The extra we study, the much less we all know

Consistent with latest custom, the Eagles made lots of people look foolish on their technique to the mighty membership’s fourth premiership of their 32-year historical past. Broadly tipped to not simply slide, however crater in 2018, West Coast as an alternative thrived, successful ten-straight video games after a Spherical 1 loss to the Swans on their technique to a top-two end. The maligned Jack Darling was arguably one of the best participant within the competitors till he bought harm in Spherical 11. The equally unappreciated Andrew Gaff put in one of the best season of his profession. Josh Kennedy and Jeremy McGovern did what Josh Kennedy and Jeremy McGovern do, and the excellent Adam Simpson continued to be excellent because the Eagles carved groups up week after week. There are not any main adjustments to the aspect that knocked off Collingwood in a sensational decider final season. In truth, they is likely to be stronger with Gaff’s return and the injection of some thrilling children comparable to Oscar Allen and Jack Petruccelle – and so there’s no motive to suppose they gained’t be within the thick of it once more in 2019. Andrew Gaff. (Picture by Michael Dodge/Getty Photos) A lot of the identical could be mentioned of the Magpies. A aspect that seemed mediocre simply 12 months in the past all of a sudden seems mighty. The midfield is pretty much as good as any within the league and their versatile ahead line works superbly collectively as Jordan de Goey, Jaidyn Stephenson, Will Hoskin-Elliott and Josh Thomas rotate round large man Mason Cox. For all the joy a couple of wholesome Jamie Elliott, I’m not satisfied there’s a spot for him within the Pies’ greatest aspect – not a foul drawback to have. Final 12 months’s shedding preliminary finalists have had months to stew on their ultimate video games of 2018. The Demons took the steps anticipated of them final season, however had been pathetic in Perth within the finals. The 66-point margin flattered them. The Tigers weren’t significantly better. They seemed poorly ready and at occasions downright uninterested of their 39-point loss to the Pies. Was that defeat an aberration or a real illustration of a aspect that hadn’t seemed a lot chop since July? You’d be a braver man than I to anticipate something lower than one other top-four end for the Tiges. Tom Lynch is a mighty addition, and Jack Riewoldt, Shane Edwards and Shaun Grigg the one gamers on the listing to have turned 30 – none are but 31. Extra AFL 2019 AFL season preview: West Coast Eagles The extra we study, the much less we all know AFL prime 100: Spherical 1 choice highlights (half three) Definitive information to AFL 2019: Half one When the King of Asgard meets an AFL guernsey AFL Melbourne too added a key Solar, in Steven Might. However the largest addition to their line-up could possibly be a wholesome Jake Lever. The Demons are stacked. Their premiership window is vast open. After a one-year dip out of finals in 2017, the Hawks returned to September motion final 12 months on the again of a 15-7 season. However a straight-sets exit was extra reflective of their high quality than their top-four end. With their greatest participant dominated out for the 12 months, it’s going to be an uphill battle for the workforce of the last decade. They’re extra more likely to end outdoors the eight than inside it. Just like the Hawks, Brisbane’s 5-17 document wasn’t a real illustration of their price. Two of these wins got here towards the Hawks and three of them had been by greater than 50 factors. Broadly tipped to leap up the ladder, the Lions might want to keep away from one other poor begin to take action. Not as soon as prior to now 5 seasons have Brisbane managed greater than a single win of their first 5 video games. The AFL hasn’t been form to them this 12 months; they open the season at residence towards the reigning premiers, then face the Roos away, Port Adelaide at residence, Essendon away, and Collingwood at residence. If they'll pinch two of these, they’ll have finished effectively, and be primed for a stable season. Harris Andrews, Eric Hipwood and Cam Rayner are as thrilling as any younger trio within the league, and Lachie Neale is a Brownlow smokey. For the primary time shortly, the longer term seems shiny and, extra importantly, shut. In Sydney, expectations are decrease than they've been for a while, with the Swans tipped to slip and the Giants not the powerhouse it appeared