Half 2

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Final month I began my 2019 AFL preview, detailing the aggressive prospects of six of the competitors’s groups, from Adelaide to Fremantle.

That is the second a part of that preview, that includes groups from Geelong to North Melbourne.

Geelong Cats

2018 season
This was the primary season of the trio of Patrick Dangerfield, Joel Selwood and Gary Ablett. It was a formidable trio to look at, and it was a passable yr for the Cats. Whereas they solely completed eighth, one or two extra wins might have taken them as excessive as third, exhibiting how shut the highest eight was final yr.

Whereas Geelong can be upset that their season ended so quickly in an elimination last loss to the Demons, the emergence of first-year gamers Jack Henry and Tim Kelly would have happy followers by exhibiting glimpses of promise for the long run.

Expectation for 2019
Whereas the Cats have many improbable gamers on their listing, a lot of them are ageing. Gary Ablett can be 35 subsequent yr, and Joel Selwood and Tom Hawkins are each 31. Nonetheless, they are going to be hoping that their expertise blended with younger expertise can result in success in 2019.

Geelong midfielders Dangerfield, Selwood and Ablett will look to proceed their glorious kind. They will even be hoping that Tim Kelly can take his sport to a brand new stage after his spectacular first-year kind.

Hawkins might want to repeat his 60-goal yr if the Cats are to have any success in 2019 now that their second-best ahead, Daniel Menzel, who kicked 27 targets in 13 video games, was delisted, and they’ll want different forwards to emerge to make up the distinction.

The Cats have had excessive expectations since their trio of premierships in 2007, 2009 and 2011, however I don’t see them as having the entire crew to make the highest 4. The highest eight must be the expectation, however it will not be a shock to see a slight fall within the Cats in 2019.

Rising expertise in 2019
Younger defender and ahead Jack Henry confirmed his means at each ends of the bottom in 2018. He was spectacular in defence but additionally strong within the ahead line, the place he kicked three targets towards the Lions and two towards the Dockers. He might proceed for use in defence or could possibly be pushed into the ahead line once more and act as a deputy to Hawkins and intention for 20 to 30 targets in 2019. Nonetheless he’s utilized in 2019, I’m positive it should present a glimpse into his potential.

Season draw
The Cats get to play 9 of their 11 house matches at their true house at GMHBA Stadium, whereas they play two different house matches on the MCG. They play two of the preliminary finalists, West Coast and Melbourne, at GMHBA, which the Cats can be desirous to win to be able to guarantee a top-eight spot. The membership can be comfortable sufficient to journey outdoors Victoria six instances in 2019.

Zach Tuohy

(Quinn Rooney/Getty Photos)

Gold Coast Suns

2018 season
It was a disappointing yr for the Suns after some early success. There have been many poor losses with no indicators of excellent soccer. Whereas they did have a formidable win towards the Swans, there have been extra downward indicators in 2018, and the crew solely simply completed above the underside of the ladder.

Expectation for 2019
Whereas will probably be a troublesome season for the Suns after shedding many gamers, together with co-captains Tom Lynch and Steven Might, midfielder Aaron Corridor and defender Kade Kolodjashnij, the crew must be in search of moments of promise from their younger group. Their first three picks of Jack Lukosius, Izak Rankine and Ben King will all look to impress of their first season.

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The Suns can be trying to present these rookies that the crew’s future is promising in an try to persuade them to signal long-term contracts. Whereas will probably be a tough season, they need to be aiming to copy at the least these hopeful moments of this yr, together with its shock win towards the Swans.

Rising expertise in 2019
The three gamers everybody can be excited to look at are Lukosius, Rankine and King. All three had been top-ten picks and have been bought as once-in-a-generation gamers.

King performed within the ahead line through the under-18s championship for Victoria Metro after his brother’s ACL damage. He kicked 12 targets in 4 video games, however he’s additionally an important defender, exhibiting that he could possibly be a key participant in each the ahead line and defence.

Lukosius has been likened to former star Nick Riewoldt and has a improbable kick and mark and an excellent operating means, and he’ll add one thing to the Suns ahead line after the exit of Tom Lynch.

Rankine has been known as one of the vital thrilling gamers of the draft and is a recognized purpose kicker with the power to alter the sport. All three can be thrilling to look at and can add curiosity from followers and media to pay extra consideration to the Suns in 2019.

Season draw
Whereas the 2019 season can be powerful for the Suns contemplating the gamers they’ve misplaced over time, in response to Champion Information they’ve the fourth-easiest draw within the competitors. They’ve two video games towards fellow 2018 bottom-four groups, St Kilda and Carlton, which is able to give them a possibility to point out their potential and even decide up potential wins.

