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- Coach of the year? Resilient Fagan has Lions in position for another crack at flag
- Saints opt to rest King; Hayes makes comeback
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Hipwood brings up 150th game for Lions
From the Lions: Eric Hipwood will play his 150th AFL match when he runs out for the Brisbane Lions today, the Club who drafted the key forward with pick 14 in the 2015 National Draft.
The former Caloundra and Aspley junior made his debut with Brisbane in Round 13, 2016 and has since helped the Lions become a regular finals team.
Eric Hipwood.Credit: Getty Images
Coach of the year? Resilient Fagan has Lions in position for another crack at flag
Chris Fagan’s name has not yet been thrown up in the perennial end-of-season debate over who should emerge the fitting winner of coach of the year but on the eve of the 62-year-old’s fifth consecutive finals series it is worth considering his 2023 performance in the context of his public and private journey over the past 11 months.
Such accolades are clearly not what he is chasing as the Lions knock on the premiership door yet again, but in simple win-loss terms Fagan has joined Chris Scott as the most successful AFL coach of the past five years and could go past the Geelong coach in the finals.
Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan – is this the year for him and his club?Credit: Getty Images
Football’s poster boy for recruitment and player retention, Fagan has, under the guidance of Greg Swann, reformed the club and – what friend and former player Luke Hodge describes as – its “fractured culture”.
But the eve of another September sits a far cry from Monday, September 19, 2022. Fresh from a preliminary final belting by Geelong, Fagan learned he was one target in a series of historic allegations by a group of First Nations players and their partners in an article to be published by the ABC.
In the days that followed he stepped away from the game as he awaited the AFL’s stated intention to resolve the devastating and complex matter by Christmas. Fagan, who has from the outset strenuously denied the allegations against him, barely left his house for the next two weeks, stepping outside for exercise only at night when he hoped he wouldn’t run into other people.
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Saints opt to rest King; Hayes makes comeback
St Kilda has made the surprise decision to rest Max King a week after he booted 3.3 in a 33-point win over Geelong.
King’s withdrawal has opened the door for forward Jack Hayes to play his first AFL match since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in round six last year.
Jack Hayes.Credit: AFL Photos via Getty Images
The Western Bulldogs’ slim finals hopes have been boosted by Geelong’s injury crisis.
Mitch Duncan has been ruled out of Saturday night’s match at GMHBA Stadium through suspension, while Jeremy Cameron, Tom Hawkins, Esava Ratugolea, Brad Close and Tanner Bruhn are all injured.
The Bulldogs get Tom Liberatore back from concussion but Taylor Duryea (suspension), Bailey Smith (illness) and Jack Macrae (concussion) have all been ruled out.
Fremantle’s Michael Walters returns from a calf injury for Saturday’s meeting with Hawthorn at the MCG, while defender Joel Hamling has earned a recall.
Dockers midfielder Jaeger O’Meara will miss with a calf injury, while the Hawks regain Jai Newcombe.
West Coast have recalled retiring stars Luke Shuey and Shannon Hurn for their Saturday night farewell against Adelaide.
The Crows have lost Rory Laird to injury and dropped Riley Thilthorpe.
G’day everyone and welcome to our AFL live blog for the Saturday games of round 24.
I’m Roy Ward and I’ll be leading the line as we keep a close eye on Brisbane Lions and St Kilda Saints at the Gabba and then Geelong Cats v Western Bulldogs in Geelong tonight.
We will also have updates on the other games and any other major developments.
The Lions and Saints are set to start at 4.30pm AEST and the Cats and Bulldogs at 7.25pm AEST.
Enjoy the hours to come.
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