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Although the league was still called the VFL until the start of the 1990 season, the 2005 season was the unofficial 19th 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, three interstate clubs - Adelaide, West Coast Eagles, Sydney Swans - were the top clubs for the season.

Club Changes[]

  • Former Sydney Swans coach, Rodney Eade was appointed coach at West Bulldogs.
  • Former Western Bulldogs coach, Terry Wallace was appointed coach at Richmond.
  • Alastair Clarkson is appointed as coach at Hawthorn.

Carlton only played one match at Princes Park with 6 of its home matches played at Docklands Stadium.

Adelaide climbed 11 places to win the minor premiers. Whilst last season Grand Finalist, Brisbane Lions fell 9 places to 11th.


Sydney Swans finishing third on the ladder won their 1st AFL Premiership. Sydney Swans losing its Qualifying Final had to play 4 final series matches to win the title. West Coast Eagles who finished second played them in the Grand Final. Adelaide were minor premiers. Whilst Carlton won the wooden spoon.


Fraser Gehrig of St Kilda won the Coleman Medal for the leading goalscorer for the second season in a row. Ben Cousins of West Coast Eagles won the Brownlow Medal.


# 2004 Team Home Ground Coach Captain
1   ▲ 11   2010 Logo Adelaide.png Adelaide   Football Park   Neil Craig   Mark Ricciuto
2 ▲ 5   2010 Logo West Coast.png West Coast Eagles   Subiaco Oval   John Worsfold   Ben Cousins
3 ▲ 3   2010 Logo Sydney.png Sydney Swans   SCG   Paul Roos   Stuart Maxfield
4 ▼ 1   2010 Logo St Kilda.png St Kilda   Docklands Stadium   Grant Thomas   Nick Riewoldt
5 ▲ 5   2010 Logo North Melbourne.png North Melbourne   Docklands Stadium   Dean Laidley   Adam Simpson
6 ▼ 2   2010 Logo Geelong.png Geelong   Kardinia Park   Mark Thompson   Steven King
7 ▼ 2   Melbourne logo 2014.png Melbourne   MCG   Neale Daniher   David Neitz
8 ▼ 7   2010 Logo Port Adelaide.png Port Adelaide   Football Park   Mark Williams   Matthew Primus
9 ▲ 5   2010 Logo Western Bulldogs.png Western Bulldogs   Docklands Stadium   Rodney Eade   Luke Darcy
10 ▼ 1   Fremantle-dockers.png Fremantle   Subiaco Oval   Chris Connolly   Peter Bell
11 ▼ 9   2010 Logo Lions.png Brisbane Lions   Gabba   Leigh Matthews   Michael Voss
12 ▲ 4   2010 Logo Richmond.png Richmond   MCG   Terry Wallace   Kane Johnson
13 ▼ 5   2010 Logo Essendon.png Essendon   Docklands Stadium   Kevin Sheedy   James Hird
14 ▲ 1   2010 Logo Hawthorn.png Hawthorn   MCG   Alastair Clarkson   Richie Vandenberg
15 ▼ 2   2010 Logo Collingwood.png Collingwood   MCG   Mick Malthouse   Nathan Buckley
16 ▼ 5   2010 Logo Carlton-Football.png Carlton   Docklands Stadium   Denis Pagan   Anthony Koutoufides

Finals Series[]

  Qualifying Final    
4  St Kilda  
1  Adelaide     Semi Final    
Elimination Final        Port Adelaide       Preliminary Final  
8  Port Adelaide        St Kilda  
5  North Melbourne          Sydney Swans     Grand Final  
         Sydney Swans
  Elimination Final         Preliminary Final        West Coast Eagles
7  Melbourne          Adelaide  
6  Geelong     Semi Final          West Coast Eagles  
Qualifying Final        Sydney Swans    
3  Sydney Swans  
2  West Coast Eagles  
Key:       Losing team progressing       Winning team progressing