Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

2008 AFL season

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Hawthorn Football Club



20 Mar 2008 – 27 Sep 2008


Matches played

2008 AFL season httpsiytimgcomviw2ZuCbvqzEmaxresdefaultjpg

Hawthorn (10th premiership)

Minor premiers
Geelong (13th minor premiership)

Pre-season cup
St Kilda (3rd pre-season cup win)

Highest attendance
100,012 (GF Geelong vs. Hawthorn)

Coleman Medallist
Lance Franklin Hawthorn (102 goals)

Brownlow Medallist
Adam Cooney Western Bulldogs (24 votes)

2007 AFL season, 2009 AFL season, 2006 AFL season, 2010 AFL season, 2013 AFL season

The 2008 Australian Football League season was the 112th season of the elite Australian rules football competition. This season commenced on 20 March 2008 and concluded on 27 September 2008. The season consisted of twenty-two rounds of home-and-away matches, and four rounds of finals. The premiership was won by Hawthorn, who beat minor premiers Geelong by 26 points in the 2008 AFL Grand Final.


A significant feature of the season was the celebration of the 150th anniversary since the sport of Australian rules football was first established in 1858.

Win/Loss table

Bold – Home game

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.
  • Finals Series

    The 2008 Finals Series was conducted according to the conventions of the AFL's Amended "Final Eight" system that the AFL instituted in the AFL season 2000.

    Game records

    Statistics correct as at end of Round 22.

  • Highest Score: 28.14 (182) – Geelong v West Coast 5.17 (47), Round 13
  • Lowest Score: 5.9 (39) – Essendon v St Kilda 21.21 (147),Round 22
  • Highest Losing Score: 21.8 (134) – Carlton v Essendon 23.12 (150), Round 3
  • Lowest Winning Score: 6.15 (51) – St Kilda v Sydney 6.13 (49), Round 1
  • Greatest Margin: 135 points – Geelong 28.14 (182) v West Coast 5.17 (47), Round 13
  • Smallest Margin (excluding draws): 1 point –
  • Fremantle 13.10 (88) v Geelong 13.11 (89), Round 6
  • Melbourne 14.9 (93) v Brisbane 13.14 (92), Round 14
  • Highest Aggregate Score: 44.20 (284) – Essendon 23.12 (150) v Carlton 21.8 (134), Round 3
  • Lowest Aggregate Score: 12.28 (100) – St Kilda 6.15 (51) v Sydney 6.13 (49), Round 1
  • Best Accuracy: 85.71% – 12.2 (74) Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs 15.16 (106), Round 10
  • Worst Accuracy: 22.73% –
  • 5.17 (47) West Coast v Geelong 28.14 (182), Round 13
  • 5.17 (47) Adelaide v West Coast 14.13 (97), Round 9
  • Leading Goal-kickers and Coleman Medal

    updated after grand final

    The Coleman Medal was awarded to Lance Franklin for kicking the most goals at the end of the Home and Away season.


  • The 2008 Brownlow Medal for the AFL's fairest and best player was awarded to Adam Cooney, of the Western Bulldogs, who polled 24 votes.
  • The Leigh Matthews Trophy as the AFL's most valuable player was awarded to Gary Ablett, Jr., of Geelong.
  • The Coleman Medal was awarded to Lance Franklin of Hawthorn, who kicked 102 goals during the home and away season.
  • The Norm Smith Medal as the player adjudged best afield in the AFL Grand Final was awarded to Luke Hodge, of Hawthorn.
  • The McClelland Trophy was awarded to Geelong for holding top position on the ladder after 22 rounds.
  • The Wooden Spoon was obtained by Melbourne who finished the season in last place on the ladder after 22 rounds.
  • Chris Judd from Carlton was named the captain of the 2008 All-Australian Team, with seven Geelong players named and nine players made their All-Australian debuts.
  • The AFL Mark of the Year and Alex Jesaulenko Medal was awarded to Matthew Lloyd of Essendon for a spectacular high mark against Melbourne in Round 19.
  • The AFL Goal of the Year and Phil Manassa Medal was awarded to Leon Davis of Collingwood for his chase, tackle and goal against Fremantle in Round 22.
  • The AFL Army Award was awarded to Brett Deledio for the footballer who displays the most courageous and/or team related act of the season, for running with the flight of the ball to attempt a mark in the final minutes of Richmond's Round 7 loss to St Kilda.
  • Coleman Medal

  • Numbers highlighted in blue indicates the player led the Coleman that round.
  • Rising Star Nominees

    The AFL Rising Star award for 2008 was awarded to Rhys Palmer from Fremantle.

