2019 AFL Season Preview

‘Tis the season to be footy.

The AFL season gets underway for 2019 and there are still these questions to be answered like

Who will win Round 1?

Who will win the flag?

Who will rise up the ladder?

Who will win the Brownlow?

Who will stay at the next commitment cerem…sorry, that’s Married At First Sight.

We give a fair and balanced assessment of the season ahead. 

 

ADELAIDE

2018 Finish: 12th (12 W, 10 L)
2019 Premiership Odds:$12
Round 1  – Adelaide ($1.37) v Hawthorn ($3.10) 

The moment the final siren sounded after their 40 point loss to Richmond in the 2017 Grand Final, Adelaide was broken.

The Crows were never able to recover and it showed throughout the 2018 season.

They became the sixth team since 2000 to miss the finals after playing in the Grand Final.

With 2018 now done, the salt removed from the wounds and hopefully a pre-season camp without any serious psychological damage caused to the players, many expect Adelaide to return to finals Football and be right up there come the business end of the season.

Without any Grand Final scars, Power Ranger stances and Suspicious Minds (or whatever they were called) the Crows have plenty of talent, a home ground advantage (Which will be useless should they make the Grand Final) and a clean bill of health the Crows should be very much considered a contender.

If all else fails, they can always get the boys from Collective Mind to put on another camp to help the team get to another level.

BRISBANE

2018 Finish: 15th (5 W, 17 L)
2019 Premiership: $51
Round 1 – Brisbane ($2.65) v West Coast ($1.47) 

Not since Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister the first time around have the mighty Brisbane Lions played finals football.

The year was 2009 and since then the Lions have recruited Fev, wore a jumper with the lead singer from Nickleback at the front at one stage, had draftee after draftee leave due to “homesickness”, become neighbors with the Gold Coast Suns and have spent most of the past decade down the bottom of the AFL ladder.

But now there’s hope and there’s a light at the end of the Clem Jones Tunnel (a Brisbane reference)

With Neds signing up as major sponsor of the Lions, coach Chris Fagan at the helm, top draft picks like Cam Rayner committing to the club even with Dayne Beams heading back to Collingwood, the Lions were competitive for most of 2018 and this season is looking like these young fellas are going to take the next step.

We expect the Brisbane Lions proudly sponsored by Neds to be back in the thick of it in season 2019.

CARLTON

2018 Finish: 18th (2 W, 20 L)
2019 Premiership: $151
Round 1 – Carlton ($5.50) v Richmond ($1.15) 

The AFL in their wisdom saw fit to make Carlton play almost every single Friday night last season and as result, the Blues completely ruined prime-time football.

As a result, the Blues have been banished from Friday nights in 2019, but still, have their annual season opener against the Tigers.

Coach Brendon Bolton has spoken about the green shoots growing at Princes Park, but you’d have better luck finding lush green grass on a drought-stricken farm.

Now Carlton does have Patrick Cripps, Ed Curnow, the veteran Kade Simpson and much hope for number one draft pick Sam Walsh, but hope can drive a man insane.

We are talking about a once mighty club that hasn’t won a flag for 24 years, have not featured in a Grand Final for 20 years and have been nothing but a basket case for most of this century.

Long may it continue and the Blues be relegated to playing nothing but Sunday 4:45 matches forever and a day.

COLLINGWOOD

2018 Finish: 3rd (Grand FInal Runner up)
2019 Premiership:  $5
Round 1 – Collingwood ($1.62) v Geelong ($2.30) 

No team has celebrated being five goals up and in a commanding position to win a Grand Final only go on and lose quite like Collingwood have this season.

Sure, they can go back to the Prelim Final and how Mason Cox single-handedly brought down the Tigers off his own boot, but what it lead to was another dose of the Collywobbles much to the delight of everyone else.

Will the Collywobbles repeat again in 2019?

Many expect the Pies to be right up there in the business end of the season but to deny Collingwood and therefore Nathan Buckley another premiership on the last Saturday in September would be some amazing Schadenfreude for Football fans and the community in general.

ESSENDON

2018 Finish: 11th (12 W, 10 L)
2019 Premiership:  $14
Round 1 – GWS ($1.72) v Essendon ($2.10) 

Not sure if you are aware, but the Bombers picked up Dylan Shiel from GWS over the summer and are, therefore, 2019 Premiers?

Just ask their fans, you know the same ones who still regard Jobe Watson as the 2012 Brownlow medalist and that James Hird was a scapegoat.

They also regard the Bombers as a power club, despite they haven’t won a final since 2004.

(It’s with giving “Days since Essendon Last Won a Final” on Twitter a follow)

Here’s a fun fact, there are now there are those who are legal adults who barrack for Essendon that have never lived to see the Bombers win a premiership.

Yet again people highly fancy the Bombers to be right amongst it come finals time but I feel the days will just keep counting up from September, 4th 2004 when Essendon last won a final.

