Although the league was still called the VFL until the start of the 1990 season, the 2008 season was the unofficial 22nd 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.
- After 27 years as Essendon coach, Kevin Sheedy left the club at the end of last season. He was replaced with Matthew Knights.
- Dean Bailey was appointed Melbourne coach.
Western Bulldogs had the biggest improvement for the season, climbing 10 places to finish 3rd on the ladder and played in the Preliminary Finals. After playing in last season's Grand Final, Port Adelaide fell 11 places to 13th. Whilst West Coast Eagles fell 12 places after finishing 3rd last season.
Hawthorn who finished second on the ladder won the premiership. Last season Geelong won the double of minor premiers and the premiership. In 2008 Geelong were again the minor premiers and played Hawthorn in the Grand Final. Whilst Melbourne won the wooden spoon.
Lance Franklin of Hawthorn won the Coleman Medal for the leading goalscorer. Adam Cooney of Western Bulldogs won the Brownlow Medal.
|4||St Kilda||Semi Final|
|Elimination Final||Collingwood||Preliminary Final|
|5||Adelaide||Western Bulldogs||Grand Final|
|Elimination Final||Preliminary Final||Hawthorn|
|7||North Melbourne||St Kilda|
|6||Sydney Swans||Semi Final||Hawthorn|
|Qualifying Final||Western Bulldogs|