2020 AFL season

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2020 AFL premiership season
Teams18
Matches played9
Attendance(0 per match)
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The 2020 Australian Football League season is the ongoing 124th season of the elite Australian rules football competition and the 31st under the name "Australian Football League", having changed from "Victorian Football League" after the 1989 season. There will be 18 teams competing in the league, the same as the previous eight seasons.

On 22 March 2020, the season was suspended at the conclusion of Round 1 due to the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic.[1]

Impact of 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic[edit]

The 2020 season was disrupted by the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic, which was formally declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020, eight days prior to the scheduled start of the premiership season.

  • Prior to the commencement of the season, the fixture was shortened from 22 matches per team to no more than 17, under the expectation that matches would be forced to stop at the peak of the disease, or if any player tests positive.[2]
  • The season commenced on 19 March as originally scheduled, but the introduction of restrictions (and later of formal quarantines) on interstate travel, resulted in suspension of the season after round one. No further premiership matches will be played until May 31 at the earliest.[3]
  • Matches were played in empty stadiums for the first time in the league's history, starting in Round 1 and not ending until at least after the government imposed restriction on non-essential public gatherings is lifted.[4]
  • Matches played in Round 1 were played at a shortened length of 16 minutes plus time on per quarter, instead of 20 minutes plus time on. This was done in the unfulfilled hope that more than one round would be played before a suspension of the season, and that playing shorter games could facilitate more frequent games than weekly until that suspension.[5]
  • St Kilda and Port Adelaide did not play a match at Jiangwan Stadium in Shanghai, China, as scheduled as part of the original Round 11 – this decision being made while the virus was still mostly prevalent within China and prior to its spread in Australia,[6][7][8] but would eventually have been mandated by restrictions on international travel.
  • Clubs placed restrictions on spectator access to training sessions or other public areas of club facilities, as well as media and press,[9] and made special arrangements, including seeking charter flights and cordoning off areas of airports or hotels, to protect players from external threats when travelling interstate.[10]
  • The starts of the VFL, SANFL, WAFL and NEAFL seasons were suspended due to the greater risk of external threats in the semi-professional state league environment.[11]

When the season was suspended, the league and clubs were faced with an acute cash flow shortage, as the gate and broadcast revenues which had been budgeted for stopped immediately;[12] clubs deriving revenues from gaming and other public venues also saw those revenues drop when public gatherings were restricted.[13] The league and clubs all stood down or severely reduced hours for huge percentages of their staff during the suspension; and the AFL agreed with both the AFLPA and ALFUA to significant play cuts for the players and umpires for the season, amounting to 50% of their wage from the point of the suspension until the end of the season, and increasing to 70% for any period of suspension which extends beyond the end of May.[14][15] The league successfully obtained a $500-600m line of credit with the National Australia Bank and ANZ Bank, leveraged against its ownership of Marvel Stadium, to cover its and its clubs' cash shortfalls during the suspension.[16]

Contingency plans have been developed to ensure the entire shortened 17 round season, plus finals, can be completed – in large part to ensure that the league can recover as much broadcast revenue as possible, since this revenue is critical to the game's finances. This may include shorter breaks between games, or extending the finish date for the season into as late as December if required – although the latter option would be complicated by grounds availability as the cricket season commences.[14][16]

Pre-season[edit]

Marsh Community Series[edit]

The pre-season series of games returned as the 2020 Marsh Community Series, with teams playing two games each. The games were stand-alone, with no overall winner of the series. Each team played two games, many at suburban or regional venues, while all games were televised on Fox Footy.[17]

State of Origin for Bushfire Relief Match[edit]

A one-off benefit match was played on 28 February 2020, as a fundraiser for the relief effort for the 2019–20 Australian bushfire season.[18] The league donated $2.5 million to disaster relief funds in association with the match.[19] Selection for the two teams was under state of origin rules, and it was the first interstate representative match featuring AFL-listed players since the AFL Hall of Fame Tribute Match held in 2008.

Scorecard[edit]

State of Origin for Bushfire Relief Match
Friday, 28 February 2020 7:50 pm Victoria def. All-Stars Marvel Stadium (crowd: 51,052) Report
4.1 (25)
10.2 (62)
15.7 (97)
 24.10 (154)
Q1
Q2
Q3
 Final
4.7 (31)
9.14 (68)
15.16 (106)
 15.18 (108)
Umpires: Fisher, Stephens, Nicholls, Williamson
Best on Ground Medal: Dustin Martin (Victoria)
Papley 5
Kelly, Greene 4
Martin, Gaff, Bontempelli, Gresham 2
Dangerfield, J Cameron, Lynch 1
Goals C Cameron 3
Coniglio, Breust, Riewoldt, Smith 2
Neale, Weller, Walters, Hill 1
Kelly, Martin, Greene, Papley, Pendlebury, Haynes, Cotchin, Dangerfield Best Coniglio, C Cameron, Mills, Cripps, Neale, Johannisen

