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Milestones and Memories (Part 2)

Another big week in AFL footy (is there any other kind?), and plenty of milestones to be celebrated.

Another new coach, Leigh Adams, will take the reins for the first time with David Noble’s departure from North Melbourne, after last week’s narrow loss to Collingwood.

Adams, a former Kangaroo, debuted with the club in Round 5, 2007 against Geelong. He played the next week against Sydney but then was not seen again until the second half of 2009. He was then a regular member of the team, playing in every game in 2014, finishing a league career that totalled 104 games and 72 goals.

This total of goals is enough for him to still earn a seat at the North Melbourne top 100 goal scorers (number 93).

His coaching career started at South Croydon where he won a premiership and moved on to Coburg.

Remarkably, Adams will become the 27th coach of an AFL team this season, with a number of assistants taking the reins due to COVID In a stat that would be good news to him, the replacement coaches (those not named a coach of their team at the start of the year) have a win-loss ratio of 60 per cent, having won nine out of 15 games so far.

On the same weekend that Adams will coach his first game, Stuart Dew will coach his 100th at the helm of Gold Coast.

Suns coach Stuart Dew talks to players

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

The umpires too, have much to celebrate. If they get a game this weekend, Chris Donlan will pass former popular umpire Darren Goldspink, Nick Brown will umpire his 100th game; and Leigh Haussen, by officiating in his 99th, will replace Dick Gibson in the “hot seat” of the top 100 AFL umpires.

With only six rounds of the home and away season to go, a number of clubs have been able to close their books on any new entrants to their top 100 game players’ lists, whilst a number of other clubs will only have a new entrant before the end of the year if everything fell into place for the rest of the season.

Carlton, for instance, could welcome in Jacob Weitering if he played every game for the next six weeks and then two finals. Essendon’s injured Darcy Parish needs only five more games to make it, while the task for Collingwood’s Jamie Elliott and Western Bulldogs’ Zaine Cordy is much easier: they are required to play only two more games to join the elite at their clubs.

Callum Ah Chee (Brisbane), Cooper Hamilton (Greater Western Sydney), Kayne Turner (North Melbourne), Jack Steele (St Kilda) and Jack Petruccelle (West Coast) all require three games to join the ranks.

The clubs who can already plan their seating arrangements for any top 100 game player functions they may consider having are the original clubs: Melbourne and Geelong, as well as Sydney (formerly South Melbourne) and other well-established clubs such as Hawthorn and Richmond.

Surprisingly, the relatively “new” club Port Adelaide also will not have any more players qualifying for top 100 status by playing enough games for the remainder of this year. Closer inspection however, shows the reason for this: apart from the two fledgling clubs (Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney) the Power have more current players amongst their top 100 than any other club.

A total of 22 (almost a full team) contrasts sharply with Carlton (2), Essendon (3), North Melbourne (3) and Hawthorn (4).

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