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Who are the best AFL teams of the decade?

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21st August, 2021

As to who is the best team in the AFL, statistically speaking, Geelong comes out on top with the most wins for the seasons from 2010 to 2019. Hawthorn with 164 wins, only trailed by two, followed by Sydney with 153 wins.

Hawthorn has had the most premierships in that time with three consecutive wins, while the Richmond Tigers secured grand final wins in 2017 and 2019.

Go the Hawks
From 2010, Hawthorn went from strength to strength under the eye of coach Alastair Clarkson. They managed to make it to the finals, after a poor start at the beginning of the season, but were taken out by Fremantle in the preliminaries.

2011 saw a better year for the Hawks, finishing third on the ladder.

2012 was an even better year, with the Hawks finishing on top of the ladder and making it to the grand final only to be defeated by the Sydney Swans.

2013 was the year for the Hawks finally winning their 11th premiership over the Fremantle Dockers.

The Hawks went on to win the premiership again in 2014 and 2015 showing how well they progressed from the start of the decade. Subsequent seasons saw a loss of form notably due to the injury of Brownlow Medallist Tom Mitchell, sidelining him for the entire 2019 season.


C’mon the Doggies
The Western Bulldogs had an interesting decade, with a disappointing start. Noted as the underdogs by the statistics on odds sites such as Sports Bet, the Bulldogs culminated a year of hard work as the unlikely premiers in 2016.

They ended up finishing seventh, despite numerous injuries plaguing the team. Through sheer tenacity, they managed a 22-point win over the Sydney Swans in the grand final, with Jason Johannisen picking up the Norm Smith Medal.

Later seasons saw disappointment, but the 2016 premiership win was certainly one to remember for Bulldogs fans.

Up the Tiges
The 2010 to 2012 seasons had been disappointing with one of the longest standing AFL teams failing to make the finals. Improvement began to show in the following season with the Tigers managing to make the finals from 2013 to 2015, but 2017 was the year for the Tigers.

Many seasons of hard work had paid off and finally culminated in a premiership flag for the team. After a dip in the middle of the season, the Tigers finished third on the ladder and would eventually defeat the Adelaide Crows in the grand final by a convincing 48 points.

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After a disappointing season in 2018, the Tigers were determined to bounce back in 2019 and played well throughout the season, finishing third on the ladder, despite the loss of Alex Rance due to injury in the first round.

Defeating both Geelong and Brisbane in the preliminary finals, the Tigers faced off against Greater Western Sydney in the 2019 grand final. The Tigers recorded one of the biggest ever grand final wins, thrashing the opposition with the third highest margin ever recorded in a grand final.

Overall, the decade that began with 2010 saw many clubs rise and enjoy the standing of being one of the best AFL teams.

The question of who is the best team in the AFL is always one with answers that are debatable from year to year.

With a list of extremely talented AFL teams in the mix, it will be interesting to see what the next decade of the game will bring.