AFL Predictions for 2011
Expect not too many surprises this season, with a host of familiar sights up toward the top half the ladder. I am looking forward to seeing how the season evolves in particular regard to anticipated questions being answered such as will Collingwood replicate their stellar form of last year and build a dynasty much like Geelong’s of the past years? Can Geelong compete again after being up for so long? How will Gold Coast fair in the inaugural season? Is Hird the answer for Essendon? Is it Fremantle’s year to step up the next level? Will there be a smokey this year putting it all together? As the excitement builds for the opening round here’s an insight in how it might pan out.
Can’t see the Tigers winning too many games unfortunately, I think it’s going to take them a couple of more years to get off the bottom end of the ladder.
Other possible wooden spoon contenders this year include Gold Coast, Port Adelaide, Brisbane and West Coast.
Gold coast will find it hard in the inaugural season, but with the brilliance of Ablett and few other solid recruits should string enough games to get off the bottom. Plus their young guns will get better as the season wears on.
Port Adelaide has an average list simple as that. But they are a proud club and often don’t put in two bad seasons in a row so have these factors in their favour.
Brisbane has only lost good players this year and will not have a team any better than their disappointing 2010 season. A healthy Jonathon Brown will result in them winning enough games to be above Richmond...unhealthy Brown could result in the spoon.
West Coast like Port Adelaide is a proud club but I’m not expecting a big improvement on last year’s dismal season.
80+ goals for Buddy this year, 24 years old ready for another huge season.
Jack Riewoldt you would expect to be up there again. But with Richmond looking unlikely to perform may find it tough to kick so many...although how on earth did he do it last year!?
Superstar who can do it all in every position on the field, Saints should win a lot of games so expect to see him poll plenty of votes.
My other notables for this year include firstly Matthew Pavlich. Has been so consistently good for a number of years and with Freo expecting to win a lot of games should poll highly.
Luke Hodge...Use the force Luke...A gun and deserves to win one before the end of his career.
Scott Pendlebury could be a huge sniff this season. Only going to get better, gets a heap of the ball. Has polled well already and oozes class to win the AFL’s highest individual award.
It’s hard to go past the Pies after last year’s efforts and they only look like they will get better this year. Most of their guns are hitting or yet to reach their peak and they have such strong depth that they can cover injuries.
Challenging the Pies this year will be Hawthorn, Bulldogs, Fremantle and St Kilda.
The Sainters are running out of time and could be their last year for a while for a serious crack at the premiership.
Freo are a super talented team and might just grow that extra leg needed this year to be a fair dinkum contender.
The Western Bulldogs have been up and about for a while now but have never found the next gear to beat the top couple of teams, they may be able to do that this year but given their history and culture it’s more likely they will succumb again in a prelim.
Hawthorn have the fire power, have their gun players in their prime and after a couple of “years off” (injuries didn’t help) they could definitely go all the way this season.