Your Favourite Non-Flag Season

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Brownlow Medallist
Jun 16, 2012
AFL Club
Definitely 2018. Was living in the overseas at the time so couldn't watch all the games but kept checking in and being amazed by how we seemed to have become good again. Loved the way we played with a lot of heart and team ethos in the absence of any really decent key position players at all for large stretches of the year.

Also was fortunate enough to get back and get a seat at the PF. I'd been meant to fly back overseas but was rejected at the boarding gate for booking the ticket with a slight misspelling. Probably my favourite footballing memory. Crowd was unreal that day. Woke up at about 5am local time to watch the next week :$


Club Legend
Oct 3, 2010
AFL Club
Carlton 1992.

It was a year of our revival after our lean period from 1989-1991.
The blues missed the 'final 6' in '92 by percentage but still won 14 games, just 2 fewer wins than the cats who finished on top.

Spalding and Greg Williams joined the blues and we had some memorable wins that season against other top sides including:
2 big comeback wins against the saints.
There was a huge build up to the pies 'centenary game' and we won easily despite having just a 4 day break from the previous round.
Defeated reigning premiers Hawthorn twice.
Had a huge win against 2nd place Footscray at Princes Park late in the season.
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Feb 9, 2021
AFL Club
my dad forced me to follow Collingwood I was 5 years old in 1996 and we didn't make finals till I was 11 in 2002 what a season qf win in Adelaide as massive underdogs 2007 a close second . Also really enjoyed Fremantles 2013 season as a neutral


Karnt Of A Human
Aug 1, 2011
AFL Club
1998 stands out for me. Essendon had had a really bad season in 1997 but we managed to come back and be good enough to make finals without ever truly threatening. But there were some memorable wins in there.

And my side aside, the season was a pretty even one. Not much separated many of the sides. Melbourne had come last by a distance in 1997 but came out of nowhere to make a prelim and give North a very decent fight in that game too.

1997 also deserves a very honourable mention. St Kilda finished top with just 15 wins, Hawthorn finished 15th with 8 and Essendon 14th with 9; it was an incredibly even season. 1993 was similar but I was a bit young then to really have enough of a memory of most of the games.

Smooth Criminal

Club Legend
Sep 18, 2016
AFL Club
2012. Do not think I’ve seen a Crows side play with as much effort as they did. Was seriously impressive that we got so close to beating the much stronger Hawks in the prelim away from home. At least kid me didn’t have to deal with a probable grand final loss, but still would have played better than we did in 2017.

I also have soft spot for 2009. We played some great footy, like keeping Freo to just 13 points and winning elimination final by 96 points. Damn Jack Anthony.

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Team Captain
Feb 1, 2004
Other Teams
Helsingborg Australian FC
first year of going to the footy. Just loved it. There were som great close games that year, including the close Elimination Final against the Magpies which I took in a super 8 camera and filmed some passage of play (still trying to find the film).

Then there was the bizarre St.Kilda comeback at VFL Park after half time.

The Round 20 game against Carlton where the lead changed a zillion times. But the Tigers just got up.

And in the end nobody minded North Melbourne winning the flag.

For Fitzroy - 1981 - the year I began secretly barracking for the Lions and kept tight lipped about…
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Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 28, 2012
AFL Club
Other Teams
QPR, Buffalo Bills, McLaren F1
I haven't liked any season where they don't win the flag, it's all could'a shoulda stuff otherwise....

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Club Legend
Mar 5, 2008
AFL Club
On the day of the Big Freeze and Neale Daniher being elevated to Officer of the Order of Australia it’s timely to mention my favourite non flag season.
Daniher at 19 won the Essendon B & F (and was named Captain for 1982.
After starting 1-5 the Baby Bombers won 15 games in a row including a number of come from behind victories on the back of Daniher heroics after being shifted forward to become a match winner. (Daniher playedhalf back). In particular Round 20 against eventual premiers Carlton we were 23 points down. Daniher - playing on Bruce Doull (AFL team of the century) kicked two of the last four goals.
Next week Sheedy shifted him into the centre. He won a number of early clearances before doing his knee.
That was the last of 15 in a row and the last game we won for the year. That team became the nucleus of back to back flags in 84-85 but Daniher had 4 knee recos and missed it all.
He ended up playing 80 odd games but my memory is of a player who could have been a legend. I guess he will be after all. A true inspiration!


Hall of Famer
Jan 18, 2009
I Don't Know
AFL Club
Other Teams
Chelsea, Sturt
2012 and 2015 for reasons mentioned.

I'll throw in 2002 as well. We were largely tipped to finish bottom 4 but, instead, made top 4. Highlights included:

- An epic final win against Melbourne
- Beating Brisbane in the H&A
- Winning in Geelong (one of only three years we've done so)

We ran out of gas in the prelim against Collingwood after a month of travelling but it was nice to exceed expectations.

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