Last premiership: 1998
Drought: 18 years

It's been a case of so near yet so far for the Crows since winning their first two premierships. The Crows have reached the finals in 11 of the past 18 seasons. Four of those runs finished with preliminary final heartbreak, with the most recent coming in 2012. The Crows have always been around the mark, making shrewd trades to bring in Eddie Betts and quality draft picks to remain in the hunt.

Coach: Malcolm Blight
Captain: Mark Bickley
Norm Smith medallist: Andrew McLeod going back to back. 

In 1998 …
Mark Taylor equalled the great Don Bradman's record Test score for an Australian cricketer of 334. The Midday Show gets the chop after 25 years on the air and the Aussies clean up at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur with 199 medals. - Lee Gaskin


Last premiership: 2003
Drought: 13 years

It's been just 13 years since the Lions finished off their historic hat-trick of premierships from 2001-2003. On that occasion they flogged favourites Collingwood by 50 points, led by Simon Black's Grand Final-record 39 disposals and five goals to Jason Akermanis. They made the decider the following year against Port Adelaide, but since then have contested the finals just once – in 2009. Things plummeted following the bungled recruitment of Brendan Fevola, and like most of the past seven seasons, the Lions again are in rebuild mode under new coach Chris Fagan.

Coach: Leigh Matthews
Captain: Michael Voss
Norm Smith medallist: Simon Black

In 2003 …
Shane Warne was suspended for 12 months, just days before cricket's World Cup after a positive test to an banned drug. - Michael Whiting


Last premiership: 1995
Drought: 21 years

The Blues capped off a record-breaking season in 1995, winning the final 16 games to secure their 16th premiership. Apart from a brief resurgence under club great Brett Ratten, when they competed in finals for three consecutive seasons (2009-11), the past 21 years have been the worst in the club's history. The closest the Blues have come to a premiership was in 1999 when they were defeated by North Melbourne in the Grand Final.

Coach: David Parkin
Captain: Stephen Kernahan
Norm Smith medallist: Greg Williams (Carlton)

In 1995 …
Ray Martin won his fourth Gold Logie as host of Channel Nine’s A Current Affair. - Howard Kotton 

David Parkin and Stephen Kernahan hold up the 1995 premiership cup. Picture: AFL Photos


Last premiership: 2010
Drought: Six years

It's been only six years since the Magpies last saluted but it seems considerably longer, given all that has transpired since. The next year the Pies were conquered by just one team, Geelong, on three occasions including the Grand Final. The club then enacted its controversial coaching succession plan, replacing Mick Malthouse with Nathan Buckley, and Buckley has gradually overhauled the list while unexpectedly sliding down the ladder to fourth, eighth, 11th, 12th and 12th. They remain optimistic about a rapid rise built on talented youth.

Coach: Mick Malthouse
Captain: Nick Maxwell
Norm Smith medallist: Lenny Hayes (St Kilda) in the drawn grand final and Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood) in the replay.

In 2010 …
A 1932 Picasso painting of his mistress fetched a record $106.5 million at a Christie's auction. Meanwhile, Pies fans happily forked out $7 for fake sleeve tattoos to be more like superstar Dane Swan. - Ben Collins


Last premiership: 2000

Drought: 16 years

Essendon's last flag was perhaps its greatest ever, as the Bombers ran rampant to record the best single season by a club in the game's history. The Bombers lost just one game for the season en route to their 16th flag, winning 24 of a possible 25 games, and they thumped Melbourne by 10 goals in the Grand Final. The Bombers blew a great chance to claim back-to-back flags the following year when they took a bunch of injured players into the premiership decider against the Brisbane Lions, and haven't been close to adding to their trophy cabinet since. They haven't even won a final since 2004, meaning only Richmond has a longer drought since a finals win (discounting Gold Coast as a new side in the competition). 

Coach: Kevin Sheedy
Captain: James Hird

Norm Smith medallist: James Hird

In 2000…
The Olympic Games were held in Sydney, which forced the AFL to restructure its fixture. The Grand Final was held a few weeks earlier than usual on September 2, allowing for the Olympics' start on September 15 and take the spotlight for most of the month. - Callum Twomey 

Bombers celebrate the 2000 premiership triumph. Picture: AFL Photos


Last premiership: N/A
Drought: 22 years

The Dockers are yet to break their premiership duck, having entered the competition in 1995. The Dockers struggled early in their existence. They did not play a final until 2003 and didn't win a final until 2006. They have played in three preliminary finals but have only played in one Grand Final in 2013. They came very close to winning that premiership but inaccurate kicking and a lack of composure at times cost them against Hawthorn. - Alex Malcolm 


Last premiership: 2011
Five years

Striving to become one of the greatest teams of the modern era, and win its third premiership in five years, Geelong achieved the feat with victory over Collingwood. It was a coming of age for young forward Tom Hawkins, who played the best game of his career, hauling in seven contested marks – the most ever recorded in a Grand Final. A trademark Jimmy Bartel performance saw him adjudged best on ground, while Steve Johnson booted four goals with a dislocated kneecap. It was also coach Chris Scott's first year in charge at the Cattery. The Cats have made two preliminary finals (2013 and 2016) in that time, but are still searching to return the big match.

