTHORN 9.14-58 (Dunstall 4) … at Kardinia Park for 24,957, a critical off-the-ball clash by Ablett against Scray’s ROHAN SMITH opened a Monday AFL investigation into the incident – after kicking four, Ablett left with a hamstring twinge late in the second, after which the Bulldogs took over and gained a psychological edge over the Cats with a fighting and well-merited 15pt win, FOOTSCRAY 19.11-125, GEELONG 15.20-110 (Ablett 4) … to another meagre (below five-figure crowd) 9187 at Princes Park, suffered a below-standard contest – the Lions leapt to life mid-game but the Saints with a late rally got home for their seventh win of the year, ST KILDA 16.21-117 (Loewe 5), FITZROY 13.12-90 … the first BCG game under lights on Saturday night had been sold-out for two weeks as 12,657 packed the limited facilities – after all the pre-game fireworks to celebrate the $7-million installation, the Bears played footy like a Final 8 side with an 8.3 opener and went on to survive all challenges the second-placed Bombers threw at them, BRISBANE 17.14-116, ESSENDON 12.12-84 – PAUL SALMON (Ess) returned for two goals, but failed to come back after half-time from a calf injury … TONY LOCKETT turned new pages for the record books at the SCG on Sunday for only 10,410 fans – the Swans lost to the more-efficient, though off-target Dockers, FREMANTLE 20.24-144 (Mann 5.1), SYDNEY 19.13-127 (Lockett 7.4) … it was a match, befitting a final and the big crowd of 41,492 at Subiaco when the Eagles and Blues had an intense, enthralling struggle – with two stretchers in the first quarter, it was a classic confrontation between two of the AFL leaders, and scores were always close – an all-day battle, not only between the two teams, but in the match-ups, CARLTON 15.15-105, WEST COAST 16.8-104 — the Blues had their 19th win of the season, one away from the all-time best …

Carlton 76, Essendon & Geelong 60, Richmond 58, West Coast & North Melbourne 52, Footscray 46 are the top seven, followed by Melbourne, Collingwood, Brisbane and Adelaide, separated on percentage on 36pts …
__________

Greg Williams charged for racist comments
Carlton’s GREG WILLIAMS became the first player to be charged under the AFLs racial vilification rule introduced in June – Williams was reported by Umpire Brett Allen for allegedly making a racist comment at Subiaco about CHRIS LEWIS, West Coast’s Aboriginal forward. Williams is alleged to have said to Umpire Allen: “Get this black c--- off me” — in 1993, Lewis publicly apologised to Williams after he was found guilty by the AFL Tribunal of spitting at the Carlton player, and was suspended for three matches. On Wednesday in a two-hour video Perth-Melbourne link, Williams made a public apology to Lewis. The Carlton player read a three-paragraph statement in what was judged as ‘qualified apology’. Lewis accepted the apology.
__________

Former Melbourne and West Coast full-forward DARREN BENNETT became the third Australian to make the starting line-up of a National Football League gridiron team when the San Diego Chargers named him as punter for the 1995 season …

<||> 21-year old Werribee rover PAUL SATTERLEY won the VFA's Liston Trophy …

<||> NORTH BALLARAT vote to join TRARALGON in next season’s new statewide competition to embrace the remaining eight VFA clubs – one will be eliminated …
__________

Ablett suspended
TRIBUNAL – Geelong’s GARY ABLETT was found guilty of charging Rohan Smith (Fsc) and suspended two matches at a four and-a-half hour Tribunal sitting on Thursday during which 11 witnesses were heard. The high-profile forward therefore will become ineligible for the Brownlow and will miss the Cats first final.
__________

<||> PORT ADELAIDE unveiled its new strip, new name and new logo to more than 7000 fans at Adelaide’s Entertainment Centre on Thursday evening. Not only did Port add a splash of teal to its black and white guernsey with 125 years of tradition, but it adopted a catchy new name — PORT ADELAIDE POWER — dropping its Magpie emblem to appease Collingwood. ‘Port Power’ boasts three jumpers – one for home games, one for away and a bolder strip for Ansett Cup matches.

