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Finals Face Off #15 Lake v Dew

11:03am  Sep 25, 2017

Whole lotta Lovell

11:40am  Sep 24, 2017

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10:00am  Sep 23, 2017

 

What's next?

September 4, 2017 9:18 AM

2017 Season Wash Up See what AFL Media's thoughts are on the Hawks 2017 season.

Draft picks: 1, 14, 18, 41, 73

Delistings: The club is still involved in the NEAFL competition, with preliminary finals on September 2 and Grand Final the following weekend. The Lions will begin delistings once the NEAFL team has been eliminated.

Retirees: None have and none will.

Medical room: Captain Dayne Beams has already gone in for shoulder surgery, while vice-captain Tom Rockliff will follow suit after the birth of his first child. Both will start pre-season. Allen Christensen (shoulder) is already training again, while Mitch Robinson (foot) and Tom Bell (ankle) are also expected back for November's pre-season.

Free agents unsigned: Ryan Harwood, Claye Beams

Best and fairest: Announced on September 1

The coach: Chris Fagan had an excellent first year in charge. The Lions won just five games, but improved offensively, defensively, retained young players and saw a number of players flourish under his guidance. Still two years to run on his contract and while more wins will be expected next year, he is under little to no pressure.

Footy staff: Fairly settled backroom team at the Lions. All eyes will be on list manager Dom Ambrogio who attacks his first off-season in charge after taking the reins in February.

Off-field health: The Lions dropped another 10% on membership numbers to just under 21,000, but crowd figures picked up late in the season with their improved play. They also signed on more long-term sponsors and expect to stabilise financially.

Premiership window: Closed. A while off, but the pieces are slowly coming together.

Need: The Lions need more midfield depth. They loaded up at last year's draft and will look to do the same this time. Also desperately need a quick, pressuring small forward.

Pre-season starts: November 8 - Michael Whiting

Tom Rockliff, Hugh McCluggage and Claye Beams celebrate a goal for the LIons. Picture: AFL Photos

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Draft picks: 3, 38, 56, 75

Delistings: Andrew Gallucci (rookie), Kristian Jaksch, Liam Sumner

Retirees: Dennis Armfield, Daniel Gorringe, Matt Korcheck (Category B international rookie). Veterans Kade Simpson and Dale Thomas want to play another season and are set to be given new deals.

Medical room: The Blues missed Patrick Cripps and Ed Curnow when they suffered season-ending injuries in the second half of the season. The two major long-term injury concerns are defender Sam Rowe (torn ACL) and ruckman Andrew Phillips, who was restricted to only one game this season with a recurring foot problem.

Free agents unsigned: Kade Simpson, Simon White

Best and fairest: Friday, September 22 from 7pm at Crown Palladium. Go to carltonfc.com.au for more information.

The coach: Brendon Bolton has succeeded in bringing a defensive mindset in his two seasons but the Blues need to score more. Won one fewer game than in 2016 and should have a benchmark of 10 victories in 2018, so there will be more pressure on the coach. Bolton is on staff under his agreement with Carlton and not subject to a time-sensitive contract.

Footy staff: Director of coaching Neil Craig has departed and there is speculation about the future of long-term assistant John Barker, who is in contention for the senior job at Gold Coast. In a major coup Bolton has wooed former Hawthorn assistant Cameron Bruce next season.

Off-field health: With the on-field stocks rising with exciting youngsters, sponsors including Virgin Australia, Hyundai, CUB and Uber Australia have been happy to come on board this year and membership has increased marginally.

Premiership window: Just ajar.

Need: The Blues’ lack of depth in the midfield proved costly in several games this season and they will be looking for a couple of bigger bodies to support Cripps and Ed Curnow.

Pre-season starts: November 13 - Howard Kotton

Draft picks: 6, 36, 54, 59, 78

Delistings: None have been announced just yet but there would be some nervous Pies, perhaps including premiership player Jarryd Blair and Chris Mayne (despite having three years left on his contract),

Retirees: Jesse White has hung up the boots, while key defender Lynden Dunn is set to play on after exceeding all expectations when he was originally picked up as a back-up option.

