Tigers make surprise delisting, Cats re-sign All-Australian squad midfielder


Richmond has delisted defender Derek Eggmolesse-Smith.

The 22-year-old played six games in 2020, earning Brownlow votes in the side’s win over North Melbourne.

The Tigers have also announced that Ryan Garthwaite and Ben Miller will be retained on one-year deals for the 2021 season.

Miller will be moved to the rookie list.

Elsewhere, West Coast has moved premiership midfielder Mark Hutchings to its rookie list, while Fremantle has done the same with Lachie Schultz and Brett Bewley.

Geelong has re-signed All-Australian squad midfielder Sam Menegola for a further two seasons.







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Richmond’s next All-Australian, who deserves a pay rise and who to expect a big 2021 from


Dale Weightman has delivered his Unconventional Club Review of Richmond for season 2020.

Tigers champion ‘The Flea’ answered a number of questions on SEN Breakfast relating to the back-to-back premiers and their performance this season.

Who is Richmond’s next All-Australian?

Weightman: “We’ve got about half a dozen but I reckon Nick Vlastuin would be (next).”

Garry Lyon says: “I’ve got Jayden Short. He was unlucky not to win a Norm Smith medal.

“I think he’s got the potential to be an All-Australian.”

Have the Tigers got the right captain? If not, who?

Weightman: “I think he’s going alright, Trent (Cotchin).

“The best thing about Trent is he changed his game. It was all about possessions and he turned himself into a player that concentrated on all the other things.”

Lyon says: “He’s the man to lead them forward.

“If they go to look for anyone, maybe (Dylan) Grimes would be my next man but Trent’s right.”

If “player x” plays well, the Tigers are always a chance of winning?

Weightman: “Everyone would say (Dustin) Martin but I always look at the games over the last three or four years.

“I like Kane Lambert. He does all the team things, he runs hard, he chases. When he’s up and about he makes it easier for the Martins and Cotchins and these types of blokes.”

Lyon says: “I can’t go past Dusty.”

How did the Tigers fare in the trade period?

Weightman: “One thing they have done in the last couple of years, they’ve let premiership players go.

“But obviously they’ve got a plan there to pick up a couple of blokes. They’ve got an eye on some of the boys in the draft and that’s the way they’ll go.”

Lyon says: “They get St Kilda’s pick, which is 17, because of (Jack) Higgins going out.

“(Oleg) Markov going out, he’ll play footy at the Gold Coast Suns.

“(Josh) Caddy and (Nathan) Broad were the other two may have had a bit of a look around but they’ve held onto them and they need them.”

Which player is deserving of a pay rise?

Lyon says: “I gave Kamdyn McIntosh a little bump up in his wage. I thought he had a fantastic year.”

Weightman: “You’re spot on there. He’s worked his butt off. He was out of the side last year and worked his way back beautifully.”

Who deserves a pay cut?

Weightman: “I reckon they all contributed pretty well.”

Lyon says: “I thought Jack Riewoldt’s been on good money for a long time. He could take a little slice off for someone else.”

Weightman added: “Most full-forwards are on too much money, fair dinkum. All the little blokes get it down there…”

Expect a big 2021 from?

Weightman: “I like Shorty, I like (Liam) Baker. (Noah) Balta, how good is he going to be. He could be anything.”

Lyon says:Riley Collier-Dawkins. I’ve been a big fan of his for a long time. He’s a good athlete, plays the modern game. I reckon he might have a big year.”

Big positional change in 2021?

Lyon says: “I reckon Noah Balta. He might only go from full-back to centre half-back, but he’s a star.”







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Brisbane’s next All-Australian, left-field trade target and who to expect a big 2021 from


Jonathan Brown has delivered his Unconventional Club Review of Brisbane for season 2020.

Brown was asked to answer a list of questions about the Lions relating to their performance this year and what they need to improve in 2021.

Have the Lions got the right captain? If not, who?

