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Hawks stand down key forward over inappropriate behaviour - AFL
Jonathon Patton allegedly sent lewd images to several women over social media
HAWTHORN has stood down Jonathon Patton from all club commitments after more women came forward alleging the injury-hit forward had sent them unsolicited lewd photos. The matter first came to light last week when a woman used social media to accuse Patton of sending inappropriate images to her. HAWKS' FANTASY Prices, locks, bargains, draft sleeper, more Hawthorn opened an investigation when it was made aware of the allegations, and decided to stand him down on Monday. The Hawks released a statement saying Patton would remain stood down until the investigation was complete. "The club's Integrity Committee met this afternoon and will continue to ascertain all relevant information," the statement said. "The club will provide a further update at the completion of the investigation and asks that the privacy of all parties involved be respected at this time." Patton has since deleted his social media accounts, and now faces an uncertain future. 2020S BIGGEST STORIES COUNTDOWN Check out Nathan Schmooks 5-1 here The Hawks said in a statement on Saturday they were aware of the allegations against Patton. "The allegations are of behaviour that does not reflect the values and standards of Hawthorn Football Club," the statement said. "As soon as the club became aware of the allegations it addressed the matter with Patton directly and clearly communicated that any behaviour of this nature would not be tolerated." Patton has endured a horror run on the injury front since being drafted by Greater Western Sydney with pick No.1 in the 2011 NAB AFL Draft. FULL PRE-SEASON FIXTURE Check it out here The 27-year-old, who has undergone three knee reconstructions, played 89 games over eight injury-ravaged seasons at the Giants, before being traded to Hawthorn at the end of 2019 for a future fourth-round selection. Patton played six games for the Hawks in a 2020 season where he suffered a hamstring injury and then later a torn plantaris tendon in his leg. Next season is shaping up as somewhat of a make-or-break year for Patton, whose best year came in 2017 when he kicked 45 goals. Patton was absent from training on Monday morning, as the Hawks completed a 2.2km time trial. CIRCLE THEM IN YOUR CALENDAR The 20 matches of 2021 you won't want to miss Changkuoth Jiath took out the victory ahead of youngster Finn Maginness and Dylan Moore. Draftee Connor Downie finished fourth in his first time trial appearance, while new recruit Tom Phillips rounded out the top five.
The 20 matches of the 2021 season you won't want to miss - AFL
Stick these games in your calendar right now
Round one Richmond v Carlton, MCG, Thursday 7.25pm AEDT The traditional season-opener pits the reigning premier against a Carlton team expected to rise under coach David Teague. It's the ultimate measuring stick for the Blues and you can guarantee whatever crowd is allowed in will be there at the MCG. All going well, Carlton will also unveil important recruits Adam Saad and Zac Williams. It was a season-opener like no other in 2020 as the Tigers and Blues clashed at an empty MCG. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game Collingwood v Western Bulldogs, MCG, Friday 7.50pm AEDT The circumstances of Adam Treloar's departure left Collingwood fans disappointed with their club, so how will they receive one of their favourites in opposition colours knowing he wanted to stay? And how will his former teammates approach the new Bulldog? One thing is for sure, the midfielder himself will be out to make a statement. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs could unveil exciting No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan on the big stage. Pairing him with fellow high-flying forward Aaron Naughton will make it hard to look away when the Dogs go inside 50. Essendon v Hawthorn, Marvel Stadium, Saturday 7.25pm AEDT Ben Rutten is now in charge after a season-long handover and will be accountable for the Bombers' performances from a coaching perspective. It will be interesting to see the changes he implements and how the players respond to the clarity of having one man in charge. Brisbane v Sydney, Gabba, Saturday 6.45pm AEST The prospect of watching Lance Franklin after an entire season without him should put a smile on a lot of faces. Buddy was sidelined through 2020 with a serious hamstring injury and groin troubles, but he is gearing up for a full running program in January. Hopefully, Joe Daniher will also be fully fit and ready for his Brisbane debut. If the electrifying forwards are both back in round one, we're definitely in for a treat. Round two Fremantle v Greater Western Sydney, Optus Stadium, Sunday 3.10pm AWST Key forward Jesse Hogan was unable to deliver in his two seasons with the Dockers, who paid a high price to secure him. Now a Giant, having been traded for a bargain price, will he return to his best form of 2018? Watching him flourish would be bittersweet for Fremantle, which understood his struggles and wanted him to achieve his potential. The Dockers just wanted that to happen in purple. THURSDAY NIGHT FLURRY 2021 season to open with rivalries galore Round three Geelong v Hawthorn, MCG, Monday 3.20pm AEST Hawks fans are used to seeing premiership heroes in opposition colours by now, but none of their triple-premiership heroes from 2013-15 have moved to finish their career at bitter rival Geelong. Wingman Isaac Smith moves at a time when he is playing solid football and he is every chance to finish with a fourth flag. It just won't feel right for Hawthorn fans seeing him in the hoops. Isaac Smith will run out for the Cats against his old club in the round three Easter Monday blockbuster. Picture: AFL Photos Round five West Coast v Collingwood, Optus Stadium, Friday 6.10pm AWST Last year's elimination final lit a fuse under this already combustible rivalry, which peaked in the thrilling 2018 Toyota AFL Grand Final. The Magpies notched their best win of 2020 against West Coast and they might rediscover that magic when they take on the Eagles in 2021. Brisbane v Essendon, Gabba, Saturday 7.25pm AEST The exit of key forward Joe Daniher (pictured below) was at least 12 months in the making after his failed bid to join Sydney at the end of 2019. Now a Lion after moving as a restricted free agent, Daniher's ability to rediscover his best form and stay on the park will be a key storyline in the Lions' season and their quest to play in their first Grand Final since 2004. Round six Greater Western Sydney v Western Bulldogs, Manuka Oval, Friday 7.50pm AEST Expect one of the AFL's best rivalries of recent seasons to continue bubbling along after a fiery clash in round three last season. The coin toss involving Nick Haynes and Marcus Bontempelli preceded a clash in which the Giants made a fighting statement but went down swinging. How do they approach this encounter in 2021? Collingwood v Essendon, MCG, Sunday 3.20pm AEST, Anzac Day The AFL's biggest occasion outside the Toyota AFL Grand Final, Anzac Day will have added significance in a football sense as the Magpies and Bombers return to the MCG. A lone bugler played the Last Post to an empty MCG on Anzac Day last season, with the special day falling during the AFL's coronavirus-enforced shutdown. The two teams finally met on July 3, with the Bombers winning by 15 points and ending a four-match losing streak against the Magpies. Round seven North Melbourne v Melbourne, Blundstone Arena, Time TBC It could be argued that no traded player has more to prove to his former club than ex-Kangaroo Ben Brown. The key forward kicked 60 or more goals in three straight seasons