Medical room: Despite finishing the season with a long casualty list, the Pies should have a good bill of health for the start of their pre-season campaign, with the likes of skipper Scott Pendlebury (finger), Jordan De Goey (hip), Travis Varcoe (elbow), Daniel Wells (quad) and Alex Fasolo (shoulder) expected to be raring to go.

Free agents unsigned: Tyson Goldsack (unrestricted), Lachlan Keeffe (unrestricted), Ben Sinclair (unrestricted), Josh Thomas (unrestricted)

Best and fairest: Friday October 6 at Crown Palladium

The coach: The consensus is that Buckley was lucky to receive a new two-year deal after four successive seasons without finals, but there's no doubting the class he displayed publicly while under siege. With a revamped coaching panel, it will be interesting to see what modifications Buckley makes to the Pies' much-criticised ball movement with what is generally regarded as a below-par kicking team.

Footy staff: The Pies have made no secret of their plans to make changes, and the search is still on for an experienced person to support Buckley, but there has already been some movement. Respected assistant Scott Burns has joined Hawthorn, while development coach Anthony Rocca and fitness chief Bill Davoren were not offered new contracts. Robert Harvey has been retained, and fellow assistant Brenton Sanderson and academy coach Brad Gotch still have another year to run on their contracts.

Off-field health: The strength of the Collingwood brand is such that it can absorb an on-field decline, reclaim its perch atop of the AFL membership ladder and remain one of the financially strongest clubs in the competition. The resignation of long-term CEO Gary Pert will provide a fresh outlook, as will the findings of interim CEO Peter Murphy's review into the club's off-field operations.

Premiership window: Closed, but could be prised open if everything clicks.

Need: A quality key defender such as uncontracted Crow Jake Lever would be ideal, and young Darcy Moore also needs big-man help in attack.

Pre-season starts: November 8 (1st-4th year players) and November 20 for the rest. - Ben Collins

Draft picks: 5, 40, 55, 58, 77

Delistings: Fremantle seems likely to wait until after Peel's finals series before announcing most, if not all, delistings.

Retirees: Garrick Ibbotson has officially called time and Ross Lyon has said this will be veteran defender Zac Dawson's last season.

Medical room: Big men Zac Clarke (knee), Alex Pearce (broken leg) and Matthew Uebergang (hamstring) didn't play at all in 2017, while Michael Apeness managed just one Peel reserves game before re-injuring his PCL. Lachie Neale will have an interrupted start to pre-season after surgery on his knee.

Free agents unsigned: Hayden Ballantyne, Zac Clarke, Michael Johnson, Nick Suban

Best and fairest: October 7, Crown Perth 

The coach: Ross Lyon has three more seasons to run on his current contract and recently reiterated his commitment to the rebuild. Despite winning eight games – double the 2016 tally - his effort-based coaching style was questioned after three 100-point losses and it will be important to show more progress in 2018.

Footy staff: The Dockers have parted ways with experienced stoppage coordinator Mark Stone and will look at their football department structure over the next month or so in consultation with Lyon and coaching high performance manager Tom Morris.

Off-field health: Freo has long been a profitable club and moved into world-class training facilities in February. Despite beginning a rebuild, the club's membership held steady compared to 2016 around the 51,000-mark.

Premiership window: Shut

Need: Finding a replacement for Matthew Pavlich was never going to be easy. Cam McCarthy, Shane Kersten, Matt Taberner and Brennan Cox have been handy but the Dockers need a power forward to build around.

Pre-season starts: November 6 (1st-4th year players), November 20 (5+ year players). – Travis King

Harley Bennell's late-season return was a boost for the Dockers. Picture: AFL Photos

Draft picks: 2, 19, 22, 24, 33, 37, 74

Delistings: The club is still involved in the NEAFL competition, with preliminary finals on September 2 and Grand Final the following weekend. They will begin delistings once the NEAFL team has been eliminated.