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Carlton's record 20th victory
Sydney thwart the Magpies
Bears propelled into Final 8
Footscray names E J Whitten Oval


ROUND 22 – Fri-Sat-Sun, September 1–2–3.
Milestones — 263,332 for the 22nd round gave 5,121,287 fans for the 176 matches at an average of 29,106 … CARLTON created a new record in winning 20 matches (20+2) – the best since the 22-game minor series was created in 1970 … the Blues notched their 13-straight win of the year when they met the Bombers at the MCG, for their 200th contest … in recognition of his service to the Game, the Western Oval became the E.J. Whitten Oval … GEELONG won its 900th League match … JIM STYNES (Mel) played his 200th (196 in succession) … SEAN WIGHT (Mel) and MATTHEW KNIGHTS (Rch) 150 games … DALE LEWIS (Syd) 100 … DAVID FLETCHER (Ess), PETER EVERITT (StK), JUSTIN CHARLES (Rch), STEPHEN ALESSIO (Ess) their 50th … St Kilda captain DANNY FRAWLEY retired after 240 games (1984-95) … the finals were without Hawthorn for the first time in 14 seasons finishing second-last, its lowest placing since their wooden spoon as bottom to 12 clubs in 1965 … North recorded their fourth double-century in six seasons when they kicked 30.24-204 against Fitzroy, a new record high and margin versus the Roys; the Maroons with 20 losses suffered its worst-ever season of its 1,906 matches since 1897; their 1,617 points was the lowest tally since 1,643 in 1968 … Brisbane in its ninth League season with six wins from their last seven matches were propelled into their first finals series when Sydney finished all-over Collingwood to win on Sunday at the Sydney Cricket Ground …

A terrific contest opened the last round under lights on Friday at the BCG to 11,842 raucous fans. Less than a goal separated the sides at each change, and it was not until mid-way through the last quarter did the Bears finally break the Demons spirit, and gain a sniff of competing in their first finals series, BRISBANE 16.14-110, MELBOURNE 13.11-89 — a highlight of the game was a spectacular goal-square mark by SHAUN SMITH (Mel) stamping it amongst ‘one of the best ever’ … sorely hit by injuries, the Bombers (lacking five or six of their best) faced the Blues for the 200th time at the MCG on Saturday to 87,984 – the Dons were well in it in the first half, then with a touch of arrogance the Blues kicked seven unanswered to clinch a 41pt win, but at the cost of having GREG WILLIAMS booked for abusive language, CARLTON 16.12-108, ESSENDON 9.13-67 — the Blues lined up with 10 players who had figured in all 22 games … as one scribe commented the last time Hawthorn missed the finals ‘Shane Crawford was a six-year-old schoolboy’ — the Cats even without the suspended Ablett and an injured Brownless still ran rampant, leading by 77pts at one stage on Waverley Park (32,747) as they thumped the Hawks who from other results tumbled to their lowest-ever placing of 15th, GEELONG 23.10-148 (Riccardi 6.0), HAWTHORN 15.12-102 (Dunstall 6.3) … to 14,921 at Princes Park, the Kangas had 54 scoring shots to the Roys 26, not the most ideal preparation for the finals; the match deteriorated so much the Shinboners discipline declined as forwards near the end blasted away haphazardly, NORTH 30.24-204 (Schwass 4, Longmire 4, Crocker 4), FITZROY 15.11-101 … the Saints turned on a fine send-off for their longest-serving club captain DANNY ‘Spud’ FRAWLEY at the Whitten Oval (18,998) as Scray struggled all day to have a good player, tho’ seven last term goals made their scoreline respectable, ST KILDA 20.12-132 (Everitt 6.1, Loewe 5.3), FOOTSCRAY 11.12-78 … on Saturday night at Football Park to 40,163, the Tigers downed the Crows with a big start and a strong finish and by standing up to some mindless aggression; the Tigers jumped Adelaide and as much as the Crows charged in, during the second and third, they could never get close enough – Broderick, Campbell and Knight were Tiger front-runners, RICHMOND 19.9-123, ADELAIDE 12.14-86 (Modra 7.2) … Sunday at the SCG to only 18,191 was notable for several reasons — chiefly, after 42 years, RON BARASSI coached his 514th and final League game – the Magpies were playing for their final eight place and at half-time looked certainties; in an amazing last-half turnaround, the Swans charged home, kicking 13 goals to five for a stunning 23pt victory, putting Brisbane into the finals; ANDREW DUNKLEY was great for the Swans at full-back, DEREK KICKETT produced a touch of magic, while the power of TONY LOCKETT at full-forward was so good to watch, SYDNEY 19.13-127 (Lockett 7.4), COLLINGWOOD 15.14-104 … (ending eight successive wins by the Magpies, 1990-95) … nine third quarter goals by the Eagles put the Subiaco (38,486) game beyond reach of the Dockers; PETER MATERA, DEAN KEMP and BRETT HEADY moved in with solid performances for the Eagles in their lead-up to the finals, WEST COAST 16.14-110 (Heady 5.0), FREMANTLE 8.10-58 …

