2006 AFL Grand Final
Pre-match entertainment before the game. Giant banners were unfurled featuring the colours and emblems of all 16 clubs of the 2006 AFL Premiership season.


West Coast
12.12 (84) 12.13 (85)
1 2 3 4
SYD 1.4 (10) 4.6 (30) 8.11 (59) 12.12 (84)
WCE 4.2 (26) 8.7 (55) 10.10 (70) 12.13 (85)
Date30 September 2006
StadiumMelbourne Cricket Ground
FavouriteWest Coast
UmpiresMichael Vozzo (2), Brett Allen (10), Darren Goldspink (32)
Coin toss won byWest Coast
Kicked towardCity End
Pre-match entertainmentBrian Mannix, John Paul Young, Sean Kelly, Daryl Braithwaite, Shane Howard and Irene Cara
National anthemBrian Mannix, John Paul Young, Daryl Braithwaite and Shane Howard
Norm Smith MedallistAndrew Embley (West Coast)
Jock McHale MedallistJohn Worsfold
Broadcast in Australia
NetworkNetwork 10
CommentatorsStephen Quartermain (Host)
Anthony Hudson (Commentator)
Robert Walls (Expert Commentator)
Malcolm Blight (Expert Commentator)
Neil Cordy (Boundary Rider)
Tim Gossage (Boundary Rider)
← 2005 AFL Grand Final 2007 →

The 2006 AFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Sydney Swans and West Coast Eagles, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 30 September 2006. It was the 110th annual grand final of the Australian Football League (formerly the Victorian Football League),[1] staged to determine the premiers for the 2006 AFL season. The match, attended by 97,431 spectators, was won by West Coast by a margin of one point, marking the club's third premiership victory.


Main article: 2006 AFL season

Further information: 2006 AFL Finals Series

This was the second consecutive year that these two teams played in the premiership decider, with the Swans having won the 2005 AFL Grand Final by a margin of 4 points. At the conclusion of the home and away season, West Coast had finished first on the AFL ladder with 17 wins and 5 losses, winning the McClelland Trophy. Sydney had finished fourth with 14 wins and 8 losses.

In the week leading up to the grand final, Sydney's Adam Goodes was awarded the Brownlow Medal.

Pre-match entertainment

Prior to the match, at 10:00 a.m. the TAC Cup grand final was played.

The Red Berets parachuted into the MCG delivering the match balls, followed by a team warm up and the beginning of pre-match entertainment. The entertainment included a performance of the song "Flashdance (What A Feeling)", performed by Irene Cara, [1] as well as appearances from Brian Mannix, John Paul Young, Daryl Braithwaite and Shane Howard (lead singer of Goanna). The medley of songs they performed included "Solid Rock", Yesterday's Hero", "The Horses", "Everybody Wants to Work" and "I Hear Motion".

Match summary

The Sydney cheer squad celebrate a goal

West Coast started the better, and outplayed the Swans in the first half and led by a convincing 25 points at half time. The Swans fought back in the third quarter and the margin was just 11 points at 3/4 time. Goodes goaled within the first 15 seconds of the last quarter and the margin was suddenly less than a kick. It was goal-for-goal in one of the most intense final quarters of modern grand final history, with West Coast hanging on by a single point to win its first premiership since 1994 and avenge its heartbreaking 4-point loss to the Swans in the previous year's grand final.

It was the fifth consecutive match between the two teams to be decided by less than a goal, and the first grand final to be decided by a point since St. Kilda edged out Collingwood in the 1966 VFL Grand Final (two other grand finals have been decided by a point, in 1899 and 1947). The match has been labelled as a 'classic'.[2]

Grand Final Sprint

The Grand Final Sprint, which had heats ran before the pre-match entertainment and the final ran during the half-time break, was won by Carlton's Brendan Fevola. The 2006 Grand Final saw the first use of handicaps during the sprint.

Norm Smith Medal

Norm Smith Medal Voting Tally
Position Player Club Total Votes Vote Summary
1st (winner) Andrew Embley West Coast Eagles 10 3,3,3,1
2nd Brett Kirk Sydney Swans 8 2,2,2,2
3rd Dean Cox West Coast Eagles 6 3,1,1,1
4th Daniel Kerr West Coast Eagles 3 3
5th Tadhg Kennelly Sydney Swans 2 2
6th Beau Waters West Coast Eagles 1 1

Andrew Embley was awarded the Norm Smith Medal for being judged the best player afield. He recorded 26 disposals, 6 marks, and 2 goals. Also polling votes were Brett Kirk (27 disposals and 9 tackles), Dean Cox (20 disposals and 34 hitouts), Daniel Kerr (20 disposals and 5 tackles), Tadhg Kennelly (21 disposals), and Beau Waters (26 disposals and 10 marks).

