By Alex Wadelton


This off-season all we’ve heard is that Hawthorn are this year’s favourites for the flag. They were a few Chance Bateman shanks and Cyril Rioli hesitations from last year’s Grand Final, where they would have beaten Geelong who they have a mental stranglehold over despite the last seven matches they’ve lost to the Cats. Still, with the return from injury of Jarryd Roughead and Ben Stratton and the trade for Jack Gunston, the Hawks are going to be the best team this year, up there with the best team of all-time: the Hawthorn 1983 to 1991 Hawks.


Alistair Clarkson is the best coach in the AFL since Allan Jeans. Some say he’s better than John Kennedy. Always innovating, his “press” claimed the Hawks the 2008 flag. Since then his ingenious move of Lance Franklin from full forward to half forward (and now to the midfield) has seen the Hawks get better each year as they no longer try to score more goals than the other teams but rather work on a higher plane entirely- it’s all very Zen and difficult for non-Hawthorn people to understand.

Players to watch.

Lance Franklin is the best forward the AFL has seen since Leigh Matthews. If there is one player in the league that every opposition fears it’s Buddy. But, begrudgingly, every AFL fan can’t help but marvel at his freakish ability. If he played at full forward, he’d probably kick 120 goals a year (and 140 behinds). So, from every opposition supporter: “Thank you Alistair Clarkson for trying to out-think everybody rather than keeping it simple.”

Cyril Rioli has the potential to be the best player the game has ever seen in the history of the world since Leigh Matthews. His clean possessions and dazzling footwork are other-worldly, especially when he doesn’t kick it straight to the opposition.

Luke Hodge is the best leader to grace a football field since Leigh Matthews. Sure he might occasionally carry a few extra pounds, and he might be perpetually grimacing through injury and he might struggle to get near the ball when a hard tag is applied, but apart from that he’s never been beaten.


Last year’s new high possession game saw the Hawks dominate the competition, apart from their five losses to the top two teams. So, this year the Hawks are re-inventing themselves and becoming a team that doesn’t lose to the top two teams. They plan to do this by being one of the top two teams.


The Might Fighting Mayblooms are going to win the premiership because everyone says they will. Just look at all the media’s predictions. It’s just like last year, when everyone picked Geelong.


Next up: Why Greater Western Sydney will miraculously win the 2012 premiership.


  1. John Butler says

    If you’re not careful Alex, Leigh Matthews will get you.

  2. Sydney Malakellis says

    Yes, well. Leigh Matthews was the best thug ever, since Leigh Matthews.

  3. John Butler says


  4. Sydney Malakellis says

    And God didst say to Lethal- you will be the toughest, hardest most brutal football player of all time, but you will also have a lisp.

  5. John Butler says

    Do you have it on absolutely good authority that Lethal isn’t God?

  6. Alex, this series of yours is making it very difficult for me to input your ladder into my competition.

  7. Dave Nadel says

    But will the Hawks survive the retirement of the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent President Jeff Kennett.

  8. Sydney Malakellis says

    True, I’ve never seen Leigh Matthews and God in the same room. Probably because Lethal felled him in an off the ball incident.

  9. So Dave, Kennett was the Omnipresident?

  10. Sydney/Alex, if there was a “Like” button next to your last comment, I would have clicked on it.

  11. Dave Nadel says

    Gigs, that is one possible term to describe to describe Kennett. I have several others but someone would find them objectionable!

  12. I reckon you’d be pretty safe on the Almanac site, Dave.

  13. Dave Nadel says

    I don’t think the problem is the politics it would be the imagery. For example some people might take offense if (using the venacular) I accused Kennett of having sexual relations with pigs, which would be one of the milder terms that springs to mind.

  14. Grant Fraser says

    At this stage we are merely keeping a lid on it
    (a phrase stolen by our mental inferiors a season or two ago).

  15. JB, Neville Bruns will confirm that there is no “allegedly” about it.

  16. Rick Kane says

    Talk of Matthews and Bruns and Kennett and God, man you lot live in the past. Go Hawkers and good piece Alex.

  17. How’s the Freddo situation Rick?

    Phantom 8 : Rick 0?

    You will miss Max and Big Roughie will not be the player he was. Maybe Clarko could convince big Otto to come out of retirement just to bulster your lack of quality big blokes. You have recycled well lately.

  18. Rick Kane says

    Hello Mr Phantom, my arch enemy, my nemesis, my bete noire, my advers … anyway, you get the point. Yes, after having to buy shares in the Freddo factory, I’m a little antsy about 2012. However, all things considered, I would rather the Hawks chances heading into this season than the past few. That doesn’t mean that the Cats and Pies and to a lesser extent, the Blues and Eagles and Dockers don’t keep us awake at night. I’m ahopin, after 6pm April 9, that I will be kept awake because of too much chocolate frog.


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