    Notable events

  • This was the first season since 1998 in which NMFC competed as "North Melbourne" instead of "Kangaroos", following the end of their decade-long experiment with home-away-from-home venues in Sydney, Canberra, and the Gold Coast.
  • Western Bulldogs came back from a 37-point deficit against St Kilda at quarter time to come back and win the game by 38 points to make a 75-point turnaround in Round 4.
  • Brisbane Lions produced its biggest ever comeback in Round 4 against Port Adelaide when they were down by 47 points late in the third quarter to win by 20 points, a 67-point turnaround.
  • Sydney forward Barry Hall was suspended for seven weeks, then the equal-longest suspension handed out since the tribunal was reconfigured to a points-based system in 2005, for striking West Coast defender Brent Staker with a clean punch to the head. Later in the season, Fremantle's Dean Solomon beat that record, being suspended for eight weeks after hitting Geelong's Cameron Ling in the cheekbone with an elbow.
  • Melbourne won its first game for the season in Round 7 against Fremantle by six points, after recovering from a 50-point half-time deficit, the second-largest half-time deficit ever overcome in VFL/AFL history. This was the second in a VFL/AFL-record string of five consecutive games which Fremantle lost after holding a three-quarter time lead.
  • West Coast suffered its worst ever loss at Subiaco Oval, and worst loss anywhere since 1989, in Round 13, losing to Geelong by 135 points.
  • In Round 13, Dustin Fletcher (in his 288th game) and his father, Ken (264 games), claimed the record of most VFL/AFL games played by a father-son combination (552 games).
  • In Round 16, Richmond player Joel Bowden deliberately conceded two behinds directly from the kick-in, to waste time while protecting his team's four-point lead over Essendon. This was a major motivation for the introduction of a rule from 2009 that allows the umpire to give award free kick for a deliberate rushed behind.
  • With its final-round victory, Geelong matched the 2000 Essendon record of 21 wins in a home-and-away season. Ironically, Geelong also set the record for the highest average losing margin in a VFL/AFL season, with its only loss coming by 86 points at the hands of Collingwood.
  • In the Round 22 match between Carlton and Hawthorn, Hawthorn forward Lance Franklin became the first player since Tony Lockett in 1998 to kick 100 goals in the home-and-away Season. Franklin became the 28th player in VFL/AFL history to reach this milestone, and the first indigenous player to do so.
  • In the same game, Brendan Fevola scored seven second-half goals to fall one goal short of the same milestone, becoming the first person in VFL/AFL history to be stranded on 99 goals for a season.
  • The final game of the home and away season saw the 8th-placed St Kilda requiring a win of 90+ points over Essendon to claim 4th place going into the finals. St Kilda recorded a new record winning margin over Essendon of 108 points which saw the Saints replace Adelaide in 4th place for the finals series.
  • On Monday 1 September, Leigh Matthews announced his resignation from his senior coaching position at the Brisbane Lions. Michael Voss took up this position despite committing to West Coast for 2009.
  • The second elimination final between Sydney and North Melbourne was the lowest crowd number for a final outside Victoria with only 19,127 despite being at ANZ Stadium where Sydney had averaged 50,000 for finals.
  • The Grand Final between Geelong and Hawthorn drew a crowd of 100,012, the first crowd over 100,000 people since the 1986 Grand Final.
  • By losing the Grand Final after finishing with a home-and-away record of 21–1, Geelong broke the record set in 1935 and 1936 by South Melbourne (16–2) for best record by a non-premier, and the record for most wins by a non-premier held jointly by Collingwood (1973) and West Coast (1991) (both 19 wins).
  • Sydney played in a controversial draw against North Melbourne at Telstra Dome in round six; it was later revealed that Sydney had nineteen men on the field for a brief period of play before, during and after the behind that tied the scores was scored. As a direct consequence of this, the league amended the interchange laws in round nine, appointing interchange stewards to police the players and to signal to the field umpires if an infringement has occurred. Any infringement now results in a free kick being awarded.
  • International rules

    Australia played Ireland in the two test 2008 International Rules Series. This series was played in Australia at Subiaco Oval and at the Melbourne Cricket Ground at the end of October. In 2007 the International Rules series was aborted by the Irish after they accused the Australians of being too rough in the previous series held in Ireland. However, after discussions between the teams they have decided to hold the 2008 series with some rule changes.


    The AFL introduced an additional two boundary umpires in Round 21 in order to reduce the error rate and enable the umpires to keep up with the play.

    Brett Rosebury was appointed the 2008 All-Australian umpire, the first West Australian umpire to receive that honour. Controversially, however, he was not appointed to umpire the AFL Grand Final, with Scott McLaren, Michael Vozzo and Shaun Ryan selected ahead of Rosebury.

    Scott McLaren umpired his 300th game in Round 4 and Shane McInerney umpired his 250 game in Round 4. Experienced field umpires Martin Ellis and Matthew Head both announced their retirements during the year.

    Coach changes

  • Surprising some, Leigh Matthews announced his retirement as coach of the Brisbane Lions two days after their final game of the season in what was reported as a move to make way for potential coaching candidate, Michael Voss.
  • Despite being newly signed for two years as Assistant Coach of West Coast, as expected, former Brisbane Lions captain Michael Voss was appointed as coach of the Brisbane Lions, one day after Leigh Matthews resigned.
  • References

    2008 AFL season Wikipedia

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