It’s the time of year when anticipation for the AFL draft is at fever pitch. Journalists, fans and clubs are all desperate to find out the order in which the names will be read out later this month.
Thanks to the coaches, Rounds 1 to 6 of the 2019 AFL season have been entertaining to watch on the whole.
A concern to some coaches would be the number of blowouts. The footy played was of an acceptable standard for the majority of its duration so here is how I ranked the coaches based on their systems, tactics and overall performance.
1. Chris Scott (Geelong Cats)
I understand that the Cats recruit extremely well, but Chris Scott has been a standout with the Cats the best team in the competition. The Cats have been extremely good from an attacking perspective, scoring 99 points or above in four out of six games.
2. Allan Richardson (St Kilda Saints)
It was difficult to pick Richardson second and not first as I am a big fan of his as a coach and the Saints aren’t as good a team as the Cats on paper, but Chris Scott was the better coach in the first six rounds of the season. It’s been a great effort by Allan Richardson to get the Saints a fast start, but can they keep it up?
3. Damien Hardwick (Richmond Tigers)
The Tigers had some key players injured in the first six rounds of the season with Alex Rance, Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt absent from the team at times due to injury. Every player in their best 22 plays their role for the team and the Tigers played team-first football for the first six rounds.
4. Ken Hinkley (Port Adelaide Power)
The Power have won a total of four games out of the six that they have played, with the two losses that they have suffered being narrow ones. The Power were particularly impressive in Round 5 when they beat the West Coast Eagles, where Ken Hinkley outcoached Adam Simpson and set the blueprint for beating the Eagles.
5. Ross Lyon (Fremantle Dockers)
It’s remarkable that the Fremantle Dockers have lost to the Gold Coast Suns and the West Coast Eagles and Ross Lyon would be ranked fifth on the coaching ladder as both those teams have lost their last two games comprehensively. The Dockers have played some good footy to get to four wins and two losses with the two losses that they have suffered narrow.
6. Nathan Buckley (Collingwood Magpies)
The Magpies have played some good footy and have possibly the best midfield in the competition. The Magpies have had narrow losses to the Cats and Eagles.
7. Leon Cameron (GWS Giants)
The Giants have played to a reasonable standard this season thus far suffering just two losses. The Giants are the only team to have beaten the Cats thus far, which is pretty impressive, but they were soundly beaten by the Eagles and upset by the Dockers at home.
8. John Worsfold (Essendon Bombers)
Worsfold has done a good job this season, but not as well as he should be doing as I rate the Bombers’ list highly. The Bombers had narrow losses to the Saints and Magpies, only suffering one blow out loss to the Giants in Round 1.
9. Don Pyke (Adelaide Crows)
The Crows have played some decent footy, sitting just outside the top eight at the completion of Round 6. Unlike last season, the Crows look as though they can feature in the final series.
10. Chris Fagan (Brisbane Lions)
The Lions would be thrilled with the fact that they have four wins and two losses. The only downside for them is the fact that they were smashed in Round 4 and Round 5.
11. Stuart Dew (Gold Coast Suns)
The Suns won a total of four games last season so three wins out of six would be seen as a pass mark for Dew. The only concern would be the last two games that the Suns were annihilated in.
12. Alastair Clarkson (Hawthorn Hawks)
The Hawks have been largely disappointing, even taking into account that they have been without injured Brownlow Medallist Tom Mitchell into account. Round 6 was indicative of the Hawks season thus far; they got the win, despite being uncompetitive in the first half.
13. Luke Beveridge (Western Bulldogs)
The Bulldogs followed up winning the first two games of the season with four losses, one of which was a substantial loss to the Carlton Blues, however, the other three losses the Bulldogs suffered were all under 20 points; I still have faith in Beveridge as a coach and expect the Bulldogs to bounce back.
14. Adam Simpson (West Coast Eagles)
The Eagles have won a total of three games out of six, but the games that they have lost have been morale seeping. The Eagles fans deserved a refund for their Round 5 home loss to the Power; it’s difficult to see the Eagles bouncing back from their Round 5 and Round 6 shellackings at the hands of the Power and the Cats.
15. Brendon Bolton (Carlton Blues)
The Blues have been the most impressive of the four teams that have the one win as that win was a fairly comfortable win over the Bulldogs and none of the Blues losses have been blowouts.
16. Simon Goodwin (Melbourne Demons)
Despite winning interstate against the Swans the Demons have been largely disappointing suffering substantial losses in three out of five games that they have lost. The first quarter that they played against the Tigers in Round 6, the Demons had enough control of general play to build a substantial lead, but they failed to transfer their dominance onto the scoreboard, which isn’t good enough.
17. Brad Scott (North Melbourne Kangaroos)
The Kangaroos have been destroyed in two out of their five games, while they showed some fight in Round 6 preventing a serious blow out in a last quarter surge.
18. John Longmire (Sydney Swans)
The Swans only won one from six games, with the win coming against the Blues. The Swans have been possibly the biggest disappointment this season. I don’t understand how Gary Rohan and Nic Newman can be playing such good footy at other clubs this season; it’s a blight on Longmire that he didn’t get the best out of them.