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AFL Season Preview

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Brisbane Lions

Expect the Lions to do well this year. They managed to pick up 9 valuable wins last year and with the additions of experienced Travis Johnstone and Daniel Bradshaw there is much to like about them. Excellent pick-up in Johnstone if they lacked anything last year it was someone around the middle of the ground spotting up targets further afield. Bradshaw's addition is important too in terms of depths to the tall ranks. Dynamite foward Jonathon Brown will also appreciate his presence with the pressure valve released a little on his week in week out performance.

A midfield of Power, Black, Lappin, Rischitelli, Johnstone, Adcock, is probably close to the best going around and playing at the Gabba where winning the ball is key shouldn't be a problem with Charman in the ruck and these players at his feet. Harding and Sherman are handy players and might be expected to do a little more in and around the goals to assist McGrath on deck. Rookie Kiel is also believed to be a gooden!

They have a youthful defence that is better than it looks, and Josh Drummond is great at playing the sweeping quarter-back role. Something they missed when he was sidelined with injury early last year.

They really are a serious chance this year. I'm sure they would have derived much benefit from a competitive showing last year. If you see anything in the black in terms of betting on the Top Eight....take it. You might have to wait for a loss here or there, but jump on. They've got the ingredients.

 

 

 

Hawthorn

The team on the rise will it be this year to follow the Hawks. Everything about them is typical of a young team going places,this year is going to be a test as they will be seen as the hunted. The best aspect of there NAB Cup stuff has been the look of Ellis I think. He's come on and gives the Hawks another very handy midfielder. Like they needed another one!

Hawthorn biggest fight this year will be mentally. They know how good they are but performance is everything and getting the best out of themselves will not be as easy as you think. Expect a roller-coaster season, and don't treat them too harsh when they drop games they should win.

There only weakness seems to be solved with the selection of Cyril Rioli to be the go to crumbing foward. He and a fellow called Calum Stokes look above average and will complete Clarkson's Grand Hawk Plans!

Will finish in the eight, being conservative with tipping them in the bottom half.

 

 

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This year's Season Prediction highlights

We successfully selected top 4 teams West Coast and Port Adelaide to comfortably miss the eight - we were right there. We selected the Bulldogs to finish Top 4 when few rated them a chance, We had the Swans and Collingwood where they finished. We didn't have the Saints winning like every second other media outlet. They were miserable in the finals well we told you pre-season that.

Where we stuffed up...well first of all we will declare that we are Demons supporters and hence the inflated selection. And Freo well everyone got them wrong.

 

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Collingwood

The Magpies had a fantastic 2007 finals experience, culminated by almost producing a stunning upset against the Mighty Cats in the Prelim. A couple of big time retirements won't be dwelled on too heavily as the Pies boast a fleet of youngsters who have the army salivating. The good things about the Pies are the run from the backline with Johnson and Shaw, excellent young outside players in Goldsack, Pendlebury and Thomas. The taller youth in Reid and Brown seen to be progressing well too.

If you wanted to be harsh though you can pick holes in the Pies, as they lack on-ballers with red-line class and most of there better players are positioned in arguably less important parts of the ground.

In the gun of these positions are Rocca, Fraser and Burns. That's a concern for mine, when it comes to considering whether this team can win a Flag. Against that however is the value of experience that these players possess. They have enough of this intangible quality to understand if they give a competitive effort every time they play, they can allow the great team around them to go about winning more than they lose.

A feature of this team is their kicking skill, and playing alot of games at the G you can never write them off. Should sneak into the eight.

 

 

Sydney Swans

The Swans are a very good unit, and if not for running into their nemisis in Collingwood in the Finals there was every reason to believe they stood the best chance of beating the Cats. I like the culling of Schneider and Dempster. These players are limited, Schneider in consistent performance and Dempster in skill level.

The Swans play great team football and what Paul Roos was able to achieve from his players last year was a step up in individual performance. Players like Amon Buchanan, Craig Bolton, Ryan O'keefe are now considered much more than just good team players. They are very good in their own right.

Malceski is a big loss in terms of injury but in comparison to there 07 side Tighe Kennelly will be a fabulous and welcome addition. They achieved alot of there success without a fully functional Barry Hall last year, so look out if he gets fully fit.

Those who think the Swans will fall away will get a real shock again this year. Expect them to be right in there.

 

 

 


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