NAB Challenge

With the NAB Challenge coming to a close, we’ve been given a taste of the refined form and the polished game plans of the upcoming 2014 season. Having already witnessed 15 games since the opening bounce on February 12th, the football domain has examined the trials and tribulations of all 18 teams.

While some performances have disappointed, signs of youth and imminent talent have been evident throughout the dispirited clubs of 2013. One in particular comes to mind, as the Demons’ win over the hesitant Richmond Football Club was reassuring to the Melbourne faithful. While they aren’t rewarded with 4 points, the undeniable effort and aggressive attitude under Paul Roos is an expected portent of what’s to come. While the youngster in Jay Kennedy-Harris proved to be dangerous, helping seal the win for the Dees, the experience of names such as Dustin Martin ensured that the Tigers kept in touch for the four quarters. On the contrary, whilst the improved attempt of the Western Bulldogs was clear in their matches against St Kilda and Fremantle, they struggled to dispense for the duration of the match. Although victorious against the Saints, the Dogs were unable to outlast the never-say-die attitude of the Dockers.

Yet, the preseason has not only highlighted the improvement of such teams, but also reinforced the dominance of those that continue to occupy the top rungs of the ladder. With a winning average of 96 points in their last two matches, Hawthorn are in their prime as they will look to defend their premiership this year, and cement their winning side in history. The absence of Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin is past recollection, as the running midfield and forward line have teamed together to ensure that the former no.23’s departure will not prove to be a burden on the future of the club. Their opposing sides in Geelong and Sydney, although only having played one match each so far, have continued their presumed success.

Whilst some entrenched fans have deemed the outcome of the 2014 season on the basis of a couple of so-called practice matches, others have taken the victories and defeats in their stride. Ultimately, the NAB Challenge has proved to be a win for everyone; the coaches have reassessed their game plans, the players have evaluated their performance, and the fans have been granted early access to the magic that is Australian Rules Football. Footy is back.

About Caitlin Nobes

An 18-year-old aspiring sports journalist. I have just started a sports-related blog, based on my opinions and match summaries:


  1. Good summary Caitlin. I have only just caught up with the fact that there is no finals and prizemoney on offer. Those $’s and finals experience was often a motivation for lower ranked clubs in the old NAB/Escort etc etc Cup.
    This format is really just like the old intra-club ‘trial games’ but with a corporate banner. Probably a good thing as too much intensity too early stretches out the season and shortens careers. But it does make me think that the NAB Challenge formline is probably about as reliable as a Bart Cummings stayer in the MacKinnon Stakes.

  2. Shattered Caitlin. At half-time last night I foresaw an undefeated season for the Dogs – perhaps it was the loss we had to have before the finals?
    Thanks for the summary.

  3. Eagles Premiers.

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