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A fresh outlook on the 2016 AFL forecasts

Nat Fyfe was ruled out for most of last season with a leg injury. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)
Roar Rookie
12th January, 2016
12

With the year changing from 2015 to 2016, attention moves towards the next AFL season. So here is a fresh ladder, finals and awards forecast for you.

1. West Coast
A great team with a great list (including Nic Naitanui, Matt Priddis and Josh Kennedy) and they are currently the most defensive side in the competition.

2. Hawthorn
The premier side in the AFL will be aiming for a fifth-straight grand final and possibly a fourth-straight flag.

3. Fremantle
A classy side but not quite in the same league as Hawthorn and West Coast. Though with the loss of Luke McPharlin and the gaining of Harley Bennell, I can see them creating club history.

4. Sydney
The Swans will bounce back after a disappointing 2015 finals campaign and will have a similar year to 2013 and 2014 by playing good defensive football again. They will have to cope without Lewis Jetta and Adam Goodes, however.

5. Port Adelaide
Plenty of class, though being without Paddy Ryder and Angus Monfries will be difficult.

6. Western Bulldogs
Will produce a follow-up season to backup a wonderful season in 2015 under new coach Luke Beveridge.

7. North Melbourne
Have made the preliminary final three times (1997, 2014 and 2015) from the bottom half of eight. North Melbourne will play some great football with the likes of Nick Dal Santo, Jarrad Waite, Brent Harvey and Drew Petrie.

8. Collingwood
They were finals-bound in mid-season but trailed off. With players like Scott Pendlebury, Travis Cloke and Dane Swan, however, there should still be enough for them to return to the finals after missing the last two.

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9. Richmond
Can’t see them in top eight, reflecting on their last three finals campaigns.

10. Geelong
Had a disappointing end to 2015. The Cats may have gained Patrick Dangerfield but I still can’t see them in top eight for 2016.

11. Greater Western Sydney
They were finals bound mid-season in 2015 but suffered an injury crisis and are still not ready for September action.

12. Adelaide
Have a harder draw after having a wonderful year following the death of coach Phil Walsh. They will drop off.

13. St Kilda
There is a lot to like about the Saints as they are currently in the rebuilding stage, and possess a young and upcoming roster.

14. Gold Coast
Had a poor season in 2015 and will finish lower if Gary Ablett misses out on much of the season.

15. Melbourne
Had an average season in 2015 and the same thing will occur in 2016, though they have a young and upcoming roster as well.

16. Essendon
It is hard to place Essendon on the ladder. The Bombers will finish bottom three, with 12 players out through suspension for 2016.

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17. Carlton
Had a poor season last year but will soon rebuild under new coach Brendon Bolton, who has a brilliant record.

18. Brisbane
Certainties for the wooden spoon due to the loss of James Aish, Matthew Leuenberger and Jack Redden. But they will soon climb back up the ladder.

Finals

Week 1
Qualifying final 1: West Coast defeat Sydney
Qualifying final 2: Hawthorn defeated by Fremantle

Elimination final 1: Port Adelaide defeat Collingwood
Elimination final 2: Western Bulldogs defeated by North Melbourne

Week 2
Semi-final 1: Sydney defeat Port Adelaide
Semi-final 2: Hawthorn defeat North Melbourne

Week 3
Preliminary final 1: West Coast defeat Hawthorn
Preliminary final 2: Fremantle defeat Sydney

Week 4
Grand final: West Coast defeated by Fremantle

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Awards
Brownlow Medal: Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn) or Dan Hanneberry (Sydney)
Coleman Medal: Josh J Kennedy (West Coast)
Norm Smith Medal: Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)