Brown: “I’m happy not to rock the boat and stick with Dayne Zorko, I think he’s done a good job even though his form dropped away in the second half of the year.

“I think another year to bridge over to Harris Andrews, who will be the next captain. I think he’ll be captain for the better part of five or six-plus years.”

Garry Lyon: “I said yes to the Zork for another few years.”

Who is the Lions’ next All-Australian?

Brown: “He was in the squad last year, Hugh McCluggage.

Hugh McCluggage on a wing, I think he should have already been there.

“Another underrated player – the only man to stop Dustin Martin in the finals series – Darcy Gardiner.”

Garry Lyon: “I’ve got Hugh McCluggage down as well, he’ll get there in the next year or two.”

If “player x” plays well, the Lions are always a chance of winning?

Brown: “Eric Hipwood. He doesn’t have to kick big numbers of goals but I think when he’s up and about … the Lions are always a big shot.

“Expect him to keep improving.”

Garry Lyon: “When little Charlie (Cameron) lights the joint up then the Brisbane Lions are in a very, very good space.”

Left-field trade option?

Brown: “I know Brisbane likes to play three forwards but Joe Daniher, Eric Hipwood and Dan McStay – is that one too many?

“I just wonder whether Dan McStay is worth offering up, I certainly think there would be some value there.

“The one who was probably out of favour but would be well sought after by other clubs is Alex Witherden.”

Garry Lyon: “I’ve got Witherden.”

Left-field trade target?

Brown: “Jack Redden’s still got his house in Brisbane, I’d go after Jack Redden.

“I think the midfield needs some more run and pop and a little bit of experience in there to bolster it to go to the next level. I’d ask a few questions about Jack Redden.”

Garry Lyon: “I’d put a call in to Shaun Higgins before he commits to Geelong.”

Which player is deserving of a pay rise?

Brown: “I think Brandon Starcevich really came onto the scene this year as a big, strong half-back flanker.

“I wouldn’t be giving too many pay rises out, I want to keep them hungry.”

Garry Lyon: “I would write a cheque for a few extra sheets to Ryan Lester.

“He fought outside his weight division, he had to take on some big, big jobs and I thought he got the job done pretty well.”

Who deserves a pay cut?

Brown: “We’ve got to prepare for the future. I think the older guys; Mitch Robinson, Stef Martin, Grant Birchall and I think the captain Dayne Zorko.

“I think it’s time for those guys to move back in the pay scale to allow some room for these young stars to work their way up.”

Garry Lyon: “Stef Martin for me.”

Expect a big 2021 from?

Brown: “Cam Rayner. 17 goals this year, he started to get fitter and work his way into the midfield.

“He showed his capability in that first final against Richmond.

“Also keep an eye on young Zac Bailey and Jack Payne.”

Garry Lyon: “I put Jack Payne down.

“I thought he stepped up for Harris Andrews (out with a hamstring) and I thought he showed plenty during that final when most of them were battling.”

Big positional change in 2021?

Brown: “I think Oscar McInerney will be the full-time ruckman.

“I’d like to see Dayne Zorko as a full-time forward this year.”

Garry Lyon: “I’d love to see him (Cam Rayner) become a big midfielder (like Christian Petracca).”







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Patrick Dangerfield named AFL’s All-Australian captain, Lachie Neale wins AFLPA Most Valuable Player award


Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield has made a record-equalling eighth appearance in the All-Australian team and been selected as captain for the first time.

He was joined in the All-Australian line-up by Brisbane’s Lachie Neale, who claimed the AFL Players’ Association’s (AFLPA) Most Valuable Player and AFL Coaches Association’s (AFLCA) Champion Player of the Year awards.

In the other awards announced on Thursday night, Fremantle midfielder Caleb Serong won the Rising Star and Geelong’s Tom Hawkins collected the Coleman Medal following his 42-goal season.

Dangerfield continued his perfect streak of being named in the AFL’s best 22 every year since his high-profile move to the Cats from Adelaide in 2016.

