The new year is upon us, which means the 2019 AFL season isn’t too far away.
These are my predictions for the year’s also-rans in what should be a tightly contested season of football.
18. Gold Coast Suns
The Suns have lost their top three players in Tom Lynch, Steven May and Jarry Lyons. Despite getting Jack Lukosius, Izack Rankine and Ben King, who are all top-ten draft picks, I can’t see them going anywhere in 2019.
17. St Kilda Saints
St Kilda lost Tom Hickey to West Coast but got Dean Kent and Dan Hannebury from Sydney and Ben King with a high pick. I wanted to put them higher, but having the same percentage as Carlton and the Bulldogs, they’ll be 17th on the ladder.
16. Western Bulldogs
They looked ugly in 2018 and they’ve since lost Marcus Adams, Luke Dahlhaus and Jordan Roughead. Depsite getting Sam Lloyd and Taylor Durea, it will be a very, very long season for the Bulldog breed.
15. Carlton Blues
Carlton had the best pick of the trade period, Sam Walsh, who’s a rifle midfielder. Mitch McGovern will clean all their 2018 troubles, and Will Setterfield, Alex Fasolo and Nic Newman will help. Plus they barely had to give anything up, so they’re definitely not wooden-spooners.
14. Brisbane Lions
Brisbane showed some interesting signs at the end of the regular season, getting massive picks like Lachie Neale, Lincoln McCarthy and Marcus Adams. However, they lost one their greatest players, Dayne Beams, which why I have them here in 14th again.
13. Fremantle Dockers
Freo lost a massive player in Lachie Neale but got Rory Lobb, Travis Cloyer and Jesse Hogan. With an outstanding trade period, Fremantle will surely rise up.
12. North Melbourne Kangaroos
I really can’t see North Melbourne pushing for finals, even after getting Jarred Polec, Dom Tyson, Jasper Pittard and Aaron Hall. They lost Ryan Clarke and Braydon Preuss, which means North Melbourne shouldn’t be expected to do much in 2019.
11. Sydney Swans
I know it’ll feel bad for Swans fans, but open YouTube and search for that elimination final. Watch the entire game and you will see that Lance Franklin wasn’t playing well. Sydney got some late goals, but Buddy just wasn’t playing well. That is all.
10. Port Adelaide Power
Port lost Polec, Pittard and Chad Wingard but gained Ryan Burton, Sam Mayes and Scott Lycett – nut I think that won’t change much in 2019.
9. Geelong Cats
Geelong simply has to go to the draft. They were crushed in the elimination final against Melbourne, which showed the crowd that Chris Scott had a lot more trust in his older players. Either way, they’re leaking both youth and experience.