leading into 2020 and then fell out of favour and form dramatically. His team's inside-50 supply contributed, and it was flagged in September he would be traded. He has the ability to make a massive impact at the Demons and will be keen to remind North Melbourne of his ability. West Coast v Fremantle, Optus Stadium, Time TBC The first Western Derby of the season promises to be an intriguing affair as the Dockers plot their rise and the Eagles look for redemption after a disappointing 2020. The midfield battle will pit Freo's young and exciting group against the established, proven Eagles onballers. Round eight Richmond v Geelong, MCG, Time TBC The Grand Final rematch is a must-watch encounter every season, and Geelong's off-season acquisitions make the 2021 version all the more interesting. Can the Cats catch the Tigers with all they have added, or will they remain a step behind? Port Adelaide v Adelaide, Adelaide Oval, Time TBC The two South Australian clubs could not have been further apart in 2020. The Power spent the entire season atop the ladder and Adelaide did not win until round 15. But Showdowns have traditionally delivered and the Crows will be desperate to atone for last year's 75-point thumping in round two. Rory Laird tackles Steven Motlop during last year's Showdown between the Crows and Power. Picture: AFL Photos Round 12 Essendon v Richmond, MCG, Time TBC Last season's Dreamtime match, held in Darwin for the first time, was a memorable occasion. Shifted from the MCG due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria, it was launched with an epic pre-game ceremony at TIO Stadium and continued a proud tradition between these two clubs. Back at the MCG in 2021, expect another spectacle in the centrepiece match of Sir Doug Nicholls Round. There is also the matter of Essendon's 10-match losing streak against Richmond to deal with. The annual Dreamtime game between Richmond and Essendon was shifted to Darwin in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos Round 13 St Kilda v Adelaide, Cazaly's Stadium, Time TBC Brad Crouch's move from the Crows to the Saints has the ability to launch the Saints to a new level in 2021 if he can rediscover his best form in a new midfield. Crouch will also play against his brother, Matt, for the first time in his AFL career in a battle for bragging rights. Sydney v Hawthorn, SCG, Time TBC A rivalry will continue when top-six picks in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft, Denver Grainger-Barrass and Logan McDonald, line up against each other for the first time at AFL level. It is fair to assume both Western Australians will earn senior debuts early and it will be a treat to watch them face off against each other for years to come. The Hawks will also potentially come up against the Swans Academy player they bid on early, Braeden Campbell, forcing Sydney to pay up for the No.5 selection. Swans forward Logan McDonald and Hawks defender Denver Grainger-Barras are set for a long rivalry in the AFL. Picture: AFL Photos Round 16 Geelong v Essendon, GMHBA Stadium, Time TBC The last time Geelong hosted Essendon at its home ground, Gary Ablett snr and Billy Brownless were the Cats' forward combination. Now, 28 years on, Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron will link up as big-time Victorian rivalries continue to slowly return to the Cattery. Carlton and Hawthorn have returned to GMHBA Stadium in recent seasons after the capacity was increased, with the Geelong ground now able to hold 36,000 spectators after significant redevelopments. North Melbourne, St Kilda, the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne have regularly travelled to the ground, with Richmond playing there once since 2012. After the Bombers return in 2021, Collingwood's 22-year absence from the ground will be the longest standing. The Cats and Bombers will clash at GMHBA Stadium for the first time since 1993. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos Round 17 Greater Western Sydney v Gold Coast, Giants Stadium, Time TBC There is a sense Gold Coast is building while Greater Western Sydney has peaked after a run of four straight finals appearances ended in 2020. A clash between the two expansion teams will give an indication of where the Suns are in their development and if this Giants group has another shot at it after losing key players in the off-season. Round 21 Geelong v Greater Western Sydney, GMHBA Stadium, Time TBC Coleman medallist Jeremy Cameron will be targeting a bounce back in 2021 after struggling with hub life in 2020 and averaging a career-low 1.4 goals a game in shortened matches (down from 3.2 in his 2019 Coleman Medal year). The Giants were desperate to retain the dual All-Australian and even matched Geelong's offer for him. Will he lift against his former club?
Stack's AFL career in jeopardy after arrest in WA - AFL
Sydney Stack has been arrested and refused bail for allegedly breaching WA's COVID laws
SYDNEY Stack's AFL career is in jeopardy after has was arrested and refused bail for allegedly breaching Western Australia's strict COVID-19 laws. Stack was granted approval to enter WA on compassionate grounds on December 10 for his grandfather's funeral, with his flight from Victoria making a stop-over in South Australia. WA's border with South Australia is still closed after a recent coronavirus scare. After arriving in WA, Stack was issued with a direction to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days at a nominated address in Northam, about 97km east-northeast of Perth. But he was allegedly found by police at 1.10am AWST on Saturday in the Perth party district of Northbridge. It was also identified he had been staying at a residence in Belmont and not at his nominated quarantine address in Northam. The 20-year-old, who has played 26 games for Richmond, was charged with failing to comply with a direction. KICKED OUT OF QLD 10-match ban for Tiger pair He was refused bail at his court appearance on Sunday, and is due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court again on Monday, December 21. The alleged breach caps off a torrid year for Stack, who was handed a 10-match AFL ban and banished from Queensland in September for an incident outside of a Gold Coast strip club. Stack and Tigers teammate Callum Coleman-Jones broke the AFL's return-to-play protocols during that night out, which ended up with them being involved in a fight at about 3.30am. Richmond were fined $100,000 over the incident. 2020'S BIGGEST STORIES COUNTDOWN Nathan Schmook's 20-11 here Stack issued an apology on Instagram after that incident. "I'm very sorry, understand the seriousness of it and can do nothing now but own the consequences," Stack wrote. "I've let down the AFL, the club I love, my teammates, coaches and staff, its members and the tiger army. "I also have let down my family, my friends and all of those who have helped me along the way. "To those who are supporting me at the moment, a huge thanks. I only hope going forward I can rebuild trust in me again." Stack was overlooked in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft because of concerns about off-field issues, but he was invited to train with Richmond and eventually won a spot on its rookie list. The gifted utility even lived with Richmond coach Damien Hardwick while training with the club. Stack played 17 games in a breakout debut season last year before a late form slump and ankle injury saw him miss their premiership. He played nine games this year before being dropped for poor form, with his season eventually ended by the 10-match ban. Stack's latest indiscretion is a blow to his career, and Richmond will wait until his next court hearing before declaring whether they will impose any further punishment.
