Category: AFL in the News

Tigers take Ellie McKenzie as number one pick

Ellie McKenzie has been selected by Richmond with pick one in the 2020 NAB AFL Women’s Draft.

The 17-year-old joins Richmond on the back of standout performances playing for the Northern Knights across a number of years, as well as for Victoria Metro in the 2019 NAB AFLW Under-18 National Championships.

At 176cm, McKenzie is a powerful athlete that can play as a forward or midfielder. She has explosive speed, is an excellent stoppage player, and has a long penetrating left-foot kick.

McKenzie was a standout in the Knights’ 2019 NAB League Girls premiership team as a bottom-age player, playing alongside now Richmond teammate Sarah Sansonetti.

The exciting youngster had also made a prolific start to the 2020 campaign for the Knights, averaging 19 disposals, 4.7 inside 50s and five marks before the season was shut down due to COVID-19.

Richmond Head of Women’s Football, Kate Sheahan said McKenzie’s ball use, versatility and aggression stood out most to the Tigers’ recruiting team.

“She is just a beautiful kick of the football and a fantastic user of the ball,” she said.

“Her versatility and ability to run through the midfield is pretty handy, and she’s quite aggressive, we really like that.

“She is the sort of player we are looking for – someone that is not afraid to get their hands dirty but then on transition can run really hard and damage the opposition.

“There have only been the three games this year and she played well in all of them, but she is someone that has been setting the junior footy world alight for a long time and lots of people are aware of Ellie and her skill.”

McKenzie was first introduced to Richmond back in 2017 when she attended a Come and Try Day at the Swinburne Centre as a talented 14-year-old from the Fitzroy Junior Football Club.

“I remember the look in her eye that day and the way she observed everything and really took in her surroundings and the environment,” Sheahan said.

“She is a really nice kid who wants to work hard, wants to be the best; is a competitive beast which we love, and is someone that wants to be at our football club.

“You want to know people want to come to your club and we think she will fit in really well here with the players we already have and their collective attitude towards improvement, hard work and just getting better.

“We are pumped and just can’t wait to start working with her.”

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AFLW Sign and Trade Wrap: Tigers welcome four, 16 re-sign

The AFLW Sign and Trade Period has reached its conclusion, with Richmond securing the talents of four new Tigers.

It was a busy start for Richmond, who welcomed midfielder Sarah Hosking in the first deal of the trade period last Monday.

The first of three Sarahs added to the Tigers’ list, the former Blue arrived at Tigerland in exchange for pick 15, Richmond’s end of first-round compensation pick which had to be traded for ready-made talent.

Day two involved a complex three-way trade with Melbourne and Collingwood which resulted in three players crossing over to Richmond, Magpie duo Sarah D’Arcy and Sarah Dargan, and Demon Harriet Cordner.

The Tigers traded draft picks 17, 31 and 45 in exchange for the trio, while gaining pick 43 in a separate trade with North Melbourne in exchange for Grace Campbell.

Richmond’s Head of Women’s Football Kate Sheahan was delighted the Tigers had achieved their goal of adding experience to their 2021 list.

‘We’re extremely excited with the talent that’s coming into the program and it’s been great that we could spread it across the park,” Sheahan said.

Sixteen inaugural Tigers also recommitted to the Club throughout the Sign and Trade Period, making it a total of 27 players now locked in for 2021.

The Club has informed players Ciara Fitzgerald, Nekaela Butler and Emma Horne they will not be offered contracts for the 2021 season.

Sheahan thanked all three players for their commitment to the Tigers’ inaugural AFLW season.

“On behalf of everyone at Richmond, I would like to thank Ciara, Nekaela and Emma for their contributions to our Club,” Sheahan said.

“We wish them all the best for their future endeavours.”

Richmond also bids farewell to Lauren Tesoriero, Laura Bailey and Ella Wood, who have announced their retirements.

The Tigers currently hold selections No. 1 and 43 in the 2020 NAB AFLW Draft, and will be allocated an additional pick when the order is confirmed on Friday, August 21.

“We think the top five girls in this year’s draft are a pretty good bunch, so we weren’t prepared to overlook that opportunity to take the best talent in the country (with pick No. 1),” Sheahan said.

“We’re looking for someone who is essentially ready-made, who can step into our team and have an impact.”

The Club is yet to appoint its 2021 AFLW senior coach.

