Goal of the Year (AFL)

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The Goal of the Year is a competition for the best goals kicked in the VFL/AFL during that season. It is run in conjunction with the Mark of the Year competition and is currently sponsored by Panasonic. The award is also known as the Phil Manassa Medal.[1]

The concept is thought to have been initiated as an unofficial award in 1970 by media interests after Alex Jesaulenko's famous mark. The official award was first given in 2001.

Selection process[edit]

Each week, three of the best goals of the round (including the finals) are selected as nominees. A panel of AFL selectors choose the winning goal of the round.

For the first time in 2006, the general public are able to vote for nominated marks via the AFL's website. The results of the public voting are combined with the panel's votes. Any one of the goals of the round is able to win the official Goal of the Year.

The overall winner is selected from the 25 weekly winners (twenty-two rounds and the first three weeks of the finals) by the AFL All Australian selection committee; the public is not given a say in the final outcome. The winner receives the Phil Manassa Medal, a replica of the perpetual Toyota AFL Goal of the Year Trophy, use of a Toyota Aurion for twelve months, and $10,000 for their grassroots football club. The winner will be announced on Grand Final day.

Goal of the Year is generally awarded to a player who creates and scores a difficult goal in play; it has never been, and is unlikely to ever be, awarded to a goal kicked from a set shot. Historically, it has been the quality of the creation of the goal which determines the winner, rather than the difficulty of the shot itself. As such, simply kicking a goal from the boundary line will not guarantee a player Goal of the Year, but if they have roved the ball cleanly off a pack (like Jason Akermanis in 2002) or won the ball by stealing or smothering it from an opponent (like Peter Bosustow in 1981), then they will generally come into Goal of the Year calculations. Players are also often rewarded for orchestrating a long run down the field which ends with a big goal on the run: Daniel Kerr in 2003 and Michael McGuane in 1994 are memorable examples.

Many of the best goals in the VFL/AFL were featured in a VHS/DVD named Golden Goals.

Goal of the year[edit]

