A Look at the 2015 AFL Season Tea Leaves

I have been inspired by a giant of football analysis by the name of Mark to bring out the crystal ball on the 2015 season.

Mark – a journalistic colossus in AFL circles – has been sharing his vast insight into who and what will unfold come Easter Thursday when we kick off the season. Mark’s gut feeling is essentially that Hawthorn might go alright, Port should be thereabouts and he expects the Suns and Gnats to win a few more games than last year. Other pearls include Gazza and Buddy taking out the Brownlow and Coleman respectively. The Saints might struggle, Bucks and Mick will be under the pump contract wise should their clubs be three and 19 come the end of the session and we can never really be sure which Richmond will turn up. Surely Mark is psychic as personally I could not have dreamt of any of those scenarios unfolding had he not plucked them from the ether. Imagine if Mark teamed up with Dermie.

Undoubtedly I will be far from the mark in most of my predictions however, when you are going up against Mark’s encyclopaedic football brain it gives me very little wriggle room.

Adelaide: I am expecting bigger things from the Crows this year after the disappointment of last years’ effort. Nothing short of a top four finish will satisfy the Adelaide faithful despite being renowned for their loyalty in tough times. Chances of that happening are bugger-all but the Crows don’t stay out of finals for long. However, it will for one more year. My tip is for Dangerfield to move to Port at the end of the year as they have an excellent culture, better class of supporter and understand that there are two teams in South Australia.

B&F: Lleyton Hewitt

Position: Ninth

Brisbane: I can see a Leppitsch-led Lions going places this year. When they arrive, a whole can of misery will await them at most destinations. I can’t see how a bloke who had the IQ of a biscuit as a player suddenly becomes a football savant as coach. The old adage regarding strawberry jam and pig shit comes to mind. Still, they have some exciting, if unpredictable, youngsters so Justin might be the man to bottle that exuberance. Provided Leigh Mathews is with him. The only thing good for Brisbane this year is the road to Noosa.

B&F: Browny

Position: 14

Carlton: The Blues are set the reap the benefit of a solid pre-season with all of the list up and about (well except for Kruezer and about five others). The new recruits are training the house down, putting pressure on the senior players for spots and are ready to take the next step. Actually, so are the other seventeen clubs. And it’s always pleasing to hear a 22 year old doddler talking up the “young boys”. Any team that witnessed the West Coast match earlier in the NAB Challenge would be shitting themselves. With laughter. The culmination of Mick’s strategic three year planning of alienating every supporter and overseeing membership numbers of Hindenburg proportions is coming to fruition. They may as well give Carlton the cup now.

B&F: Vinnie Catoggio

Position: 10

Collingwood: Ahhhh the Pies. What does 2015 hold for Bucks’ babies? Bugger all I would have thought and continued misery for the great unwashed at the Datson 180B centre. As good as he is, Pendles only has two hands and two feet. He would have to be an octopus to lift the Pies anywhere near the top eight. I can see more blood letting than the Red Wedding come July if Collingwood aren’t on the positive side of the ledger. Oh and Dane Swan will still look fat.

B&F: Bucks

Position: 12

Essendon: Banished from football for an eternity. Thank you Mr Dank, thank you.

B&F: Billy Duckworth

Position: Purgatory

Fremantle: Freo will be dominant at home again and somewhat brittle on the road as an aging Pav refuses to travel any further than Adelaide. Ryan Crowley is looking at an indefinite period on the sidelines. With their number one tagger (blight on the game) out, opposition midfielders – and Stevie J, no doubt  – might not require additional protective under garments when playing Freo. Another year when the most they see of the MCG is on tele, and the increasingly grumpy Ross Lyon, may see the sea dogs stagnate but still in the top four as basically there is no one to tip then out. They will finish higher than the Eagles and that must be good for football even if Ballantyne isn’t

B&F:

Position: Third

Geelong: The cats are not quite rebuilding and not quite in a premiership window. They are not actually in the house let alone the window. Their super mid field of the glory days are showing signs of slowing up and Joel Selwood’s diving will no longer be tolerated once the yellow card system in introduced. The cattery doesn’t hold the fears now you can’t see the train drivers on the Geelong line baring their bums and the city itself is effectively another suburb in Melbourne’s urban sprawl. Ford commences manufacturing Malvern Star bicycles and ceases sponsorship

B&F: Whiskers Hocking.

Position: Ninth

Gold Coast: Gary Ablett is some player. Arguably in the club’s top ten but I think he needs to share the ball a bit more and get in for some hard ball and make more of his opportunities in front of goal if the Suns are to have a chance of playing in September. I can also see the Club venturing into a Schoolies Week promotion as a proposition with Herald Sun front pages all over it. Still having the advantage of not having to apply fake tan for the spring carnival could see the Suns line up for the big time. That and their twenty two first round draft picks.

B&F: Gary “paaaauusssee” Smith

Position: Seventh

Greater Western Sydney: Like the other newbies, the Gnats should begin to start reaping the benefit of the most concerted effort in football history to contrive a competitive team. Now they have shed the human glacier who is Tom Boyd, I can see Jeremy Cameron getting a bit more room and getting back to his 2013 form. If they can get the ball out of the centre. Mummy, there is reason you were discarded by the Swans. You’re a spent dud. The backline needs a pre-season at lance Armstrong’s house. If they don’t start winning at home they will leave the cows on the field after the Easter Show finishes. That said I’m paid up and passionate an expect a clean sweep at Manuka this year including the prized scalp of one G Long.

