Girish Mahajan (Editor)

1997 AFL season

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Leading goalkicker  Tony Modra (Adelaide)
Teams  16
Matches played  185
Start date  1997
Attendance  6,402,997
1997 AFL season httpsiytimgcomviOqCEQNPaJFImaxresdefaultjpg
Premiers  Adelaide (1st premiership)
Minor premiers  St Kilda (2nd minor premiership)
Pre-season cup  Carlton (1st pre-season cup win)
Highest attendance  99,645 (Grand Final, St Kilda v Adelaide)
Brownlow Medallist  Robert Harvey (St Kilda)
Similar  1998 AFL season, 1999 AFL season, 1995 AFL season, 1993 AFL season, 1992 AFL season

The 1997 Australian Football League season was the 101st season of the elite Australian rules football competition.


This season is notable for the admission of the Port Adelaide Football Club, and the merger of the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy to form the Brisbane Lions. Before the start of the 1997 season, Footscray changed its name to the Western Bulldogs Football Club.

1997 is also notable for being one of the most evenly contested seasons in the AFL's recent history. With five rounds remaining, only three wins separated first placed Geelong (11 wins) and 13th placed Hawthorn (8 wins). St Kilda won the Minor Premiership with 15 wins and 7 losses; however, the competition was won by Adelaide who had come fourth after the minor round with 13 wins and 9 losses. This was the first instance of a side winning four consecutive finals matches to claim the Premiership. The Western Bulldogs would also accomplish this feat in 2016.

Ladder progression

  • Numbers highlighted in green indicate that the team finished the round inside the top 8.
  • Numbers highlighted in blue indicates the team finished first on the ladder in that round.
  • Numbers highlighted in red indicates the team finished in last place on the ladder in that round.
  • Notable events

  • Defending premiers North Melbourne became the second team in VFL/AFL history to reach the preliminary final after finishing lower than sixth on the ladder; this record would stand until 2015 when they became the first team to make the preliminary final from eighth position.
  • The last AFL game was played at Whitten Oval.
  • The first qualifying final between Adelaide and West Coast was rescheduled from Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon to allow the Seven Network to screen the funeral of Princess Diana live across Australia. This meant that it was played at the same time as the fourth qualifying final between minor premiers St Kilda and the Brisbane Lions, who were competing in their first season as a merged entity.
  • References

    1997 AFL season Wikipedia