1998 AFL Premiership season
Teams 16
Premiers Western Bulldogs

(3rd premiership)

Minor premiers Western Bulldogs

(1st minor premiership)

Pre-season cup Geelong

(1st pre-season cup win)

Matches played 185
Attendance 6,704,630 (36,241 per match)
Highest attendance 96,491 (Grand Final, Western Bulldogs v Adelaide)
Coleman Medallist Tony Lockett (Sydney)
Brownlow Medallist Tony Liberatore (Western Bulldogs)
< 1997 AFL Season 1999 >

The 1998 AFL Premiership season was the 102nd annual VFL/AFL season contested between the sixteen teams of the AFL league, and was won by the minor premiers, the Western Bulldogs, their second in a row and third overall.

Notable Events

  • Former Geelong star Gary Ablett joined the Richmond Tigers on a three year, 1.5 million dollar contract, obliged to play to the end of the 2000 season.
  • Following the 108 point, round 18 loss to the Western Bulldogs, the Collingwood Football Club announced that they withdrew their contract with coach Tony Shaw, the 1990 premiership player Peter Daicos becoming acting coach for the remainder of the season.
  • Prior to the pre-season, Melbourne appointed former Essendon midfielder Neale Daniher to replace Neil Balme following the disappointing 1997 season.


  • Finishing the season with 17 wins and 5 losses, the Western Bulldogs were the 1998 minor premiers, marking the first, and to date, only time the Bulldogs topped the VFL/AFL ladder.
  • Following a lowly season under Tony Shaw, Collingwood were 'awarded' the wooden spoon for the 1998 season, having only 3 wins and 19 losses.
  • For the second time in his professional footballing career, Tony Libertore won the Brownlow medal after being voted the 'best-and-fairest' player during the 1998 home-and-away season. He ended up with 30 votes, two ahead of the runner up, Adelaide midfielder Mark Ricciuto. 
  • For the third time in his career, Sydney forward Tony Lockett was awarded the Coleman medal for kicking the most goals during the year, ending with 110 following the end of the home-and-away season.


# 1997 Team (Wins-Losses-Draws) Coach Captain
1 2   Western Bulldogs   (17-5-0)   Terry Wallace   Scott Wynd
2 5   North Melbourne   (15-7-0)   Dennis Pagan   Wayne Carey
3 3   Sydney   (15-7-0)   Rodney Eade   Paul Kelly
4   Adelaide   (14-8-0)   Malcolm Blight   Mark Bickley
5 11   Melbourne   (12-9-1)   Neale Daniher   Todd Viney
6 7   Richmond   (12-10-0)   Jeff Gieschen   Matthew Knights
7 2   West Coast Eagles   (12-10-0)   Mick Malthouse   John Worsfold
8 8   St Kilda   (12-10-0)   Stan Alves   Nathan Burke
9 5   Essendon   (11-10-1)   Kevin Sheedy   James Hird
10 1   Carlton   (10-10-2)   David Parkin   Craig Bradley
11 2   Port Adelaide   (10-12-0)   John Cahill   Gavin Wanganeen
12 10   Geelong   (9-13-0)   Gary Ayres   Barry Stoneham
13 1   Fremantle   (8-14-0)   Gerard Neesham   Peter Mann
14 1   Hawthorn   (8-14-0)   Ken Judge   Jason Dunstall
15 7   Brisbane   (6-18-0)   John Northey   Michael Voss
16 6   Collingwood   (3-19-0)   Tony Shaw;
Peter Daicos
  Gavin Brown


  Qualifying Final
4  Adelaide Semi Final
5  Melbourne  Melbourne Preliminary Final
  Qualifying Final  Richmond  Melbourne
1  Western Bulldogs  Western Bulldogs
8  St Kilda Grand Final
 Western Bulldogs
  Qualifying Final  Adelaide
6  Richmond Preliminary Final
3  Sydney Swans   Semi Final  North Melbourne
  Qualifying Final  Adelaide  Adelaide
2  North Melbourne  Sydney Swans
7  West Coast Eagles

Qualifying Finals

Home team Score Away team Score Venue Attendance Date
Western Bulldogs 25.14.164 St Kilda 15.10.100 MCG 75,429 Friday, 4 September
Adelaide 10.20.80 Melbourne 8.16.64 Football Park 44,012 Saturday, 5 September
Sydney 14.11.95 Richmond 17.15.117 SCG 35,480 Saturday, 5 September
North Melbourne 19.11.125 West Coast Eagles 9.9.63 MCG 42,866 Sunday, 6 September

Semi Finals

Home team Score Away team Score Venue Attendance Date
Richmond 11.13.79 Melbourne 28.14.182 MCG 51,017 Saturday, 12 September
Adelaide 13.16.94 Sydney 7.16.58 Football Park 42,882 Saturday, 12 September

Preliminary Finals

Home team Score Away team Score Venue Attendance Date
Western Bulldogs 18.23.131 Melbourne 13.12.90 MCG 74,104 Friday, 18 September
North Melbourne 13.8.86 Adelaide 12.19.91 MCG 69,351 Saturday, 19 September

Grand Final

Home team Score Away team Score Venue Attendance Date
Western Bulldogs 17.11.113 Adelaide 10.21.81 MCG 96,491 Saturday, 26 September

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