TRIBUNAL – GREG WILLIAMS (Car) making his 16th appearance was suspended for one match for abusing an umpire – the first player so penalised since RICK KENNEDY (Fsc) was outed in 1987 for abusive language; on similar charges, Williams was fined $2000 in 1989 and $1000 in his Brownlow winning year of 1994 – Williams became the first Carlton player to be suspended this season … from video, GRAHAM WRIGHT (Col) was suspended two games for striking Derek Kickett (Syd); DAMIEN GASPAR (Mel) was cleared of a charge of unduly rough play against Trent Bartlett (Bri) …

__________

League bans The Age
In response to a satirical column by Patrick Smith, criticising the League on its handling of Fitzroy’s plan to play four home games in Canberra next year, AFL chief executive ROSS OAKLEY prohibited AFL staff from commenting to The Age for the remainder of the 1995 season.
__________

<||> FITZROY (believed to be infuriated by the AFL rejection of their four-game plan) announced another proposal to play all of its home games in Canberra next season …

<||> GEELONG, already fined twice this year for public criticism of the tribunal and umpires, face further penalty on recent comments to the suspension handed down to star-forward GARY ABLETT …

<||> BRISBANE call on Victorians to back the Bears and “boo the Blues” in newspaper ads before their Sunday final …
__________

Matthews and Knights get the flick
The coaching tenure of LEIGH MATTHEWS at Collingwood and PETER KNIGHTS at Hawthorn ended the same day.

The parting of the ways at Victoria Park was clean, but there were rumblings at Glenferrie as Knights first learned of his departure, from a television news report, after the decision of the Hawks board meeting had been leaked. Both men were former premiership players with Hawthorn.

Matthews' 1986-95 Magpie record from 224 games brought 125 wins, 94 losses, five draws and the 1990 premiership. Knights with Brisbane (1987-89) had a 17+42 record from 59 games, then 20+25 in his 45 matches with Hawthorn (1994-95).

Ladder after Round 22
W L D F A % Total
1 CARLTON 20 2 2357 1711 137.8 80
2 GEELONG 16 6 2558 1939 131.9 64
3 RICHMOND 15 6 1 2096 1943 107.9 62
4 ESSENDON 14 6 2 2464 1931 127.6 60
5 WEST COAST 14 8 2079 1692 122.9 56
6 NORTH MELB 14 8 2311 2013 114.8 56
7 FOOTSCRAY 11 10 1 1879 2054 91.5 46
8 BRISBANE 10 12 2104 2207 95.3 40
9 Melbourne 9 13 1938 1925 100.7 36
10 Collingwood 8 12 2 2043 2111 96.8 36
11 Adelaide 9 13 1749 2184 80.1 36
12 Sydney 8 14 2314 2299 100.7 32
13 Fremantle 8 14 2051 2209 92.8 32
14 St Kilda 8 14 1814 2258 80.3 32
15 Hawthorn 7 15 1857 1975 94.0 28
16 Fitzroy 2 20 1617 2780 58.2 8