Who smashed it? Our say on your club's draft performance - AFL
All the bolters, sliders, big hauls and curious calls of the 2020 NAB AFL Draft
A TOTAL of 86 players had their names called out across the past two days in the NAB AFL Draft and Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts. Check out what draft experts Callum Twomey and Riley Beveridge said about your club's newest players. Who they picked: 2. Riley Thilthorpe (West Adelaide), 11. Luke Pedlar (Glenelg), 25. Brayden Cook (South Adelaide), 28. Sam Berry (Gippsland Power), 38. James Rowe (Woodville-West Torrens). Pre-Season Draft: Jackson Hately (Greater Western Sydney). Rookies: Bryce Gibbs (Adelaide), James Borlase (NGA), Tariek Newchurch (NGA) CROWS' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: "Riley has been the best player in the State for his age group since he was 14 and we have been waiting a long time for a local player like him to come along. Then to add a super competitive and powerful midfielder like Luke with our next pick was a great outcome because we had him pegged for a spot on our list a long way out." - national recruiting manager Hamish Ogilvie Verdict: A real local flavour to the Crows' selections as they went with South Australian forward RileyThilthorpe at the top after bidding on Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, and then followed with fellow Croweaters Luke Pedlar and Brayden Cook, and then James Rowe with their last pick. Rowe is a ready-to-go small forward, while Pedlar climbed up the ranks with his doggedness in the midfield. They moved up to get Cook and he looks a nice player for the future in Adelaide' forward line. The call to pick Thilthorpe ahead of Logan McDonald will be debated for some time as the Crows settled on the forward/ruck with the top (live) choice. In the Pre-Season Draft wantaway Giant Jackson Hately finally got to the Crows while they re-listed retired midfielder Bryce Gibbs as a rookie for administrative reasons with his contract. - Callum Twomey Who they picked: 24. Blake Coleman (Brisbane Lions Academy), 43. Harry Sharp (GWV Rebels), 48. Henry Smith (Woodville-West Torrens). Rookies: Grant Birchall (Brisbane), Carter Michael (Lions Academy), Deividas Uosis (Cat B) LIONS' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: "Blake plays with power and presence around the contest, is a clean ball handler and kicks the footy with penetration. [Harry's] a smart hybrid midfielder whose ball use and long contest to contest game running we believe mixes in really well to our current squad. [Henry's] a developing ruckman who also showed he can play as a key position forward through this season." - national recruiting manager Stephen Conole Verdict: Were forced to match an early bid from Collingwood for Blake Coleman, and while doing that traded back for later picks and more points. The Lions like their Vic Country prospects and picked another with running machine Harry Sharp, a talented and hard-working midfield option who will be given time to grow. Coleman has genuine tricks in the forward line and Henry Smith is a ruckman to add to their small big men stocks. - Callum Twomey Who they picked: 37. Corey Durdin (Central Districts), 41. Jack Carroll (East Fremantle). Rookies: Luke Parks (Glenelg) BLUES' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: "[Corey's] tough, hes quick, hes clean and hes a competitor at the end of the day. Hes shown that he can play a number of roles, originally starting out as a midfielder but having a real impact as a small forward in the last few seasons. We regard [Jack] as one of the real standout midfielders in this draft class. Hes got some weapons as an on-baller and the best part of his game is that he can hurt the opposition in a number of ways." - head of list management Nick Austin Verdict: The Blues had their eye on several South Australians and had looked closely at pushing up the draft order but held their spots in the second round. Corey Durdin could be a diamond in the rough: he's a small forward who played at senior level this year, while Jack Carroll was the draft slider, pushing down the order and being too good to pass up. Another taller inside midfield option for the Blues with a contested streak. - Callum Twomey Who they picked: 17. Oliver Henry (Geelong Falcons), 19. Finlay Macrae (Oakleigh Chargers), 23. Reef McInnes (Oakleigh Chargers), 30. Caleb Poulter (Woodville-West Torrens), 31. Liam McMahon (Northern Knights), 44. Beau McCreery (South Adelaide). Rookies: Jack Ginnivan (Bendigo Pioneers), Isaac Chugg (Launceston) MAGPIES' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: "We had two plans pre-Reef and post-Reef. We were really concerned that a bid might come initially with Essendon, and then Adelaide had indicated they had a strong interest as well. Once Adelaide didn't bid on Reef the draft really opened up for us as it turns out, we've brought in three players, four players inside our (top) 20. We wrote up on the board that if we could achieve four inside 40 that would be great." - national recruiting manager Derek Hine Verdict: The Pies were in everything on draft night. They scooped up two Victorian talents who got through to their picks in the first round, having not been able to trade up the board, before their next big win was not receiving a bid for NGA talent Reef McInnes until 23. They swapped out next year's future first-round pick to grab Caleb Poulter and Liam McMahon, and ended their night with overager Beau McCreery, a speedy medium forward. In the Rookie Draft Jack Ginnivan is a small forward with some pizazz. - Callum Twomey Who they picked: 8. Nik Cox (Northern Knights), 9. Archie Perkins (Sandringham Dragons), 10. Zach Reid (Gippsland Power), 39. Josh Eyre (Calder Cannons), 53. Cody Brand (Calder Cannons). Rookies: Martin Gleeson (Essendon), Dylan Clarke (Essendon) BOMBERS' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: "We don't know what [Nik's] ceiling is. He's got an amazing engine, he's super quick and kicks on both sides of his body, so he'll run around like a midfielder. [Archie] is a young man who is very driven and he's got some really exciting attributes... the thing I like about him is his agility, he can get in and out of traffic and he's got some real X-factor about him. [Zach] was the best player available in our opinion at the time and we got him. We set out in this draft to make sure the spine of this club for the next 10 years was in good shape." - national recruiting manager Adrian Dodoro Verdict: Adrian Dodoro has always built from the spine out and the Bombers again showed they put a weighting on talls in this year's draft. Four of their five picks were key position players, giving the club a plan for life after Joe Daniher and when Cale Hooker and Michael Hurley finish their careers. Nik Cox is a versatile option while Zach Reid is a gun centre-half back, Cody Brand is a sturdy key defender and Josh Eyre can take flight up forward. Archie Perkins was the exciting pick and