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Although the league was still called the VFL until the start of the 1990 season, the 1996 season was the unofficial 10th AFL season as the league expanded from 12 clubs to 14 clubs in 1987.

The new clubs were West Coast Eagles and Brisbane Bears. In 1991 Adelaide Crows joined. In 1995 Fremantle Dockers joined the AFL to bring the number of clubs to 16. With the expanded league, 8 clubs now participate in the finals series.

Club Changes[]

  • Rodney Eade replaced Ron Barassi as coach at Sydney Swans.
  • Richmond and Brisbane Bears switched coaches. John Northey joined Brisbane Bears whilst Robert Walls moved to Richmond.
  • Ken Judge replaced Peter Knights as coach at Hawthorn.
  • Tony Shaw replaced Leigh Matthews as coach at Collingwood.
  • Terry Wallace replaced Alan Joyce as coach at Footscray.
  • Michael Nunan was appointed as Fitzroy coach.

Rodney Eade first season at Sydney Swans brought immediate success by climbing 11 places and into the Grand Final. Ken Judge also had immediate success as Hawthorn climbed 7 places into the final series. Whilst Footscray fell 8 places to 15th, one place above the wooden spoon.


North Melbourne finishing 2nd on the ladder won the premiership. Sydney Swans were minor premiers and played them in the Grand Final. Whilst Fitzroy ended its club's life by winning the wooden spoon for the last 2 years.


Tony Lockett of Sydney Swans won the Coleman Medal for the leading goalscorer. Michael Voss of Brisbane Bears and James Hird of Essendon shared the Brownlow Medal.


# 1995 Team Home Ground Coach Captain
1   ▲ 11   2010 Logo Sydney.png Sydney Swans   SCG   Rodney Eade   Paul Kelly
2 ▲ 4   2010 Logo North Melbourne.png North Melbourne   MCG   Denis Pagan   Wayne Carey
3 ▲ 5        Brisbane Bears   Gabba   John Northey   Roger Merrett
4 ▲ 1   2010 Logo West Coast.png West Coast Eagles   WACA/Subiaco Oval   Mick Malthouse   John Worsfold
5 ▼ 4   2010 Logo Carlton-Football.png Carlton   Princes Park   David Parkin   Stephen Kernahan
6 ▼ 2   2010 Logo Essendon.png Essendon   MCG   Kevin Sheedy   Gary O'Donnell
7 ▼ 5   2010 Logo Geelong.png Geelong   Kardinia Park   Gary Ayres   Barry Stoneham
8 ▲ 7   2010 Logo Hawthorn.png Hawthorn   Waverley Park   Ken Judge   Jason Dunstall
9 ▼ 6   2010 Logo Richmond.png Richmond   MCG   Robert Walls   Tony Free
10 ▲ 4   2010 Logo St Kilda.png St Kilda   Waverley Park   Stan Alves   Nathan Burke
11 ▼ 1   2010 Logo Collingwood.png Collingwood   Victoria Park   Tony Shaw   Gavin Brown
12 ▼ 1   2010 Logo Adelaide.png Adelaide   Football Park   Robert Shaw   Tony McGuinness
13   Fremantle-dockers.png Fremantle   WACA/Subiaco Oval   Gerard Neesham   Ben Allan
14 ▼ 5   Melbourne logo 2014.png Melbourne   MCG   Neil Balme   Garry Lyon
15 ▼ 8   2010 Logo Western Bulldogs.png Footscray   Western Oval   Terry Wallace   Scott Wynd
16        Fitzroy   Princes Park/Western Oval   Michael Nunan   Brad Boyd

Finals Series[]

  Qualifying Final
4  West Coast Eagles
5  Carlton Semi Final
 West Coast Eagles
  Qualifying Final  Essendon Preliminary Final
8  Hawthorn  Essendon
1  Sydney Swans  Sydney Swans Grand Final
 Sydney Swans
  Qualifying Final Preliminary Final  North Melbourne
2  North Melbourne  North Melbourne
7  Geelong Semi Final  Brisbane Bears
  Qualifying Final  Brisbane Bears
3  Brisbane Bears
6  Essendon
Key:       Losing team progressing       Winning team progressing