Alternate History

2000 AFL Season (What They Can Do Next Week)

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2000 AFL Premiership season
Teams 16
Premiers Essendon

(16th premiership)

Minor premiers Essendon

(16th minor premiership)

Pre-season cup Essendon

(4th pre-season cup win)

Matches played 185
Attendance 6,390,501 (34,543 per match)
Highest attendance 98,007 (Grand Final, Essendon v Western Bulldogs)
Coleman Medallist Matthew Lloyd (Essendon)
Brownlow Medallist Michael Voss (Brisbane)
< 1999 AFL Season 2001 >

The 2000 AFL Premiership season was the 104th annual season of the VFL/AFL league contested between the sixteen teams of the competition. Staged to determine the 2000 premiership, it was won by the minor premier Essendon in one of the most dominant seasons of all time.

Notable Events

  • Just prior to the start of the preseason, Richmond (and former Geelong) star Gary Ablett announced his official retirement after a serious patella fracture which had not properly healed over the long break, leaving him unable to play.
  • Prior to the beginning of the season, North Melbourne official changed its club name to simply the "Kangaroos", emulating Footscray's change to the "Western Bulldogs".
  • Midway through the regular season, then bottom feeder Carlton sacked coach Peter Knights before appointing former Essendon half-back and assistant coach to Knights, Mark Thompson, to temporarily coach the side. Under "Bomber" Thompson, Carlton managed to win the final five games of the season, lifting them to 11th on the ladder.
  • Essendon's preseason and regular season premierships are the last time a team 'doubled' during the professional year until West Coast in 2012.
  • Furthermore, Essendon's 21 wins during the home-and-away rounds (and 24 wins including the finals) are an unbeaten record, and one of the best in VFL/AFL history.
  • Due to Australia's hosting of the 2000 Summer Olympics, the dates for the home-and-away rounds, finals series, along with the grand final, had to be pulled back by almost a month.
  • The McIntyre Final Eight System which had operated from 1994 to 1999 was replaced with the 'Amended Final Eight' system which continues to operate to this day.
  • Essendon became the final Victorian team to win a premiership until Carlton in 2005.


  • With such a prolific home-and-away win-loss record, Essendon finished on top of the AFL ladder at season's end, two games clear of the second placed Western Bulldogs, their minor premiership being the 16th in club history.
  • Fremantle (under former Richmond and Brisbane coach John Northey) finished the season at the bottom of the ladder with a 4 win, 18 loss season, therefore 'winning' the wooden spoon.
  • After kicking 91 goals during the home-and-away season, Essendon full forward Matthew Lloyd ended his regular season with the Coleman medal for most prolific goalscorer, adding 13 more during Essendon's final campaign.
  • For the second time in his career, Michael Voss of the Brisbane Lions finished his season with the Brownlow medal for being the 'best-and-fairest' on ground during the home-and-away season.


# 1999 Team (Wins-Losses-Draws) Coach Captain
1  Essendon  (21-1-0)  Kevin Sheedy  James Hird
2  Western Bulldogs  (19-3-0)  Terry Wallace  Chris Grant
3 6  Brisbane  (16-6-0)  Leigh Matthews  Michael Voss
4 6  Geelong  (14-8-0)  Grant Thomas  Ben Graham
5 2  Kangaroos  (13-8-1)  Denis Pagan  Wayne Carey
6 2  Hawthorn  (13-9-0)  Ken Judge  Shane Crawford
7 2  Sydney  (12-9-1)  Rodney Eade  Paul Kelly
8 2  Richmond  (12-10-0)  Jeff Gieschen  Matthew Knights
9 2  Adelaide  (12-10-0)  Gary Ayres  Mark Bickley
10 2  Melbourne  (11-11-0)  Neale Daniher  David Neitz
11 3  Carlton  (10-11-1)  Peter Knights;
Mark Thompson
 Craig Bradley
12 8  West Coast Eagles  (10-12-0)  Alan Joyce  Guy McKenna
13 3  Collingwood  (8-15-1)  Mick Malthouse  Nathan Buckley
14 1  St Kilda  (8-16-0)  Alastair Clarkson  Nathan Burke
15 8  Port Adelaide  (5-17-0)  Mark Williams  Gavin Wanganeen
16 4  Fremantle  (4-18-0)  John Northey  Shaun McManus


  Qualifying Final    
1  Essendon  
4  Geelong     Semi Final    
Elimination Final        Richmond       Preliminary Final  
8  Richmond        Essendon  
5  Kangaroos          Brisbane Lions     Grand Final  
  Elimination Final         Preliminary Final        Western Bulldogs
7  Sydney          Geelong  
6  Hawthorn     Semi Final          Western Bulldogs  
Qualifying Final        Brisbane Lions    
2  Western Bulldogs  
3  Brisbane Lions  

Qualifying Finals

Home team Score Away team Score Venue Attendance Date
Kangaroos 15.12 (102) Richmond 15.16 (106) Colonial Stadium 46,702 Friday, 11 August
Essendon 13.8 (86) Geelong 9.24 (78) MCG 64,719 Saturday, 12 August
Hawthorn 25.17 (167) Sydney 8.14 (62) Colonial Stadium 30,156 Saturday, 12 August
Western Bulldogs 21.10 (136) Brisbane Lions 16.20 (116) MCG 36,929 Sunday, 13 August

Semi Finals

Home team Score Away team Score Venue Attendance Date
Geelong 29.6 (180) Richmond 13.15 (93) MCG 53,703 Friday, 18 August
Brisbane Lions 8.18 (66) Hawthorn 9.10 (64) The Gabba 33,480 Saturday, 19 August

Preliminary Finals

Home team Score Away team Score Venue Attendance Date
Western Bulldogs 21.11 (137) Geelong 8.4 (52) MCG 59,036 Friday, 25 August
Essendon 15.17 (107) Brisbane Lions 14.8 (92) MCG 54,358 Saturday, 26 August

Grand Final

Home team Score Away team Score Venue Attendance Date
Essendon 17.22 (124) Western Bulldogs 9.13 (67) MCG 98,007 Saturday, 2 September

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