Although the league was still called the VFL until the start of the 1990 season, the 1989 season was the unofficial third AFL season as the league expanded from 12 clubs to 14 clubs in 1987. The new clubs were West Coast Eagles and Brisbane Bears.
There was 5 coach changes:
- Allan Jeans returned as Hawthorn coach after missing the 1988 season through ill-health.
- Geelong brought in North Melbourne-legend, Malcolm Blight as their coach.
- Rod Austin replaced David Parkin as Fitzroy coach.
- Col Kinnear replaced Tom Hafey as Sydney Swans coach.
- After a poor start to the season, Alex Jesaulenko replaced Robert Walls as Carlton coach.
Geelong climbed 6 places which took them into the Grand Final. Whilst West Coast Eagles fell 7 places to 11th and out of the finals series.
Hawthorn repeated last season's success by again winning the double of the minor premiers and the premiership. They played Geelong in the Grand Final who finished 3rd in the ladder. Whilst Richmond won the wooden spoon which was their second in 3 seasons.
Jason Dunstall of Hawthorn won back-to-back Coleman Medals for again being the leading goalscorer. Peter Couch of Geelong won the Brownlow Medal.
|Qualifying Semi Final|
|Qualifying Final||Preliminary Final||Geelong|
|3||Geelong||Eliminating Semi Final||Geelong|