“We’re going through a thorough process to identify the right candidate for the role,” Sheahan said.

Confirmed 2021 AFLW Tigers:

Akec Makur Chuot
Alana Woodward
Alice Edmonds
Christina Bernardi
Cleo Saxon-Jones
Courtney Wakefield
Emily Harley
Gabby Seymour
Hannah Buchell
Harrier Corder
Holly Whitford
Iilish Ross
Kate Dempsey
Katie Brennan
Kodi Jacques
Laura McClelland
Maddy Brancatisano
Monique Conti
Phoebe Monahan
Rebecca Miller
Sabrina Frederick
Sarah D’Arcy
Sarah Dargan
Sarah Hosking
Sarah Sansonetti
Sophie Molan
Tayla Stahl

Original Article:

Fixture for Rounds 9 to 12 Released

The AFL has announced the fixture for Rounds Nine through 12 of the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season which will see matches played every day for 20 straight days.

Round Nine will commence on Wednesday 29 July and matches will be played every single day through the four rounds, 20 days straight, finishing on Monday 17 August.

The unprecedented fixture design will see 33 matches across the 20 days, with games played across Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia as well as matches in Tasmania for the first time in 2020.

The two NSW-based teams, Sydney Swans and GWS GIANTS will travel to Perth where they will play West Coast Eagles and Fremantle along with playing each other.

“Unprecedented times delivers us an unprecedented fixture for the next block of games. This is giving fans a unique opportunity to watch footy in a way we couldn’t normally produce.” AFL General Manager of Clubs and Broadcasting Travis Auld said.

“This season has had so many twists and turns but it has also driven enormous interest from our supporters across the country. Round Seven had the second highest ratings this year and our average TV ratings for games are up 20% on the 2019 average. The numbers show fans are tuning in to watch their teams and now they can watch footy every day for 20 days.”

Continue reading “Fixture for Rounds 9 to 12 Released”

Revised fixture for Rounds Six and Seven of the 2020 Toyota Premiership Season

The AFL has today announced a revised fixture for Rounds Six and Seven of the 2020 Toyota Premiership Season.

Round Five will continue as fixtured and Victorian based clubs will fly out at the conclusion the round with all 10 Victorian-based teams to be temporarily relocated to other states across the country.

The amendment to the fixture has been made based on relevant State Government and Medical officer advice to firstly ensure the safety of not only the clubs, players, officials and the wider community, but also to provide certainty to clubs and fans on the next block of games.

The temporary relocation of all 10 Victorian-based teams out of the state will see them move to bases in Queensland, NSW and WA where they will undergo the various quarantine regimes while also continuing to adhere to the strict protocols the AFL has in place.

AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said the announcement today was the next step as the AFL continued to make the necessary changes to navigate the impact of Covid-19 on the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership season.

“The health and safety of our people and the wider community is paramount.  We will continue to make decisions that are anchored in the advice of Governments and designed to protect our people and the wider community.”

“I have said on a number of occasions that this would be a season of challenges.  And that the one certainty is that before we completed the 2020 Toyota AFL premiership season there would be more unique challenges along the way.”

“I want to thank the Governments in NSW, Queensland and WA for their support in helping us set up a series of high-performance centres that will see interstate teams based in their state in accordance with all the strict local protocols and playing games,”

“I would also like to thank all of our clubs, players, coaches, umpires and officials for their continued support and ability to adapt quickly as we navigate through the changing environment.”

“The Victorian clubs now temporarily moving interstate are playing their part in ensuring our season endures in a year that will continue to challenge us all.”

I have also often talked about the need for us to continue to be flexible and agile. As situations change across Australia so has our response. And it will continue to do so.”