He joins elite company with Robert Harvey (St Kilda), Mark Ricciuto (Adelaide), Gary Ablett Snr, Gary Ablett Jnr (Geelong) and Lance Franklin (Sydney) as the only other players to have earned eight All-Australian blazers.

Port Adelaide midfielder Travis Boak was handed the vice-captaincy, with the 32-year-old named in the team for the third time in his career.

Boak is joined in the midfield by Neale, Melbourne ace Christian Petracca and West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui, whose second All-Australian appearance comes eight years after his first.

Explosive Demon Petracca is one of 12 debutants in the team, with the entire half-back line all first-timers.

Collingwood’s Darcy Moore was slotted into centre half-back, while GWS’ Nick Haynes and the Power’s Darcy Byrne-Jones are on either side of the Magpies tall.

Eleven clubs are represented with Geelong, Port Adelaide, West Coast and the Western Bulldogs leading the selections with three players each.

Despite Richmond having three players included in the 40-man squad on Tuesday, selectors decided to only pick superstar Dustin Martin from the reigning premiers after the dual Norm Smith medallist’s shock omission last year.

If it was not for the 2019 snub, this would have been Martin’s fifth-straight selection after being one of the first players picked from 2016 to 2018.

Neale firms as Brownlow Medal favourite

Neale, who is the red-hot favourite to take home the Brownlow Medal, was a clear MVP winner with 1,120 votes from his peers.

Boak (419) and Petracca (398) filled out the podium.

“It’s an award that I’m super proud to have won, to be voted by those who I play with and against makes it a really special award,” Neale said.

“I really respect the opinion of the other players and to be voted by them this year is something that I will look back on and be really proud of.

Neale, who earned his second All-Australian selection, led the AFL for disposals in 2020 and ranked in the top five for clearances and contested possessions.

Lachie Neale is considered the outright favourite to win the Brownlow Medal.(AAP: Darren England)

He will be crucial to Brisbane’s premiership chances, starting with next week’s qualifying final against Richmond.

“There’s no guarantees that we get to that last game but we’ve set up the season really well and hopefully we can get there,” Neale said.

“There’s a lot of hard work to do before then and some great teams in our way.

“But I’m really confident in our playing group and our coaching group that we can get there.”

Neale won the AFLCA award with 93 votes, ahead of Petracca (78) and Boak (77).

Serong named Rising Star

Serong became the Dockers’ third Rising Star winner after edging out Gold Coast’s Noah Anderson.

The number eight pick in last year’s draft polled 48 votes to finish nine clear of Anderson, who was selected second by the Suns.

The 19-year-old is the Dockers’ first Rising Star winner since Rhys Palmer in 2008, with Paul Hasleby taking it out in 2000.

A Fremantle Dockers AFL player handballs to his right against Gold Coast Suns.
Caleb Serong enjoyed an outstanding debut season with the Dockers.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

He received the maximum five votes from eight of the 10 judges, with Kevin Bartlett and Chris Johnson giving their top honours to Anderson.

Serong shot to prominence in round eight after capturing 22 possessions and kicking a goal in a head-to-head duel with Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield.

Most of the Rising Star hype until that point had been around Gold Coast midfielder Matthew Rowell, but last year’s number one draft pick played just five matches after requiring shoulder surgery.

Serong averaged 16.8 disposals and 3.4 clearances across his 14 matches, combining with fellow young on-ballers Adam Cerra and Andrew Brayshaw to give support to dual Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe.

AAP/ABC



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Battle of the All-Australian bookends has Brisbane Lions’ Harris Andrews excited


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Andrews is playing in his first preliminary final while Hawkins will have a point to prove, having being suspended for last year’s preliminary final against Richmond, with the dual premiership Cat set to play his 25th final.

The Lions defender had no problems reeling off what makes the 32-year-old such a tough opponent.

