AFL Season Preview 2021

No comments

With the AFL now set to start in a few days, our team have put together a season preview outlining how we see the season playing out, including who we fancy for the top 8, the premiership winner, the Brownlow medalist, the Coleman medalist and a special prediction from each of us for the season. Let the games begin:

Daniel’s Predicted top 8:                                                             

  1. Geelong                                                                              
  2. Richmond                                                                            
  3. Brisbane                                                                             
  4. Melbourne
  5. Port Adelaide
  6. West Coast
  7. St Kilda
  8. Collingwood

Mitchell’s Predicted top 8:

  1. Port Adelaide
  2. Brisbane
  3. Richmond
  4. Geelong
  5. GWS
  6. Western Bulldogs
  7. St Kilda
  8. West Coast

Rob’s Predicted top 8:

  1. Brisbane
  2. Geelong
  3. Port Adelaide
  4. Richmond
  5. St Kilda
  6. West Coast
  7. Bulldogs
  8. Carlton

Bunarith’s Predicted top 8:

  1. Brisbane
  2. Richmond
  3. Port Adelaide
  4. West Coast
  5. Geelong
  6. St Kilda
  7. Western Bulldogs
  8. Fremantle

Premiership Winner:

Robs Tip – Geelong: @ 4.85 Geelong beats Brisbane in the Granny back where it belongs at the G. The recruiting of Cameron, Higgins and Smith will help them go one better, with Cameron taking home the Norm Smith

Mitchells Tip – Richmond @ 4.60: Put simply, it is Richmond’s three-peat to lose. They proved last season that they can win big finals on the road, and as shown through previous seasons, they own the MCG which is where Grand Finals are won. The only contender I see are the Brisbane Lions who have now gained enough finals experience to make it all the way through September unscathed, although they will need to improve their 12.5% winning rate from their last 20 matches at the MCG

Daniels Tip – Geelong @ 4.85: The Cats have made it to the Preliminary Final in 4 of their last 5 seasons, including last year where they lost to the Tigers after blowing a lead in the third quarter. Their list now has 10 players that are either 30 or set to turn 30 this year, however, I believe the signings of Smith, Higgins and Cameron will push them over the final hump in a premiership or bust season.

Bunariths Tip – Brisbane @ 7.00: After a successful 2020 season excluding the finals series, Brisbane look better and stronger this year especially with the recruitment of Joe Daniher. Daniher alongside Hipwood and Cameron will be a hard forward line to stop and the midfield will be juicy as well.

Brownlow Medallist:

Daniels Tip – Nathan Fyfe @ 8.00: The only thing stopping Fyfe from putting forth another Brownlow campaign is his durability. However, he is fit and firing by all accounts, illustrated by his dominant 27 disposal (13 contested), 1 goal performance in his preseason hit-out whilst only playing 79% of the game.

Mitchells Tip – Lachie Neale @ 5.50: Only twice in the past 20 seasons (excluding 2012 due to the Essendon saga) has the Brownlow Medalist been at a club that finished outside of the top 8. Those two occurrences were Fyfe in 2019 and Gary Ablett in 2013 (Gold Coast). Also, I only see Lachie Neale who is strong enough to steal votes off his teammates and therefore expect him to be the first back-to-back Brownlow Medalist since Robert Harvey in the 90’s.

Bunariths Tip – Nat Fyfe @ 8.00: He will dominate the midfield, especially with a young brigade behind him. He is a match winner and will go forward and kick goals when his team needs him to.

Robs Tip – Patrick Cripps @ 7.00: If he stays healthy and Carlton make the 8. Cripps will be tough to hold out, safer bet would be for Neale to go back-to-back.

Coleman Medallist:

Bunariths Tip – Jeremy Cameron @ 9.00: Switching teams for season 2021, and after a lean 2020 Cameron is looking to bounce back and while he is partnering Hawkins who won the Coleman in 2020, its likely he will take the best defender week in week out. This will give Cameron a huge opportunity to bounce back.

Robs Tip – Charlie Dixon @ 9.00: Would love to say Tom Hawkins as a Cats fan, but with Cameron there it might take away some of the shine, so going with Charlie Dixon

Mitchells Tip – Tom Hawkins @ 7.00: Although the ‘Tomahawk’ is getting on in age I expect him to take the chocolates over Kennedy, Lynch, Riewoldt, Dixon and co. Last season, Hawkins had one of the worse conversion rates of goals from shots on goal, if he had have converted his shots on goal at the same rate as his main competition, he would have won the Coleman by 19 goals.

Daniels Tip – Charlie Dixon @ 9.00: Hawkins and Cameron will be one of the most dangerous forward duo’s in 2021, but they will inevitably steal goals off of each other. Dixon had a career-best season in 2020, and I expect this to continue into 2021.

General Prediction:

Mitchells Tip – The new rule changes will open up the game: Despite public backlash, the recent rule changes open up the game and will lead to high scoring matches.

Daniels Tip – This will be Melbourne’s bounce back year: After making the prelim in 2018, the demons dropped off incredibly to finish 17th in 2019. They were one win shy of making the 8 in 2020, and with another pre-season under the belts of Petracca, Oliver and Brayshaw, they will improve upon their 9th placing and surprise many come finals time.

Bunariths Tip – Matt Rowell to win the Rising Star: Matt Rowell to easily win the Rising Star and could be a chance to win the Brownlow, which would make him the first player ever to win the Rising Star and Brownlow in the same year. If injury free, watch out, he will be a match winner and could be the difference in Gold Coast making the finals or not this season.

Robs Tip – Collingwood will finish bottom 4: The offseason has been less than ideal at the Maggies, losing a few key players and the chairman. Luckily, they have some good father-son recruits coming in, but 2021 will be a pain for the black and white army. My bottom four are North, Adelaide, Hawks and Pies