he is a player who can help transform the Bombers as a midfielder and half-forward who has genuine spark. The Bombers threw in a cheeky bid late for Maurice Rioli Jr that was quickly matched by Richmond. - Callum Twomey Who they picked: 14. Heath Chapman (West Perth), 27. Nathan ODriscoll (Perth), 50. Brandon Walker (East Fremantle), 54. Joel Western (Claremont). Rookies: Josh Treacy (Bendigo Pioneers), Bailey Banfield (Fremantle) DOCKERS' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: [Heath's] a quick intercept marker and with that athletic profile, even through hes played a lot of footy in defence, thered be no reason why he couldnt play wing, possibly forward and, long-term, maybe even as an inside mid. Nathan is a really hard worker, hes a genuine two-way midfielder that works extremely hard defensively. Both Brandon and Joel are really good athletes and exceptionally quick. Weve identified that as an area that we really needed to address. - executive general manager of football, Peter Bell Verdict: The Dockers were happy to grab Heath Chapman with their first pick even though he doesn't necessarily fit a need as an attacking and rebounding half-back essentially because of his high talent. Chapman averaged 23 touches at under-18 level in Western Australia this year but can dominate in the air, too. Nathan O'Driscoll was rated highly as an inside midfielder who has some speed as well, while the Dockers finished their haul by grabbing Academy pair Brandon Walker and Joel Western later in the piece. Fremantle doesn't always lean towards West Australians but left the draft with four locals to add to its list. - Callum Twomey Who they picked: 20. Max Holmes (Sandringham Dragons), 33. Shannon Neale (South Fremantle), 47. Nick Stevens (GWV Rebels). Rookies: Paul Tsapatolis (Cat B) CATS' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: "We saw an opportunity with Max sliding through to the later first round to trade a future first (round selection). We obviously rate him really highly and think hes got a lot of improvement in him. We think hes going to be a great fit for our footy club, not just in the short term, but definitely in the medium to long term. We had some draft capital and equity in the 2021 draft from the Jeremy Cameron trade so we thought the opportunity was a really good one for us and were absolutely rapt to have Max at the football club," - Geelong talent ID manager Troy Selwood. Verdict: The Cats made a big move on the night by swapping out their future first-round pick to zoom up the board and take Richmond's spot in the first round. They went with the intention of drafting Max Holmes, an athletic runner and prospect who had many suits around that part of the draft. Geelong went into the night eyeing off Shannon Neale as a young and athletic ruckman and ended with him, and completed their draft hand by taking defender Nick Stevens. All of the Cats' picks will be given plenty of time to develop at the lower level before being AFL ready. - Callum Twomey Max Holmes in his new colours. Picture: AFL Photos Who they picked: 7. Elijah Hollands (Murray Bushrangers), Alex Davies (Suns Academy), Joel Jeffrey (Suns Academy). Rookies: Jacob Townsend (Essendon), Jack Hombsch (Gold Coast), Jordan Murdoch (Gold Coast), Aiden Fyfe (Broadbeach), Rhys Nicholls (Labrador), Paul Hewago (Cat B) SUNS' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: "Elijah is a player weve had a really high opinion of for a long time and were ecstatic to have him at the Suns. He's a powerful footballer on field that this is great ball user and compliments our list but importantly hes also a quality young man who comes from a great family." - national recruiting manager Kall Burns Verdict: The Suns only had one pick at the NAB AFL Draft after trading out their other selections in the lead up. They were able to sit at their spot and see which member of the 'Fantastic Five' slipped through, happy with whichever way it went. Gold Coast ended with Elijah Hollands, who perhaps has as much star factor as any player in the draft: he can kick it a mile, take a grab, play as a big midfielder and also as a clever forward. He seems unlikely to play until mid-year next year as he recovers from his knee reconstruction. In the Rookie Draft they added Jacob Townsend, with the Richmond premiership player heading from Essendon to the Gold Coast for some further experience in the forward line. - Callum Twomey Who they picked: 12. Tanner Bruhn (Geelong Falcons), 15. Conor Stone (Oakleigh Chargers), 18. Ryan Angwin (Gippsland Power), 58. Cameron Fleeton (Geelong Falcons), 59. Jacob Wehr (Woodville-West Torrens). Rookies: Sam Reid (GWS), Zach Sproule (GWS), Will Shaw (NSW/ACT zone) GIANTS' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: "While predominantly a midfielder, Tanner has shown before he can play down back or in attack and that versatility will help him as he looks for senior opportunities. A powerful and versatile player, we love Conor's competitiveness and running ability and think he will develop into a player who can fill a few different roles. Ryan is a baby who only turns 18 later this week. We were looking to add a player who can fill some outside roles with elite running ability, and he was the standout in that area of the draft." - national recruiting manager Adrian Caruso Verdict: It was a busy evening for the Giants, who started with five top-26 picks and ended up using five selections but spread them deeper into the pool. With their first three selections they grabbed a mix of players, including a classy midfielder in Tanner Bruhn, a hard-edged forward in Conor Stone and a running machine in Ryan Angwin to add to their wing stocks. Then they made a deal with Collingwood to nab the Pies' first-round pick next year for two slots in the 20s and picked late. Jacob Wehr is a mature-ager who had a strong season in the SANFL and Cameron Fleeton is a running back with some dash. - Callum Twomey Who they picked: 6. Denver Grainger-Barras (Swan Districts), 29. Seamus Mitchell (Bendigo Pioneers), 35. Connor Downie (Eastern Ranges), 46. Tyler Brockman (Subiaco). Rookies: Jack Saunders (Norwood) HAWKS' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: "Denver (Grainger-Barras) is a tall back who played senior footy for Swan Districts. He's been a good player for about two or three years a great interceptor who can also lock down. Seamus (Mitchell) will be more of your small forward/high half forward, he has really good speed and he can get up the ground, push back and kick goals. Connor (Downie) has been part of our NGA program for the last four years, headed up by Nathan Foley. Hes a very professional lad, very committed, and we wanted him at the football club. Tyler (Brockman) had a great year. Hes quick, he plays that small forward role but can play high half-forward. Definitely that speed was something that excited us. He complements some of the other players we brought in," Hawthorn national recruiting manager Mark McKenzie. Verdict: After failing with a top-five bid on Sydney Academy prospect Braeden Campbell, Hawthorn addressed a massive need in recruiting 195cm defender Denver Grainger-Barras with its earliest pick since 2005. He will slot seamlessly into a backline that has just lost a host of experience in Ben Stratton and James Frawley, while fellow tall defender James Sicily will miss much of 2021 with a knee injury. Seamus Mitchell was a little bit of a flier at pick No.29, but will add an injection of speed to a big-bodied midfield group. Not having to match a bid for its own academy prospect in Connor Downie until pick No.35 capped what was a satisfying evening for the club. - Riley Beveridge Who they picked: 21. Jake Bowey (Sandringham Dragons), 22. Bailey Laurie (Oakleigh Chargers), 34. Fraser Rosman (Sandringham Dragons) DEMONS' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: "We went in with an idea to target players around really good footy IQ, good ball users, good decision makers. I think we got two of the better players in the pool in those areas of their game, in both Jake and Bailey, with those early selections. [Rosmans] an extreme endurance athlete and hes got really good speed, so the skys the limit for Fraser. Hes fairly raw in terms of his footy, but we think he can fill a role in all areas of the ground." - national recruiting manager Jason Taylor Verdict: Having returned to the first-round of this year's draft with back-to-back selections, Melbourne went small with Jake Bowey and Bailey Laurie at picks No.21 and 22 respectively. The pair will add yet more X-factor to a developing forward line that had already been boosted by the arrival of Kysaiah Pickett last year. Bowey is a super clean 175cm forward with good speed, while Laurie's goal sense and nous in attack at 179cm will add another difference-maker to the Dees' attack. The club finished its night by taking a punt on athletic 193cm mid-forward Fraser Rosman, who has the type of potential and physical traits that make him an appealing prospect. - Riley Beveridge Who they picked: 3. Will Phillips (Oakleigh Chargers), 13. Tom Powell (Sturt), 36. Charlie Lazzaro (Geelong Falcons), 42. Phoenix Spicer (South Adelaide), 56. Eddie Ford (Western Jets). Rookies: Patrick Walker (North Hobart), Connor Menadue (Werribee) ROOS' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: "Will's inside and outside game, as well as his speed and endurance will benefit us for many years. He is a relentless competitor who has leadership and a first-class character. Tom is a prolific ball-winner and elite with the ball in hand. Charlie is a really driven inside/outside-midfielder who can also play forward. Phoenix is an exciting prospect who really impressed in 2020 at SANFL 18s and Reserves level in 2020. Eddie is an exciting forward who ... has speed, power and clean hands while having the ability to take a big mark and kick bags of goals." - national recruiting manager Mark Finnigan Verdict: Sprung the first real surprise of the draft when it claimed Will Phillips with pick No.3. Perhaps not expected this early, the hard-nosed and prolific 180cm midfielder will add leadership and two-way running to a developing onball group that already features rising young talent like Jy Simpkin, Luke Davies-Uniacke and Tarryn Thomas. North Melbourne paired him with Tom Powell at pick No.13, who is another that can win the footy at will and demonstrated that at SANFL under 18s level this season. Charlie Lazzaro is a small midfielder who has genuine toughness, while Phoenix Spicer and Eddie Ford have the ability to add some spark to the club's forward line. Didn't necessarily address key-position needs in attack, with Nick Larkey and Josh Walker likely to start as the side's focal points inside 50 next season, but are clearly starting their rebuild by growing from the midfield-out. The Kangaroos filled out their list by selecting former 39-game Tigers speedster Connor Menadue, delisted in 2019, and Tasmanian half-back Patrick Walker as rookies. - Riley Beveridge Who they picked: 16. Lachie Jones (Woodville-West Torrens), 49. Ollie Lord (Sandringham Dragons). Rookies: Tyson Goldsack (Port Adelaide Magpies), Taj Schofield (Woodville West Torrens) PORT'S DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: "[Lachies] got some real speed and bursts and real power, and he can take a nice grab. He knows when to punch or when to spoil, hes got a good feel for when to attack the ball and kick long. [Ollie's] a tall key position forward who attacks the contest and can take a good mark. Hes raw because he hasnt been in the AFL Academy program and will take some time to develop but given the tall forwards weve got we can give him that time." - national recruiting manager Geoff Parker Verdict: It was a relatively simple night for Port Adelaide, who had been planning for a first-round bid on academy prospect Lachie Jones from a long way out. That arrived when Collingwood came calling with pick No.16, where the club unsurprisingly matched its bad. Jones is a versatile 186cm defender in the mould of Dane Rampe, with his ability to tackle small or tall opposition set to provide a valuable asset in the Power backline. He's also a ready-made prospect who played senior SANFL footy this season. With one list spot remaining, Port claimed 195cm forward Ollie Lord with pick No.49. He's still raw, but will have time to develop within a strong setup next season. Father-son prospect Taj Schofield and former 165-game Collingwood premiership defender Tyson Goldsack, who had previously retired at the end of the 2019 season, joined the club via the rookie draft. - Riley Beveridge Who they picked: 40. Samson Ryan (Brisbane Lions Academy), 51. Maurice Rioli jnr (St Marys). Rookies: Mate Colina (Cat B) TIGERS' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: "[Samson's] a big boy... almost 206cm now. He's a Richmond supporter as a kid and he's played some really good senior footy leading the ruck in the QAFL this year. He's really skilled by foot for a big man and he can move around the ground. We're really excited to have Maurice... he's hard, tough, a little tackle machine. He puts really good forward pressure on and he's got some amazing tricks." - national recruiting manager Matthew Clarke Verdict: Having traded out of pick No.17 for Geelong's future first-round selection, Richmond didn't go back on the clock until it was forced to match a bid for father-son prospect Maurice Rioli Jr at pick No.51. It made for a rather cruisy night for the reigning premiers, who now hold two first-round picks, two second-round picks and two third-round picks in what is tipped to be a loaded 2021 draft class. Rioli Jr the son of 118-game Richmond player and 1982 Norm Smith Medal winner Maurice Rioli Sr will be given time to develop at the Tigers, but has plenty of potential as a skilful 179cm forward. - Riley Beveridge Maurice Rioli jnr in action for NT Thunder in April, 2019. Picture: AFL Photos Who they picked: 26. Matt Allison (Calder Cannons), 45. Tom Highmore (South Adelaide) SAINTS' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: "Matthew is a mobile forward who can also play down back. He's a good kick, athletic and has great running capacity. Tom is a courageous intercept marking defender. He has outstanding character and can play on a variety of players." - head of list management James Gallagher Verdict: Bolstered its key-position stocks at either end of the field, doing so primarily in attack by drafting 192cm forward Matt Allison at pick No.26. He's a player who can get high up the field with a good endurance base, but is equally as adept in the air and is a strong mark above his head. St Kilda will hope he provides long-term support for Max King. The club then continued a recent trend of claiming mature-aged talent with the recruitment of Tom Highmore at pick No.45. The South Adelaide prospect is a 192cm defender and, at 22 years of age, is ready to play senior football straightaway. His aerial work, in particular his intercept marking, is the standout feature of his game. - Riley Beveridge Who they picked: 4. Logan McDonald (Perth), 5. Braeden Campbell (Sydney Academy), 32. Errol Gulden (Sydney Academy). Rookies: Malachy Carruthers (Sturt), Marc Sheather (Swans Academy) SWANS' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: "We're delighted to bring in three players of the calibre of Logan, Braeden and Errol. All three are elite talents and quality young men. Braeden and Errol are both products of our Academy and were excited to be able see them continue their AFL journey at the Swans. As part of this draft, we were also keen to add to our key position depth and Logan is an elite talent who we think will develop into a powerful key forward who fans will enjoy watching for years to come. - executive general manager of football, Charlie Gardiner Verdict: What a night for Sydney. The club went for Logan McDonald at pick No.4, opting for the key forward over the key defender in Denver Grainger-Barras. The talented West Australian goalkicker, rated as one of the best players in this year's draft pool, will take the mantle from Lance Franklin as the side's future in attack and his arrival will likely also enable Tom McCartin to potentially settle down back. It was forced to match a bid for academy prospect Braeden Campbell earlier than expected at pick No.5, but in doing so will get one of the best pure midfielders in this year's crop. A bid for fellow academy gun Errol Gulden came at pick No.32, ending a thoroughly satisfying evening for the Swans. Skilful rebounding defender Malachy Carruthers joined on Thursday via the rookie draft. - Riley Beveridge Who they picked: 52. Luke Edwards (Glenelg), 57. Isiah Winder (Peel Thunder). Rookies: Zane Trew (Swan Districts), Daniel Venables (West Coast) EAGLES' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees What the club says: TBC Verdict: It was never going to be an exciting start to the draft for West Coast, who didn't begin its evening until pick No.52. There, it drafted crafty half-back Luke Edwards. The son of Adelaide champion Tyson was passed up by the Crows as a father-son prospect, but finds a home at the Eagles after gaining valuable senior experience at SANFL level this season. The club finished its night by recruiting Isiah Winder at pick No.57, a speedy midfielder who can also push forward and impact on the scoreboard. Powerful inside midfielder Zane Trew, considered one of the most unlucky players to miss a spot on an AFL list during the national draft, was then recruited to West Coast on Thursday as a rookie. - Riley Beveridge Luke Edwards at the South Australian NAB AFL Draft Combine in September. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos Who they picked: 1. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (Oakleigh Chargers), 55. Dominic Bedendo (Murray Bushrangers). Rookies: Lachlan McNeil (Woodville West Torrens), Roarke Smith (Western Bulldogs) What the club says: TBC DOGS' DRAFT HAUL Check out all your club's new draftees Verdict: It took the Western Bulldogs just 14 seconds to match a bid on Jamarra Ugle-Hagan at pick No.1. The consensus best player in this year's draft, the 194cm marking forward will join a lethal forward-50 partnership with Aaron Naughton for years to come. Eligible to the Dogs through their Next Generation Academy, Ugle-Hagan has the potential to become one of the best players in the competition. Matching a bid on Ugle-Hagan led to a relatively quiet night for the Dogs. After a couple of failed academy bids of its own on Cody Brand and Joel Western, the club ultimately ended its night by picking up rangy forward Dominic Bedendo at pick No.55. Powerful midfielder Lachie McNeil, who impressed at SANFL level as a 19-year-old this season, then joined the club as a rookie on Thursday. - Riley Beveridge
Dogs snap up Jamarra after Crows' bid, Roos surprise at No.3 - AFL
As expected, the Western Bulldogs have taken exciting talent Jamarra Ugle-Hagan with pick No.1 in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft after matching a bid from Adelaide
JAMARRA Ugle-Hagan has been taken No.1 in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft after the Western Bulldogs matched a bid from Adelaide for the exciting key forward. The Bulldogs wasted no time in snapping up Ugle-Hagan - long considered the best player in this year's draft pool - after the Crows placed a bid on the Next Generation Academy talent. EVERY PICK, EVERY PLAYER Check out who you just drafted The 18-year-old is the Bulldogs' first No.1 selection since Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney in 2003 and the first Indigenous player since Des Headland went to Brisbane in 1998 to be taken with the top pick. Despite his 2020 season being wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ugle-Hagan was a near-unanimous top choice after his blistering form for the Oakleigh Chargers last year. The athletic forward kicked 24 goals from nine games in the NAB League, showing a flair that should thrill Bulldogs fans for years to come. WHO WOULD YOU HAVE TAKEN AT NO.1? We ask the recruiters He's tall (195cm), fast and loves to take towering pack marks. The Dogs used picks 29, 33, 41, 42, 52, 54 to match the bid, while getting picks 61, 119, 120, 121 and 122 in return. As expected, Adelaide took lifelong Crows fan and South Australian forward/ruck Riley Thilthorpe second before North Melbourne sprung the first shock of the night by selecting midfielder Will Phillips third. DRAFT HUB Latest news, profiles, highlights, more Phillips, a prolific ball-getter who oozes leadership, was expected to go in the first six selections, but many thought he'd drop lower than third before the Roos pounced. Sydney then solidified its key forward and midfield stocks with back-to-back picks by grabbing impressive West Australian Logan McDonald, who kicked 21 goals from nine WAFL games for Perth, and matching Hawthorn's bid on Academy player Braeden Campbell. The Hawks took WA product Denver Grainger-Barras with pick No.6, leaving Gold Coast to snap up explosive midfielder Elijah Hollands at seven. Then it was Essendon's turn to shape the draft with three successive picks. With intrigue surrounding who the Bombers would take, and an inadvertent 'whiteboard leak' the day before the draft, they went with two key-position players and one explosive hybrid who is sure to turn heads. Nik Cox (No.8) and Zach Reid (No.10) stand 200cm and 202cm, respectively, and could shore up the Bombers' defence for the next decade, but it was their selection in between that caused a stir. Just hours after Sandringham's Archie Perkins said he'd prefer to stay in Melbourne than be drafted to another state, the forward/midfielder got his wish and will be a Bomber in 2021. Archie Perkins celebrates as his name is called out by Essendon during the NAB AFL Draft. Picture: Michael Willson, AFL Photos More to come