“His leading patterns and ability to get into spots where it is quite an easy kick for the kicker and his body work is obviously fantastic ,” Andrews said.

“I am going to have to be on at all times because they look for him inside 50 and he has had a lot of shots over the last couple of weeks. We will be able to go back and see what has worked in the past against him and what hasn’t worked and hopefully implement that on Saturday night.”

The Lions defender, who was outstanding against a Lynch-less Richmond in the qualifying final, said he would not be expected to do the job on his own, with the contribution of every player vital.

He will also lean on the experience of four-time premiership Hawk Grant Birchall, who has been able to offer advice, as Luke Hodge did before him, to the emerging Lions players.

Birchall said his advice to his Lions teammates would be to back themselves in and stay true to their game, regardless of the stakes.

He said he had been impressed with the composure of his teammates during his time at the Lions and also pleasantly surprised that his body has held up over the season, allowing him to back up week on week.

Birchall will play in an incredible fifth flag if the Lions can win their home premiership in 2020.

“I’m trying not to focus on that, trying to stay in the moment,” Birchall said.

“But I do dream about it, don’t get me wrong.

“It’d be an unbelievable achievement and just a bit of reward for what I’ve been through the last two years, but there’s a bit of water to go under the bridge still.”

The 32-year-old has played 15 games this season after injury restricted him to just eight games in his final two seasons at Hawthorn.

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Did this cost star Lion an All-Australian spot?


Brisbane star Hugh McCluggage narrowly missed out on a maiden All-Australian blazer for the second year running.

McCluggage made it consecutive selections in the 40-man All-Australian squad but was overlooked for the final 22 with Geelong’s Cam Guthrie and Western Bulldogs ball-magnet Jack Macrae named on the wings.

One knock on McCluggage has been his goalkicking accuracy, kicking seven goals and 20 behinds during the home-and-away season.

Terry Wallace thinks that might have cost the 22-year-old a spot in this year’s All-Australian team.

“I was rapt for Hugh McCluggage that he finally got that goal in a clutch moment with everything that’s been said about that (his goalkicking),” Wallace told SEN’s Dwayne’s World.

“I’d go as far to say that his goalkicking might have cost him a spot in the All-Australian side.

“When that comes up in discussion, it might have been just enough to hold him back from a spot, which I don’t believe it should have.

“He’s a genuine star of the game.”

McCluggage’s late goal sealed Brisbane’s 15-point qualifying final win over Richmond and a home preliminary final at the Gabba in a fortnight’s time.

The Lions will play the winner of the Geelong-Collingwood semi-final clash for a spot in the Grand Final.






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Jake Niall names his All-Australian team


The ratings would say Nat Fyfe, another in the line of usual suspects, has been second only to Petracca, but Fyfe, asked to spend more time forward, has been less influential in swaying results.

Yes, it’s arguable that I’m judging Fyfe according to his stellar standards rather than against the competition, but he didn’t grab hold of games this season in the same way that Danger and Dusty did.

He’s probably the most contentious non-selection in my team. The All-Australian selectors may well have seen it differently.

Petracca, Neale, Naitanui, Hawkins and Sydney’s standout small forward Tom Papley were locks in their positions. Travis Boak, whom I’d left out of the mid-year team, is another mandatory selection, along with Dylan Grimes and Nick Haynes in defence – two players who hold their sides together from behind the ball.

While Martin and Dangerfield will be debated by some observers, they’re easy selections in my side for the home-and-away season, even if they didn’t terrorise and dominate the competition as they have in seasons past; without them, Richmond and Geelong wouldn’t be in the top four. Ditto for Hawkins and probably Grimes.

Charlie Dixon is second only to Hawkins among power forwards this season and deserving of a key forward post, named at centre-half-forward, although that position barely exists.

Harris Andrews, who missed games with injury, still had a more consistent season in defence over the entire year than Melbourne’s Steven May, who finished superbly, but was just shy of selection in my team (and left out of the AFL’s 40-man squad).

