The Fearless pre-season wrap: Huey Lewis and the News said it best – I want a new drug!

With one eye on the footy and one eye snoozing on the hammock, this was actually prepared in February but I decided to not send it out until now as there was far too much other drivel happening in the AFL world. Tanking, peptides, illicit drugs, the role of doctors v sports scientsists, the value of winning clean, footballers as role models, performance enhancing drugs all taking turns in the spotlight. Through this media prism, we hark back to the dulcet tones of 80’s Bay Area crooners, Huey Lewis and the News to sing I want a New Drug! (except of course that was a love song!)

Well done to Brisbane for winning the Fosters/Escort Cup, but for the Carlton army….the Malthouse era has started promisingly enough…



Adelaide Kurt Tippett would have been responsible for plantations of trees getting chainsawed near Penola, so that angry Crows minions can vent their spleens. Unfortunately this overshadows the terrific first year of the Crows under Sando. It also takes some spotlight off Dean Bailey and the 1998 Premiership colostrum capers.

Brisbane – It must be said that the Lions fly under the radar very well over preseason until the weather kicked in again. If it’s not that, it’s talk of Jonathon Brown mashing his face again in yet another display of courage. With the Fev-era long gone, the Lion cubs such as Rich, Redden and Rockliff are ready to take centre stage under Vossy.

Carlton – only recruit is a cantankerous 60yr old and a few youngsters. Chris Judd is to be replaced as captain, a fact that will not diminish his impact whatsoever. Mick now talking up Carlton’s Premiership chances, a fact that would generally seem to correlate with his minor changes to the list. Mitch Robinson has his own Big Day Out.

Collingwood – Collingwood sells newspapers. 4 self reporters in the drug trade…and bingo, the media goes’s enough to make you think that someone had dropped a bomb on us. Bucks puts on his best game face and plays it straight down the pitch. CEO Pert called for the Drugs summit…and..the Pies sell does…

Essendon – rightly and finally at the behest of the bowling club, the Bombers have landed at the airport…and then the ACC came calling after the Weapon of Mass Destruction was located at Windy Hill. Sour grapes from Kyle Reimers tips the bucket and the media fans the flames until further notice. BJ Goddard welcome!

Fremantle – Pavlich contemplates stepping down as skipper – that would have sold a few papers along with the alleged cricket crisis in WA. Of particular interest is that the great Pav may be the first player based in WA to reach 300 games. Given the research associated with effects of long-haul flying that would be a super effort.

Geelong – the kittens are keen to keep the Geelong success rate ticking over, ably assisted by the remaining Premiership heroes of 2007, 2009 and 2011. The Big H moves from Arden St to takeover the rucks if his body allows him. Nathan Vardy will be a valuable asset in this regard. Chris Scott again has the cattle to push into finals.

Gold Coast – get ready to watch the recruit of the year who moves like Jaegar. Young Jaegar O’Meara can kickstart his AFL career by watching Gary Ablett at close range. Coupled with steady improvement in the young list, the Suns might just rise a bit up the table. Ex-Hawk Tom Murphy a welcome addition to assist the defence.

Greater Western Sydney – felafel sales up, carjackings too as is Sheeds’ spin. Chad gets injured…hours more to ponder his physique in the gyms of Rooty Hill and Blacktown. Hoping to jag Kurt Tippett, but noone out in that part of Sydney earns that much, not even the councils do in rates collection! Phil Scully get the vice captaincy.

Hawthorn – heartbreak then refocus. Ablett 2010, Scully 2011, Cloke 2012 and now Franklin 2013…long and protracted contract speculation seems to have very little positive impact on any club. However, Clarko has the arsenal and smarts to keep the Hawks focused in 2013, along with veteran Brian Lake to bolster the defensive unit.

North – after a very effective trade period, the Roos headed to Utah for more high altitude training, after coach Brad Scott got married. In Nov 2013, he returns to Utah to collect wife #2 in keeping with the local Mormon practices. Spurred on by the memory of the finals loss, the Roos traded some old hands in favour of more run.

Melbourne Really treated as fish in a barrel with the AFL holding the shotgun! The only thing Melbourne is guilty off is making the AFL look stupid. Of course they took advantage of the rules as they were! Stupid laws get replaced by governments all the time. HQ fines Melbourne only, surely a guilty plea by the AFL for rewarding losing.

Port Adelaide – Country Ken takes over and appoints a Bellarine local as captain in Travis Boak. Kochy takes over Port’s presidency, fresh from his Sunrise offices in Sydney. A fresh, unified approach is underway hopefully consigning the old Port factions to history. Rebranding to follow – Port really needs to bulk up in some areas.

Richmond – recruits Aaron Edwards off North to oversee Dustin Martin’s off-field summer regime of pubs and public drunkenness…that Choco Williams is way too serious! Thank heavens for new captain Trent Cotchin – he who can do no wrong! Social media has young gun Martin subjected to rumour, earning the coach’s wrath!

St.Kilda – Nick Riewoldt is captain again and Lenny Hayes post-season heart surgery has him up and about and out to go back to back with the B&F. What a total legend! As for BJ, the Saints are now looking forward to the reign of Mister Maister, as Beau Wilkes reverts to his mum’s name. An incident-free preseason has been duly noted.

Sydney – life’s good in the Harbour City for the Reigning Premiers..there’s even enough room in the salary cap for Kurt Von Trappett, ex-of Adelaide. Obviously Kurt passes the Swans recruiters’ good bloke policy as he has half a season to watch from the grandstands. The Horse should be renamed Black Caviar for that winning feeling.

West Coast – The Eagles must truly be amazed as the drugs debacle unfolds, given that the AFL read them the riot act in the wake of the Cousins/Chick/Fletcher era. Double standards? Whatever changes came about, the Eagles are now at the forefront of best practice and ready and capable again to give the flag a major shake in 2013.

Western Bulldogs – Macca’s Dogs are keen to atone for 2012’s 2nd half. Gordo takes over from Smorgo as Prez, as the Geelong-ification of the coaching staff completes itself with Mooney, Scarlett and ex-skipper Graham. The Lake trade completes the reign of youth as will a refreshed Cooney and a younger and tubbier Goodes.


  1. Shane Kennedy says

    Can everyone please stop saying the Eagles have a chance this year? It is going to be the biggest mozz in history.

    ADE – harder draw, will be worse than 2012
    BRIS – better than everyone thinks, will be the early season bolters before the kids run out of legs
    CAR – will look confused as they stick to the front few rows of the grandstand to move the ball into their forward line
    COL – ominous, please no!
    ESS – the disaster of last year will be learnt from, look for a strong second half of the season (al Kangaroos in 2012)
    FRE – can we really take them seriously? Perhaps so
    GEE – a list that runs very deep, may be the last ones standing if injuries start to mount
    GC – the new Freo, a circus act and a nice warm place/visit to play during winter
    GWS – at least it is warm ot the Gold Coast, Blacktown?!?
    HAW – top 4 bound, although Buddy will distract them
    NM – some good youngsters who are not so young anymore
    MEL – Byrnes is not the Messiah, Rodan is not the answer
    PA – the broom has been active getting rid of the dead wood, the GWS/GC of 2013
    RIC – the bandwagon is getting full already, look for rumblings if they dare lose more than 2 in a row
    STK – still have some very good players, will trouble many
    SYD – if they come 8th, do they get a priority pick?
    WCE – we look good, but I can still see Collingwood/Sydney beating us at home in a Prelim, nightmares already!
    WB – if GWS beat the Bulldogs in a Sunday twilight game and no-one sees it, did it really happen?

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