AFLW grand final sees Adelaide Crows against Brisbane Lions again, ending a fine season in familiar fashion

When it comes to the ever-expanding world of AFLW, it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.

In many ways the 2021 season has been revelatory, the most significant step forward for the competition since its maiden voyage in 2017.

Even the most casual of onlookers would have been able to recognise the improvement in the overall standard of football in 2021. Perversely benefiting from a lack of expansion this year, the season has just felt settled from the outset, allowing the strong clubs to continue their natural growth without mass player pillaging and the newer clubs to find their feet at their own pace.

Mercifully freed from the arbitrary constraints of the conference system, the league was able to successfully…

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