Retirees: None so far. Michael Rischitelli is 31 and out-of-contract and the only real possibility of deciding he's had enough. That's up in the air, though.

Medical room: After dislocating his hip more than six months ago, Sam Day has begun running and is expected to be back training in time for pre-season. Tom Lynch (PCL), Michael Barlow (broken leg) and Kade Kolodjashnij (concussion) have all progressed well and will also be available to start pre-season training.

Free agents unsigned: None

Best and fairest: Announced on September 2

The coach: The Suns now have their sub-committee selected and will begin searching for a successor to Rodney Eade in the coming weeks.

Footy staff: The entire department is under review from CEO Mark Evans. Football manager Marcus Ashcroft, list manager Scott Clayton and the four assistant coaches are all out of contract and waiting to learn their fate. Interim coach Dean Solomon is one man expected to be re-signed as a senior assistant and stay on.

Off-field health: Just like on-field, it's a struggle. Membership numbers slid another 10% and the Suns are also still looking for a major guernsey sponsor. One positive was crowd numbers – 2017 delivered the third-highest aggregate in their seven-year history.

Premiership window Just open. Have some of the best key position players in the game to build around, but need more depth across the park.

Need: The Suns need hard-ball winning midfielders that can also spread. They are starting to look thin in the middle of the ground and need some more top-end talent in there.

Pre-season starts: Date still to be locked in, but likely to be in the week of November 6-13. - Michael Whiting

Draft picks: 32, 42, 60, 79

Delistings: These won't be announced until after the best and fairest function, on October 7.

Retirees: Hawk greats Luke Hodge and Josh Gibson, as well as Jack Fitzpatrick – because of concussion issues – and rookie Luke Surman, have hung up the boots. Shaun Burgoyne postponed retirement at least another season when he deservedly signed another one-year contract.

Medical room: Grant Birchall (PCL) is unlikely to take part in full training until January, while Mitchell Lewis and James Cousins (both shoulder surgery) will be restricted to skills work until Christmas. Ben Stratton and Cyril Rioli (both PCL), James Frawley (turf toe) and Jonathon Ceglar (ACL) are on track for the start of pre-season training on November 20.

Free agents unsigned: Taylor Duryea (unrestricted)

Best and fairest: October 7 at Crown Palladium (tickets here)

The coach: Alastair Clarkson re-signed last year until the end of 2019, meaning the four-time premiership coach will be in charge of the list regeneration. Though he may not have selecting youth from the start of the season, Clarkson's ability to get the best out of an injury ravaged group down the stretch was admirable.

Footy staff: There has already been movement in the assistant coach ranks, with Cameron Bruce leaving to join Carlton, and Darren Glass and Scott Burns coming on board. Glass will look after Hawthorn's defence, while Burns – regularly touted as a senior coach-in-waiting – will oversee the midfield with Brett Ratten.

Off-field health: The Hawks broke their membership record again with 75,663 (up from 75,351 last year), but Collingwood snatched back the No.1 AFL ranking. New chief executive Tracey Gaudry's priorities are the club's relocation from Waverley Park to Dingley, women's football, youth academies and Hawthorn's contribution to the community.

Premiership window: Just ajar

Need: New stars to emerge after the exits of Sam Mitchell, Jordan Lewis, Brad Hill, Luke Hodge and Josh Gibson since the end of the 2016 season. The lack of a first-round pick this year – it was used to help lure Jaeger O'Meara – makes that more difficult, but don't be shocked if the Hawks find a way to get another one. 

Pre-season starts: All footballers will be back by November 20, with some of the younger players returning slightly earlier. - Marc McGowan 

Jarryd Roughead and Jaeger O'Meara should form a formidable partnership next year. Picture: AFL Photos

Draft picks: 10, 27, 45, 64, 82

Delistings: Melbourne's VFL affiliate the Casey Demons will have a number of senior-listed players in the side for the duration of their finals campaign. However, Heritier Lumumba (retired) will be officially scratched from the club's list, while Jack Trengove, Liam Hulett and Mitch White are among those unlikely to be offered new contracts.