The voters and their choices were as follows:[3]

Voter Role 3 Votes 2 Votes 1 Vote
Rohan Connolly The Age Andrew Embley Brett Kirk Dean Cox
Mark Maclure ABC Daniel Kerr Brett Kirk Dean Cox
Jenny McAsey The Australian Andrew Embley Brett Kirk Dean Cox
Mike Sheahan Herald Sun Andrew Embley Tadhg Kennelly Beau Waters
Ray Wilson The West Australian Dean Cox Brett Kirk Andrew Embley

Match scoring records

The 2006 grand final placed Sydney vs West Coast games further in the VFL/AFL record books for closeness, with the five most recent margins up to and including this game standing at 4, 4, 2, 1 and 1. With 12 points' total difference across five games, Sydney vs West Coast comprehensively beat the previous five-game record of 19 points, set by Hawthorn versus Collingwood in 1958–60. They also became the seventh pair of teams in VFL/AFL history (and the second in 2006 after Geelong vs Western Bulldogs) to contest two consecutive one-point games.

These records were further improved in the grand final rematch in Round 1, 2007, which was again decided by a single point, giving the pair the record for four games, five games and six games (5 points, 9 points and 13 points, respectively),[clarification needed][citation needed] and positioning them equal second for three games behind Brisbane vs Port Adelaide (2 points, 1997–98) and Hawthorn vs Footscray (3 points, 1956–57).

The 2006 grand final also marked the fourth time in VFL/AFL history that consecutive games between two teams were decided by the same total scores, with both the qualifying final and the grand final decided by 85–84. This previously occurred between South Melbourne vs Melbourne (1903–04), St Kilda vs Collingwood (1913–14) and Melbourne vs Richmond (1954–55). On none of the four occasions have the goals and behinds tallies been identical (Sydney outscored West Coast by 13.7 (85) – 12.12 (84) in the qualifying final, whilst West Coast pipped Sydney by 12.13 (85) – 12.12 (84) in 2006).


Grand final
Saturday, September 30 (2:40 pm) Sydney def. by West Coast MCG (crowd: 97,431)
1.4 (10)
4.6 (30)
8.11 (59)
 12.12 (84)
4.2 (26)
8.7 (55)
10.10 (70)
 12.13 (85)
Umpires: Vozzo, Allen, Goldspink
Norm Smith Medal: Andrew Embley (West Coast)
Television broadcast: Network 10
National anthem: Brian Mannix, John Paul Young, Daryl Braithwaite and Shane Howard
O'Loughlin, Davis 3
Mathews, Roberts-Thomson, Goodes, Schneider, O'Keefe, Malceski 1
Goals 3 Lynch
2 Embley, Hansen, Cousins
1 Judd, Armstrong, Hunter
Fosdike, Richards, Kennelly, O'Loughlin, McVeigh, Kirk, Goodes Best Embley, Chick, Judd, Glass, Lynch, Selwood, Braun, Cox, Cousins, Kerr
Ablett (shoulder) Injuries Nil
Nil Reports Nil

Post-match presentation

The post-match presentation was carried out by Craig Willis. The Jock McHale Medal was presented by former St. Kilda and Hawthorn Premiership coach Allan Jeans to the 2006 Premiership coach John Worsfold. The Norm Smith Medal was presented by former Essendon player and 1984 winner Billy Duckworth to 2006 winner Andrew Embley. The premiership cup was presented by former West Coast Eagle two-time premiership player Glen Jakovich.

International telecasts

The following television networks covered the event.

Grand final week

Brownlow Medal

Main article: 2006 Brownlow Medal

The 2006 Charles Brownlow Medal Presentation was held at the Palladium at Crown Casino, Melbourne on 25 September 2006. The Charles Brownlow Medal is awarded to the "Best and Fairest" AFL Player of the year. It is selected by a 3-2-1 voting system awarded by the umpires of each match for the whole year (excluding finals and pre-season). The winner of the 2006 Brownlow Medal was Adam Goodes, the Sydney Swans utility who was playing in the grand final later that week.

2006 Charles Brownlow Medal Results
Place Player Votes
1st Adam Goodes 26
2nd Scott West 23
3rd[4] Chris Judd 21

Grand final parade

The grand final parade took place on Friday 29 September 2006 and commenced on St Kilda Road, and ending at Spring Street. The crowd was officially estimated at fifty thousand people.