In a bonus, Gold Coast will play all their house video games at Metricon, in contrast to in 2018, after they needed to play in varied house grounds firstly of the season on account of Metricon getting used for the Commonwealth Video games.

Will Brodie

(Bradley Kanaris/Getty Photos)

Larger Western Sydney Giants

2018 season
The 2018 season was a reasonably profitable one for the Giants during which participant losses all year long had an impression. Whereas they completed seventh, it might have been a lot extra for GWS with out the listing disruption.

They’d loads of excessive factors – they beat reigning premiers Richmond in a detailed match at Spotless Stadium they usually thumped Sydney within the elimination last – however lacking Jeremy Cameron for a number of video games on account of his hit on Harris Andrews and the absence of star Josh Kelly by way of damage meant they’d many inconsistent video games, which impacted their ladder place.

Expectation for 2019
As has been the case for the previous couple of seasons, it’s anticipated that the Giants make the highest eight plus do injury in September, once more pushing for a premiership. Nonetheless, this received’t be with out its challenges. They misplaced midfield duo Dylan Shiel (Essendon) and Tom Scully (Hawthorn), teen Will Setterfield (Carlton) and tall forward-ruck Rory Lobb (Fremantle), all of whome can be large losses.

Regardless, they nonetheless have a proficient listing. Star midfielders Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio, ahead midfielder Toby Greene, all-time membership main purpose kicker Jeremy Cameron and co-captains Phil Davis and Callan Ward are six gamers on a proficient listing able to profitable a premiership.

The Giants have to make themselves feared by groups fairly than be seen because the younger youngsters of the competitors.

Rising expertise in 2019
Younger ahead Harrison Himmelberg had a breakout yr in 2018, kicking 29 targets. Nonetheless, in 2019 he and the Giants coaches can be hoping that he can go to higher heights. He can be aiming for a 40-plus-goal yr and to create a superb ahead duo with Jeremy Cameron.

Season draw
It’s a reasonably powerful draw for the Giants, who must face powerhouse crew Richmond twice, top-four crew Hawthorn twice and the up-and-coming Essendon twice. All these matches can be very entertaining for viewers however very powerful for the Giants. They play their cross-town rivals Sydney twice and the Suns twice.

Jeremy Cameron

(AAP Picture/Julian Smith)

Hawthorn Hawks

2018 season
The Hawks completed a profitable fourth in 2018, up from a disappointing 12th in 2017. Tom Mitchell starred for the membership in a Brownlow-winning season, breaking disposals file by setting a brand new file excessive in a sport. Luke Breust and Jack Gunston starred within the ahead line, kicking greater than 50 targets every, together with finals tallies.

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Whereas it was an underwhelming finals sequence, total the yr confirmed that Alastair Clarkson was in a position to flip the membership round after a troublesome 2017 season.

Expectation for 2019
The Hawks are a crew anticipated to make the finals yearly after their three-peat of 2013-15, and subsequent yr can be no exception. They’ve purchased younger defender Jack Scrimshaw from the Suns, star midfielder Tom Scully from the Giants and former John Cahill Medalist Chad Wingard from Port Adelaide.

Wingard and Scully can be hoping to kind a midfield partnership together with Brownlow Medalist Tom Mitchell and rising star Jaeger O’Meara in what might flip into top-of-the-line midfield mixtures within the league. In the meantime, the Hawkes can be hoping star forwards Jarryd Roughead, Luke Breust and Jack Gunston have good seasons and are in a position to present targets for the Hawks.

Whereas they’ve a strong defence, they could miss the run off the again from Ryan Burton, who left the crew as a part of the Chad Wingard commerce. The highest 4 will not be a certainty, however the Hawks should make the highest eight once more to point out they don’t seem to be a roller-coaster crew of transferring out and in of finals.

Rising expertise in 2019
Former Solar Jack Scrimshaw can be hoping to make himself an everyday Hawk in 2019 after having the ability to play solely 4 video games in two years at Gold Coast. A tall defender, within the 2018 NEAFL season he averaged 19 disposals and 4 marks. A robust mark who can play ahead if wanted, he can be trying to play common soccer and make himself a future star participant within the backline.

Season draw
In response to Champion Information Hawthorn have the second-hardest fixture within the competitors. They play rivals Geelong, premiers West Coast, GWS and North Melbourne twice, all groups who can be battling for a top-eight spot. In addition they play the rising Brisbane twice, who many consider are a sneaky likelihood for a top-eight spot.

On a extra optimistic be aware, the Hawks go away Victoria solely 5 instances – not together with the the crew’s Tasmanian house video games – and play a handful of Friday night time matches.