so inevitable they'd change into. It’s sort of loopy how a lot expertise continues to be on the Giants’ listing with Adam Treloar, Dylan Shiel, Rory Lobb, Tom Scully, Devon Smith, Nathan Wilson, Will Hoskin-Elliott, Taylor Adams, Jack Steele and others all taking part in for a workforce that isn’t GWS. The Giants ought to nonetheless be good and would possibly simply thrive with out expectations. Anticipate a giant 12 months from Tim Taranto. Tim Taranto of the Giants celebrates (Picture by Ryan Pierse/Getty Photos) Sydney’s elimination ultimate hiding by the hands of their cross-town rivals was a becoming technique to finish a season during which they appeared to string collectively wins on muscle reminiscence. It’s silly to write down anybody off in a contest as at the same time as this one, and the Swans have made a dwelling proving the doubters unsuitable. However some good groups are going to overlook the eight this season and I don’t suppose the Swans are going to be rather more than a mean footy aspect. The Cats had a equally disappointing finish to 2018, shedding what felt like a changing-of-the-guard sport to Melbourne. With 9 video games at Kardinia Park, Geelong ought to nonetheless have an excessive amount of expertise to overlook the eight. Whether or not they can do any actual injury as soon as finals roll round is as soon as once more the largest query on Chris Scott’s males. Joel Selwood. (Picture by Quinn Rooney/Getty Photos) Essendon have had as a lot publicity as any workforce this offseason and most of it's justified. They went 12-10 final season and added gun midfielder Dylan Shiel. Ought to Joe Daniher get again to his greatest, he’s a top-five key ahead within the competitors. They’re well-placed to win their first ultimate since 2004. Final season’s three different 12-win groups could have some say within the Dons’ season. North Melbourne had been one of many shock groups of 2018 and added a top quality participant in Jared Polec and some wildcards in Dom Tyson, Jasper Pittard and Aaron Corridor. With the seventh-oldest and ninth most-experienced listing, they need to be proper across the mark for finals once more, although I believe they’ll miss Jarrad Waite. Port Adelaide will likely be hoping it’s a case of addition by subtraction after shedding Polec and Chad Wingard. There’s nonetheless loads of good gamers on the Energy, however not as many as at their cross-town rivals. The Crows’ 2018 might hardly have gone worse, however they’re by no means down for lengthy. Because the third-oldest workforce within the competitors, Adelaide are primed to return to the heights of 2017 – they’ll be hoping for a happier ending this time. Rory Sloane looks like the sort of participant who’ll thrive as captain. For tune lengthy the Saints and Bulldogs had been linked as hopeless golf equipment with depressing premiership droughts. The Canines ended theirs, however once more each side appear like being cellar dwellers. The Canines have a stable listing of onballers, and in Aaron Naughton have one of the thrilling younger key-position gamers within the competitors, right here’s hoping the mad scientist within the coach’s field doesn’t break him in his determined seek for badly wanted objectives. The Saints are … I’m undecided what the Saints are apart from not excellent. Jade Gresham is superb; I suppose that’s one thing. Giving Dan Hannebery a five-year deal reeks of the worst sort of desperation.
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Like Brisbane, Carlton are beginning to see the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel. Sam Walsh seems like he has ‘it’, and their ahead line is beginning to resemble an actual one with Charlie Curnow and Mitch McGovern as its pillars. Patrick Cripps would possibly win the Brownlow. And that brings us to the Gold Coast. The Suns are again at floor zero. A minimum of they know that. I believe with everybody on the identical web page they’ll be effectively coached and catch a few groups off guard, however they’ll do very effectively to keep away from the wood spoon. In fact, the previous few seasons have proven us how pointless these sort of predictions could be. Begin the darn video games. Ladder prediction 1. Richmond 2. Melbourne three. Adelaide four. Colingwood 5. West Coast 6. Geelong 7. GWS eight. Essendon 9. North Melbourne 10. Brisbane Lions 11. Port Adelaide 12. Hawthorn 13. Sydney 14. Fremantle 15. Western Bulldogs 16. Carlton 17. St Kilda 18. Gold Coast Premiers Richmond