Although the league was still called the VFL until the start of the 1990 season, the 2009 season was the unofficial 23rd AFL season as the league expanded from 12 clubs to 14 clubs in 1987.
The new clubs were West Coast Eagles and Brisbane Bears. In 1991 Adelaide Crows joined followed by Fremantle Dockers in 1995.
1997 was the start of a new era of the AFL. Footscray changed its name to Western Bulldogs. Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy Lions merged to become Brisbane Lions. And Port Adelaide Power joined retaining the league with 16 clubs.
2009 was a season with little changing.
At the beginning of the season there was only one coach change. Brisbane Lions appointed one of its favorite players, Michael Voss to replace Leigh Matthews.
Western Bulldogs, Adelaide, Fremantle and Melbourne retained the same ladder position as last season. Collingwood, Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Essendon and West Coast Eagles all climbed 4 places. Sydney Swans, North Melbourne and Richmond fell 6 places. And Geelong in the Grand Final and Melbourne finishing last, no club made any competitive change from 2008.
Geelong played in its third Grand Final in a row and its second AFL Premiership following 2007. St Kilda were the minor premiers and played them in the Grand Final. Whilst Melbourne won back-to-back wooden spoons.
Brendan Fevola of Carlton won the Coleman Medal for the leading goalscorer. Gary Ablett, Jr. of Geelong won the Brownlow Medal.
|Elimination Final||Adelaide||Preliminary Final|
|8||Essendon||Western Bulldogs||Grand Final|
|Elimination Final||Preliminary Final||Geelong|
|6||Brisbane Lions||Semi Final||Geelong|
|Qualifying Final||Western Bulldogs|