AFL 3 years ago

Ten defining moments of 2015 H&A Season

  • Ten defining moments of 2015 H&A Season

The 2015 season is one that we won't forget and with finals on the horizon, it's going to make the season even more memorable than any in recent memory.

Filled with many inspiring moments, a few sad moments, and moments that will live with us for the next 50 years.

So which moments have already defined the season.


The Western Bulldogs got off to a terrific start in the 2015 season, knocking over Richmond, West Coast and Adelaide in fairly comprehensive fashion. However they suffered a heavy defeat to the Hawks in round three, many thought that coming up against the rampaging Sydney Swans who were runners-up in the 2014 Grand Final.

It was a wet, horrible day at the SCG but the final result brought a smile to everyone's faces as the Western Bulldogs caused one of the upsets of the season, winning by four points. 

The interview that Bulldogs captain Robert Murphy gave after the game was something that I'll remember for a long time as he spoke with true passion and excitement about what was to come. 

And we all know how it has turned out for the young Bulldogs as they prepare for this week's Elimination Final against the Adelaide Crows.


The Bombers had a horror season in 2015. They lost their coach, they suffered many heavy defeats throughout the year and WADA continues to hang over their head.

However one thing that the Bombers can look back on is very early on in the season that saw the Bombers knock over the Hawks with defender Cale Hooker kicking the match-winning goal with a minute to play.

The Bombers found themselves ten points down with two minutes remaining as Travis Colyer pulled one back and gave the Bombers a fighting chance. Hooker swung forward and took opponent Jack Gunston with him, who got lost in the contest and Hooker found himself free to snap the winning goal with just a minute on the clock remaining.

At that point of the season, the Bombers were "WADA free" with nothing hanging over their head. As a supporter, you have to wonder what these players could put together, stress-free.


It takes a lot of courage for someone to admit that they have a problem. Whether that be a gambling problem, or an alcoholic problem, but to admit that you're suffering from a mental illness is one of the toughest things anyone can do.

However, for someone of Lance Franklin's nature, in his position, on the eve of the biggest month of football, to put his hand up and say "I'm not okay" is more courageous than backing into an incoming pack of players.

May not mean much to some that haven't experienced something like anxiety or depression in their lives, but to those that have or currently are, they would understand just how courageous it is to step out into the open and admit that you need help.


It was only recent, but the way that Geelong sent off three of their premiership stars in Steve Johnson, James Kelly and Mathew Stokes was something for not only Geelong fans to remember for a long time, but fans in general.

Johnson would not have played had it been his last game in the blue and white hoops and was heavily hampered by injury leading into the game. 

The great thing was that all three of the departing Cats had terrific games and finished their careers off in style.


St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt sadly lost his baby sister to a Bone Marrow disease at the start of the season. Maddie Riewoldt had the fight of her life on her hands and did everything she could to raise awareness for the disease that is yet to have a cure. 

Maddie was a big Saints fan but if she had a second team, it was Richmond, who her cousin Jack played for. Jack and Maddie, although cousins, were said to be as close as a brother and sister.

In Round 16, both teams came together to play "Maddie's Match" where they would raise awareness for the disease and raise a huge amounts of funds to find a treatment and a cure for the horrendous disease that unfortunately caught up with Maddie's life.


Minus captain Luke Hodge and midfielder Jordan Lewis, the Hawks were at near full-strength when they came up against the Giants, who made a terrific and surprising start to the season.

However, not many would have expected what was to come.

The Giants showed some big improvements in the NAB Challenge and in the first month of football, however they went up another level against the Hawks. They went on to knock over the back to back reigning premiers and record the biggest win in their short history. 


The former Essendon champion and the most recent Melbourne coach to take them to a Grand Final was unfortunately struck down witha  "beast of a disease" as Daniher calls it.

Daniher spent mountains of time and continues to do so in raising awareness for the deadly the disease that he says "kills you slowly" and has no cure.

For a man in his position, it truly is remarkable the way he has handled himself in raising awareness for MND and even when he's not raising awareness, he's still involved in football and is currently helping the Bombers in finding a new coach for next season. Just a remarkable man.



Before this season, there had only been two players in the history of the AFL to play 400 AFL games. That was Michael Tuck who still remains the all-time games record holder with 426. The other was Richmond legend Kevin Bartlett with 403 games.

Well that total doubled this season as Essendon defender Dustin Fletcher brought up the magical milestone against the Tigers in round nine and Brent Harvey, who continues to prove doubters wrong, brought up his 400th in round 16 against the Brisbane Lions.

Unfortunately, Fletcher called an end to his playing career just last week, but Brent Harvey has Michael Tuck in his sights after signing a one year deal last month.


It was torture for Daniel Menzel for four long seasons. Four knee reconstructions, four years of his life that he spent in rehabilitation trying to keep his dream alive.

Well, finally, after two failed comebacks in the VFL, Round 22 of this season saw Menzel finally return for the Cats in a game that Geelong must win to keep their finals hopes alive.

Unfortunately for the Cats the result didn't go their way, but what did go their way was that Daniel Menzel was able to put in one heck of a performance and finish the game with 21 disposals and kick four goals in what was the greatest comeback from injury in recent memory.


It was one of those moments for a big football fan like myself that remembers where I was when I heard the news that Adelaide coach Phil Walsh had died.

It was something that our game hasn't seen before. Unfortunately, we've seen players lose their lives while still on a playing list. Darren Milane and John McCarthy came immediately to mind, but not a coach.

The news brought the entire football community together and who you supported and other matters within in the AFL quickly became irrelevant as round 14 of the 2015 season, became a sad, somber round as every club decided that after a win, no club song would be played, and both teams would pay their respects before and after the game as a show of unity.

The game between Adelaide and Geelong was rightfully called off as there was no way that the Adelaide players could manage to play a game of football, when a number of them were so close to Phil Walsh.

They did manage to however play against the West Coast Eagles in Perth the following week and the emotion in that game was indescribable as Crows players left the ground with tears in their eyes and Eagles fans standing and applauding all at the Adelaide Football Club as they left the ground.

Finally, the next game was the Showdown against Port Adelaide, the team where Adelaide appointed Walsh from. Walsh spent a number of years at Port Adelaide and was just as close to a number of Power players as he was to the Crows players. It was one of the best games of the season and one of the best Showdown's in history and it was fitting way to pay tribute to Phil Walsh and his legacy.

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