The AFL season is almost upon us and I have decided to start an annual thing where I will write my predictions for the season. The order in which the teams are is where I think they will finish, while at the end I will predict the various awards. Here we go:
1. HAWTHORN – The Hawks are supposedly the strongest team in the competition. They narrowly lost the Preliminary Final to Collingwood last year, and with the return of key players like Jarryd Roughead, I think it is Hawthorn’s premiership to lose this year. I think they will lose in the Grand Final, Collingwood to topple them. FINALS FINISH: Grand Final
2. COLLINGWOOD – A new era has appeared for Collingwood. Still firmly in Premiership contention with some good young players coming through, I can see them up there for another 3 years. The distraction in Malthouse is gone and the pressure is off. Buckley is here. I may be biased but I think Collingwood will win the flag this year, with their form peaking in September, when hopefully, they are injury free. FINALS FINISH: Premiers
3. CARLTON – As much as I hate it, Carlton are well and truly in contention this year, with some experts even tipping them to go all the way. I still think 2013 will be Carlton’s best chance, but they will ruffle many feathers this year. I’m expecting a close Preliminary Final loss with whoever they play. FINALS FINISH: Preliminary Final
4. SYDNEY – My ‘roughie’ as such for this season is Sydney. =They are always in the finals! I think they’ve missed the finals twice in 10 years! Although I think they’ll finish fourth, I still think that they will bomb out in straight sets.FINALS FINISH:Fifth
5. ESSENDON – The first few rounds will prove wether last season was a fluke, or if it was for real. Essendon have a few young guns coming through and they are certainly on the up. I think they can finish fifth this year, 2013 is when the Bombers will really challenge for the flag. FINALS FINISH: Sixth
6. BRISBANE – I will cop a lot of flack for this if this goes wrong, and it probably will, but I think that the lions will be the West Coast of 2011, to a lesser extent. There is no expectation on them this year at all. Some people doubted Voss’ coaching abilities at the start, including me, but he’s now had a few years in the job. I think the Lions will make the Preliminary Final. FINALS FINISH: Fourth
7. GEELONG – There is no question in my mind that Geelong’s premiership window is closed. The loss of Ling and Ottens in the off-season will make it mighty hard, and although the Cats do have some good young players, they just won’t be able to match the Collingwood’s and Hawthorn’s. FINALS FINISH: Seventh
8. NORTH MELBOURNE – North will be back in the finals this year. Brad Scott is a great coach, and in my opinion he is better than his brother.. Under new captain Andrew Swallow, the Roos will go far this year, but again, 2014 is when they will really challenge. I’m tipping the Roos to win the NAB Cup though! FINALS FINISH: Eighth
9. RICHMOND – The Tiger is strirring, and although I don’t think they are good enough to make the Eight this season, they should be in it in 2013. I think Richmond have to renew Damien Hardwick’s contract as he has a good little squad going.
10. WEST COAST EAGLES – I will get criticised for this, but I felt West Coast ‘got lucky’. They are definitely on the up, but I just can’t see them backing up their fantastic season in 2012.
11. FREMANTLE – New coach, same Fremantle. I really don’t see why they sacked Mark Harvey, he was doing a good job and to just miss the finals with the amount of injuries the Dockers had I thought was exceptional. No real improvement here.
12. MELBOURNE – Mark Neeld is a great coach, but Melbourne now have to re-start their re-building process in some senses. 2013 is a possibility, but not 2012.
13. WESTERN BULLDOGS – They need to re-build. They didn’t make the finals last year, and although the Dogs are talking themselves up this year, I can’t see them doing it.
14. ST KILDA – The saints are onhttps://alrightmillsy.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php the way down. A first round finals exit for a side that was in the Grand Final the year before is never a good side. Scott Watters has replaced Ross Lyon, and I have no doubts he is a good coach, but he’ll have to ntake this team through the re-building phase.
15. ADELAIDE – Another team with a new coach, they also are re-building and I think in 2015 they will be seriously challenging for the Premiership, but that’s a long time away. I’ll be in Year 12!
16. GOLD COAST – A very promising first season, they are obviously still a very young team, so they should not be expected to do anything really big until 2015. In saying that though, I am tipping them to play in the NAB Cup Grand Final.
17. GWS GIANTS – First year in the league and they have done something very different to the Gold Coast: They have picked up more experienced players than GC did. They will beat Port Adelaide.
18. PORT ADELAIDE – I’m going to try not to be mean here, but who are we kidding!? The Power are as close to a lost cause as any club could be. I can’t see any improvements and apart from maybe John Butcher, there are no real ‘stars’ coming through. I don’t rate Matthew Primus as a coach highly either.
BROWNLOW MEDAL: Scott Pendlebury & Sam Mitchell COLEMAN MEDAL: Travis Cloke NORM SMITH MEDAL: Sharrod Wellingham RISING STAR: Elliot Kavanagh
Tell me your thoughts and your predictions. What do you think?