Coach: Chris Scott
Captain: Cameron Ling
Norm Smith medallist: Jimmy Bartel

In 2011…
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died, aged 56, of cancer. - Ben Guthrie

The Cats celebrate the third of their three flags in five years. Picture: AFL Photos

Gold Coast

Last premiership: N/A
Drought: Six years

Just six years into their existence, the Suns are not only without a premiership, but are the only club in the competition to never play finals. It looked assured in 2014 when they stormed to a 9-6 record, but a Gary Ablett shoulder dislocation dashed their hopes, as the Suns lost six of their final seven matches. Although individuals have made significant improvements in recent years, there are more questions than answers ahead of the 2017 season. They have plenty of talent and could ascend quickly, but a first flag still looks some way off. - Michael Whiting


Last premiership: N/A
Drought: Five years

The Giants came close to winning their first premiership in 2016, but fell just short of a Grand Final berth when they were beaten by eventual premiers the Western Bulldogs in a thrilling preliminary final. In 2016, GWS set a club record for number of wins in a season, won in Perth and Adelaide for the first time, and with no stars leaving in the off-season, they'll be right up there again in 2017. - Adam Curley


Last premiership: 2015
Drought: One year

The Hawks quest for a fourth-straight flag ended after a straight-sets defeat in the finals. But they're reloading quickly to contend again next year, with former Tiger Ty Vickery already on board as a much-needed ruck/forward role. Will Jaeger O'Meara follow him to Waverley? The Hawks will be hoping to secure him to help cover the loss of champion midfielder Sam Mitchell. If they do, the top four beckons for the Hawks again.

Coach: Alastair Clarkson
Captain: Luke Hodge
Norm Smith medallist: Cyril Rioli

In 2015 …
Donald Trump was an angry New York property tycoon and reality TV star, considering a run for political office - Ashley Browne 


Last premiership: 1964
Drought: 52 years

After the Western Bulldogs' premiership triumph this season, Melbourne now holds the longest flag drought. Their last premiership victory came in 1964 when legendary coach Norm Smith won his sixth VFL premiership. The Demons have appeared in just two Grand Finals since, in 1988 and 2000. The Demons, who led by 11 points at the final change, surrendered the lead to their rivals in the fourth quarter but a late winner from defender Neil Crompton ensured the flag was theirs. Smith was infamously dismissed from his coaching job the following year, sparking the so-called Norm Smith 'curse'.

Coach: Norm Smith
Captain: Ron Barassi
Norm Smith medalllist: The Norm Smith Medal, named after the Melbourne coach, wasn't struck until 1979.

In 1964…
Beatlemania' swept across Australia as the mop-topped English band made their way Down Under for the first time. - Ben Guthrie 

North Melbourne

Last premiership: 1999
Drought: 17 years 

The Roos sought redemption after kicking themselves out of the 1998 Grand Final and overpowered Carlton by 35 points, a week after the Blues clinched an a famous prelim final victory over Essendon by a point. North's triumph marked the club's second flag in four seasons and was the beginning of the end of the Kangaroos' dominant era. The next year was the last of their seven successive preliminary final appearances and North hasn't been back to the big dance this century.

Coach: Denis Pagan
Captain: Wayne Carey
Norm Smith medallist: Shannon Grant (North Melbourne) 

In 1999 …
Australians voted 'No' in the republic referendum. - Travis King

Recently retired Roo Brent Harvey celebrates in 1999. Picture: AFL Photos

Port Adelaide

Last premiership: 2004
Drought: 12 years 

The Power's hopes of going back-to-back ended with a semi-final loss to cross-town rivals Adelaide. Then came the embarrassing 119-point flogging by Geelong in the 2007 Grand Final, after which the Power missed the finals for five straight years. The Cats again ended their chances in 2013 before a gut-wrenching three-point preliminary final loss to Hawthorn the following year. The Power have missed the finals the past two years and appear some way off challenging for a flag.

