The Half Back Flanker season preview is broken up into four categories – Top of the Heap, Scraping In, Missing Out and Bottom of the Barrel . But rather than pretend that we know anything about footy, let’s look at what the ‘experts’ are saying and then, in 25 words or less, sum up the fortunes for each side this year.
So, without further ado…in ascending order of ‘close but no cigar’:
ESSENDON: With a new coach and the departure of their bestest player ever, nobody seems to know what is going to happen with the Bombers…especially their own captain.
The Age pundits play pantomime…the Essendon man thinks ‘finals’, Robbie Walls thinks ‘crap’;
- Sportal reckons they will be intriguing and exciting…but still crap;
The Herald Sun thinks they will be fast but have no idea if that means they will be good or not;
- The AFL website talks about the “new freshness” at Windy Hill? Yep, so much better than the old freshness;
Half Back Flanker says: Apparently, the Bombers will be fast, intriguing, exciting and exude a new freshness…but still be crap. That will be worth watching…
ADELAIDE: The Crows were on the verge of premiership glory a few years ago until tennis-bogan Lleyton Hewitt divided the club and ruined everything. Have they missed out on the ultimate prize?
- The Age has them missing out;
- Sportal has them missing out;
- The Herald Sun had them missing out before the NAP Cup but now they are not so sure;
- The AFL website thinks they are on the cusp – so they might miss out…or they might not!
Half Back Flanker says: They are missing out…and it’s all Lleyton Hewitt’s fault!
BRISBANE: The Lions missed out last year but impressed with some big performances, particularly from reformed psycho Jonathan Brown. But are they good enough to get back in the eight?
The AFL website are buying it…they are talking Grand Final Contention;
- Sportal are as well…they have them scraping in;
- But The Age aren’t buying it;
- The Herald Sun are more concerned about promoting Mike Sheahan’s man-crush on Jono Brown!
Half Back Flanker says: We don’t buy it but as long as Browny is splitting packs, kicking goals or smacking innocent bystanders, all power to them.
NORTH MELBOURNE: The Roos, as always, are being written off as a serious threat despite a prelim final last season. As they fight for survival, can they do it again?
- The Herald Sun reckons they can;
- Sportal thinks they can’t;
- The Age are divided again…one says yeah, the other says nah;
- The AFL website thinks they can…but probably hopes they don’t after rejecting that move to the Gold Coast!
Half Back Flanker says: We will write them off again and then look stupid when they finish top four – damn stupid Shinboner spirit…