One week from defending the premiership and what is Hawk Luke Hodge up to? He’s impressing the ladies with the size of his Wii! Is this a bad sign for Hawthorn?
Surely by now, you have checked out many of the 2009 AFL season previews that have been published in print or online. They are all over the damn place! Both Melbourne papers put out season preview magazines over the weekend but the Herald Sun have previews for each team available here. You can also check out previews for all sixteen clubs from Sportal Australia while the official website of the AFL have gone as far as rating players for each team in order to make their guestimates appear better than everybody elses.
But it’s not just the media big-boys that are cranking out good previews for the new season…try checking out some of the other footy sites out there such as The Roar, Contested Footy or Kick 2 Kick. This season, Half Back Flanker has completely run out of time opted against writing previews for each team but instead has peered into the League’s crystal ball to find out who finishes where on the ladder after the home-and-away season.
That’s right – Andy D actually has a crystal ball in his office (honestly, check the book case…it’s hidden behind a framed photo of new Queensland Premier Anna Bligh!) Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the surprise of who wins it all in September, or whether Jason Akermanis finally makes it to 300 games…because Aker is the biggest story of this season, right? Right?
First To Worst – The Ladder as of Round 22, 2009
Redemption from last September and an intense hatred for mouthy Hawk prez Jeff Kennett should be enough of a driving force for Geelong. Jimmy Bartel also revealed in this article that he discovered The Ramones in the off-season…so expect greatness from him!
Apart from Luke Hodge’s Wii exploits, the Hawks will find life much more difficult having gone all the way last season. But it won’t stop the likes of Buddy Franklin and this year’s leading goalkicker…Jarryd Roughead!
3rd: Western Bulldogs
The Doggies might have a tough start but if the coach gets big improvement from the current Brownlow Medallist…watch out for the team of the mighty west!
Collingwood will not only play good footy but again dominate the league in off-field discussion. Prepare yourself as our journos indulge in weekly speculation about the current coach, the coach in waiting and the president in everything. And we mean EV…ERY…THING!
5th: St Kilda
A fast start to the year would certainly help the Saints if they want to return to the top four…as would kicking more goals and keeping Nick Riewoldt forever and ever!
Looks like the arrogant Blues are back and finals are a real possibility. If they qualify for September, prey that the match is not broadcast by Channel Ten – Robert Walls, Tim Lane, Andy Maher on the boundary…sheeesh!
7th: North Melbourne
North died in the arse last year so even if they make the most of their Victorian-based opening half to the year, there will be lingering doubts about how far they can progress. The Roos do like having doubters though…
9th: Port Adelaide
Hard to tell who needs rescuing more – the club by the AFL or the coach by another club that wants to pay top dollar for a footy-obsessed maniac! This season has so-close and yet so-far written all over it…
Between Terry Wallace’s contract, Kevin Sheedy’s warblings and the comeback of Ben Cousins, Richmond will be a hot topic this year but too much depends on a 34 year old Richo. At least we don’t have them finishing ninth…
The Swans might feel confident that they can defy the critics who say they are too old and qualify for another finals campaign. But we don’t!
Voss is now boss at BrisVegas and has given Jono Brown the captaincy all to himself. But the new coach can’t just order his side to become more skilful…it will be interesting to see how Vossy handles a rare taste of mediocrity.
As if the Fremantle Football Club isn’t weird enough, they appear to be set for a big season of shouting at umpires in order to protect the tallest man in the competition. At least the worst theme song in footy won’t be heard that many times!
The Bombers were hoping for an injury-free run in ’09…and that lasted a good few weeks before completely turning to shit! They could do better than bottom four if their players stop break themselves…however, that appears unlikely.
15th: West Coast
The Eagles will try to use the AFL captains poll (where nobody gave them a chance of making the finals) as some type of motivation to play well. But there is a reason nobody thinks they are good enough…it’s because they are not good enough!
After what happened last year, 2009 could only be an improvement, right? Maybe, but optimism seems to be pretty damn low at Demonland. Well, they have some major sponsors now…but it’s hard to see many other positives.