<>

Bears give the Blues a fright
Brownless ignites the Cats
Bombers beat weary Eagles
Carey is Kanga King


QUALIFYING FINALS – Fri-Sat-Sun, Sept. 8–9–10.
Milestones — Brisbane at game 197 appeared in their first final … Richmond for the first time since 1982 returned to the major series … TIM MAGRATH (first NM, now Gee) played his 100th League game … 50th for STEPHEN ALESSIO (Ess), PAUL BULLUSS (Rch) and MATT CLAPE (WCE, now Car) … with five on Friday night, WAYNE CAREY (NM) in his 121st game, made it 303 League goals …

A top crowd of 68,226 watched the 2QF unfold in early rain on Friday night; after a close first half, North cut loose with an all-round solid effort to score a powerful 30pt win over the Tigers – CAREY (NM) was the match-winner again but there were big efforts from RUSSELL SCOTT (with 24 disposals), COREY McKERNAN and JOHN LONGMIRE – NORTH MELB 17.12-114 (Carey 5.4, Longmire 5.2), RICHMOND 12.12-84 … a fair-weather Saturday afternoon at Waverley brought out a limp 36,102. The Eagles though lacking forwards, had greatly dominated a tight first half. The Bombers (still lacking several effective players with injuries) staged a third quarter revival of 5.2 to 1.2, to gain a winning lead. The struggle continued in the last, with West kicking the only score – a goal, but the reigning premiers with lengthy injuries (Lewis broke his arm and was reported) were a side beaten by more than the 19pt margin, ESSENDON 11.8-74, WEST COAST 8.7-55 … BILLY BROWNLESS (Gee) had a spectacular first quarter, kicking four, having a hand in seven goals, as the Cats booted a record opener of 10.2-62 to shut down the 3QF by the first break on Saturday night at the MCG to 59,889. The 82pt thrashing of the shattered Bulldogs was a no contest, and even without the suspended Ablett, the Cats eased back (saving themselves?) from a triple-digit victory, GEELONG 24.11-155 (Brownless 6.2, Breuer 5.1), FOOTSCRAY 10.13-73 … maybe the best was last — on Sunday the Bears in their first final, staged an electrifying two quarters (second and third) to lead the Blues several times with a big segment of the 52,092 on hand, roaring their encouragement. In the long haul, the Blues found a bit extra in the last, but the Bears who never gave in, gathered great respect as a relieved Carlton posted their 14th-straight, but only by a 13pt margin, CARLTON 13.12-90 (Kernahan 5.3, Koutoufides 3.3), BRISBANE 12.5-77 …

__________

Future of Waverley Park on the table
Concern to the drawing power of Waverley Park causes the AFL to schedule both second-week finals matches at the MCG, placing the future of the eastern suburbs venue under close scrutiny.

An earlier plan from St Kilda and now supported by the AFL seems certain to be adopted by 1996, to reduce the seating capacity from 75 to 50,000 and playing area at Waverley from 180m x 142m to approximate that of the MCG at 161m x 140m — in the meantime, the League will soon decide whether to proceed to build a mini AIS-style skills training complex at Waverley – if such an establishment proceeds it would virtually ensure the long term future of the venue.
__________

Hawthorn’s 21-year old centre half-forward NICK HOLLAND won the $11,000 Norwich Rising Star Award … other major media awards of the season —

ABC Radio
ADRIAN FLETCHER (Bri)
Radio 3AW – NICKY WINMAR (StK)
Channel Seven – CRAIG BRADLEY (Car)
The Age – LEON CAMERON (Fsc)
Herald Sun – NICKY WINMAR (StK)
Sunday Age – CRAIG BRADLEY (Car)
Sunday Herald–Sun – NICKY WINMAR (StK)
__________