Chad Wingard Hawthorn

(Quinn Rooney/Getty Photos)

Melbourne Demons

2018 season
What a season it was for the Demons. After a protracted wait, they had been again in finals, and it was a journey all followers loved. Max Gawn was again to his greatest within the ruck after being injured for a portion of 2017, whereas Clayton Oliver and Angus Brayshaw impressed in midfield. Tom McDonald additionally had a improbable season, kicking 53 targets in 20 video games.

The Dees had been very spectacular all through the complete season and had a improbable finals marketing campaign bar the unlucky preliminary-final loss to eventual premiers West Coast. All in all it was a season to be happy with for all red-and-blue followers on the market.

Expectation for 2019
After the success of final season, many are saying that Melbourne might go all the best way in 2019, and I’ve to agree. They’ve a improbable midfield that includes Clayton Oliver, Nathan Jones, Christian Petracca and ruckman Max Gawn. They will even be hoping that Jack Viney can keep match after accidents saved him to 10 video games.

Their backline has been boosted with the addition of Kade Kolodsashnij and Steven Might from the Suns, and they’ll even be helped by the return of Jake Lever from an ACL damage some level subsequent season.

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Whereas Tom McDonald had a improbable season in 2018, the Demons will miss younger star ahead Jesse Hogan, who left for the Dockers. Nonetheless, they are going to be hoping that different gamers from their ahead line will be capable of kick a number of extra targets to fill the void he leaves behind.

Total the Demons have top-of-the-line lists within the competitors, one very able to profitable the premiership. Demons followers must be excited for the long run, as a result of I solely see issues going up for Melbourne.

Rising expertise in 2019
Bailey Fritsch had an excellent first season of AFL soccer, averaging 16 disposals and 5 marks and kicking a complete of 17 targets. Standing at 188 centimetres, if the Demons need, they may flip him right into a substitute for former ahead Jesse Hogan. With a powerful aggressive mark, Fritsch is able to kicking targets – he kicked 32 targets within the 2017 VFL season to complete runner-up within the main goal-kickers tally. The Demons will hope he’ll replicate this at AFL stage and fill the hole left by Hogan.

Season draw
A fairly exhausting draw has been handed to the Demons, nevertheless it’s one they’re greater than able to dealing with. They play Richmond, West Coast and Collingwood twice, all of which can be powerful matches, however they’re able to beating all these groups. In addition they play the Swans and Saints twice.

Melbourne solely go away Victoria 5 instances, not together with their Northern Territory house matches, they usually’ve saved their Anzac Day eve sport towards the Tigers in a match-up followers have seemed ahead to up to now couple of seasons.

Nathan Jones

(Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Photos)

North Melbourne Kangaroos

2018 season
Regardless of narrowly lacking the highest eight, the Kangaroos had a reasonably profitable season. Many predicted them to fall, with some even predicting the picket spoon, however they proved their critics and had been unfortunate to overlook the finals.

Ben Brown had a improbable season, kicking 61 targets, and if it wasn’t for Jack Riewoldt kicking ten targets towards the Suns, Brown would have received the Coleman. Ben Cunnington and Shaun Higgins had good seasons within the midfield, averaging 25 and 27 disposals respectively, whereas Jack Ziebell had an excellent season, kicking 35 targets and averaging 17 disposals, 5 marks and 4 tackles.

Expectation for 2019
North Melbourne could have the same season to their 2018 marketing campaign, however they do have a greater listing this time round. They’ve added Aaron Corridor, Dom Tyson, Jared Polec and Jasper Pittard by way of the commerce interval, and all 4 gamers will add one thing new to the Kangaroos listing. They’ve additionally added Tarryn Thomas, stated to be top-of-the-line abilities of this yr’s draft.

North can be hoping these new acquisitions will be capable of increase their possibilities of making finals and can work nicely with present stars, together with Ben Brown and Shaun Higgins. North Melbourne followers will even be hoping they are going to be capable of win the shut video games they misplaced final yr to make the finals.

Rising expertise in 2019
Tarryn Thomas was drafted with decide eight as a midfielder, however within the VFL he pushed again onto the halfback line and in addition forwards attributable to his sturdy mark and his means to kick targets. Within the under-18s championship for the Allies he averaged 16.three disposals and confirmed his tackling expertise, averaging 6.eight tackles a sport. Thomas might add one thing totally different to North’s midfield and can be hoping to make a distinction immediately.

Season draw
In response to Champion Information, North Melbourne have the third-hardest draw within the competitors. They play two video games towards top-eight regulars Geelong and Hawthorn they usually play Port Adelaide and Essendon twice. In addition they play Brisbane twice.

On the plus facet, North Melbourne saved their proper to play within the Good Friday sport and nonetheless host 4 video games in Tasmania.


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