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Although the league was still called the VFL until the start of the 1990 season, the 2001 season was the unofficial 15th 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 followed by Fremantle Dockers in 1995.

1997 was the start of a new era of the AFL. Footscray changed its name to Western Bulldogs. Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy Lions merged to become Brisbane Lions. And Port Adelaide Power joined retaining the league with 16 clubs.

In this new era of the AFL, four of the six interstate clubs - Brisbane Lions, Port Adelaide, Sydney Swans, Adelaide - participated in the 8 club finals series.

Club Changes[]

  • Wayne Brittain replaced David Parkin as coach at Carlton.
  • Malcolm Blight coached St Kilda until mid-season before being replaced with Grant Thomas.
  • On route to the wooden spoon, mid-season Ben Allan replaced Damian Drum as coach at Fremantle.

West Coast Eagles and Fremantle ended playing matches at the WACA and Subiaco Oval was their only home ground.

Port Adelaide had the biggest improvement for the season, climbing 11 places to finish 3rd on the ladder and played in the Semi Finals. Whilst North Melbourne fell 9 places to 13th and out of the final series.


Brisbane Lions finishing second on the ladder won their 1st premiership. Essendon were minor premiers for the third season in a row and played them in the Grand Final. Whilst Fremantle won their 1st wooden spoon.


Matthew Lloyd of Essendon won the Coleman Medal for the leading goalscorer for the second season in a row. Jason Akermanis of Brisbane Lions won the Brownlow Medal.


# 2000 Team Home Ground Coach Captain
1   2010 Logo Essendon.png Essendon   Docklands Stadium   Kevin Sheedy   James Hird
2 ▲ 4   2010 Logo Lions.png Brisbane Lions   Gabba   Leigh Matthews   Michael Voss
3   ▲ 11   2010 Logo Port Adelaide.png Port Adelaide   Football Park   Mark Williams   Matthew Primus
4 ▲ 5   2010 Logo Richmond.png Richmond   MCG   Danny Frawley   Wayne Campbell
5 ▼ 3   2010 Logo Carlton-Football.png Carlton   Princes Park   Wayne Brittain   Craig Bradley
6 ▲ 2   2010 Logo Hawthorn.png Hawthorn   MCG   Peter Schwab   Shane Crawford
7 ▲ 3   2010 Logo Sydney.png Sydney Swans   SCG   Rodney Eade   Paul Kelly
8 ▲ 3   2010 Logo Adelaide.png Adelaide   Football Park   Gary Ayres   Mark Ricciuto
9 ▲ 6   2010 Logo Collingwood.png Collingwood   MCG   Mick Malthouse   Nathan Buckley
10 ▼ 3   2010 Logo Western Bulldogs.png Western Bulldogs   Docklands Stadium   Terry Wallace   Chris Grant
11 ▼ 8   Melbourne logo 2014.png Melbourne   MCG   Neale Daniher   David Neitz
12 ▼ 7   2010 Logo Geelong.png Geelong   Kardinia Park   Mark Thompson   Ben Graham
13 ▼ 9   2010 Logo North Melbourne.png North Melbourne   Docklands Stadium   Denis Pagan   Wayne Carey
14 ▼ 1   2010 Logo West Coast.png West Coast Eagles   Subiaco Oval   Ken Judge   Ben Cousins
15 ▲ 1   2010 Logo St Kilda.png St Kilda   Docklands Stadium   Malcolm Blight
  Grant Thomas
  Robert Harvey
16 ▼ 4   Fremantle-dockers.png Fremantle   Subiaco Oval   Damian Drum
  Ben Allan
  Shaun McManus

Finals Series[]

  Qualifying Final    
1  Essendon  
4  Richmond     Semi Final    
Elimination Final        Carlton       Preliminary Final  
5  Carlton        Essendon  
8  Adelaide          Hawthorn     Grand Final  
  Elimination Final         Preliminary Final        Brisbane Lions
7  Sydney Swans          Richmond  
6  Hawthorn     Semi Final          Brisbane Lions  
Qualifying Final        Port Adelaide    
3  Port Adelaide  
2  Brisbane Lions  
Key:       Losing team progressing       Winning team progressing