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 order of likehood of an early finals exit:
(Source: smh.com.au – Tony Nolan)
SYDNEY: The Swans reached the top of the heap in 2005 but suffered an early exit last season. Will the recently reconstructed Barry Hall lead them back in flag contention?
The Age don’t think so;
The Herald Sun don’t think so either;
- The AFL website have a bit more faith…;
…but Sportal don’t!
Half Back Flanker says: Nobody seems to think so…we have to agree. But they will still scrape into the finals and give it one last shot.
FREMANTLE: The Dockers should be really really good – and they were for one year in 2005 – but they have a history of sucking whenever they start to look good. With a new coach, will they ever be good again?
- The Age can’t decide…top four or bottom four?
- Sportal have some hope ;
- The Herald Sun has no idea;
- The AFL website thinks they should challenge ‘on paper’. Awesome – thanks for that startling revelation…
Half Back Flanker says: We say they’ll make the finals but on one condition…they have to play West Coast in the most spiteful finals match ever played!
COLLINGWOOD: The club everybody else loves to hate became kinda likeable in 2007 with their gutsy late-season heroics. Are they really good enough to challenge for the flag?
- Sportal don’t think they will be that good;
The AFL website don’t think so – but they will still be good;
- The Age pundits are divided (again) – Walls not convinced, Connolly is;
- The Herald Sun thinks they can…but if they don’t, James Clement is to blame!
Half Back Flanker says: Good? Yes. Premiers? No. Still kinda likeable? That was purely a one-off…it will never, ever happen again!
ST KILDA: The Saints have won the NAP Cup and are now the heir apparent(ly) to Geelong’s throne. For a chronic underachiever, are we just getting a little carried away?
- The Herald Sun predict big things;
- The Age have them in the Grand Final;
- The AFL website have a major boner;
- Sportal are still waiting for the swelling to go down…
Half Back Flanker says: The Saints are relying on two broken-down ruckmen to lead an injury-plagued club to the promised land. What could possible go wrong?