It’s been a little over a month since the AFL 2016 season ended with the Western Bulldogs unlikely Grand Final win over the Sydney Swans. The Bulldogs ended seventh on the ladder of the eight teams that would contend for the premiership cup and began the finals as underdogs. Against all odds, they ended up in the Grand Final game against the Swans who had finished in the number one spot of the ladder heading into the finals. This was the Bulldogs’ first premiership win in 62 years and the beat the Swans with a final score of 13.11 (89) to 11.7 (67).
The 2017 fixtures for all teams were released on October 27th. Several teams received favorable schedules based on requests and their performance in 2016.
The Adelaide Crows, who ended in the 5th spot on the ladder going into the finals, were awarded a handful of primetime games and will play host to big opponents such as the Sydney Swans and the Western Bulldogs.
The Melbourne Demons have a decent fixture overall. While they only have one primetime game, they are only required to play two games against a top six finisher–the Crows. They will also play two major games against the Richmond Tigers on Anzac Eve and a Queen’s Birthday match against Collingwood.
As a result of a poor 2016 season, the Richmond Tigers have lost primetime Friday night games in 2017. They do, however, have a game scheduled for opening night, their annual Dreamtime at the ‘G game against Essendon, where the winning club will receive the Kevin Sheedy Cup, and the Anzac Eve game against Melbourne.
Notable trades have also been made lately, with some that cut it incredibly close to the trade deadline.
— Sam Mitchell from the Hawthorn Hawks to the West Coast Eagles for several picks in the upcoming draft.
— Jordan Lewis from Hawthorn to Melbourne on a three year contract.
— Travis Cloke from Collingwood to the Western Bulldogs for a fourth round, #76 pick.
— Jaegar O’Meara from the Gold Coast Suns to Hawthorn.
— Tom Mitchell from Sydney to Hawthorn for first round, #14 pick.
— Brad Hill from Hawthorn to the Fremantle Dockers for their 23rd pick. This trade was put in effect by request from Hill in order to play with his brother.
— Ty Vickery from Richmond to Hawthorn on a three year deal for several picks.
— Brett Deledio from Richmond to the Greater Western Sydney Giants for future picks. Deledio requested the trade in order to, “reinvigorate [himself] and get back out there and play for the love.”
The Hawthorn Hawks were incredibly involved in the trading atmosphere, but their most shocking deals were the two involving Mitchell and Lewis. These two players were incredibly well-liked and have been described as the “heart and soul” of the team. Trading away such significant players, such as these two, could make other players question the stability of a Hawthorn contract. Hawthorn was also involved in a trade that sparked controversy regarding the legality of the trade when they acquired O’Meara. In the last minute deal, the Hawks dealt away their own future second round pick to the Suns. The AFL paperwork, however, made it appear as though they had rerouted the future second round pick they had gotten from GWS to the Suns in order to obtain O’Meara.
Although the 2017 isn’t set to start for another few months, the recent release of the fixture and the upcoming draft has footy fans excited for the upcoming season.