Revised fixture for Rounds Six and Seven of the 2020 Toyota Premiership Season

Round Six
Geelong Cats vs. Brisbane Lions SCG (SEVEN) 7:40pm 7:40pm
Collingwood vs. Hawthorn Giants Stadium (SEVEN) 7:50pm 7:50pm
Fremantle vs. St Kilda Metricon Stadium (FOX) 12:35pm 12:35pm
West Coast Eagles vs. Adelaide Crows The Gabba (FOX) 3:05pm 3:05pm
Melbourne vs. Gold Coast SUNS Giants Stadium (FOX) 6:05pm 6:05pm
Essendon vs. North Melbourne Metricon Stadium (SEVEN) 7:40pm 7:40pm
Port Adelaide vs. GWS GIANTS Metricon Stadium (FOX) 1:05pm 1:05pm
Richmond vs. Sydney Swans The Gabba (SEVEN) 3:35pm 3:35pm
Carlton vs Western Bulldogs Metricon Stadium (FOX) 6:45pm 6:45pm
Round Seven
Geelong Cats vs. Collingwood Optus Stadium (SEVEN) 8:10pm 6:10pm
Essendon vs. Western Bulldogs Metricon Stadium (SEVEN) 7:50pm 7:50pm
GWS GIANTS vs. Brisbane Lions Giants Stadium (FOX) 1:45pm 1:45pm
Sydney Swans vs. Gold Coast SUNS SCG (FOX) 4:35pm 4:35pm
Richmond vs. North Melbourne Metricon Stadium (SEVEN) 7:40pm 7:40pm
Carlton vs. Port Adelaide The Gabba (FOX) 1:05pm 1:05pm
Hawthorn vs. Melbourne Giants Stadium (SEVEN) 3:35pm 3:35pm
Fremantle vs. West Coast Eagles Optus Stadium (FOX) 6:35pm 4:35pm
Adelaide Crows vs. St Kilda Adelaide Oval (FOX) 7:40pm 7:10pm

The Round 6 and 7 fixtures will be amended on this site later today.

Source: AFL Media Release.

Vale John Kennedy Snr

JOHN Kennedy snr, the three-time Hawthorn premiership coach and the greatest figure in the club’s history, has passed away.

The club said he died peacefully on Thursday morning. He was 91 and had just become an official Legend in the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

Kennedy joined the Hawks as an ungainly, awkward ruckman in 1950 and won the best and fairest in his first season. But it was also a winless season for the Hawks, the darkest in the club’s history and it shaped his outlook on the game for the rest of his life.

Kennedy would go on to win more best and fairest awards in 1951, 1952 and 1954 and would retire in 1959 after 164 games. He was captain of the Hawks in his last five seasons, including 1957 when the club made the finals for the first time, 32 years after its admission to the VFL.

Kennedy was immediately installed as coach and barely survived the axe when the Hawks lost their first five games in 1960.

However, they quickly came good. Years of clever recruiting both from the country and the nearby private schools, a brutal training regimen well ahead of its time, and some Kennedy fire and brimstone led to the Hawks just missing out on the finals that year but entering 1961 as one of the favourites for the flag.

Hawthorn stumbled to a 4-4 start before flying through the rest of the season undefeated. ‘Kennedy’s Commandoes’ outlasted reigning premiers Melbourne by seven points in a torrid semi-final before careering away from Footscray in the Grand Final to win the club’s first premiership by 43 points.

Dour and taciturn even at the best of times, Kennedy would only allow himself to bask in the enjoyment of the maiden premiership that night at Glenferrie Oval when reminded by the Chief Justice of Victoria, Sir Henry Winneke, whose son John played in the ruck for the Hawks that day, “There will be other premierships, John, but only one first premiership.”

Kennedy then coached the Hawks into the 1963 Grand Final, which they lost to Geelong, before a job transfer to Stawell with the Victorian Department of Education forced him to resign as coach.

He returned to the Hawks in 1967, still a strong believer in spartan training sessions and no-frills football. But with emerging stars such as Peter Hudson, Leigh Matthews, Peter Knights, Don Scott, Kelvin Moore and Peter Crimmins at his disposal, the Hawks started a steady climb up the ladder and they won their second flag in 1971 beating St Kilda by seven points in arguably the toughest Grand Final ever played.

And they won their third flag in 1976, in a Grand Final tinged with sadness with the cancer-riven Crimmins on his deathbed. He would die just three days later.

Twelve months before, Kennedy had left Crimmins out of the losing Grand Final against North Melbourne, making the agonising decision for fear that Crimmins, who was recovering from his first cancer treatment, might not get through the match.

It was during this Grand Final that Kennedy was recorded for posterity and his famous exhortation to spearhead Michael Moncrieff became part of football lore: “Do, don’t think, Mick, don’t hope, do!”

Kennedy retired from coaching after the 1976 Grand Final to spend more time with his family, but by that stage, his values of honesty, humility and sacrificing it all for the jumper were forever embedded into Hawthorn’s DNA. When he played, he hated that Hawthorn was regarded as a friendly and social club, which nobody treated seriously and it drove him thereafter.