Watch/listen LIVE: A huge NAB AFL Draft Countdown on air NOW - AFL
Join the team as they speak to recruiters, player managers, draft hopefuls, more in a jam-packed two-hour show
THE 2020 NAB AFL Draft is set to be one of the most enthralling and extraordinary events of its kind. For the first time ever, the draft will be in a virtual format and there is expected to be plenty of twists and turns after an entire football season was wiped out for many players. >> WATCH THE NAB AFL DRAFT COUNTDOWN SHOW IN THE LIVE PLAYER BELOW FROM 12pm AEDT So if you're not quite up to date with the who's who of this year's draft pool, we've got you covered every step of the way with the best, the most forensic, most accurate, and most trusted draft team in the country. NAB AFL Draft Night LIVE Not a subscriber? Cal Twomey, Nat Edwards, and Riley Beveridge will bring you NAB AFL Draft Night Live on AFL.com.au and the AFL Live Official App for the 2020 NAB AFL Draft. >> WATCH THE NAB AFL DRAFT COUNTDOWN SHOW IN THE LIVE PLAYER BELOW FROM 12pm AEDT You can stay up to date with everything that's happening with in-depth analysis of the players, and be a step ahead of the decision-making with Cal's unparalleled knowledge of what the clubs are thinking. PHANTOM DRAFT Cal Twomey's late mail Newsbreaker Mitch Cleary will also bring you interviews with some of the young players who are fresh off realising their childhood dream of becoming an AFL player. Watch NAB AFL Draft Night LIVE from 6.30pm AEDT on Wednesday, December 9. NAB AFL Draft Countdown Twomey, Beveridge and Cleary will also bring you all the build-up to the NAB AFL Draft from 12-2pm AEDT today on AFL.com.au and the AFL Live Official App. It's a huge line-up with recruiting managers Graham Wright (Hawthorn), Derek Hine (Collingwood) and Hamish Ogilvie (Adelaide) all joining the show, we'll hear from possible No.1 and No.2 picks Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and Riley Thilthorpe, and player agent Robbie D'Orazio is also up for chat. Don't miss it. >> WATCH THE NAB AFL DRAFT COUNTDOWN SHOW IN THE LIVE PLAYER BELOW FROM 12pm AEDT You can follow all the action your way by either tuning in to DRAFT RADIO or WATCHING our LIVE stream on AFL.com.au and the AFL Live Official App. Watch it LIVE from 12pm AEDT Who does your club NEED? National talent ambassador Kevin 'Shifter' Sheehan joined the Road to the Draft podcast last week and, with Cal and Nat, they put together a 'mock draft' purely based on what each club was lacking and which young prospect could fill that void. PHANTOM FORM GUIDE Cal Twomey's December rankings Here's what they came up with. Check it out in the podcast below and find out who your club really needs. Fox Footy's NAB AFL Draft Show Catch all the action as it unfolds on Fox Footy's live draft coverage. If you're a Telstra Official AFL Live Pass subscriber, you'll be able to watch every second of Fox Footy's coverage on Wednesday on the AFL Live Official App. Who did you just draft? Find out more about your newest players via our Draft Prospects page which features player bios and video highlights. So even if you can't watch the draft LIVE, you'll have access to information you won't find anywhere else. Then, come back on Thursday when Cal Twomey and Riley Beveridge will have the club-by-club wraps so you can familiarise yourself with each player your team drafted and what needs they'll fill.
Bombers to meet Rioli, Academy prospects also on radar - AFL
Could Essendon make a play for the son of a Tigers great?
IS ESSENDON up to its old tricks? A day out from the NAB AFL Draft, the Bombers are continuing to signal they could bid on a range of Academy and father-son prospects. On Tuesday, they are understood to be meeting with Richmond father-son talent Maurice Rioli jnr, with the Bombers having previously expressed their interest in the Northern Territory prospect. Rioli is tied to the Tigers, who under father-son rules can match a bid for him at any stage of the draft. But the club is hopeful it could automatically nab him with its last selection in Wednesday's draft if no bids come. The small forward could have actually joined the Bombers under Next Generation Academy rules, having lived in the club's region in the NT, and he was also eligible to join Fremantle under father-son rules. FINAL DRAFT ORDER Your club's picks for the 2020 NAB AFL Draft But he nominated Richmond, where his late father Maurice won the 1982 Norm Smith Medal and was a star of the Tigers as well as South Fremantle in the WAFL. Essendon has a history with the Rioli family, with Dean Rioli playing 100 games for the club between 1999-2006. Dean Rioli in action for the Bombers in a round 18 clash with Geelong back in 2005. Picture: AFL Photos The Bombers are no stranger to bids on the sons of club greats, having also placed a bid on Carlton's Jack Silvagni, the son of former Blues defender and list manager Stephen, in 2015. CAL TWOMEY'S PHANTOM DRAFT Top 30, late picks, your club's whispers Overall they have bid on four players under the current bidding system, with successful calls on Kobe Mutch in 2016 (he was in the Giants' Academy) and Irving Mosquito in 2018 (from the Hawks' Next Generation Academy), while last year their bid for Brisbane youngster Keidean Coleman was matched by the Lions. Rioli, who followed the same path as cousin Cyril to move to Melbourne and study at Scotch College, is keen to land at Richmond alongside cousin and three-time premiership player Daniel. NAB AFL DRAFT NIGHT LIVE will be streaming on the AFL LIVE OFFICIAL APP and AFL.com.au on Wednesday, December 9, from 6.30pm AEDT. But before that, WATCH/LISTEN to NAB AFL DRAFT COUNTDOWN on Tuesday and Wednesday (December 8-9) from 12-2pm AEDT AFL.com.au revealed last month that Rioli's 2km time trial had been forced to end after his run was disrupted by a bizarre plover attack. EXPLAINER Everything you need to know about the NAB AFL Draft The Bombers have also been linked as possible bidders on Academy players Braeden Campbell (Sydney) and Reef McInnes (Collingwood) with their suite of early picks.
