Swans were last team standing

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 27 Desember 2012 | 14.43

The Sydney Swans victorious after the AFL Grand Final 2012. Picture: Wayne Ludbey Source: Herald Sun

MOST Sydneysiders think the Harbour City is the centre of the universe.

In the AFL this year, they were largely right. For once.

The fledgling Great Western Sydney made their AFL premiership debut when they faced the Swans in a standalone fixture at Homebush's ANZ Stadium to launch the home-and-away season on March 24.

And it was the Swans who were the last team standing on September 29 when they triumphed over Hawthorn at the MCG to hand the Sydney-South Melbourne club its fifth VFL-AFL flag.

Midfielder Ryan O'Keefe won the Norm Smith Medal for best-on-ground while co-captain Adam Goodes added to the legendary "Bloods" culture by playing most of the match on one leg.

But every man in a red-and-white jumper had a heroic story to tell. That is just how Sydney roll.

The Giants took the wooden spoon with two wins for the year.

But the two Sydney teams did not stop being in the news.

GWS lost high-priced rugby league recruit Israel Folau, while Sydney somehow managed to find the salary cap space to afford a $3.5 million, four-year offer to Adelaide forward Kurt Tippett.

It left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast who - like everybody bar Sydney - thought Tippett was going home to Queensland.

Adelaide were also aggrieved and played hardball in trade negotiations. It all then unravelled in spectacular style.

The Crows, Adelaide CEO Steve Trigg, football manager Phil Harper, ex-football manager John Reid and Tippett fronted the AFL Commission on salary cap rorting and draft tampering charges relating to Tippett's last contract with the Crows that was negotiated in 2009.

Adelaide ultimately lost draft picks and were fined while Trigg and Harper were suspended. Tippett's manager Peter Blucher is under investigation by the AFL Players Association.

Sydney finally got their man in the pre-season draft but Tippett will not be available until the round 13 clash with Port Adelaide after being handed an 11-game ban.

Closer to home, the Lions made strides up the ladder with 10 wins after managing four victories in 2011. The round 10 thriller against West Coast and the round 21 win over Adelaide provided hope.

Gold Coast extended the contract of senior coach Guy McKenna before claiming premiership points but beefed up the role of football director Malcolm Blight. The Suns' first win did not come until round 16.

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