The AFL has a long and proud history, but what about the most successful AFL teams of recent years? Who has been doing all the moving and shaking in the AFL since 2000? Let's take a look.
The most AFL premiership titles in the last 20 years
Since 2000, there have been 20 completed AFL seasons, with 20 Grand Final series and 10 different winners of the AFL Premiership title. In recent years, Hawthorn is the most successful club, winning four titles since 2000 to bring their historical total up to 13.
In second place on the list, we have Brisbane Lions, Geelong Cats, and Richmond Tigers tied on three titles each in the new millennium. These nine wins, shared across the three clubs, bring their respective historical totals to three (Brisbane had never won a title prior to 2001), nine and 13 overall. It's worth noting, however, that Richmond's trio of wins came in 2017, 2019 and 2020, making them very much the form team of recent years.
Sydney and West Coast are the only other teams to win the Grand Final more than once since 2000, but our special mention goes out to Collingwood, who drew the Grand Final in 2010 but won the replay — only the third time a final has been replayed in the history of the league. This was also Collingwood's first Premiership since 1990, and only their second since 1958, despite an array of Grand Final appearances to their name. The proud owners of 15 Premiership titles across their history, Collingwood are very much the sleeping giants of the AFL.
Who is the most successful AFL team? Well, Hawthorn over the last 20 years, but they are still several titles away from catching Essendon, Carlton and Collingwood, with 16, 16 and 15 titles respectively overall.
The most AFL minor premiership titles in the last 20 years
Success can be defined in different ways in the AFL. While the main target is always the AFL Premiership, the winner of the AFL ladder across the regular season is also given an accolade — the Minor Premiership.
Since the beginning of the new millennium, Port Adelaide is the most successful AFL team on the league ladder with four wins. Three of these wins came in a row, between 2001 and 2003, with the most recent occurring only last year — the only four Minor Premierships in the Ports' relatively short history.
Geelong is second with three wins — nine overall — while Essendon, Collingwood and Adelaide have all notched up two wins each, totalling 17, 19 and two historical wins respectively.
The AFL's winners and losers over the last two decades
Of the current clubs in the AFL, the following have all won at least one Premiership, beginning with the earliest winner:
- Brisbane Lions
- Port Adelaide
- West Coast
- Western Bulldogs
This means Carlton, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Melbourne, Fremantle, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne, Gold Coast, and GWS have not tasted Grand Final glory in the last 20 seasons.
From the same group of 20 clubs, the following have all won at least one Minor Premier, starting with the first winner:
- Port Adelaide
- West Coast
- St Kilda
Only Carlton, Gold Coast, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Western Bulldogs, and GWS have not tasted Grand Final glory in the last 20 seasons.
Who will be the next team to achieve AFL premier success?
Carlton, Gold Coast, Melbourne, North Melbourne, St Kilda, and GWS are all still awaiting their first Premier or Minor Premier win this millennium. Will one of these clubs achieve success in 2021? Or will one of the current league dominators add to their tally?