Premiership season[edit]

As the coronavirus situation develops, the AFL has advised that only the first four rounds will be played as originally drawn, although the dates and times may be altered as the situation develops. The rest of the fixture will be redrawn into a seventeen-round season in which each team plays each other once.[20]

However, on 22 March 2020 the season was paused after the completion of Round 1 until 31 May 2020. This was a result of various Australian state governments announcing the closure of their borders due to the coronavirus.[1]

Round 1[edit]

Round 1 (Opening Round)
Thursday, 19 March (7:40 pm) Richmond 16.9 (105) def. Carlton 12.9 (81) MCG (crowd: 0) Report
Friday, 20 March (7:50 pm) Western Bulldogs 5.4 (34) def. by Collingwood 13.8 (86) Marvel Stadium (crowd: 0) Report
Saturday, 21 March (2:10 pm) Essendon 9.9 (63) def. Fremantle 8.9 (57) Marvel Stadium (crowd: 0)
Saturday, 21 March (4:05 pm) Adelaide 11.5 (71) def. by Sydney 11.8 (74) Adelaide Oval (crowd: 0)
Saturday, 21 March (7:40 pm) Greater Western Sydney 17.3 (105) def. Geelong 11.7 (73) GIANTS Stadium (crowd: 0)
Saturday, 21 March (6:40 pm) Gold Coast 4.5 (29) def. by Port Adelaide 10.16 (76) Metricon Stadium (crowd: 0)
Sunday, 22 March (1:05 pm) North Melbourne 8.8 (56) def. St Kilda 7.12 (54) Marvel Stadium (crowd: 0)
Sunday, 22 March (3:35 pm) Hawthorn 14.6 (90) def. Brisbane Lions 9.8 (62) MCG (crowd: 0)
Sunday, 22 March (3:40 pm) West Coast 12.6 (78) def. Melbourne 7.9 (51) Optus Stadium (crowd: 0)

Win/loss table[edit]

Colour Result
Green Win
Red Loss
Blue Draw

Bold – Home game
X – Bye
Opponent for round listed above margin

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 F1 F2 F3 GF Ladder
Adelaide Syd
3
PA BL Rich
Brisbane Lions Haw
28
NM Adel Coll
Carlton Rich
24
WB Ess Syd
Collingwood WB
52
Rich Haw BL
Essendon Frem
6
Syd Carl GWS
Fremantle Ess
6
Haw Melb GC
Geelong GWS
32
GC WCE Haw
Gold Coast PA
47
Geel Syd Frem
Greater Western Sydney Geel
32
Melb WB Ess
Hawthorn BL
28
Frem Coll Geel
Melbourne WCE
27
GWS Frem StK
North Melbourne StK
2
BL PA WB
Port Adelaide GC
47
Adel NM WCE
Richmond Carl
24
Coll StK Adel
St Kilda NM
2
WCE Rich Melb
Sydney Adel
3
Ess GC Carl
West Coast Melb
27
StK Geel PA
Western Bulldogs Coll
52
Carl GWS NM
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 F1 F2 F3 GF Ladder

Ladder[edit]

Pos Team Pld W L D PF PA PP Pts Qualification
1 Port Adelaide 1 1 0 0 76 29 262.1 4 Finals series
2 Collingwood 1 1 0 0 86 34 252.9 4
3 West Coast 1 1 0 0 78 51 152.9 4
4 Hawthorn 1 1 0 0 90 62 145.2 4
5 Greater Western Sydney 1 1 0 0 105 73 143.8 4
6 Richmond 1 1 0 0 105 81 129.6 4
7 Essendon 1 1 0 0 63 57 110.5 4
8 Sydney 1 1 0 0 74 71 104.2 4
9 North Melbourne 1 1 0 0 56 54 103.7 4
10 St Kilda 1 0 1 0 54 56 96.4 0
11 Adelaide 1 0 1 0 71 74 95.9 0
12 Fremantle 1 0 1 0 57 63 90.5 0
13 Carlton 1 0 1 0 81 105 77.1 0
14 Geelong 1 0 1 0 73 105 69.5 0
15 Brisbane Lions 1 0 1 0 62 90 68.9 0
16 Melbourne 1 0 1 0 51 78 65.4 0
17 Western Bulldogs 1 0 1 0 34 86 39.5 0
18 Gold Coast 1 0 1 0 29 76 38.2 0
Updated to match(es) played on 21 March 2020. Source: AFL
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) percentage; 3) number of points for. Uncomment this section once season has started

Ladder progression[edit]