He instilled hardness into the club, with a belief that all injuries above the neckline “didn’t count”. His was a selfless, team-first philosophy and he was quite satisfied that in his time at the club, no Hawthorn player won a Brownlow.

However despite Kennedy’s rugged outlook on how the game should be played, this classically-trained teacher was one of football’s greatest orators. As Parkin once said, “His exceptional oratory ability, where players in particular, saw at its best the way in which the Queen’s English can be used to project the philosophy of Marx, the beauty of Shakespeare, and the passion of Churchill.”

The exception was the media. When once asked about a game in which the Hawks copped a raw deal from the men in white, he reportedly said, “Normally I have no comment about the umpires. Today I have absolutely no comment about the umpires.”

Kennedy remained close to Hawthorn during his first retirement and was chairman of selectors when Allan Jeans was appointed coach in 1981. But he shocked the football world in 1985 – and saddened the Hawks – when he agreed to coach North Melbourne. He twice led the Kangaroos to the finals in his five years at Arden Street, but was also the first senior coach of an impressionable young rover from Kaniva. His name? Alastair Clarkson.

Kennedy was appointed as chairman of the AFL Commission in 1993 and remained in that role for five years. After that, he went back to watching his beloved Hawks on a weekly basis. His son John jnr was a four-time premiership player for the Hawks over 241 games between 1979 and 1991 and there was great excitement when grandson Josh debuted for the Hawks in 2008. He would then join the Swans in 2010 and played in that club’s 2012 premiership win over the Hawks.

It was portrayed as a bittersweet day for Kennedy, but he remained resolute throughout. He wanted Josh to play well – and he did – but despite the family ties, he anguished for a Hawthorn win.

Josh is set to play his 250th AFL game tonight when Sydney takes on the Western Bulldogs.

Family, faith and football were always the constants in his life.

Clarkson has now coached Hawthorn to the most premierships, but he like all at the club, walks in Kennedy’s shadow – not just figuratively, but literally. A statue of Kennedy overlooks the oval at Waverley Park, Hawthorn’s training and administration base, and the coaches and players pass it every time they step on the ground.

Original Article:

Clarko’s call for radical new ‘hybrid’ junior system

HAWTHORN coaching legend Alastair Clarkson has called for a ‘hybrid’ junior system that would restrict AFL clubs from recruiting more than one or two 18-year-old prospects per season.

As reported by on Friday, Clarkson will sit on a six-person AFL subcommittee that will also feature Brisbane coach Chris Fagan and Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge to determine the future of talent pathways in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Lions chief executive Greg Swann, the AFL’s legal counsel Andrew Dillon and the League’s head of talent Tristan Salter will join the trio of coaches to focus on the under-18 system, while the opinions of experienced recruiters and list managers will also be canvassed.

It comes amid the expectation that sweeping changes will be made to the AFL’s talent pathway and junior systems following the game’s shutdown due to the global COVID-19 outbreak.

Speaking on Saturday, Clarkson hinted at his preferred model for the future – revealing he would be in favour of most players entering a different system after schooling before eventually joining the AFL ranks.

“I grew up in a small little community that had Tim Watson starting to play League footy at 15 years of age,” Clarkson told Fox Footy.

“There’s part of me that says if kids are good enough to play at that age then they should be allowed to.

“But there’s also a part of me that says the great majority of players aren’t ready to cope with the rigours and the intense nature of AFL footy on a week-to-week basis until they’re 21 years of age.

“What I’d like to see is a system where you couldn’t just raid the under-18 competition for their talent. It’s a hybrid system where by and large most of the players that you recruit are 19 or 20 years of age.

“They’ve got to get their lives going somehow before they get an opportunity to be a senior AFL footballer.

“But I’d love to see access to one or two players at each club to recruit 18-year-old’s that they think could play League footy pretty much straightaway.”

Original Article

How an audacious late-night pitch nearly lured Nick Riewoldt to Richmond

The St Kilda great played his 336th and final game against the Tigers on 27 August, 2017 but not even two months later he was contemplating a remarkable return, albeit after a few drinks.

Speaking on Fox Footy Live, Jack recalled a discussion in which Nick’s contract for the 2018 season was written up on a napkin hours after Jack’s Tasmanian wedding.

