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Magpies, masks and a mullet: 5 trends that show what inspired Aussies to search, cheer and learn this footy season

Over the past few years, we’ve been working to help Aussies connect with all things footy – whether we’re delving into our rich sport heritage, following live footy scores and fixtures or voting for the Mark of the Year directly in Search. 

2020 has thrown us all kinds of curve balls – from pausing the season to putting clubs in hubs – but our spirit hasn’t been shaken. Search shows we Aussies have stayed dedicated to our game. 

As we get ready for Saturday’s blockbuster AFL Grand Final between Geelong and Richmond, we’re looking back at what and how we searched this footy season:

1. Power to AFL Women

Image of AFL Women players running on a field in uniform

A clear standout in Search is the growing interest in AFLW – which hit a new all time high in 2020. With four new clubs entering the league in 2020, the rapid expansion of AFLW prompted uptick in Searches for clubs such as West Coast Eagles, which was the most Searched AFLW team this season. 

A Google Trends graph showing the growing and record Search interest in AFLW in 2020

2. Teams on top (in Search) 

While the Collingwood Magpies won’t be on the field this Grand Final day, they topped the ladder for the most searched for clubs in 2020. Here are the top AFL teams ranked by Search interest in Australia in 2020 so far: 

1. Collingwood Magpies

2. Essendon 

3. Carlton 

4. Richmond 

5. West Coast Eagles 

6. Geelong Cats 

7. Port Adelaide 

8. Adelaide Crows

9. St Kilda 

10. Fremantle Dockers

3. Should the AFL bring back State of Origin in 2021? 

Footy fans were fixated on the return of State of Origin footy, as the match was the top trending moment of the season related to AFL. Searches for the match, which was dedicated to bushfire relief, spiked 2000% this year.

A Google Trends graph showing a peak in searches for the State of Origin footy match

4. Moments (and a mullet) to remember

Photo of AFL athletes playing on the field
Photo of AFL athletes hugging on the field, featuring Bailey Smith's mullet

This footy season graced us with iconic kicks and hair-dos that piqued our Search interest. Searches for “goal of the year” spiked +600% this season. Josh Daicos’ goal of the year also spurred an increase in searches for his dad, Peter – who was known as the Macedonian Marvel due to his wonder goals in the 80’s.

Meanwhile, Bailey Smith’s mullet drove a 5000% increase in searches year on year. And unsurprisingly, the pandemic also came into play – as Searches for “AFL coronavirus” and “AFL face masks” have also risen this year.

5. Tuning in, finding tickets and refining our ball skills 

Aussies came to Search to get help with a range of AFL related queries this season. We wanted to know how to bounce an AFL ball and dreamed of being an AFL player. We tuned in online – and as some cities began to welcome AFL fans back to games, we went looking for tickets. Here’s the list of trending “how to” searches for AFL in Australia in 2020 so far: 

1. How to bounce an AFL ball 

2. How to watch AFL online 

3. How to handball AFL 

4. How to bet on AFL 

5. How to get a job in the AFL 

6. How to score in AFL 

7. How to tackle in AFL 

8. How to kick a football 

9. How to get tickets to AFL grand final 

10. How to be an AFL player 

We're proud to continue our partnership with the AFL through 2022 to help you make the most of each season – from kick off to Grand Final Day. And as you gear up for this weekend, check out this Great Sporting Land collection to relive some of the classic Grand Final moments in Australian history!