Darcy Moore’s selection over Jacob Weitering here will irritate some who bleed navy blue, but I don’t see it as controversial. Moore led a dominant backline and his closing speed assists teammates caught out of position more than the Carlton back.

The half-back flanks were up for grabs. I’d picked Adam Saad in my mid-season side, but have since recanted and opted for Eagle Brad Sheppard on one back flank, with Nick Vlastuin, a cornerstone of Richmond’s super defence, on the other.

Brayden Maynard, who can both launch and defend one-on-one, is the back-up on the bench, besting Caleb Daniel of the Bulldogs, who launches but doesn’t defend so much.

Lion Hugh McCluggage is an easy pick on one wing, Geelong’s Sam Menegola’s meteoric rise this season should see him picked as a wingman, too.

Meteoric rise: Sam Menegola.Credit:Getty Images

Liam Ryan overtook Dan Butler, Charlie Cameron and an injured Toby Greene in the latter stages of the season to win a forward pocket berth – Ryan is a flat-out match-winner.

Max Gawn, second only to Naitanui among rucks this year, isn’t needed in this team, because Marc Blicavs – Geelong’s premier key back – can also ruck and provides better balance, while the extra midfield spots on the bench belong to Dangerfield and St Kilda’s Jack Steele, who has turned from tough tagger into one of the year’s most damaging mids.

The coach of the year, at this stage, is clearly Port’s Ken Hinkley, though the eventual coach will be the one who wins the premiership, more likely to be Damien Hardwick.

The focus of All-Australian teams in media is invariably about who didn’t get a game, rather than those who made the side.

Fyfe, Gawn, Pendlebury, Butler and Daniel are among the obvious unlucky omissions in this side. In this strange season, reaching a consensus dozen, much less a 22, is not possible.

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Two eyebrow raising omissions as All-Australian squad of 40 revealed


The All-Australian squad of 40 has been released with a few eyebrow raising omissions immediately evident.

North Melbourne ruckman Todd Goldstein and Melbourne defender Steven May have missed the squad entirely, in a surprise to many.

Five Port Adelaide and Geelong players made the group of 40 and four from Collingwood and West Coast.

See the full squad below:

Brisbane
Harris Andrews
Hugh McCluggage
Lachie Neale

Carlton
Jacob Weitering

Collingwood
Taylor Adams
Brayden Maynard
Darcy Moore
Scott Pendlebury

Essendon
Jordan Ridley

Fremantle
Nat Fyfe
Luke Ryan
Matt Taberner

Geelong
Mark Blicavs
Patrick Dangerfield
Cam Guthrie
Tom Hawkins
Sam Menegola

GWS GIANTS
Nick Haynes

Hawthorn
Jack Gunston

Melbourne
Max Gawn
Clayton Oliver
Christian Petracca

Port Adelaide
Travis Boak
Zak Butters
Darcy Byrne-Jones
Charlie Dixon
Tom Jonas

Richmond
Dylan Grimes
Dustin Martin
Nick Vlastuin

St Kilda
Dan Butler
Jack Steele

Sydney
Tom Papley

West Coast
Andrew Gaff
Nic Naitanui
Liam Ryan
Brad Sheppard

Western Bulldogs
Marcus Bontempelli
Caleb Daniel
Jack Macrae






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AFL All-Australian squad, snubs, 22 under 22, reaction


Each and every year the AFL All-Australian squad causes uproar among fan bases with players being left out of the 40-man announcement.

The top of the table teams tend to dominate the squad with this year being no different, minor premiers Port Adelaide lead the way with five players being named, the same number as fourth placed finishers Geelong.

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Three teams in 2020 were left without a single representative in the 40-man squad, with Adelaide, Gold Coast and North Melbourne being left out.

Social media was quick to jump on the players they deemed seriously unlucky to miss out on a place in the squad with none gaining more traction than Melbourne’s Steven May.