<||> The SANFL’s Magarey Medal resulted in a tie on 17 votes, between GARY McINTOSH (Norwood) and GLENN KILPATRICK (West Adelaide) – McIntosh became the first SANFL player in 46 years to win back-to-back Magarey’s …

<||> TV ratings showed 736,000 viewers on Thursday September 7th, made GTV-9’s Footy Show the highest-watched Melbourne program of the week …

<||> Geelong president RON HOVEY was fined $2000 for criticising the AFL Tribunal over the recent suspension of Gary Ablett …

<||> ANDREW SCOTT the legal adviser to the AFLPA writing in the monthly Law Institute Journal said the structure of the AFL Tribunal is legally flawed and open to accusations of bias …

<||> TRIBUNAL: CHRIS LEWIS (WCE), found guilty of striking Damien Hardwick (Ess) with a forearm to the side of the head was suspended two matches …
__________

Pies secure Victoria Park until 2016
COLLINGWOOD set to secure Victoria Park as its home until 2016 at an increase from an annual $1000 rent by the former Council to $70,000 under the new Yarra City Council; present legal action between the two parties would be dropped …
__________

<||> mid-fielder DARREN KAPPLER quits the Swans for family reasons and is eyed by St Kilda …

<||> the League after only a week, bent their ‘no talk’ ban on The Age
__________

Final 8 system under review
The League indicates changes to the complicated McIntyre Final Eight system are being considered. Any new change would bring the fifth system in seven years after a Final Five was used from 1972-90, a Final Six in 1991-92 and the Final Eight from 1994.

Some fans have lobbied the AFL to adopt the ARL eight-team method, but League CEO Ross Oakley doesn’t believe it is suitable.
__________

<||> TONY SHAW, the Magpies longest-serving player, 313-games (1977-93), was appointed coach at Collingwood …

<||> GEOFF LORD announced his departure as president of Hawthorn after two years; the long-serving Hawk and chairman of selectors BRIAN COLEMAN stepped in …

<>

Tigers and Kangas roar in prelim finals
Tired Dons and Eagles are out


THE SEMI-FINALS – Sat-Sun, September 16–17.
Milestones — JOHN BLAKEY (Fit, now NM) played his 200th … MICHAEL MARTYN (NM) his 150th … PETER SOMERVILLE (Ess) 100 and NATHAN BOWER (Rch) his 50th … The Tigers and Bombers met in a final for the first time since the 1944 Preliminary prompting The Age to front-page feature a four column, colorised famous pic of ‘The Living Legend’ JACK ‘Captain Blood’ DYER in its Saturday edition … fine weather greeted the two-day crowds of 142,067 taking figures to 5,479,663 for the season …

Displaying a sound work-ethic and never-say-die spirit, the Tigers in the 2SF came from 31pts down at the nine minute mark of the third term on Saturday at the MCG to a big 88,308. Before half-time, the Dons had enjoyed a height and power advantage through PETER SOMERVILLE, PAUL SALMON and STEPHEN ALESSIO, showing a distinct edge in class, though they were still down on strength through injuries enjoying a comfortable five-goal advantage — after MATTHEW KNIGHTS had a played a lone-hand with three great goals in the Tigers first half, it was SCOTT TURNER who played a major part in the Richmond revival when he was swung in attack in the third term and with solid hip-and-shoulder crunches on the Bombers duo GARY O’DONNELL and DAVID GRENVOLD sent them from the game. But other Tigers also rose in class – DAVID BOURKE, CHRIS BOND WAYNE CAMPBELL, NATHAN BOWER, JUSTIN CHARLES along with MATTHEW ROGERS and with sheer persistence wore away at the Dons for their first final win since 1982’s 2SF, RICHMOND 12.14-86, ESSENDON 11.7-73 …