Some of people who lined the streets of Melbourne for the 2006 AFL Grand Final parade


West Coast
B: 9 Nick Malceski 21 Leo Barry 25 Ted Richards
HB: 6 Craig Bolton 30 Lewis Roberts-Thomson 17 Tadhg Kennelly
C: 20 Luke Ablett 31 Brett Kirk(c) 32 Amon Buchanan
HF: 24 Jude Bolton 19 Michael O'Loughlin 5 Ryan O'Keefe
F: 4 Ben Mathews 1 Barry Hall 13 Adam Schneider
Foll: 16 Darren Jolly 37 Adam Goodes 3 Jarrad McVeigh
Int: 2 Nick Davis 26 Sean Dempster 15 Stephen Doyle
12 Nic Fosdike
Coach: Paul Roos
West Coast
B: 37 Adam Selwood 23 Darren Glass 44 David Wirrpanda
HB: 38 Brett Jones 39 Adam Hunter 8 Beau Waters
C: 10 Michael Braun 9 Ben Cousins 32 Andrew Embley
HF: 17 Daniel Chick 29 Ashley Hansen 5 Tyson Stenglein
F: 7 Chad Fletcher 21 Quinten Lynch 18 Rowan Jones
Foll: 20 Dean Cox 3 Chris Judd (c) 4 Daniel Kerr
Int: 35 Steven Armstrong 6 Drew Banfield 26 Sam Butler
14 Mark Seaby
Coach: John Worsfold


Sydney 2006 AFL Grand Final West Coast
(12.12) 84 – 85 (12.13)
Position Player Poss. Goals
Forward Adam Schneider 14 1
Barry Hall 12
Nic Fosdike 20
Half-Forward Ryan O'Keefe 15 1
Michael O'Loughlin 10 3
Jude Bolton 10
Centre Amon Buchanan 15
Brett Kirk 27
Luke Ablett 5
Half-Back Tadhg Kennelly 21
Lewis Roberts-Thomson 8 1
Craig Bolton 10
Back Ted Richards 17
Leo Barry 11
Nick Malceski 10 1
Rover Jarrad McVeigh 9
Follower Darren Jolly 5
Adam Goodes 22 1
Interchange Ben Mathews 10 1
Nick Davis 11 3
Sean Dempster 7
Stephen Doyle 6
Coach: Paul Roos
Position Player Poss. Goals
Forward Steven Armstrong 8 1
Quinten Lynch 11 3
Mark Seaby 2
Half-Forward Daniel Chick 10
Ashley Hansen 11 2
Tyson Stenglein 23
Centre Andrew Embley 26 2
Ben Cousins 18 2
Michael Braun 22
Half-Back Beau Waters 26
Adam Hunter 22 1
Brett Jones 16
Back David Wirrpanda 13
Darren Glass 10
Adam Selwood 26
Rover Daniel Kerr 20
Follower Dean Cox 20
Chris Judd 28 1
Interchange Drew Banfield 9
Sam Butler 14
Chad Fletcher 25
Rowan Jones 13
Coach: John Worsfold


West Coast's premiership victory, which marked the eighth time in ten years, and the sixth consecutive year dating back to 2001 that a non-Victorian club had won the premiership, saw then-AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou order an investigation into the under-performance of the Victorian clubs in the competition; to that point of time in history, Essendon were the last Victorian club to win a flag, in 2000, and Collingwood were the last Victorian club to play in a Grand Final, in 2003.[5][6] In the seventeen ensuing seasons since, only two non-Victorian clubs – Sydney in 2012 and West Coast in 2018 – have managed to win the premiership, defeating Hawthorn and Collingwood respectively, exactly six years apart.[7][8] As of 2023, this is also the most recent AFL Grand Final to not feature a Victorian club.[9]

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. ^ Jim Main, Aussie Rules: For Dummies (2nd edition, 2008) p 10.
  3. ^ "Andrew Embley Wins Norn Smith Medal". BigFooty. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  4. ^ Daniel Kerr was ineligible for 3rd place, even though he polled 22 votes, due to suspension.
  5. ^ Ralph, Jon; Healey, Kelvin (27 May 2007). "Demetriou: Victorian clubs need help". News Corp Australia. PerthNow. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  6. ^ "Interstate AFL dominance leads to investigation". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 27 May 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  7. ^ Blucher, Peter (22 September 2022). "Remember when .. 2012 Grand Final". Sydney Swans. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  8. ^ McGarry, Andrew (29 September 2018). "AFL grand final: West Coast beats Collingwood by five points at the MCG in classic decider". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  9. ^ Connolly, Rohan (18 September 2023). "Desired Grand Final match-up might not produce the best footy". ESPN. Retrieved 6 October 2023.