Retirees: With Bernie Vince to get a new one-year deal, the Demons are not expected to have any retirees. Cam Pedersen has signed a one-year extension, while Nathan Jones is contracted until 2018 and Jordan Lewis to 2019.

Medical room: Jesse Hogan will be ready to start pre-season on time, with the hamstring he injured against Collingwood in round 23 set to heal over the next month. It is understood Jack Viney does not need surgery on his injured foot, but the Demons will monitor the situation closely. Melbourne ruled out seven players for the rest of the season – Lochie Filipovic (hip flexor), Colin Garland (knee), Dean Kent (shoulder), Pat McKenna (hamstring), Joel Smith (knee), Tim Smith (foot) and Aaron vandenBerg (heel).

Free agents unsigned: Jack Trengove, Jake Spencer

Best and fairest: Monday, October 9, Crown Palladium

The coach: Goodwin was met with a number of challenges through 2017 – a decimated ruck department, Hogan's cancer diagnosis, allegations of ill discipline, and losing games the club was expected to win. Although Melbourne ultimately failed to make finals, it's hard to argue that Goodwin and the Demons are not on the right track.

Footy staff: The Demons do not expect many changes to their football department, with the Goodwin regime prepared to back-in the existing panel of assistant coaches and fitness staff.

Off-field health: Melbourne did not quite reach 50,000 members, but a total of 42,233 is a positive result for the club. The Demons also passed an attendance figure of 800,000 across the home and away season for the first time in the club's history.

Premiership window: Depending on the strength of the breeze, either wide open or slightly ajar.

Need: Out-of-contract Adelaide star Jake Lever is high on the club's wishlist and the Demons are growing increasingly confident that he is attainable. Melbourne is also looking to further bolster its midfield depth in the upcoming draft period.  

Pre-season starts: Still to be announced - Ben Guthrie

Draft picks: 4, 21, 44, 62, 76

Delistings: Defender Lachie Hansen was the first significant casualty at the Kangas after 151 matches across 11 seasons. The club also cut untried rookies Will Fordham and Matt Taylor, with more still to follow.

Retirees: This is where the intrigue lies at Arden St. We saw Brent Harvey, Nick Dal Santo and Michael Firrito retire last year – could any of out-of-contract veterans Scott Thompson, Jarrad Waite or Sam Gibson follow suit? Andrew Swallow and Lindsay Thomas have a year left on their contracts.

Medical room: North had a horror injury run this season and seven players – Ben Brown (elbow), captain Jack Ziebell (big toe on left foot), Braydon Preuss (shoulder), Jy Simpkin (ankle), Nathan Hrovat (ankle), Marley Williams (back) and Sam Wright (ankle) – are set for minor post-season surgery. All are expected to be ready to start pre-season training, along with ex-Giant Paul Ahern, who spent another year recovering from a knee reconstruction.

Free agents unsigned: Scott Thompson

Best and fairest: Friday, September 15 at Peninsula on Central Pier, Docklands 

The coach: Brad Scott dealt with speculation about his future all season despite being contracted next season. He signed a two-year contract extension this week to remain at the club until 2020. The Roos won only six games, but were competitive for most of the season and blooded 11 debutants as their rebuild began in earnest.

Footy staff: Any staff changes are yet to be announced.

Off-field health: Chairman Ben Buckley revealed in August that the club's debt was less than $1 million after once being $8 million. North had 40,441 members this season, going backwards after six years of growth from its record-breaking effort of 45,014 in 2016. Remains proud of its stance on not generating income from pokies.

Premiership window: Shut

Need: Dustin Martin would have been huge, but Josh Kelly would be a nice consolation prize (or even Devon Smith). Barring that, the Roos look OK in the key posts at either end, but would love some more midfield class. That may need to come via the draft, if the Kelly raid is also unsuccessful.