The Kangas on Sunday to 53,759 put an end to the tale “no Carey, no Roos” as North from the start grabbed the 1SF contest by the throat to dump the reigning Eagle premiers from the race with a runaway 58pt victory — Carey was goalless (three behinds) and marked on but three occasions; it was the Roos lower-profile contributors who carved up the West – WAYNE SCHWASS won plenty of the ball and was a game-long inspiration, the mobile COREY McKERNAN controlled the ruck, GLEN ARCHER using his great aerial strength booted four goals while both ROSS SMITH and MICHAEL MARTYN were driving forces in defence. GLEN JAKOVICH always in position at centre half-back had an outstanding game for the losing Eagles who had their first double-loss since R21-R22 of 1993, NORTH MELB 18.21-129 (Archer 4), WEST COAST 10.11-71 … playing a decided mind-game, North coach DENIS PAGAN after-match comments directed the focus on to Carlton for next week’s clash, saying the pressure was on the Blues to maintain their winning (14-game) run — words not appreciated later by rival coach DAVID PARKIN …

<||> SYDNEY, posting its first financial result since adopting a public structure in February 1994 revealed a loss of $637,999 to October 31, 1994; results for the current season were expected to show a similar loss but a “material improvement in revenue” compared with 1994. Membership for this season though modest to other clubs, enjoyed an 88% improvement to 6095 …

<||> TRIBUNAL – Essendon’s MARK MERCURI pleaded guilty to striking Nathan Bower (Rch) and was suspended for two matches …

<||> PATRICK SMITH of The Age was named Football Writer of the Year. Michael Lovett, secretary of the Australian Football Media Association said, the criteria for Smith’s award included interpretation, comment, consistency and news gathering. “His stand on the issue of racism was pivotal,” Lovett said …

<||> KEN JUDGE the present assistant at Carlton is widely tipped as new coach at Hawthorn …

<||> Herald Sun reveals Fremantle has offered a three-year $1m deal to St Kilda’s STEWART LOEWE …

<||> three 30-year olds with 500 senior games – GARY PERT, MICHAEL CHRISTIAN and SHANE KERRISON retire at Collingwood …
+
<||> the Victorian Government approves legal betting on the Brownlow …

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All-Australian team of 1995

The ALL-AUSTRALIAN TEAM of 1995 was announced on September 18.

The team:

B: Gavin Wanganeen
(Essendon)
Stephen Silvagni
(Carlton)
Ang Christou
(Carlton)
HB: Michael Mansfield
(Geelong)
Glen Jakovich
(West Coast)
Wayne Campbell
(Richmond)
C: Nicky Winmar
(St Kilda)
Paul Couch
(Geelong)
Michael Long
(Essendon)
HF: Garry Lyon
(Melbourne)
Wayne Carey
(North Melb)
James Hird
(Essendon)
F: Darren Jarman
(Hawthorn)
Gary Ablett
(Geelong)
Tony Lockett
(Sydney)
Foll: Justin Madden
(Carlton)
Robert Harvey
(St Kilda)
Craig Bradley
(Carlton)
IC: Paul Kelly
(Sydney)
David Neitz
(Melbourne)
Anthony Koutoufides
(Carlton)
COACH OF THE YEAR:
David PARKIN
(Carlton)
UMPIRE OF THE YEAR:
Darren GOLDSPINK

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Geelong and Carlton are devastating

PRELIMINARY FINALS – Saturday, September 23.
Milestones – AFL approves first live telecast of a night final when all tickets are sold for the Prelim finals on SuperSaturday …

