A timeline detailing all major events in the AFL from 1997 to 1999.


  • September 20 (POD) - In an extraordinary finish at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the Adelaide Crows come back from a 32 point, half-time deficit to lead the game near the final siren over one of the flag favourites, the Western Bulldogs. With about a minute and a half left on the clock, the Bulldog star player Chris Grant manages to get the ball close to goal, and despite having 3 Adelaide players surrounding him, kicks the goal, thus changing the lead in favour of the Bulldogs. Finally, after holding down Adelaide for an excruciating minute in defence, the Western Bulldogs managed to get into their first Grand Final in 36 years, this time against the ladder leaders, the St. Kilda Saints.
  • Western Bulldogs 1997
    September 27 - 96, 027 people turn out to witness history as St. Kilda and the Western Bulldogs take on each other in the 1997 AFL Grand Final. Despite a slump in the first-quarter, the Western Bulldogs managed to overcome the Saints in what was perhaps the season blow out. They downed the runners up by a margin of 52, and became that years Major Premiers.
  • November 11 - Despite announcing his retirement earlier in the season, following a blow-out of the knee, Geelong superstar Gary Ablett announces that he will return on a 2 year contract with the Richmond Tigers for the '98 and '99 AFL seasons. This allows him to continue his own legacy, and carries him until the end of the decade.


  • April 4 - Returning in an explosive fashion, Gary Ablett makes his long awaited début back into the AFL during round 2 of the season, taking on his previous club at their home ground. Kicking only 2 goals in the game, he managed to overcome  doubts that he could no longer play, and lift the Richmond team to victory by 15 points. 
  • April 19 - Adelaide, in a dramatic ending, topples the lossless Port Adelaide in the third showdown, taking the lead on the overall showdown tally. With the lead changing many times during the game, Port Adelaide couldn't overcome the seriousness and ferocity of Adelaide, who were looking to secure another finals appearance.
  • June 7 - In the preliminary final rematch, Adelaide managed to overcome the ladder leading Western Bulldogs despite being outmatched almost all day and being on opposing soil. Leading for only the last five minutes of the game, the Adelaide Crows managed to avenge their 1997 Preliminary final loss with a one goal (6 points) win over the Bulldogs.
  • June 27 - 20 days after the Preliminary final rematch, the Grand Final rematch begun, with the Western Bulldogs continuing their dominance as the ladder leaders despite initial signs of a mid-season slump. Taking on the St. Kilda Saints, the Bulldogs defeated their 1997 foes in emphatic fashion, with a 59 points victory, a sign of their almost complete dominance over the opposition.
  • September 4 - The finals begun with the minor premiers defeating the eighth place St. Kilda. Coming in as favourites after finishing the season as minor premiers and having defeated the team earlier in the year, the Bulldogs defeated the opposing side with the titanic margin of 64 points, essentially winning the game by half time.
  • September 5 - The qualifying finals continue as the 4th place Adelaide take on the Melbourne Demons at their home stadium. With only one place over Melbourne, a close game was expected by the Crows, and they got it, winning by only 16 points, gaining them a spot in the semi finals.
  • September 12 - One week after defeating Melbourne, the Adelaide Crows visited Sydney to take on the 3rd place Sydney Swans in perhaps the most important semi final of the season. Despite an opening slump, the Crows managed to overcome the doubters and defeat Sydney by a margin of 36 points, making them one of the clearer favourites for the 1998 premiership.

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