“On the night of my wedding, myself, Alex Rance and Nick – it was probably the next morning – made a phone call to our list manager Blair Hartley about Nick actually coming on,” Jack said on Fox Footy Live.

“He was on board. He was deadset on board. It was in the wee hours where nothing else happens. He was confirmed. He actually signed a contract on a bit of a napkin with the details.”

Asked to confirm or deny the story, Nick – feeling fresh after letting his knees rest throughout September – conceded he considered a late career switch to play alongside his cousin in the hope of winning a flag.

“It was a long voicemail (sent to Blair Hartley),” Nick told Fox Footy Live.

“It was about a six minute one. Blair would have woken up the next morning and listened to this voicemail.

“Jack had a turn and then I had a turn and then Rancey was my greatest advocate saying: ‘I played on him six weeks ago and he’s still in good form.’

“The pitch was really strong and I’m not sure how seriously it was taken. But in the moment, with a belly-full, I was considering it.”

Nick and Jack have been spending time together on their bikes in recent weeks.

Though Jack had no hesitation in conceding his older cousin was better than him on wheels, he didn’t hesitate throwing the Fox Footy expert under the bus one more time.

“Without lying on national TV,” Jack said, “Nick told me he is in career-best nick at the moment!”

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The AFL’s plan to restart footy

AFL CLUBS will be given at least a three-week “pre-season” but no practice matches before a resumption of play in 2020.

With competition suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, AFL general manager of football operations Steve Hocking has also told that a rule allowing extra interchange players would be considered.

“One of the things put forward was a pre-season of three weeks, and no practice matches, to get going again,” Hocking said.

“We are very appreciative of the flexibility and agility shown and demonstrated by the clubs.

Continue reading “The AFL’s plan to restart footy”

Ross Lyon is ‘a failed coach’ says Suns chairman after call to scrap Gold Coast from the AFL

The outspoken Suns official said the “only problem” the team has is “one of success” as he described criticism of the team as “borderline ridiculous”.

Lyon made headlines last week when he suggested scrapping the Suns and turning the league into a 17-team competition would help the AFL through the coronavirus pandemic.

“If we just drill into Gold Coast – are they, for what we’ve pumped in, are we getting return on investment there?” he asked on Nine’s Footy Classified.

“And are foundation clubs maybe missing out and under real pressure now?”

He later added: “With one less club you could have a 32-game season.

“And then you could put marquee games up and service South East Queensland and really establish it and then maybe bring it out of hibernation and go again.”

But Cochrane pointed to the growth of community footy in the region as proof the Suns were succeeding, and tied that to his claim Lyon was a “failed coach”.

Lyon made four Grand Finals (one replay in 2010) in 13 seasons across St Kilda and Fremantle, but failed to win any of them.

“It’s borderline ridiculous and incredibly frustrating. Every single person in the world has the current problem but the only real ongoing problem we have up here is one of success,” Cochrane said on SEN.

“We’ve built 28 new ovals in the last five years in the Gold Coast region and it’s not enough.

“We’ve got junior football in both girls and boys absolutely exploding from one end of Queensland to another and that’s because the AFL commission have done 10 years of hard work and used the TV rights money to get us in that position.

“Why anybody would even consider chopping that growth just proves they’re not only a failed coach, but they don’t know much about economics either.”

The AFL has stated strongly it wants to get through the current financial crisis with 18 teams, and CEO Gillon McLachlan has said on multiple occasions the Suns are here to stay.

“I know we go into this hiatus with 18 clubs, we’ll come out of it with 18 clubs and we’ll have an industry to go forward with again,” McLachlan said on Fox Footy last week.

Discuss this in our forum. Original Article:

Desperate to play: The players who need the season back the most has identified one player from each team on an expiring contract who will be more desperate than most for the season to resume.

THE AFL season being on hold until May 31 is proving difficult for everyone in football, with pay cuts, temporary stand downs, job losses and increasing uncertainty about the future.

Every club has multiple footballers whose agents were able to negotiate just a one-year deal for them, meaning in many cases they must prove themselves all over again in 2020.

The 17-round season offers less opportunity for fringe types – although the likelihood of shorter breaks between games could be a boon for them – and the potential of the season not continuing would be stressful. has identified one player from each team on an expiring contract who will be more desperate than most for the season to resume.

See which players has selected here: and discuss in our Forum.