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AFL is one of the most popular sports in Australia. Also known as Australian Rules, Aussie Rules or simply as footy, it is the game of choice for some many.

What is the AFL?

The Australian Football League (AFL) is the heart and soul of Australia. It’s the number one sport in the country and provides the sporting heartbeat of a proud sports loving nation. From remote outback Northern Territory to the southern tip of Tasmania, we love our AFL footy. And it seems it’s only getting bigger and bigger.

What teams are in the AFL?

The AFL competition has expanded over the years and now features 18 clubs. It is the leading sporting competition in the country. Of the 18 clubs, seven are 'foundation clubs' and were part of the formation of the Victorian Football League (VFL) in 1897. They included Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Geelong, Melbourne, St Kilda and South Melbourne (now known as the Sydney Swans). 

Those teams were joined in the competition in 1925 by Footscray (now known as the Western Bulldogs), Hawthorn and North Melbourne. 

However, it wasn't until the 1980s and 1990s that the competition became a truly national one. South Melbourne relocated to Sydney in 1982 and became the Sydney Swans. 

Later on in the decade, the Brisbane Bears and the West Coast Eagles were formed and joined the competition in 1987. 

In 1990, the VFL underwent a name change and became the AFL, while the Adelaide Crows, the Fremantle Dockers and Port Adelaide also joined the competition later that decade. 

A merger between the Brisbane Bears and the Fitzroy Lions (another foundation club) meant that the two sides became one, the Brisbane Lions. 

The most recent 'expansion' clubs to join the competition have been the Gold Coast Suns and the Greater Western Sydney Giants. Both are looking to break into a traditionally strong local rugby market and both look to have bright futures. 

Which teams have been the most successful?

The most successful teams in the overall history of the game include the powerhouse Victorian clubs, Essendon, Carlton and Collingwood. Essendon and Carlton have both won 16 premierships, while Collingwood sit just on their tail with 15. 

In recent years, fellow Victorian clubs, Hawthorn and Geelong, have been the teams to beat, claiming seven of the the last nine Grand Finals between them. 

Interstate teams have also won their fair share of AFL premierships as well. Since the VFL became the AFL in 1990, clubs based outside of Victoria have won 11 of the 26 Grand Finals played. 

The Brownlow Medal

Modern day champions of the game include Nathan Fyfe, Gary Ablett, Josh Kennedy and Lance Franklin. Fyfe took out the Brownlow Medal in 2015, which is awarded to the fairest and best player in the competition during a particular season, and was the Fremantle Dockers first winner of the medal since their inception into the competition in 1995. 

Ablett is a two time winner of the Brownlow, having taken home the medal in 2009 when playing for Geelong, before achieving the feat again in 2013 whilst at the Gold Coast Suns. 

The Coleman Medal

Kennedy, of the West Coast Eagles and the Sydney Swans' Franklin are recent winners of the Coleman Medal, awarded to the player to have kicked the most goals during the AFL home and away season. 

The NAB Rising Star

Exciting youngsters of the game include Melbourne's Jesse Hogan and Carlton's Patrick Cripps. Hogan just edged out Cripps in 2015 for the NAB Rising Star, awarded to the most promising young player in the game.