Both Geelong and Carlton displayed devastating form in the two Preliminary Finals as North and the Tigers were despatched, setting up the first Grand Final meeting of the Cats and the Blues since the formation of the League in 1897 … after rains, conditions at both venues were muddy and slippery, yet it was a disappointing departure by two clubs who had provided so much entertainment during the season but clearly Carlton and Geelong on the day were a ‘class-above’ … at the Park in the afternoon to 70,321, the Cats led by 62pts at -time and won by 89 - so efficient were their mid-field, the season-long Tiger contributors were not sighted with the Cats recording 106 marks to 44 for the day, with the emerging youngsters of the Corio Bay side leading the way for their talented champions, GEELONG 20.9-129 (Ablett 4, Brownless 4), RICHMOND 6.4-40 … the night final at the MCG drew 72,552, who saw a bruising opening as two Blues PETER DEAN and FRASER BROWN were stretchered while later GREG WILLIAMS was concussed and MATTHEW HOGG received a lacerated head, yet Carlton continued to build and score against a physical North – the Blues had better forwards in KERNAHAN and SPALDING who reaped the efforts of the Carlton small brigade … the Kangas down 37pts at half-time showed 3rd term spirit but the 7.3 finish gave the superior yet battered Blues their 15th successive win, CARLTON 18.10-118 (Pearce 4), NORTH 8.8-56 — there were no reports on the day … later however WAYNE CAMPBELL (Rch) from video was booked for striking PAUL COUCH (Gee) during the 1PF …
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Sydney captain PAUL KELLY with 21 votes won the 1995 Brownlow at a glittering Monday night Radisson Hotel function.

Four players tied for equal second on 16 votes – PAUL COUCH (Gee), MICHAEL LONG (Ess), MATTHEW KNIGHTS (Rch) and ROBERT HARVEY (StK). Ineligible players DARREN JARMAN (Haw) and GARRY HOCKING (Gee) polled 18 and 17 votes respectively.

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Carlton win their 16th flag
Blues emphatic performance too good for Cats



THE GRAND FINAL – Saturday, September 30.
Milestones — Carlton and Geelong met for the first time in a Grand Final … at the final training runs on Thursday almost 10,000 were at Princes Park, with an estimated 20,000 seeing the Corio Bay boys go through their paces … the 99th Grand Final on Saturday began in 20 under cloudy MCG skies and threatening rain following the traditional pre-match entertainment, including presentation to the 93,670 of the 1995 Brownlow winner PAUL KELLY and the retiring coach RON BARASSI after 42 years of footy … two Geelong players, ADRIAN HICKMOTT and SHAYNE BREUER played their 50th games …

Geelong captain GARY ABLETT may have won the toss but it was the only thing the Cats accomplished for the day as Carlton recorded one of the most thorough and comprehensive Grand Final victories on record. The Blues simply were too tough, too disciplined and too good for Geelong, to win their 16th League premiership by 61pts with the contest was as good as over by half-time … the Carlton back-line was in supreme form with Ablett held goalless, giving other key Cat forwards a miserable day … Carlton won their 16th successive game; finished with a new League-record of 23+2 games to score their first flag since 1987 … for Geelong it was a dismal fourth loss from the past seven Grand Finals, as their premiership drought now extends into a 33rd season … the Blues had six over-30 veteran players, ten members who played all 25 matches, and only one player suspended, (GREG WILLIAMS who got one week on abusive language); on his 32nd birthday Williams (with 27 possessions and five goals) was awarded the Norm Smith Medal for GF best-on-ground, but even ‘Diesel’ would admit, he was hard-pressed by a welter of Blues stars, ANTHONY KOUTOUFIDES, PETER DEAN, ANGELO CHRISTOU, STEPHEN SILVAGNI, BRETT RATTEN, JUSTIN MADDEN and captain STEPHEN KERNAHAN as talented power-brokers to the win … Blues coach DAVID PARKIN insisted it was the ‘players premiership’ – but for him, it was his fourth in League ranks, placing him among the most successful of all time — CARLTON 21.15-141 (Williams 5, Kernahan 5, Pearce 4), GEELONG 11.14-80 …

<||> at Football Park on Sunday to 45,786, in their 56th SANFL Grand Final, the AFL aspirant PORT ADELAIDE 13.16-94 won their 33rd premiership in defeating CENTRAL DISTRICTS 6.10-46.

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Footystats Diary
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