Watch LIVE: Best team, best NAB AFL Draft coverage is here - AFL
The draft is almost upon us. Here's how you can follow it
THE 2020 NAB AFL Draft is set to be one of the most enthralling and extraordinary events of its kind. For the first time ever, the draft will be in a virtual format and there is expected to be plenty of twists and turns after an entire football season was wiped out for many players. INDICATIVE DRAFT ORDER Your club's picks as they stand So if you're not quite up to date with the who's who of this year's draft pool, we've got you covered every step of the way with the best, the most forensic, most accurate, and most trusted draft team in the country. NAB AFL Draft Night LIVE Not a subscriber? Cal Twomey, Nat Edwards, and Riley Beveridge will bring you NAB AFL Draft Night Live on AFL.com.au and the AFL Live Official App for the 2020 NAB AFL Draft. You can stay up to date with everything that's happening with in-depth analysis of the players, and be a step ahead of the decision-making with Cal's unparalleled knowledge of what the clubs are thinking. EXPLAINER Everything you need to know about the NAB AFL Draft Gun reporter Mitch Cleary will also bring you interviews with some of the young players who are fresh off realising their childhood dream of becoming an AFL player. Watch NAB AFL Draft Night LIVE from 6.30pm AEDT on Wednesday, December 9. NAB AFL Draft Countdown Twomey, Beveridge and Cleary will also bring you all the build-up to the NAB AFL Draft from 12-2pm AEDT on Tuesday and Wednesday (December 8 and 9) on AFL.com.au and the AFL Live Official App. There will be interviews with list managers, recruiters, player managers, draft hopefuls, and more. You can follow all the action your way by either tuning in to DRAFT RADIO or WATCHING our LIVE stream on AFL.com.au and the AFL Live Official App. NAB AFL Draft Countdown will be brought to you by gun reporters Mitch Cleary, Cal Twomey and Riley Beveridge. Picture: AFL Media Who does your club NEED? National talent ambassador Kevin 'Shifter' Sheehan joined the Road to the Draft podcast last week and, with Cal and Nat, they put together a 'mock draft' purely based on what each club was lacking and which young prospect could fill that void. PHANTOM FORM GUIDE Cal Twomey's December rankings Here's what they came up with. Check it out in the podcast below and find out who your club really needs. Fox Footy's NAB AFL Draft Show Catch all the action as it unfolds on Fox Footy's live draft coverage. If you're a Telstra Official AFL Live Pass subscriber, you'll be able to watch every second of Fox Footy's coverage on Wednesday on the AFL Live Official App. BIG DRAFT QUESTIONS No.1 chances, late bolters, how many picks, more Who did you just draft? Find out more about your newest players via our Draft Prospects page which features player bios and video highlights. So even if you can't watch the draft LIVE, you'll have access to information you won't find anywhere else. Then, come back on Thursday when Cal Twomey and Riley Beveridge will have the club-by-club wraps so you can familiarise yourself with each player your team drafted and what needs they'll fill.
LIVE from 1pm AEDT: 'The guru' answering your draft questions - AFL
Join Cal Twomey LIVE from 1pm AEDT today as he answers all your best draft questions
WHAT are the latest whispers ahead of the NAB AFL Draft? Who are the late bolters? Who could be falling through to a later pick? What will the Crows do with pick No.1? For all the latest on this year's pool, join AFL.com.au's draft expert Callum Twomey for a LIVE chat from 1pm AEDT TODAY.
'It's one of the best days of my life': Emotional Swan's Gaelic glory - AFL
Sydney's Irish defender Colin O'Riordan has helped his county of Tipperary to its first GAA title in 85 years
EMOTIONAL Sydney defender Colin O'Riordan has thanked the Swans for allowing him to help his Irish home county of Tipperary claim its first Munster Gaelic football championship in 85 years. O'Riordan was part of the Tipperary side that defeated Cork by three points at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Counties Kerry and Cork have shared every Munster title since 1923, except for Tipperary's most recent win in 1935 and a lone win by Clare in 1992. The victory was extra special for the Tipperary side, as it came on the weekend that Ireland commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday massacre at Croke Park. On November 21, 1920, British forces opened fire on a crowd gathering for a Gaelic football match between Dublin and Tipperary at the famous stadium. Fourteen people were killed, including three schoolboys and Tipperary footballer Michael Hogan. A tearful O'Riordan told Irish broadcaster RTE Sport after the game that it was an unforgettable moment. "I can't put it into words. It's the best feeling I've had in many years," he said. It's something I'll respect until the day I die, that I had the opportunity to wear the jersey - Colin O'Riordan "It just fills me with pride so much and I get emotional even thinking about it, but it's one of the best days of my life and I'm just over the moon." While O'Riordan is on leave from the Swans during their off-season break, he still had to seek permission from the club to don the Tipperary colours in their biggest game of the season. "It just means so much to be able to put on the Tipp jersey and it's something I'll never ever take for granted and it's something I'll respect until the day I die, that I had the opportunity to wear the jersey. "I just want to say I'm extremely thankful to Sydney for allowing me to play in this game. They were exactly 100 per cent in their rights to say no to me and to refuse me permission to play but they had no problem. It was (Sydney coach) John Longmire and all these lads over there. "The Sydney Swans are an incredible organisation and without them giving me the permission, I wouldn't have been able to play, so I just want to give them a massive thanks." O'Riordan isn't the only Irish AFL player to return to his native code during the off-season. Collingwood's Mark Keane, who turned out for the Cork side that O'Riordan's Tipperary defeated, played a starring role in getting his side to the final. Keane scored a stunning solo goal in the last second of last week's semi-final against Kerry to end the 81-time champions' bid for another title and send Cork into the decider. Now-retired Essendon defender Conor McKenna sparked controversy in November last year when he played in a GAA relegation playoff match for his local club, without the Bombers' knowledge.