B&F: Kevin Sheedy

Position: 14

Hawthorn: Obviously they have overachieved for the past few years and will struggle without Buddy. I know he might not have been there last year but Jack Gunston can’t possibly keep kicking it that straight and if they lost their forward line as result of a dengue fever outbreak, look out. If the Hawks were also to lose Mitchell Hodge, Lewis, Rioli, Lake and few other keys they could be in strife. And remember, no Buddy. Should their charmed run continue. A gig at the night grannie awaits.

B&F: Buddy Franklin

Position: Second

Melbourne: I completely forgot about the Dees. Betcha Paul Roos wishes that was an option. What can the proud old MCG resident take out of last year? Absolutely nothing. While rejoicing the occasional win, the Demons were and still are rubbish and will fight it out with the Saints for the spoon. To think they will play each other not once, but twice this year is mouth watering. Will the Melbourne faithful remain loyal to football’s Mr Nice Guy or will they be baying for blood over the players race a-la 2013. Either way, the slopes at Hotham are sure to be full this winter. Expect Gerard Healey to remain steadfastly behind the mic.

B&F: Norm Smith

Position: 16

North Melbourne: Last year’s prelim appearance is either a huge psychological scar burnt into the collective psych of the coaches and players or the stepping ladder to bigger and better things. I’d like to think it’s the former. However, there was plenty to like about the Roos last year although they better get rid of the siestas when everyone has a little lay down and the opposition put a quick six on them before the Kangas rub their eyes. Expecting big things from Firrito. Big stupid things

B&F: Mick Nolan

Position: Fifth

Port Adelaide: The turn around from more plastic sheets than bums covering the seats on game day is astounding. How can such an enormous dolt like Kochie lead such a transformation? The secret, Samantha Armytage. Yes the bubbly Channel Seven poster girl has quietly and confidently instilled confidence in the playing group not seen since Fos Williams was calling to shots. I can see the Power progressing to this year’s GF with their offensive, non-AFL endorsed style of play. Kochie is the face, Sam’s the brains. Plus every available single man at the club knows Sam’s in the hunt for a permanent squeeze so why wouldn’t they be showing their best. Oh, and Ken Hinkley can coach a bit.

B&F: Graham Cornes

Position: First

Richmond: I wrote this watching the Tigers v Port practice match on the weekend. As I jotted these words down, the phrase “work rate” and “tremendous” were uttered in the same breath as Reiwoldt, J. Jack has apparently changed his attitude and body language and is showing the true leadership qualities that he has managed to successfully stifle for six years. Mind you, Cameroon Moody made the comment and Cam is your man when it comes to work rates – or lack there of. Richmond are towelling the Power at Lavington. Means only one thing for the Tiges. Bring on Bali come September

B&F: Billy Barrott

Position: 12

St Kilda: It’s hard not to feel sorry for Saints followers but I’ve managed. The boys from Moorabbin are a debacle. The only positive this year will be the reduced cost of petrol with not having to travel to Frankston to practice being crap. Relocation to Hobart will be announced after the club records a bigger deficit than a small African nation and with as much chance of winning a premiership. I’ve said this before that it is a shame that Nick will never win a flag. Then again nor will Farren Ray and that is sort of karma.

B&S: Darrel Baldock

Position: 17

Sydney: The Swans exit from the finals last year was very, very un-Sydney. Second to the contest, frequent turnovers, poor skills and basically uncompetitive. And wasn’t it great to watch. Expect more of the same as the Swan’s game plan goes down the tactical gurgler. Expect mass retirements come the end of the year with Buddy Franklin focusing on his race wear clothing range. McVeigh shouldn’t show his face again and the Jack brother will go to League. Possible merger on the books with the Bondi Icebergs Club.

B&F: Bobby Skilton

Position: Eighth

Western Bulldogs: Whoof Whoof. I think the Doggies will start to move from the primaeval swap on the league ladder and start a gradual climb to better swimming holes over the next couple of years. Everyone’s second club needs to string together more consecutive wins and just when I was thinking the move of young Libba to a tagging role would prove to be a winner, bugger me, he’s out for 12 months with a crook knee. Just get it to the kid with the rat’s nest on his head instead, provided he hasn’t gone for one of those ridiculous hair buns in the off season. Adam Cooney will remember how he won a Brownlow and get the youngsters into the game. Oh wait, that’s right, he’s making up the numbers at Essendon this year.

B&F: Gary Dempsey

Position: 13

West Coast: What to make of the west’s favourite sons. The ghosts of the past have surfaced again this week with Ben Cousin re-introducing himself to the local constabulary. Apparently he is looking terrific so expect an announcement out of the Weagles any day. Absolute lay down that Luke Priddis will win the B&F after missing out last year, despite winning the Brownlow which even surprised his mum. Will the Eagles utilise the talent of Josh Kennedy and Co so they can play with the big kids again? Who cares, but I think they might.

B&F: Chris Judd

Position: Sixth

About Tony Robb

A life long Blues supporter of 49 years who has seen some light at the end of the tunnel that isn't Mick Malthouse driving a train.

Comments

  1. Peter Schumacher says

    Gees a bit tough on the Lions (and several other teams)!

  2. Dave Brown says

    Bold, but important, call to have no one finishing 3rd (or 11th, 15th or 18th). About time someone called it like it is in such a way!

  3. daniel flesch says

    All the b. & f.’s inspired picks with the exception of Buddy Franklin who is no longer required.

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