The great thing about this time of the year is every team is fitter, stronger and more tanned than the previous year. Players have had the summer to work on new hair styles, tattoos and facial hair. While armchair critics are lathered up, beverage in hand, ready to write off a champs career five years prematurely or tell anyone within earshot that “this bloke Tambling will be a gun”. For the 2015 season nearly upon us, I have ran my leering eye across the field as I would at the Corro Top pub on a Friday night after the women’s basketball training.
Adelaide Crows: Last year the players, coach and board refuted claims of internal unrest, so it was no surprise that Brenton Sanderson was sacked at seasons end. Much like Danni Minogue, the Crows once started off as the more glamorous talented sibling and as the years have rolled by, has been surpassed by Port Adelaide as South Australia’s number one team. Much like Dani, the crows seem to be bright and flashy but with as much presence as Christopher Pyne wandering in to workers bar at the local.
Brisbane Lions: Last year the Lions were tipped to struggle, but they unearthed some exciting new talent that brought a smile to supporters and interstate recruiters alike. The Lions haven’t been a premiership force since Casey Donovan won Australian Idol and the quiz show Deal Or No Deal inflicted Andrew OKeefe on to Australian families. Have the Lions pulled a master stroke in the recruitment of Mitch Robinson? Surely a wayward Carlton player banished up to Brisbane can’t fail?
Carlton: Coach Mick Malthouse has said that there would be no other team in the AFL as fit as the Blues at the moment and who are we to argue with the man who brought back the name Cameron Wood into the football landscape. Two things are certain at this time of the year; Carlton talking their premiership chances up and people wishing there was a national park where you could hunt the tennis fanatics with cross bows.
Collingwood: The Pies wish they could do a Robert Allenby and wipe the memory of the 2014 season from their minds. At least the pro golfer “allegedly” enjoyed the rhythmic gyrations of adult entertainers, all Collingwood managed was the usual: Eddie taking on the Swans, Cloke can’t get the ball, Cloke can’t kick straight when he does get it, Swanny seems a little over weight, Quentin Lynch?? Speaking of which, when was the last time the Pies landed a big Fish in the Trade period? Tony Armstrong?
Essendon: I know I am sick of the whole supplements saga and I think most footy people also are, so instead of detailing the courtroom battle let’s learn something. ** Fun Fact: Actress Helen Hunt can’t stand dogs, during the making of “As Good As It Gets” a member of the crew had to be on hand to remove the small dog from the vicinity of Hunt at the end of each scene. In the end they had to use several identical dogs for the part as each would often become spooked at the actress lashing out at them whilst screaming foul mouthed abuse. ** Note this is completely false.
Fremantle: A lot of experts are saying this is the Dockers last chance with their ageing stars for premiership glory, I think there is more chance of Colin Sylvia being selected to be the mandatory fat kid in the Auskick half time game or Ross Lyon not using the phrase; “We’re a no excuse footy team.” After a loss.
Geelong: The Cats have had a relatively quiet off season, no members of the public have suffered a mistaken home invasion. We have not discovered any videos on Facebook of young players filming themselves driving at dangerous speeds, just the recruitment of two former Demons in Mitch Clarke and Sam Blease. Both players in the past would have travelled to Kardinia Park and found winning the footy harder than Kyle Sandilands locating his genitalia, if they can’t get leather poisoning this year they never will.
Gold Coast: Rocket Eade will take the reins of the Suns this season, the master tactician I’m sure will dazzle us with structures, set plays and the like and if that doesn’t work get the ball to Ablett as much as possible.
GWS: Each season we are told Tom Scully is a running machine, it would be handy if he could play football as well. His dad meanwhile has an easier job than Leyton Hewitt’s parents. For the past few years Scully senior has been part of the Giants recruiting team, it would have been just as effective to involve the Scully family cat Aaron with the amount of top 10 draft picks at their disposal. The Giants will be hoping that future superstar Jeremy Cameron can overcome a badly damaged eardrum, the good news is crowd noise will not be a factor if there is a reoccurrence of the injury.
Hawthorn: The premiers see themselves as a “destination” club, although new recruit James Frawley would have played for the Guantanamo Bay Bushpigs than go through another season with Melbourne. Matt Spanger gives hope to all young men with surnames sounding like a slang word for bodily fluid, keep the faith Tyler Jism.
Melbourne: Dees supporters almost broken from nearly a decade of thrashings, ineptitude and seemingly drunken draft picks from their club now get to watch a Paul Roos coached team become like the dour Swans teams of the mid 2000’s; minus the skill, heart and success. The Dees have included Heritier Lumumba to the leadership group, team meetings will now end with an aura cleansing ceremony.
North Melbourne: A team seemingly on the rise, the Roos were major players in the trade period over the summer. Believing themselves to be in the “premiership window” the Roos have cherry picked two mediocre inconsistent players past their prime, master stroke!
Port Adelaide: The Power were a kick away from a grand final appearance last season and were media darlings for allowing access into the inner sanctum. Good on them, I just hope they are able to also capture those priceless moments when a footy prank goes too far. I’m thinking a strategically placed glass of horse semen near the club president.
Richmond: The Tiger army tell me they are meticulously building for their next flag, no longer satisfied with coming 9th, Richmond now ride a tidal wave of emotion into September only to be thrashed in the first week of the finals. If Maric, Cotchin and Martin can play for another 15 years, the top four awaits.
St Kilda: No dwarves were harmed in the off season for the Saints, the clean out continues. Besides Riewoldt and Montagna the majority of the Saints list think Smashing Pumpkins is an activity not a band. Saints have recently stated that they are “looking” to be competitive in the NAB cup, positive stuff, I’m “looking” not to molest the abstract sculpture outside the library as I stumble home from the pub after a session.
Sydney: Get ready for every player on the list to trot out the line “we aren’t motivated by last years grand final loss”. Well they should be, the Swans almost took out the most embarrassing Grand Final performance from Meatloaf after the last Saturday in September. If the AFL were prison, the Swans would be receiving special hugs on a daily basis and have lock jaw.
West Coast: The Eagles have fallen far since the glory days of 2005/6, no longer aspiring extras in “Sons Of Anarchy”, it seems only Gerard Healy can find positives in the men from the west. One shining light from last season was the Brownlow win for Matt Priddis, let’s hope he doesn’t do a “Woewoedin” and fade in to obscurity, or worse, become a tagger.
Western Bulldogs: The Dogs found out their senior players found Brendan McCartney too tough so they sacked him, then two of their senior players left any way. Leather gloved Luke Darcy was a part of the coaching selection committee so I’m sure everything will turn out just fine. Signed Tom Boyde for big bucks and will be hoping the 19 year old can follow in the footsteps of the last great Bulldogs full forward in Jade Rawlings.