  • Numbers highlighted in green indicates the team finished the round inside the top 8.
  • Numbers highlighted in blue indicates the team finished in first place on the ladder in that round.
  • Numbers highlighted in red indicates the team finished in last place on the ladder in that round.
  • Underlined numbers indicates the team had a bye during that round.
  • Subscript numbers indicate ladder position at round's end.
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
1 Port Adelaide 41
2 Collingwood 42
3 West Coast 43
4 Hawthorn 44
5 Greater Western Sydney 45
6 Richmond 46
7 Essendon 47
8 Sydney 48
9 North Melbourne 49
10 St Kilda 010
11 Adelaide 011
12 Fremantle 012
13 Carlton 013
14 Geelong 014
15 Brisbane Lions 015
16 Melbourne 016
17 Western Bulldogs 017
18 Gold Coast 018


Club leadership[edit]

Club Coach Captain(s) Vice-captain(s) Leadership group Ref.
Adelaide Matthew Nicks Rory Sloane Matt Crouch, Tom Doedee, Tom Lynch, Brodie Smith [22]
Brisbane Lions Chris Fagan Dayne Zorko Harris Andrews Jarrod Berry, Darcy Gardiner, Ryan Lester, Jarryd Lyons, Stefan Martin, Hugh McCluggage, Lachie Neale [23]
Carlton David Teague Patrick Cripps
Sam Docherty
Ed Curnow, Liam Jones, Marc Murphy, Sam Walsh, Jacob Weitering [24]
Collingwood Nathan Buckley Scott Pendlebury Taylor Adams, Steele Sidebottom, Jeremy Howe Brodie Grundy, Jordan Roughead [25]
Essendon John Worsfold Dyson Heppell Michael Hurley, Dylan Shiel, Devon Smith, David Zaharakis [26]
Fremantle Justin Longmuir Nat Fyfe Reece Conca, Joel Hamling, David Mundy, Alex Pearce, Michael Walters [27]
Geelong Chris Scott Joel Selwood Mark Blicavs, Patrick Dangerfield Mitch Duncan, Mark O'Connor, Tom Stewart, Zach Tuohy [28]
Gold Coast Stuart Dew David Swallow
Jarrod Witts
Touk Miller Sam Collins, Brayden Fiorini, Alex Sexton [29]
Greater Western Sydney Leon Cameron Stephen Coniglio Jeremy Cameron, Matt de Boer, Toby Greene, Josh Kelly, Lachie Whitfield [30][31]
Hawthorn Alastair Clarkson Ben Stratton Tom Mitchell, Jaeger O'Meara Jack Gunston, Ben McEvoy, Liam Shiels, Isaac Smith [32]
Melbourne Simon Goodwin Max Gawn Jack Viney [33]
North Melbourne Rhyce Shaw Jack Ziebell Shaun Higgins, Robbie Tarrant Ben Cunnington, Trent Dumont, Jamie Macmillan, Jasper Pittard, Jy Simpkin [34]
Port Adelaide Ken Hinkley Tom Jonas Hamish Hartlett, Ollie Wines [35]
Richmond Damien Hardwick Trent Cotchin Jack Riewoldt [36]
St Kilda Brett Ratten Jarryn Geary Sebastian Ross Jack Billings, Bradley Hill, Tim Membrey, Dylan Roberton [37]
Sydney John Longmire Josh Kennedy
Luke Parker
Dane Rampe
Lance Franklin, Callum Mills [38]
West Coast Adam Simpson Luke Shuey Josh Kennedy, Jeremy McGovern Jack Darling, Andrew Gaff, Nic Naitanui, Elliot Yeo [39]
Western Bulldogs Luke Beveridge Marcus Bontempelli Lachie Hunter Josh Dunkley, Jason Johannisen, Mitch Wallis, Easton Wood [40]

Coach changes[edit]

Coach Club Date Notes Caretaker New coach
John Worsfold Essendon 17 September 2019 Will step down at the conclusion of the club's 2020 season as part of a succession plan.[41] N/A Ben Rutten[41]

Post-season[edit]

International Rules Series[edit]

The International Rules Series is scheduled to return for the first time since 2017, with Australia agreeing to tour Ireland for a two-test series in mid-November.[42]

2020 International Rules Series
Sunday, 15 November (TBC) Ireland vs. Australia TBC
Saturday, 21 November (TBC) Ireland vs. Australia TBC

