AFL season predictions: Medals, controversies and the year ahead
Port Adelaide. Hawthorn and Port Adelaide will play off in a classic. The reason I cannot tip Hawthorn for the premiership is that three in a row is nigh on impossible. Port Adelaide is ready to lift the cup and although Sydney and Hawthorn are both supremely gifted football sides, Port’s excellence and X-factor are too strong to ignore.
Nathan Fyfe. Fyfe is an electric dynamo. He is ferocious in the contest, uses the ball well and is extremely dangerous in the air. He is the complete footballer and after his ineligibility probably cost him the Charlie last year, he will make amends and win by two votes over Dyson Heppell, Gary Ablett Jnr, Robbie Gray and perennial top 5 finisher, Joel Selwood.
We won’t hear the end of this matter if Issac Heeney does what won’t surprise many and figures in the calculations, however I’m going to look back on history at how the Rising Stars have crafted their way to the award. Last season Lewis Taylor did on the back of 22 weeks of extremely solid, workmanlike football. The Rising Stars, as expected, usually have a football ready body from the word go. We’ve seen it in Dyson Heppell, Jaegar O’Meara and Daniel Rich in recent years and as far back as inaugural winner Nathan Buckley and Ben Cousins in the past. That’s why this year I suspect Jesse Hogan will poll strongly. Using the same logic, Matthew Crouch and Nakia Cockatoo are genuine chances, however the latter is still very raw. After considering all of these genuine contenders, I have been moved by the preseason whispers about Nathan Freeman (COLL) and believe he has the size, speed and capability to win this year’s award.
Cameron Guthrie (GEEL), Reece Conca (RICH), Lachie Neale (FREO), Jesse Lonergan (GCS) and Jimmy ‘The Toump’ Toumpas (MELB).
The AFL to launch a spectacular ‘war on drugs’ only to realise that recreational drug use is completely out of control in both society and the AFL… Mainly because 18-30 year old young men like to let loose from time to time, or in the case of most of the ones who frequent similar night spots to myself, most of the time. There are two choices in the matter; the AFL crack down and get tangled in a completely unwinnable battle or they have the forthrightness to acknowledge they could do more and open dialogue on recreational drug use in a manner that involves players, officials and wider society in general. I’ll predict they go hard-nosed due to pressure from hypocritical conservative figures.
Unfortunately for those who enjoy a lager at the footy, alcohol prices will stay consistent with those seen in Switzerland… at half the strength.
After writing this article, probably me in precisely 25 weeks time. If Gold Coast doesn’t make the finals, the Gold Coast hierarchy might be reassessing their dramatic decision to axe Guy McKenna. I’m firmly against coaching moves that appear rash and ill-considered. My hope of the rules committee acknowledging that the sub rule is blatantly going against every positive development the game has made in the past 50 years will be shot down yet again by those sitting in their comfy chairs as they attempt to justify the dollars coming into their bank account.
And finally, three best bets for season 2015?
Dyson Heppell @ $34 for the Brownlow – TAB Sportsbet
Taylor Walker @ $17 for the Coleman – TAB Sportsbet
Dayne Beams @ $12 for most Brisbane goals – Sportsbet
In light of recent decisions, I’ve adjusted my final ladder slightly.
8th – Essendon
11th West Coast