Coach: Mark Williams
Captain: Warren Tredrea
Norm Smith medallist: Byron Pickett

In 2004 …
Gardening guru Don Burke digs a hole for the final time with his iconic TV show Burke's Burkeyard getting canned. Casey Donovan wins Australian Idol (before disappearing just as quickly), while Will Ferrell unleashes Ron Burgundy upon the world. - Lee Gaskin 


Last premiership: 1980
Drought: 36 years

Now a Richmond 'immortal', it was Kevin Bartlett who led an 81-point thrashing of Collingwood in the Tigers' last premiership in 1980. The club's 10th flag marked the end of a highly successful 13 years that netted five premierships. The club has since played in one Grand Final (1982) and just six finals series. The Tigers looked to be on the right track, playing in consecutive finals in 2013-15, but now appear to be in rebuild mode once more with no indication when their breakthrough flag will come.

Coach: Tony Jewell
Captain: Bruce Monteath
Norm Smith medallist: Kevin Bartlett (Richmond)

In 1980 …
Sale of the Century made its debut on Channel Nine. - Nathan Schmook 

Mick Malthouse holds the 1980 cup during the Tigers' lap of honour. Picture: AFL Photos

St Kilda

Last premiership: 1966
Drought: 50 years

Since St Kilda's first and only premiership, it has played in five Grand Finals. In 2010, the Saints drew with Collingwood before losing the replay. The previous year ended in defeat at the hands of Geelong after finishing 20-2 during the home and away season. Darren Jarman booted six goals as Adelaide overcame a half-time deficit in 1997 to topple St Kilda and Hawthorn was the Saints' conqueror in 1971, by seven points. 

Coach: Allan Jeans
Captain: Darrel Baldock
Norm Smith medallist: Not awarded but St Kilda historian Russell Holmesby rated Ian Stewart the best player that day, with Ian Cooper also having played very well.

In 1966
England won the only soccer World Cup in its history. - Dinny Navaratnam

Sydney Swans

Last premiership: 2012
Drought: Four years

The Swans have come extremely close to adding another premiership to their 2012 triumph, but just can't quite turn regular season results into flags. They lost the decider in 2014 to Hawthorn, and this year to the Western Bulldogs, went down to Fremantle in Perth in the 2013 preliminary final, and lost two finals in 2015 after finishing in the top four in all four years. With a star-studded midfield and some quality young talent coming through, there's no doubt the Swans will be a chance again in 2017.

Coach: John Longmire
Captain: Jarrad McVeigh and Adam Goodes
Norm Smith medallist: Ryan O'Keefe

In 2012 …
The hashtag #Linsanity took over the world, thanks to the brief success of New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin in the NBA. The Asian-American phenomenon came and went all in the same season however, and the 28-year-old is now with the Brooklyn Nets, his sixth NBA franchise. - Adam Curley 

West Coast

Last premiership: 2006
Drought: 10 years

The Eagles celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their last premiership triumph this year. Only one 2006 premiership player, Sam Butler, is still playing. They had a dramatic fall from grace following that triumph with the well-documented illicit drug issues surrounding the club. The Eagles made the top-four in 2007 but were knocked out in straight sets. They struggled for three years before returning to play in a preliminary final in 2011. Another dip in 2013 led to John Worsfold's resignation. Adam Simpson took the Eagles to a Grand Final in 2015 but the Hawks were far too good. The Eagles also fell well short in the elimination final this year against the Western Bulldogs despite winning 16 home and away games. 

Coach: John Worsfold
Captain: Chris Judd
Norm Smith medallist: Andrew Embley (West Coast)

In 2006 …
Melbourne hosted the Commonwealth Games in March. The MCG was unavailable for AFL football until round four when Collingwood and Essendon played on Anzac Day. - Alex Malcolm 

Ben Cousins and Chris Judd hold the 2006 cup aloft. Picture: AFL Photos

Western Bulldogs

Last premiership: 2016
Drought: No drought 

The competition's longest drought broke nearly two weeks ago and it brought unbridled joy to the red, white and blue faithful, who had endured 62 years since the club's one and only flag in 1954. The football world rejoiced as the Dogs finally had their day and grown men shed many a tear as Luke Beveridge and Easton Wood held aloft the premiership cup.

Coach: Luke Beveridge
Captain: Easton Wood
Norm Smith medallist: Jason Johannisen

In 2016 …
Etihad Stadium was purchased by the AFL for a reported $200 million, and the sale should give the Dogs a better stadium deal and therefore more money to spend on future premiership assaults. - Ryan Davidson