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "AFL statement on postponement of 2020 season". AFL. 22 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Season cut to 17 games, call delayed on R1 start". afl.com.au. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  3. ^ "WATCH from 4.30pm AEDT: AFL postpones season". AFL.com.au. 22 March 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  4. ^ Jon Ralph (13 March 2020). "The AFL season is in limbo with Round 1 to be played without fans". Herald Sun. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  5. ^ Damian Barrett (18 March 2020). "It's on: AFL confirms round one will go ahead". Australian Football League. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  6. ^ McLure, Sam (11 February 2020). "China game won't be moved to Moorabbin". The Age.
  7. ^ Morris, Tom (3 March 2020). "AFL cancels St Kilda vs Port Adelaide China game for 2020 due to coronavirus, meaning a potential bye week reshuffle". Fox Sports Australia. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  8. ^ https://www.saints.com.au/news/571717/shanghai-game-relocated-to-marvel-stadium
  9. ^ Jourdan Canil (13 March 2020). "Coronavirus crisis: What we know, what we don't". Australian Football League. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  10. ^ Jennifer Phelan (16 March 2020). "LOCKED DOWN HOTEL FLOORS, PRIVATE PLANES, AIRPORT ACCESS". Australian Football League. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  11. ^ Riley Beveridge; Mitch Cleary (16 March 2020). "UPDATE: State league comps suspended due to corona crisis". Australian Football League. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  12. ^ "'Embarrassingly disappointing': AFL legend 'has lost respect' for the players over pay cut debate". Fox Sports. 24 March 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  13. ^ Jon Pierik (16 March 2020). "AFL clubs to face 'double hit' with pokies downturn". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  14. ^ a b Mick Warner (27 March 2020). "Done deal: AFL and AFLPA for players to take a 50 per cent pay cut until May 31". Herald Sun. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  15. ^ Damian Barrett (3 April 2020). "Umpires agree to same pay cuts as players". Australian Football League. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  16. ^ a b Sam Landsberger (30 March 2020). "$600m lifeline via Marvel Stadium saves AFL but where will they play?". The Australian. Melbourne, VIC. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Marsh Community Series". Australian Football League. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  18. ^ Waterworth, Ben. "It's officially back: AFL confirms details for historic one-off Victoria vs Allies clash". Fox Sports. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  19. ^ "AFL confirms Victoria vs Allies match, makes massive donation". Australian Football League. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  20. ^ Mitch Cleary (16 March 2020). "Season cut to 17 games, call delayed on R1 start". Australian Football League. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  21. ^ "AFL Tables - Greater Western Sydney - Game Records". afltables.com.
  22. ^ "Adelaide's 2020 captain and leadership group announced". Adelaide. Telstra Media. 21 January 2020.
  23. ^ Fielding, Josie (13 February 2020). "Zorko to lead in 2020". Brisbane Lions. Telstra Media.
  24. ^ "Three new additions to AFL leadership group". Carlton. Telstra Media. 17 February 2020.
  25. ^ "Pendlebury to lead Pies for a seventh season". Collingwood. Telstra Media. 4 March 2020.
  26. ^ "2020 leadership group named". Essendon. Telstra Media. 4 February 2020.
  27. ^ "Fremantle announce 2020 leadership group". Fremantle. Telstra Media. 26 February 2020.
  28. ^ Oates, Stacey. "2020 leadership group named". geelongcats.com.au. Telstra Media. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  29. ^ "SUNS name 2020 Leadership Group". Gold Coast Suns. Telstra Media. 4 March 2020.
  30. ^ Ritson, Jon (3 December 2019). "GWS Giants star Stephen Coniglio to take captaincy from veterans Phil Davis and Callan Ward". The Daily Telegraph.
  31. ^ Forsaith, Rob (15 January 2020). "Greene, new faces in GWS leadership group". Seven News.
  32. ^ "Hawthorn Leaders United in 2020". Hawthorn. Telstra Media. 6 February 2020.
  33. ^ "Gawn named captain for 2020". Melbourne. Telstra Media. 24 February 2020.
  34. ^ "North's new leadership group". North Melbourne. Telstra Media. 6 February 2020.
  35. ^ AAP (6 December 2019). "Port Adelaide do away with co-captaincy model after one season". News.com.au.
  36. ^ "Cotchin to captain in 2020". richmondfc.com.au. Telstra Media. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  37. ^ "Geary to captain Saints in 2020". St Kilda. Telstra Media. 19 February 2020.
  38. ^ "Leadership group locked in". Sydney Swans. Telstra Media. 18 December 2019.
  39. ^ Schmook, Nathan. "Gun Eagles join leadership group, Hurn steps away". westcoasteagles.com.au. Telstra Media. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  40. ^ Gabelich, Josh (10 December 2019). "Western Bulldogs announce Marcus Bontempelli as new captain after Easton Wood steps down". Fox Sports.
  41. ^ a b Olle, Sarah (17 September 2019). "Essendon coach John Worsfold's beautiful tribute to 'selfless' family". Fox Sports Australia. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  42. ^ Australian Associated Press (19 November 2019). "AFL confirm return of International Rules Series in 2020 after three-year absence". The Guardian.