FREMANTLE

2018 Finish: 14th (8 W, 14L)
2019 Premiership: $51
Round 1 – Fremantle ($1.72) v North Melbourne ($2.10) 

Well, they have Nat Fyfe that’s one thing they’ve got going for them.

Ross Lyon has managed to behave himself over the off-season.

They did actually win the minor premiership only four years ago but still have no cup in the cabinet.

Freo has also picked up Jesse Hogan from Melbourne which gives them something but a mid-table finish and yet another brutal Derby win is all Freo can hope for in 2019.

GEELONG

2018 Finish: 8th (13 W, 9L)
2019 Premiership: $15
Round 1 – Collingwood ($1.62) v Geelong ($2.30) 

Here’s the script for the upcoming season for the Cats – it’s the same as every year.

  • Expect to make top 4
  • Go on about the ‘holy trinity’ of Dangerwood, Selwood and Ablett.
  • Chris Scott has a sook about something at least four times a week.
  • Geelong puff their chests about what a big deal they are
  • Geelong qualify for home final, get made to play it at the MCG, fans have a massive sook about it
  • Geelong knocked out of finals in straight sets.

Prove me wrong.

GOLD COAST SUNS

2018 Finish: 17th (4 W, 18 L)
2019 Premiership: $251
2019 Round 1 – St.Kilda ($`1.26) v Gold Coast ($3.85) 

In the words of Ariana Grande – Thankyou, next.

GWS GIANTS

2018 FINISH: 7th (13 W, 1 D, 8 L – Semi-FInals)
2019 Premiership: $15
Round 1 – GWS ($1.72) v Essendon ($2.10) 

Play School may have the round, square and arched window but in the wonderful world of AFL Football there’s the premiership window and we’ve had a look when it comes to the Giants and it’s smashed.

In fact, someone call Windscreens O’Brien to do something about the smashed premiership window at Spotless Stadium.

The likes of Dylan Sheil, Tom Scully, Rory Lobb and Will Setterfield all decided to leave the Giants in order to pursue careers at Football clubs with supporter bases.

GWS had an injury list longer than all 255 episodes of M*A*S*H and A Country Practice put together last year which was very much a burden.

The Ferrari was clearly a second hand one, and not one that used to belong to a little old lady that only took it to church on Sunday.

They still managed to make the finals – smash the Swans in week one and lost to Collingwood by two kicks in the semifinal at the MCG.

If household favorite Toby Greene, Josh Kelly and Jezza Cameron can play some good footy perhaps the premiership window would have been repaired and all 15 GWS fans along with the AFL Commission can celebrate a premiership.

HAWTHORN

2018 Finish: 4th (15 W, 7 L – Semi-Finals)
20`19 Premiership: $26
Round One – Adelaide ($1.37) v Hawthorn ($3.10)

Bloody Hawthorn.

Like a cockroach, they just won’t go away and die…or at least have a sustained period of being unsuccessful for a little while.

To think there are three-year-olds in kindergarten who have never lived to see the Hawks win a premiership.

They bloody finished in the top four last year.

Sure, they went out in straight sets but still, the Hawks finished top four. Again.

The new six-six-six set up along with a stack of rules would have helped Brownlow medalist Tom Mitchell rack about 85 touches a match, but he’s been ruled out with a broken leg for the season.

There’s plenty of talent still at Hawthorn.

They’ll probably still be right amongst it because they are Hawthorn.

Just think if Don Scott had never ripped off that Velcro Hawk in 1996, we’d be previewing the Melbourne Hawks for their 23rd season and we’d never deal with the Hawks again.  

MELBOURNE

2018 Finish: 5th (14 W, 8 L, Prelim Finals)
2019 Premiership: $7.50
Round One – Melbourne ($1.33) v Port Adelaide ($3.25) 

Turns out Melbourne are good.

Well, besides crapping their pants in the preliminary final against West Coast, the Dees go alright.

Now, we could go on about cheese boards, ski trips, membership of the MCC and make cheap predictable gags about the Demons but we are better than that.

Also, my mate is an MCC member/Dees supporter and is promising to get me in the Members at Flemington come Spring Racing carnival so I’m going to lay off.

Either way, for the sake of the Demons fans, let’s hope Max Gawn is asking Google to show him his Grand Final highlights come seasons end.

NORTH MELBOURNE

2018 Finish: 9th (12 W, 10 L)
2019 Premiership: $26 
Round One – Fremantle ($1.72) v North Melbourne ($2.10) 

Remember how it used to be Richmond that always finished in ninth place?

Well, move over Ninthmond and say hello to Ninth Melbourne.

Get it, because they finished ninth last year.

With Brad Scott at the helm – North has finished ninth three times back in 2018, 2011 and 2010.

