Sports activities followers are at all times in search of the subsequent shiny new factor. It’s why the commerce interval has grow to be so in style and hypothesis on participant motion begins barely after the season has began – if it even takes that lengthy.
At eight.40am on November 24 final yr, the AFL’s official web site posted a column by draft guru Callum Twomey titled “ten to observe within the 2019 NAB AFL Draft”. It got here lower than 18 hours after the Bulldogs chosen Will Hayes as the ultimate choice within the 2018 draft.
It is smart. The unknown is extra thrilling than the identified. In the event you’re a Carlton or Fremantle fan, that unknown brings with it hope. I get it.
The issue with this sort of fandom is that we will usually miss what’s proper in entrance of us.
The top is nigh for a bunch of recent greats. Luke Hodge, Shaun Burgoyne and Aaron Sandilands are all possible of their last seasons – and who is aware of what number of video games Gary Ablett has left.
But it surely’s not simply nice gamers of their twilight that we ought to be appreciating.
Lance Franklin has performed 290 video games and booted 917 targets. Solely seven gamers within the historical past of the VFL/AFL have booted extra targets than that. We’re already in legendary territory with Buddy and whereas I’m certain we’d all love for him to wheel onto that left boot and embarrass defenders for an additional decade, the top might be nearer than we’d wish to admit.
Joel Selwood has already performed 272 video games, and the best way he performs them I’m certain his physique feels prefer it’s been at the very least 50 greater than that. The identical goes for Sydney’s Josh Kennedy and his 227 video games. Scott Pendlebury’s 277 video games received’t have been made any simpler by his basketball background. The perfect days have handed for every of them. That’s to not say they will’t nonetheless be stars, simply that they may not shine as brilliant or as usually as they as soon as did.
The sensible Robbie Gary will flip 31 not lengthy after the season begins. The Josh Kennedy within the west is already 31 and after lacking virtually half of final season is preventing to be match for Spherical 1 and so as to add to his excellent 562 targets.
There’s sadly a finite variety of “holy s***” Eddie Betts moments in our future.
Not all of the greats get to exit on their phrases or notch triple-figures in video games. Chris Judd’s profession got here to an finish after 277 matches. Matthew Lloyd appeared like he would cruise to 1000 targets, and but he needed to “settle” for 926 in 270 video games.
Embrace the now. Have fun the greatness of the greats. Not simply with the veterans, both.
Marcus Bontempelli has improved subtly however not considerably since 2016, however many good judges nonetheless anticipate the 23-year-old Bulldog to take his sport to a different stage.
Within the meantime, The Roar specialists simply voted him a high ten participant within the competitors for the third straight yr. Get pleasure from it, Canine followers, you haven’t had many gamers this good.
Patrick Cripps may grow to be the most effective participant within the competitors within the subsequent three months. Or perhaps he received’t. Carlton followers – and soccer followers, for that matter – shouldn’t get any much less pleasure from watching him bulldoze overmatched opponents.
Benefit from the ascent, Brisbane followers, earlier than the thrill is changed by expectance. The primary half is rather more enjoyable – ask Melbourne followers.
Sport is unpredictable and will be merciless. Coming off a record-breaking, Brownlow Medal-winning season, Tom Mitchell suffered a nasty damaged leg that has worn out one season and can virtually actually impression at the very least one different.
It’s fantastic to regulate the long run, however don’t let it cease you from having fun with the now, as a result of what you’re ready for may by no means arrive and what you’re taking without any consideration is perhaps over earlier than you recognize it.