“Just staggered May is not in the best 40. I’d have him in the team not the 40,” The Age’s Michael Gleeson wrote.

His name along with North’s Todd Goldstein and GWS’ Lachie Whitfield were prominently thrown around among the brutal snubs.

AFL 2020 ALL-AUSTRALIAN SQUAD

Adelaide – None

Brisbane – Harris Andrews, Hugh McCluggage, Lachie Neale

Carlton – Jacob Weitering

Collingwood – Taylor Adams, Brayden Maynard, Darcy Moore, Scott Pendlebury

Essendon – Jordan Ridley

Fremantle – Nat Fyfe, Luke Ryan, Matt Taberner

Geelong – Mark Blicavs, Patrick Dangerfield, Cam Guthrie, Tom Hawkins, Sam Menegola

Gold Coast – None

GWS – Nick Haynes

Hawthorn – Jack Gunston

Melbourne – Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca

North Melbourne – None

Port Adelaide – Travis Boak, Zak Butters, Darcy Byrne-Jones, Charlie Dixon, Tom Jonas

Richmond – Dylan Grimes, Dustin Martin, Nick Vlastuin,

St Kilda – Dan Butler, Jack Steele

Sydney – Tom Papley

West Coast – Andrew Gaff, Nic Naitanui, Liam Ryan, Brad Sheppard

Western Bulldogs – Marcus Bontempelli, Caleb Daniel, Jack Macrae

Along with the All-Australian squad being named, the young stars of the competition were named in the 22 under 22 team.

The eligibility rules are simple, only players under the age of 22 can be named with a host of rising stars making the squad with some fellow stars missing the cut.

AFL 2020 22UNDER22 TEAM

B: Jack Lukosius (Gold Coast), Jacob Weitering (Carlton), Jordan Ridley (Essendon)

HB: Hunter Clark (St Kilda), Noah Balta (Richmond), Liam Baker (Richmond)

C: Hugh McCluggage (Brisbane Lions), Andrew McGrath (Essendon), Sam Walsh (Carlton)

HF: Zak Butters (Port Adelaide), Aaron Naughton (Western Bulldogs), Gryan Miers (Geelong)

F: Izak Rankine (Gold Coast), Max King (St Kilda), Josh Daicos (Collingwood)

FOL: Sean Darcy (Fremantle), Bailey Smith (Western Bulldogs), Tim Taranto (GWS Giants)

I/C: Nick Coffield (St Kilda), Andrew Brayshaw (Fremantle), Adam Cerra (Fremantle), Ben King (Gold Coast)

Captain: Andrew McGrath

Vice-captain: Jacob Weitering

PLAYERS WHO MISSED OUT (FROM 40-MAN SQUAD).

Charlie Ballard (Gold Coast), Connor Budarick (Gold Coast), Jack Bowes (Gold Coast), Will Day (Hawthorn), Zac Bailey (Brisbane Lions), Jarrod Berry (Brisbane Lions), Caleb Serong (Fremantle), Noah Anderson (Gold Coast), Harry Perryman (GWS Giants), James Worpel (Hawthorn), Jy Simpkin (North Melbourne), Shai Bolton (Richmond), James Rowbottom (Sydney Swans), Harry McKay (Carlton), Ben Ainsworth (Gold Coast), Cameron Zurhaar (North Melbourne), Sam Powell-Pepper (Port Adelaide), Oscar Allen (West Coast)



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AFL 2020, All-Australian 2020, West Coast, All-Australian contenders, Liam Ryan, Toby Greene, Tom Papley


The race to be a small forward in the All-Australian side is heating up.

And there is no shortage of names putting their hand up, with only a few home and away games remaining before the squad of 40 is announced.

Charlie Cameron was an easy selection in 2019 after his outstanding year, while Tom Papley should jump in to consideration after being the starring forward for Sydney throughout the year.

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Round 18

Ryan runs riot over Roos

0:33



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