Adelaide: A pre-season under the radar
After the whole preseason camp fiasco, Adelaide will hope to be completely under the radar this time around. Going into round one with the least news regarding the club would be exactly what they want after a tough few years. They have the list to really challenge, and they cannot let off-field issues get in the way of their quest for success.
Brisbane – More steady improvement
Brisbane was a fan favourite for a neutral last season, with improvement being the word to describe their season. They became a force to be reckoned with, as they tested the best of clubs towards the end of the year. Despite losing Dayne Beams, Chris Fagan would be wishing for more of the same in 2019 with some fresh faces and even the off chance of September footy.
Carlton – No more injuries, please!
An obvious one – not much more to be said really. Sam Docherty, Jarrod Pickett and Mitch McGovern have already been dealt with injury, some more serious than others. Any more injuries to any key players may see the demise of the Blues before the season even starts.
Collingwood – A second crack
It’s a lot to ask this season for the Pies, but after being so close in 2018, another crack at a flag is all the Pies want. This seems to be a common theme, after all, the Pies have lost more grand finals than anyone – at least they got there I guess?
Essendon – Not to lose to Carlton…again
It was the loss that really lost Essendon a spot in the finals. The 13 point loss was one of the shocks of the season, as the Bombers finished just a game outside the eight. Carlton have also beaten Essendon in the two years previous, but at the state of the two sides, the Bombers will be hoping this doesn’t happen again.
Fremantle – Goals from Jesse!
Fremantle’s biggest problem in the last couple of years has been the lack of a full forward that will consistently kick goals. Cameron McCarthy and Shane Kersten amongst others haven’t been able to do the job. Can Jesse Hogan be their man?
Geelong – Dangerwoodlett to become a force
Has the acquisition of Patrick Dangerfield and more recently, Gary Ablett, been a success? To an extent yes, but to an extent no. They haven’t won a flag in this period, and Patrick Dangerfield is too good to finish his career flagless. If these two and Joel Selwood bring their A-game, the Cats could be anything in 2019.
GWS – A flag
I mean, this could be said for any team, but for the Giants, it’s time. They’ve had enough time now and if they aren’t careful, their premiership window could be all but over. They have the most skilled side in the league, with polish all over the ground. But their downfall has been their inability to play finals footy – this must change.
Gold Coast – A win
Do they have any key players left? Can you see them winning a game this season? It’s that simple for Gold Coast, be competitive and win a couple of games. They will go into every game as the underdog, and they’ll have no pressure. Can they surprise?
Hawthorn – Another Clarko Masterclass, thanks!
Last seasons Hawthorn side did not deserve to finish in fourth place if we’re going to be completely honest. Many other coaches may not have taken that side to be top four, but Clarko can do anything. With the acquisition of stars Tom Scully and Chad Wingard, can Clarko win his fifth flag with the Hawks?
North Melbourne – A move to Tassie
Not quite a permanent move to Tassie, but I’m sure fans wouldn’t mind that much if they played a few more home games down south? They simply do not lose in Tasmania, and if they played all home games there, they’d be top four!
Melbourne – The weight of the world not to be on our shoulders in September
Melbourne were the team everyone wanted to see win. All eyes were on them, all the expectation was around them. But the pressure got to them, and their performance in September against the eventual winners was one they’d like to forget. They’ll be back, but this time, maybe just a little outside the spotlight.
Port Adelaide – Finals, desperately!
There’s got to be pressure on Ken Hinkley if the Power don’t make the finals this season. Their side is too good on paper to be outside the top eight, and many had them to be in the top couple of sides last season. If there’s pressure on any team, it’s Port Adelaide. All they want for Christmas is finals footy.
Richmond – The Twin Towers to deliver
Many believe that the small forward brigade of Jack Riewoldt and the trio of Butler, Castagna and Rioli may be disrupted by the inclusion of Tom Lynch. Many also think this could be the most dangerous forward line in recent history, with Josh Caddy adding to the five aforementioned. Richmond will be hoping it’s the latter, as they have another crack at a flag in 2019.
St Kilda – Competitiveness and Improvement
St Kilda may be the team in 2019 that people think could be together with the Suns down the bottom of the ladder. There isn’t much flair about the Saints and that will intimidate many. For Alan Richardson’s side, competitiveness and improvement on last season is all he and Saints fans can really ask for.
Sydney – An SCG resurgence
The SCG used to be a place nobody liked to go to. It was one of the hardest places to go to and get a win, but just 13 wins from the Swans’ last 24 games sees the SCG lose its touch as a fortress. Sydney has made the finals in the past two seasons because of their strong away form. John Longmire will hope not to rely on this once more in 2019.
West Coast – Can we repeat 2018?
Not much to ask, hey Santa?
Western Bulldogs – Taking the backend of 2018 into 2019
The Dogs were never really in finals contention, and haven’t been the same since their premiership glory in 2016. But their form later on in the year reminded us a lot of the team that won the flag, testing teams like the Tigers in the last round of the season. Their side is so young and there is plenty of upside, expect huge improvement in 2019.
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