2006 AFL Grand Final - parties and TV
Saturday, September 23 2006 @ 11:34 pm ACST
Contributed by: Brett Northey
After another big year in which the AFL secured a record TV rights deal, crowds have been the second best on record and teams from across the nation featured in the final eight, it all comes down to Saturday 30th September - AFL Grand Final Day. In a repeat of last year's heart stopper, the Sydney Swans again take on the West Coast Eagles, the minor premier.
This year's preliminary finalists came from three states - Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales. This lead to much debate in Victoria and calls for an enquiry into "what is wrong with the game there". With the Western Bulldogs, Melbourne, Saint Kilda and Collingwood the other top eight finalists, there is plenty to suggest 2007 will see one or more Melbourne-based sides take the extra step.
Having finished the minor round first and second in the last two seasons, Adelaide has again failed to make it through to the premiership decider, again knocked out by their nemesis from Perth. While injuries played a major role this year, questions will now be asked whether the Crows have missed their window of opportunity. Meanwhile Fremantle were the surprise of the second half of the season, making it deeper into the finals than ever before. However the Sydney Swans' infamous pressure, in warm conditions, took their toll and the Dockers lost the edge around the packs in the second quarter, giving up a lead that they couldn't quite bridge despite several brave comebacks.
Around the world expatriate and travelling Aussies and converts to the game will be making plans for where and how they'll watch the premiership decider. The AFL Grand Final party is now a tradition for many people across Australia and footy fans around the world. Last year WFN took international party announcements but this season we recommend people looking for the most comprehensive Grand Final party listing head straight for AFANA's website. They also accept listings from around the world, so we recommend organisers all over the globe make sure you let them know (so far most announcements are for North America).
And for viewers trying to find television coverage internationally, the AFL has produced a listing of all the major carriers. Of course in Australia it will be on free to air, live on Network 10.