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2000 AFL Grand Final
The Melbourne Cricket Ground, where the 2000 AFL Grand Final took place


19.21 (135) 11.9 (75)
1 2 3 4
ESS 4.8 (32) 10.16 (76) 16.17 (113) 19.21 (135)
MEL 3.3 (21) 5.5 (35) 8.8 (56) 11.9 (75)
Date2 September 2000
StadiumMelbourne Cricket Ground
UmpiresDarren Goldspink (32), Brett Allen (10), Hayden Kennedy (7)
Coin toss won byDavid Neitz, Melbourne
Kicked towardCity End
Pre-match entertainmentThe Idea of North, Trish Delaney-Brown, Megan Corson, Andrew Piper and Nick Begie
National anthemBachelor Girl
Post-match entertainmentMike Brady, Russell Morris and Rick Price
Norm Smith MedallistJames Hird (Essendon)
Jock McHale MedallistKevin Sheedy (Essendon)
Broadcast in Australia
NetworkSeven Network
CommentatorsBruce McAvaney (host and commentator)
Sandy Roberts (commentator)
Jason Dunstall (expert commentator)
Gerard Healy (expert commentator)
Malcolm Blight (expert commentator)
Tony Lockett (boundary rider)
Anthony Hudson (boundary rider)
Robert DiPierdomenico (boundary rider)
← 1999 AFL Grand Final 2001 →

The 2000 AFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Essendon Football Club and the Melbourne Football Club, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 2 September 2000 rather than in its usual last Saturday of September date to avoid conflicting with the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. It was the 104th annual grand final (counting replays) of the Australian Football League (formerly the Victorian Football League),[1] staged to determine the premiers for the 2000 AFL season. The match, attended by 96,249 spectators, was won by Essendon by a margin of 60 points, marking that club's 16th premiership and thereby equalling the record for the most VFL/AFL premierships.


Main article: 2000 AFL season

Further information: 2000 AFL finals series

This was Essendon's first appearance in a grand final since winning the 1993 AFL Grand Final, whilst it was Melbourne's first since losing the 1988 VFL Grand Final.

In the previous week's preliminary finals, Essendon defeated Carlton by 45 points, while Melbourne defeated North Melbourne by 50 points. The following Monday saw Melbourne's Shane Woewodin awarded the Brownlow Medal with 24 votes, ahead of Western Bulldogs midfielder Scott West and Adelaide midfielder Andrew McLeod.[2]

Essendon won the most home-and-away games (21) and total games (24) in a single season in the history of the VFL/AFL, breaking the records set by Carlton in 1995 (20 and 23, respectively), and they broke Collingwood's 1929 record when it won its first twenty games; if the pre-season cup is included, Essendon won 30 games out of 31; all of these records still stand. In 2008, Geelong won 21 of 22 games in the home-and-away season to equal that record, but they lost the grand final. Essendon's grand final win was the last by a Victorian side until Geelong won in 2007.

Match summary

This section needs expansion with: Scant on details. Mention specific plays, quarterly reports, details, etc.. You can help by adding to it. (July 2023)

Melbourne captain David Neitz won the toss and chose to kick towards the City/Members end of the MCG in the opening quarter. The first score of the game went to Melbourne. Neitz, from a very tight angle near the behind post on the Members side of the goals, kicked the ball into the far goal post resulting in one point.

It was only a short time after the first score of the game that James Hird kicked the first goal of the game for Essendon. Melbourne's first goal was kicked by Stephen Powell.

The Bombers never looked threatened from after quarter time and comfortably won its record-equaling 16th premiership by 60 points after arguably the most dominant season in VFL/AFL history.

One downside for the Bombers was an incident in which Melbourne's Troy Simmonds was hit high by Essendon's Michael Long, resulting in a 25-man brawl. Simmonds was taken from the field on a stretcher; nine players were reported on ten offences by the umpires.

Hird was awarded the Norm Smith Medal for being judged the best player afield. Paul Barnard and Matthew Lloyd each kicked four goals for the Bombers.

Essendon's triumph would be the last by any Victorian team until the 2007 AFL Grand Final when Geelong won its first premiership in 44 years.

The National Anthem was sung by Tania Doko of Bachelor Girl.


B: 1 Mark Johnson 31 Dustin Fletcher 6 Sean Wellman
HB: 11 Damien Hardwick 21 Dean Wallis 7 Dean Solomon
C: 26 Chris Heffernan 24 Joe Misiti 33 Blake Caracella
HF: 2 Mark Mercuri 25 Scott Lucas 5 James Hird (c)
F: 9 Adam Ramanauskas 18 Matthew Lloyd 13 Michael Long
Foll: 22 John Barnes 32 Justin Blumfield 14 Jason Johnson
Int: 8 Darren Bewick 16 Paul Barnard 27 Steven Alessio
29 Gary Moorcroft
Coach: Kevin Sheedy
B: 26 Daniel Ward 27 Anthony Ingerson 44 Alistair Nicholson
HB: 42 Peter Walsh 28 Matthew Collins 21 Steven Febey
C: 13 Adem Yze 22 Shane Woewodin 35 Anthony McDonald
HF: 18 Brad Green 5 David Schwarz 7 Stephen Powell
F: 24 Russell Robertson 9 David Neitz (c) 33 Jeff Farmer
Foll: 34 Jeff White 43 Guy Rigoni 36 Andrew Leoncelli
Int: 4 Brent Grgic 16 Travis Johnstone 47 Ben Beams
46 Troy Simmonds
Coach: Neale Daniher


Essendon vs Melbourne
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Final
Essendon 4.8 (32) 10.16 (76) 16.17 (113) 19.21 (135)
Melbourne 3.3 (21) 5.5 (35) 8.8 (56) 11.9 (75)
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Date: 2 September 2000
Attendance: 96,249
Umpires: Darren Goldspink (32), Brett Allen (10), Hayden Kennedy (7)
Goal scorers: Essendon 4: Paul Barnard, Matthew Lloyd. 3: Blake Caracella. 2: James Hird. 1: Gary Moorcroft, Mark Mercuri, Michael Long, Justin Blumfield, Darren Bewick, Steven Alessio
Melbourne 3: Jeff Farmer, Stephen Powell. 2: David Neitz, Russell Robertson. 1: Brad Green
Best: Essendon Hird, Barnes, Caracella, Misiti, Wallis
Melbourne White, Powell, Johnstone, Neitz, Walsh
Reports: Essendon: Wallis (striking), Long (rough play), Dustin Fletcher (striking) Melbourne: Brent Grgic (striking)
Injuries: Melbourne: Simmonds (concussion), Green (fractured larynx)
Coin toss winner: David Neitz, Melbourne
Norm Smith Medal: James Hird, Essendon
Australian television broadcaster: Seven Network
National Anthem: Bachelor Girl

See also


  1. ^ In 1897 and 1924 there were no grand finals and instead the premier was decided by a finals play-off. In 1948 and 1977 there were grand final replays after initial draws.
  2. ^ Gruber, James. "Surprise Brownlow medal winner (AM transcript)". ABC. Retrieved 12 September 2010.