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George on the Outer has prepared a "warts and all" analysis of each opposition team's prospects for 2017 ...

With all of the summertime hype in the football  news at this time of the year, I thought it was appropriate to temper the high expectations of the fans (not that any of that would happen on Demonland) with some truly deep analysis of the opposition going into season 2017. 

What I discovered was that, as is customary, every team is “training the house down” and not a single club is dissatisfied with its trades and signings.   

So I decided to have a look at the real story of what can and should go wrong for each of the sides in 2017. The teams have been selected at random and here are the first five:-


Dangerfield and Selwood. They alone got the pussies across the line in at least six games last year. Without that contribution they would surely have inhabited the lower reaches of the ladder.  

The Premiership years have now passed by the Cats and whilst they spent up big to lure Dangerfield back to his home territory (who wouldn’t?) the plan didn’t quite get them up last year. I can't see it sustaining them as their list goes into decline and with the likes of Lachie Henderson trying to hold the backline together, it simply isn’t the Geelong of old.  


Despite the AFL handing out more of their largesse, in the form of access to additional players and essentially first pick in the draft to the Bombers in last year's draft, so avoiding a collapse following the suspensions for drug taking offenses, few true fans of the game will be hoping for anything good for this club.

With an ageing side with a good number of their players sidelined from the game for more than 12 months, they are coming from a long way back. A full forward who can’t find the goals, a captain who can’t find a Brownlow medal, and a club that can’t find its records, they most likely won't find a way to win too many games either. At least Worsfold had all the excuses in the world for poor performances last year but in 2017 there will be nowhere to hide and we might well discover why he was sacked by the West Coast Eagles.

West Coast

Speaking of the Eagles, I suspect that with the collapse of the WA mining boom, the same downward trend will also affect afflict West Coast.  Despite a 16-6 record and a home final in 2016, the Eagles were thrown out in week 1.  Probably the loss of Nic Natanui in Round 21 affected them the most his absence for most of season 2017 will continue to hurst.  While he is next to useless around the ground, his height and leap give his mids plenty of the ball, so without that, how will an aging Priddis and an aged new recruit Sam Mitchell fare?  With a good number of their home games against top 2016 sides, they won’t enjoy the easy ride they have had in years past.  And maybe, just maybe the competition can afford to pay for eastern state umpires to control their home games.  It will help the locals to understand the rules of the game, which is currently beyond them. 


Oh how the mighty have fallen!  The Dockers had been slated as probably Grand Finalists before the season began having made it to the big dance in 2015.  But they finished with only 4 wins in 2016! It all went to pieces in Round 3 with the demise of Aaron Sandilands.  Without the dominant ruckman (a beanpole of 211cm) the Dockers simply couldn’t get the ball.  And it got worse in Round 5 as Nate Fyfe broke his leg again and sat out the season.  

Mundy also was injured and saw the writing on the wall, along with Ballantyne as they offered their services to anyone who would take them during the trade period.  No takers, so they are stuck with Ross Lyon and his coaching plan of stopping the opposition at all cost, without being able to score themselves.  Shane Yarran wasn’t keen to stay around either, and dumped on the club as he exited prior to Christmas. It must be a wonderful workplace although in Yarran's case who knows whether his next workplace is going to be much better.  No Pavlich in 2017, and with an ageing/old list, there is little cause for redemption. 


The Toiyges never fail to disappoint.  Despite making three finals series and getting bundled out without progressing any further, they still didn’t recruit the right types to help them take the next step, if there ever was one. 

Over the years they had built a list around half a dozen capable players, and then imported the likes of Houli, Grigg, Maric and Chaplin to enable them to reach finals.  But they stopped building 3 years ago, and all that has happened is every one of these players is just older and slower, or not there anymore.  They threw everything at Chris Yarran and Dion Prestia to keep the feral fans happy, but Yarran never made it to the field and Prestia is still running laps in late January.  

[To be continued ... ]

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