GF entertainment announced
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan launches the 2014 AFL Finals series with some big announcements
Tom Jones will be the main act for this year's Grand Final entertainment. Picture: Shutterstock.com
INTERNATIONAL superstars Tom Jones and Ed Sheeran will perform on Grand Final day, with Australia's Olivia Newton-John booked to sing the national anthem.
Olivia Newton-John the one they want for national anthem
Both Jones and Sheeran will perform exclusively on Grand Final day and at the post-premiership party to be held on the MCG at the end of the Grand Final.
Mike Brady will also sing a new version of his football anthem Up There Cazaly before the national anthem.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said the AFL was pleased that this year's Grand Final entertainment will have performers to please everyone.
"To have two iconic international stars perform at the Grand Final is befitting the biggest event on the national sporting calendar. Sir Tom Jones’ record as one of the greatest and most enduring singers ever speaks for itself while Ed Sheeran is arguably the hottest property in music today," McLachlan said.
"The AFL finals series is for the fans, the Grand Final is the pinnacle of the AFL competition and as such we want it to touch as many people as possible. In addition to putting a freeze on this year’s finals ticket prices, we have ensured the entertainment on Grand Final day will resonate with a wide spectrum of our fans."
The AFL also announced that Hawthorn premiership coach Alan Joyce will present the Jock McHale Medal to the winning Grand Final coach.
Dual North Melbourne premiership player and Norm Smith medallist Glenn Archer will present the Norm Smith Medal on Grand Final day while former Footscray full-forward and Coleman medallist Simon Beasley will present the Coleman Medal to Lance Franklin.
All three presenters said the race for this year's flag was open with premiership coach Alan Joyce saying the Swans' forward structure would make them tough to beat.
Beasley suggested Fremantle was the dark horse for the flag with Archer saying North Melbourne's improved consistency gave it a good chance of progressing through the finals.
Joyce, who took over in 1988 from an ill Allan Jeans, coached the Hawks to a flag in 1988 and 1991. He says the feeling of holding the premiership cup aloft is the ultimate football experience.
"There is one word I always use and it is relief. After 12 months it is really hard work to get into a Grand Final and to win it. It is not easy," Joyce said. "To get there and [play] that final two hours on that final Saturday in September is the ultimate."
Simon Beasley, Glenn Archer and Allan Joyce at the finals launch on the Yarra. Picture: AFL Media