SOMETIMES the parallels are uncanny and, for the superstitious, maybe even a little unnerving.

As we enter the 2021 preliminary finals, Melbourne could be forgiven for recognising the irony in the timing of their first minor premiership in 57 years. Having claimed top spot, the Demons' qualifying final victory over Brisbane sees them 'rewarded' with a prelim berth on neutral turf. Even amid the unprecedented disruption of 2020, last year's penultimate round of finals still somehow managed to deliver home-ground advantage to those who earned it.

But that's not to say this hasn't happened before, and those parallels, well…

NOW STREAMING Every Final This Century in AFL ON DEMAND

Rewind to 2004. Like the Dees now, that year Brisbane claimed a top-two finish and earned the right to a preliminary final at home after a dominant showing in the first week of that year's finals. But a quirk in the system meant Brisbane's hard-earned prelim berth sent them to Melbourne due to the agreement in place at the time with the MCC to play at least one finals match in each round at the MCG.

Brisbane's opponent in that prelim on their opposition's home turf in September? Geelong.

And the opponent that ended up waiting for them in the Grand Final the week after? Port Adelaide.

Geelong's Gary Ablett and Brisbane's Justin Leppitsch in action in the 2004 preliminary final at the MCG. Picture: AFL Photos

NOW STREAMING Every Final This Century in AFL ON DEMAND

History's knack for repeating itself is something to behold at times, and it's that rich finals history which is now able to relived so comprehensively with the new series, Every Final This Century.

Available on AFL On Demand, the series comprises 6-10 minute highlights for every finals match played from the 2000 season onwards, with 196 games catalogued by year across 22 playlists.

In 'Every Final this Century', fans can rewind to that incredible parallel from 2004. Or to the Dees' most recent finals clashes with the Cats in 2005 and 2018. Or to the Dogs' incredible run in 2016, which they still have the opportunity to emulate.

Or to any finals moment since 2000, for that matter.

This September Every Final this Century is your ultimate resource, and a way to travel back through footy's modern and epic finals history.