To be fair, everyone expected North to be a dead cert for the Wooden Spoon last year but they went on to be close to playing finals football. Not a bad effort.

When it comes to recruitment – North Melbourne is a lot like Rex Hunt in the fact that they are struggling to land a big fish these days.

North Melbourne is like Football’s answer to getting a job at McDonald’s – no one really wants to work there and will use it as a launching pad to get skills and move on to bigger and better places.

Can North and its band of B-Grade footballers playing in off-broadway slots do any damage in season 2019?

Probably not, but expect them to be bloody annoying. 

 

PORT ADELAIDE

2018 Finish: 10th (12 W, 10L) 
2019 Premiership: $26 
Round One – Melbourne ($1.33) v Port Adelaide ($3.25) 

Port Power needs results and they need them now.

It’s make or break time for coach Ken Hinkley to get the Power playing finals Football otherwise Kochie will send the Cash Cow to give him the Freo heave-ho.

Port and their massive fan base in China wants the Power back to dominating the competition or at least beating the Crows in Showdowns.

If the likes of Sam Powell-Pepper can get over his second-year blues and Jack Watts can spend less time with German White Powder and Swimming breaststroke and focusing on getting a kick perhaps the Power can be right up there.

Luckily, Port still have the tarps they used back in the Football Park days to cover up the seats at Adelaide Oval as their bandwagon fans drop like flies should things not go to plan.

RICHMOND

2018 Finish: 1st (18 W, 4 L, Prelim Final) 
2019 Premiership: $26 
Round One – Melbourne ($1.33) v Port Adelaide ($3.25) 

The days of Richmond being an easy punchline are long gone.

Sure, they dropped it in the preliminary final against the Pies but they were the best team during the 2018 season, just not when it counted the most.

Richmond has been handed a tough fixture in 2019.

They play only 13 games at the MCG when they should have got 22, have to make hard road trips to Marvel Stadium and even have to play some games outside of Victoria.

It’s a tough task ahead for the Tigers, but I reckon they are capable of it.

Also, they got Tom Lynch.

Expect Richmond to come runner up to the Neds Brisbane Lions on Grand Final Day.

ST, KILDA

2018 Finish: 16th (4 W, 1 D, 17 L) 
2019 Premiership: $101
Round One – St.Kilda ($1.26) v Gold Coast ($3.85) 

The Saints won both their JLT matches and actually sung their team song in the rooms after beating North in their first pre-season hit out.

It was the most on-brand St.Kilda thing ever.

Despite another successful pre-season, the real stuff will probably see the Saints right down the ladder as per normal.

Coach Alan Richardson already has a job alert e-mail subscription on Seek.

SYDNEY

2018 Finish: 6th (14 W, 8 L, Elimination Final) 
2019 Premiership: $17
Round One – Western Bulldogs ($2.30) v  Sydney ($1.62) 

We are year six into Buddy’s nine-year deal at the Swans and still no premiership.

Like all great things to come out of the city of Sydney, this is very much an overpriced, nice to look at but not real value investment.

Everyone will fancy the Swans to win the flag, but they won’t.

They’ll make the finals and bundle out.

Our come runner up to the Neds Brisbane Lions in the Grand Final.

WEST COAST

2018 Finish: PREMIERS 
2019 Premiership: $6 
Round One – Brisbane Lions ($2.65) v West Coast ($1.47) 

They won the flag, have one of the strongest home ground advantages in the AFL, won all of their games in Victoria and plenty of upsides – so it’s fair to say we may as well rule them out from going back-to-back.

Yep. West Coast will be lucky to make finals this year.

One hit wonders this mob.

You can also get good odds on the Optus Stadium crowd to boo during the clubs raising of the 2018 premiership flag.

West Coast are no good.

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS

2018 Finish: 13th (8 W, 14 L) 
2019 Premiership: $41 
Round One – Western Bulldogs ($2.30) v  Sydney ($1.62) 

 

Much like the Baha Men, the Western Bulldogs are one hit wonders.

2016 was wonderful, but it was a flash in the pan.

I’m sure the Dogs fans are happy to take it though.

Luke Beverage has got another list build, young pups, trying to come good.

Perhaps Libba playing consistent football will give us something, but I just can’t see it happening.

OUR LADDER PREDICTION

Remember, this ladder is legally binding and you have to agree to it.

 

  1. Brisbane Lions
  2. Richmond
  3. Melbourne
  4. West Coast
  5. Adelaide
  6. GWS
  7. Collingwood 
  8. Sydney 
  9. Essendon
  10. North Melbourne
  11. Geelong
  12. Hawthorn
  13. Port Adelaide
  14. Fremantle
  15. Western Bulldogs
  16. St,Kilda
  17. Carlton
  18. Gold Coast Suns 

Premier – Brisbane Lions
Brownlow – Dayne Zorko
Coleman – Eric Hipwood
Rising Star – Ely Smith