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Although the league was still called the VFL until the start of the 1990 season, the 2011 season was the unofficial 25th 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. Port Adelaide Power joined. Footscray changed its name to Western Bulldogs. Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy Lions merged to become Brisbane Lions.

This season Gold Coast Suns joined the AFL to bring the number of clubs to 17.

Club Changes

  • Chris Scott, twin brother of North Melbourne coach Brad Scott, replaced Mark Thompson as coach at Geelong.
  • John Longmire replaced Paul Roos as coach at Sydney Swans.
  • Essendon appointed one of their favorite players, James Hird as their coach.

West Coast Eagles had the biggest improvement for the season, climbing 12 places to 4th. West Coast Eagles went from wooden spoon to Preliminary Finals. Whilst Port Adelaide and Western Bulldogs had the biggest decline, falling 6 places.


Geelong, finishing second on the ladder won its third premiership in 5 years.

In 2011 Collingwood were minor premiers again and played Geelong in the Grand Final. 

Gold Coast Suns in its inaugural season, won the wooden spoon.


Lance Franklin of Hawthorn won the Coleman Medal for the leading goalscorer.

Dane Swan of Collingwood won the Brownlow Medal. 

Jimmy Bartel of Geelong won the Norm Smith Medal.


# 2010 Team Home Ground Coach Captain
1   2010 Logo Collingwood Collingwood   MCG   Mick Malthouse   Nick Maxwell
2   2010 Logo Geelong Geelong   Kardinia Park   Chris Scott   Cameron Ling
3 ▲ 4   2010 Logo Hawthorn Hawthorn   MCG   Alastair Clarkson   Luke Hodge
4   ▲ 12   2010 Logo West Coast West Coast Eagles   Subiaco Oval   John Worsfold   Darren Glass
5 ▲ 3   2010 Logo Carlton-Football Carlton   Docklands Stadium   Brett Ratten   Chris Judd
6 ▼ 3   2010 Logo St Kilda St Kilda   Docklands Stadium   Ross Lyon   Nick Riewoldt
7 ▼ 2   2010 Logo Sydney Sydney Swans   SCG   John Longmire   Adam Goodes
8 ▲ 6   2010 Logo Essendon Essendon   Docklands Stadium   James Hird   Jobe Watson
9   2010 Logo North Melbourne North Melbourne   Docklands Stadium   Brad Scott   Brent Harvey
10 ▼ 6   2010 Logo Western Bulldogs Western Bulldogs   Docklands Stadium   Rodney Eade   Matthew Boyd
11 ▼ 5   Fremantle-dockers Fremantle   Subiaco Oval   Mark Harvey   Matthew Pavlich
12 ▲ 3   2010 Logo Richmond Richmond   MCG   Damien Hardwick   Chris Newman
13 ▼ 1   Melbourne logo 2014 Melbourne   MCG   Dean Bailey   Brad Green
14 ▼ 3   2010 Logo Adelaide Adelaide   Football Park   Neil Craig   Nathan van Berlo
15 ▼ 2   2010 Logo Lions Brisbane Lions   Gabba   Michael Voss   Jonathan Brown
16 ▼ 6   2010 Logo Port Adelaide Port Adelaide   Football Park   Matthew Primus   Domenic Cassisi
17 n/a   Gold Coast Suns logo Gold Coast Suns   Carrara Stadium   Guy McKenna   Gary Ablett, Jr.

Finals Series

  Qualifying Final    
1  Collingwood  
4  West Coast Eagles     Semi Final    
     West Coast Eagles    
Elimination Final        Carlton       Preliminary Final  
5  Carlton        Collingwood  
8  Essendon          Hawthorn     Grand Final  
  Elimination Final         Preliminary Final        Geelong
6  St Kilda          West Coast Eagles  
7  Sydney Swans     Semi Final          Geelong  
     Sydney Swans    
Qualifying Final        Hawthorn    
3  Hawthorn  
2  Geelong  
Key:       Losing team progressing       Winning team progressing

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