AFL Finals 2018: Footy’s Longest Finals Droughts

When Melbourne takes to the field on Friday night against Geelong they will end 11-consecutive seasons without finals football. A desperately long wait that must have felt like an eternity for Demons fans but where does it sit in the history of longest streaks without finals and who now takes the crown off them for the longest drought? The answers might surprise you!


Current Droughts

With Melbourne surrendering the crown for longest current finals drought on Friday night, who are the new owners of the unwanted record? In order the longest droughts are:

Brisbane – 9 seasons
Gold Coast – 8 seasons
St Kilda – 7 seasons
Carlton – 5 seasons
Fremantle – 3 seasons
North Melbourne & Western Bulldogs – 2 seasons
Adelaide & Port Adelaide – 1 season


Longest ever finals droughts

We know now who has taken over the mantle from Melbourne as the longest current drought but where does their 11 consecutive seasons out of the finals sit in relation to the longest ever droughts.

Hawthorn – 32 seasons (1925 – 1956)
Sydney – 24 seasons (1946 – 1969)
Melbourne – 22 seasons (1965 – 1986)
St Kilda – 21 seasons (1940 – 1960)
North Melbourne – 20 seasons (1925 – 1944)
Richmond – 19 seasons (1948 – 1966)
Fitzroy – 18 seasons (1925 – 1942) & (1961 – 1978)
St Kilda – 17 seasons (1974 – 1990)
North Melbourne – 15 seasons (1959 – 1973)
Western Bulldogs – 13 seasons (1925 – 1937)
Essendon – 13 seasons (1927 – 1939)
Melbourne – 12 seasons (1903 – 1914)
Western Bulldogs – 12 seasons (1962 – 1973)
Richmond – 12 seasons (1983 – 1994)
MELBOURNE – 11 SEASONS (2006 – 2017)

What about the teams that missed this list, how long are their longest droughts?

Brisbane Lions – 9 seasons (2010 – 2018)
Gold Coast – 8 seasons (2011 – 2018)
Fremantle – 8 seasons (1995 – 2002)
Carlton – 7 seasons (2002 – 2008)
Collingwood – 7 seasons (1995 – 2001)
Geelong – 7 seasons (1982 – 1988)
Port Adelaide – 5 seasons (2008 – 2012)
GWS – 4 seasons (2012 – 2015)
West Coast – 3 seasons (2008 – 2010)
Adelaide 3 seasons (1994 – 1996)


There you have it pretty much everything you didn’t know you wanted to know about the longest finals droughts in AFL history.  Let’s hope nobody has to endure the wait that Hawthorn fans went through in the 1920’s – 1940’s. That said you might argue they have more than made up for it in the decades that have followed.


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