Home > AFL > AFL Season Preview Pt. 2- On the Cusp

AFL Season Preview Pt. 2- On the Cusp

Welcome to Pt. 2 of my AFL Season Preview. This time around, I’m taking a look at the sides that I think will be there or there-about. There will be some great wins, frustrating losses, and loads of suspense down to Round 24, before the disappointment of just watching come September. This is what you go through when you just miss out on the Top 8.

 

12th – Essendon Bombers (Premiership odds @ TAB Sportsbet- $41)

James Hird is not the messiah… but he’s about as close as a Bomber will ever get. Inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame this week, there has been enormous hype about his much anticipated return. But, as was shown by Carlton a few years back, pre-season form does not necessarily reflect the team’s fortunes in the regular season. There will definitely be improvements from the Bombers this season, particularly in the defensive side of their game, but this will not be enough to see them make the top 8.

Dream Team Buys- In the midfield, skipper Jobe Watson is going to score very heavily. Forward Mark Williams is a bargain given his injury problems last season, and youngster Dyson Heppell & VFL star Michael Hibberd are sensational value down back.

 

11th – North Melbourne Kangaroos ($51)

Let’s be honest- the Kangaroos had a well and truly above average season in finishing in 9th place, and I don’t think they will be able to back it up again this time around. Brad Scott is a very clever coach and is sure to get everything he can out of this young squad, but already he will be missing numerous players for the start of the season, putting them behind the 8 ball from day 1.

Dream Team Buys- In a team without many stars, finding a DT gem can be tough. Brent Harvey is capable of some monster scores, but can also be very poor DT wise when things aren’t going his way. Young Jack Ziebell, Andrew Swallow and Liam Anthony seem set to score decently as well.

 

10th – Adelaide Crows ($26)

In complete contrast to North Melbourne, 2010 for Adelaide was an unmitigated disaster. After openly stating a pre-season aim to make the top 4, an 11th place finish has put the blowtorch on coach Neil Craig. It’s hard to imagine him remaining at the club next season if the Crows are again absent in September, and with the pre-season injury toll mounting by the minute, they will be doing very well to make the 8.

Dream Team Buys- B&F winner Richard Douglas, Scott Thompson & Nathan van Berlo are all proven performers. Young guns Patrick Dangerfield and Taylor Walker should improve further this season, whilst Richard Tambling will be looking to cement his spot with his new side, so expect improved output compared with his time at the Tigers.

 

9th – Melbourne Demons ($26)

The whipping boys of the competition a few years ago, last season was a huge step in the right direction for the Dees, and with the future superstars they have on their list, things are only going to go up from here. With the inspirational Jim Stynes at the helm of the club, there is a tight bond between all the players and they always look to be playing for each other and the famous red & blue jumper. This will be an exciting year for Demons supporters.

Dream Team Buys- It’s hard to go past the two whose careers will always be intertwined – Tom Scully & Jack Trengove. Both are now awkwardly priced, but if you’re following a mid-priced strategy, either of these guys would fit your team nicely. Colin Sylvia has shown his DT worth, whilst excitement machine Liam Jurrah and a bigger bodied Jack Watts are set for career best seasons.

 

——–

 

Those are the sides I’m picking to fall just short of a Top 8 appearance… Is your team on this list? Do you think I’m mad for putting them here? Are they destined to play finals football? Don’t just sit there… Tell me why I’m wrong! You can do so through the comments below.

If you missed Pt. 1 of my season preview, you can find it here. I’ll be back on Monday with Pt. 3, where we finally reach the Top 8.

 

The Phantom

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