Pre-season starts: North's first to fourth-year players will kick off pre-season training in Utah from October 27 to November 9, while the rest resume on November 13. - Marc McGowan

Draft picks: 7, 8, 43, 57, 61

Delistings: A couple of rookies are gone, with defender Nick Coughlan and New Zealand native Joe Baker-Thomas not offered new contracts. Jason Holmes and Nick O'Kearney have reason to be nervous after neither played in the senior side this season. Jack Lonie is out-of-contract and while he dominated as a midfielder in the VFL, he struggled for impact at the top level.

Retirees: Sean Dempster finished up earlier in the season after concussion concerns, Nick Riewoldt's knees wouldn’t allow him to consistently play at a high standard any longer and Leigh Montagna announced he was done last Wednesday.

Medical room: The Saints expect Paddy McCartin to have completely overcome his concussion issues by day one of pre-season, and Nathan Freeman (right ankle) is in the same situation. Key backman Hugh Goddard is on track to be back in full training by Christmas, if not before then, after he had surgery on his right foot in June. Inside midfielder David Armitage has been hampered by groin problems and while he should be back for day one of pre-season, his workload will be slightly limited. Nathan Wright will be on a modified program as he works to overcome an ankle injury.

Free agents unsigned: Nil

Best and fairest: Peninsula, Docklands. Friday, October 6, 7pm 

The coach: Alan Richardson is contracted for 2018 and the Saints have said they're keen to extend his tenure. Next season will be pivotal though. In his fifth season in charge, Richardson would want more consistency and straighter goalkicking from his group as it attempts to make finals for the first time under his watch.

Footy staff: If St Kilda lands Josh Kelly, everyone involved in the recruiting pitch will be in line for a pay rise. After an excellent run with injuries last year, there were a few more problems in 2017, but overall the fitness staff did a reasonable job. Goalkicking was largely looked after by Ben McGlynn and needs to improve.

Off-field health: The membership grew to a record 42,095, which was more than 4,000 up from last year. Construction has begun at Moorabbin, with the club on track to start moving from Seaford in early 2018.

Premiership window: 2019-2023

Need: An injection of speed and class in the midfield. There are plenty of grunt players around the footy but St Kilda needs other players to offer a point of difference.

Pre-season starts: 1st-4th year players back November 8, the rest on November 20. - Dinny Navaratnam

The Saints need a fit and firing Paddy McCartin on the field. Picture: AFL Photos

Draft picks: 9, 26, 39, 80, 81

Delistings: Stewart Crameri will be traded or delisted. If Mitch Honeychurch is not shown the door, he should be looking to move for more opportunity after just 22 games in four seasons. It appears third-year midfielder Declan Hamilton's time at Whitten Oval is up without playing a senior game. Injury-prone rookie Josh Prudden also looks in trouble.

Retirees: Club greats Robert Murphy and Matthew Boyd have already called time on their illustrious careers. Former Magpie Travis Cloke could join them after a disappointing debut season at the Dogs.

Medical room: Key defender Marcus Adams will be looking for some luck after two serious foot injuries, but he'll be right for pre-season. Talented rookie Roarke Smith should retain his spot after two knee reconstructions.

Free agents unsigned: Nil

Best and fairest: Wednesday, October 4 

The coach: After winning back-to-back coach of the year titles and a premiership in his first two seasons, Luke Beveridge found the going a fair bit tougher this season. Contracted until the end of 2020, the 47-year-old has the time and ability to get the Dogs back in premiership contention.

Footy staff: The footy department appears very settled at Whitten Oval, with only reshuffling of line coaches likely to happen. The only departure could be out-of-contract list manager Jason McCartney.

Off-field health: The premiership success of last season has done wonders for reducing the club's once-crippling debut. Playing home games at Ballarat, and hopefully getting a better deal at Etihad Stadium will only strengthen them further.

Premiership window: Wide open

Need: If they're to contest again, the Dogs need to regain the hunger that took them to the flag. Injecting some better ball users into the line-up is also a must. A ruckman and key defender wouldn't go astray either.

Pre-season starts: Early November for 1st-4th year players. - Ryan Davidson