Legend
  Player is still active in AFL
  Player also won Mark of the Year for the same year
Year Winner Team Description Video
2014 Matt White Port Adelaide Round 17 goal against Richmond at Etihad Stadium. White gathered the ball at half-back, ran full tilt up the wing with three bounces, burning off a chasing Steven Morris in the process, before unloading from 50m to goal. [2]
2013 Lance Franklin Hawthorn Round 3 goal against Collingwood at the MCG. Received a handball from Ben Stratton in the center square, jumped over a tackled Stratton and went on to kick the goal from 75 meters out. [3]
2012 Chris Yarran Carlton Round 1 goal against Richmond at the MCG. Received a handball from Chris Judd between left wing and half-forward flank. Ran along the boundary past Dustin Martin, Ivan Maric and Steven Morris, breaking tackles from Maric and Morris before slotting the game-changing goal from 40 metres out. [4]
2011 Hayden Ballantyne Fremantle Round 2 goal against Geelong at Patersons Stadium. Ballantyne ran through the centre of the ground before kicking the ball inside 50. He received a follow-up handball from Matthew Pavlich and slotted the goal from 40 metres out in a team-lifting effort. [5]
2010 Lance Franklin Hawthorn Round 13 goal against Essendon at the MCG, where Franklin outsprinted Cale Hooker from the wing to boot truly from around 50m out from near the left boundary line (Franklin is left footed making angle more acute)[6] [7]
2009 Cyril Rioli Hawthorn In the round seven match against Essendon, Rioli managaed to evade numerous defenders to weave his way into a position to handball to teammate Chance Bateman, before receiving the ball back and kicking a goal from 40 metres out.[1] [8]
2008 Leon Davis Collingwood In the final home-and-away Friday night match, Leon Davis tackled Fremantle player Des Headlend in Fremantle's defensive 50, knocked the ball out of the scruffle, as he picked the ball up he broke a tackle and then ran 10 metres before kicking an amazing drop punt from 50 m out on the boundary. Dennis Cometti adding the words "of the season" after Bruce McAvaney saying "goal". [9]
2007 Matthew Lloyd Essendon Matthew Lloyd back-heeled the goal through a pack of players from 5 metres out. [10]
2006 Eddie Betts Carlton Smothered Tarkyn Lockyer's handball, gathered the ball and, with two opposition players surrounding him, kicked a freakish banana from the boundary and kicked truly.[11] [12]
2005 Chris Judd West Coast Eagles Burst from a boundary throw in on the half forward flank, spun out of a tackle and kicked truly from about 40 metres out at Subiaco oval.[13] [14]
2004 Daniel Wells Kangaroos Described as "Jackie Chan in mid-air", Wells leapt into the air, grabbed the ball out of the ruck and scissor-kicked in one motion in the goalsquare at Subiaco giving North Melbourne a narrow victory over Fremantle.[15] [16]
2003 Daniel Kerr West Coast Eagles Received the football at half-back, before taking 5 bounces and finishing from 48m out, late in a famous Derby against Fremantle.
2002 Jason Akermanis Brisbane Lions A snap shot from 45m out on his non-preferred left boot, along the boundary line while turning around to the left of the goals against Carlton at the Gabba in round 14. [17]
2001 Mark Merenda West Coast Eagles Paddled the ball from outside 50 along the boundary line towards goal and snapped it through from the pocket, against St. Kilda at the Telstra Dome. [18]
2000 Kingsley Hunter Western Bulldogs Running from the defensive 50 he kept going and laid a handball off to Scott Wynd, received it back at centre wing, lined up from forward 50 and slotted it home (Was awarded on Rex Hunt's Footy Show)
1999 Ben Cousins West Coast Eagles Peter Matera gathered ball in centre square, handballs to Cousins, handball back to Matera and again back to Cousins who kicks the goal from about 35m out. [19]
1998 Jeff Farmer Melbourne Ran the length of the ground, giving off 2 return handballs, to then receive the ball back, evade multiple opposition players and kick a goal from 45 metres out on the boundary line.
1997 Austinn Jones St Kilda Ran hard from defensive 50 and took several bounces along the wing, handballed to Andrew Thompson at forward 50, received the ball back and snapped a spectacular goal in the 1997 AFL Grand Final
1996 Winston Abraham Fremantle Ran onto a loose ball at forward 60, surged past two Swans defenders and took several bounces along the boundary line before slotting the goal from the goalsquare
1995 Tony Modra Adelaide Kicked the ball off the ground 35m from goal and his scrubbed kick rolled to the forward pocket, finishing at the feet of Richmond full back Stuart Wigney. Modra followed up his kick, making up 30m to soccer the ball away from Wigney then gather the loose ball and snap a beautiful goal from 20m out hard on the boundary
1994 Mick McGuane Collingwood In one of the most famous of all time, oft compared to Phil Manassa's famous Grand Final run, McGuane had a total of 7 bounces from the centre square, baulking two tackle attempts before kicking truly from 30m at the MCG against Carlton [20]
1993 Michael Long Essendon Ran and bounced several times for a controversial goal in the 1993 Grand Final. It was apparently touched on the line by Carlton full-back Stephen Silvagni, who to this day claims he touched it before sailing through for a goal. [21]
1992 Darryl White Brisbane Bears Followed up a short kick that didn't travel to the leading forward by kicking a ripper at Carrara from 30m
1991 Peter Daicos Collingwood Baulk & snap from the pocket v Richmond at Victoria Park
1990 Michael Mitchell Richmond Gathered the ball in his own defensive area and set off on a blistering 70-metre run through the centre of the Sydney Cricket Ground, escaping a number of would-be tacklers and taking seven bounces before kicking truly from 35 metres out.
1989 Gary Ablett, Sr. Geelong Dropped a contested mark in the middle of the ground then ran onto the loose ball at full speed, bursting into the forward line and snapping truly from 50m vs Collingwood (MCG)
1988 Matthew Larkin North Melbourne Spun around 3 West Coast players, snapping miraculously from the pocket
1987 David Murphy Sydney Swans After the Swans scored a behind, Murphy took a spectacular mark over an opponents back from a long kick-in, then quickly played on and kicked truly from more than 50m away at an acute angle (from the left-side).
1986 Phil Krakouer North Melbourne Grabbed ball on the boundary line and ran around Frank Dunell before kicking a sensational goal from the boundary with his left foot.
1985 Andrew Bews Geelong A long run at Kardinia Park in which Bews baulked two tackles and bounced three times; 40m out from goal, Bews attempted to touch the ball on the ground, fumbled and overran the ball before changing direction, recovering the ball and eventually slotting the goal from 30m.
1984 Geoff Raines Richmond
1983 Ken Hunter Carlton
1982 Mick Conlan Fitzroy Marked on the wing, ran about 50 metres, baulked 2 tackles before kicking a goal from 60 metres.
1981 Peter Bosustow Carlton Smothered his Geelong opponent's attempted clearing kick 20m around in the right forward pocket at VFL Park, before standing, gathering and snapping a high goal over his right shoulder.
1980 Michael Turner Geelong 3 bounces, 1 baulk from the wing and a shot from 50
1979 Leigh Matthews Hawthorn Took several detours to avoid North Melbourne opposition to score from the pocket in the first VFL game in Sydney since 1952
1978 Phil Baker North Melbourne
1977 Phil Manassa Collingwood Manassa kicked a goal on the run from the half back flank in the 1977 Grand Final replay against North Melbourne [22]
1976 Keith Greig North Melbourne
1975  ?  ?
1974  ?  ?
1973  ?  ?
1972  ?  ?
1971  ?  ?
1970  ?  ?

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