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Demonland    5,231

George on the Outer continues his "warts and all" analysis of each team's prospects for 2017 ...


The next group of six clubs - all picked at random.


Did the Bulldogs finally show the rest of the competition how to beat the Swans?  Is just being more relentless than them the simple answer?  We sure as hell hope so, because there aren’t too many weaknesses in this side.  

They put injured players on the field in the GF, but so did Footscray, and like them, the running into brick walls type of play might have to change as casualties mount. 

The Swans' lack of a true ruck was exposed on the bigger ground of the MCG, but we are really grasping at straws here. Perhaps a good off-field distraction is needed, like salary cap breaches. 


Nathan Buckley is surely in his last season as coach, having failed since taking over a GF winning side from Mick Malthouse.   

Desperately throwing everything into the mix to save Eddie's (and his own) bacon from the rabid Pies horde, they only managed to dispose of their two best backmen in Brown and Frost and picked up a Melbourne reject Lynden Dunn as replacement.  

Go figure!  

Then to top it off they have signed the eternally injured Daniel Wells on a reported three year contract totaling 1.8M but he has still to make it back to the training track.  In 2016 the injuries to Swan and Pendelbury exposed the soft underbelly of their mid-field and now with no Swan at all, and Pendelbury another year older, it sure isn’t going to get any better.  

Bye bye Nathan and bye bye Pies.  (does it get any better than this?)


After leaking a record setting average of 130 points kicked against them in 2016, the Lions position is just so, so far back, that improvement has to be made over many, many years.  The pity is that the loss of decent players in the past couple of years has greatly diminished their chances of taking any significant steps forward.  Compounded by off-field problems still, and with the fickle Queensland crowds not attending, the situation is truly dire. Not much need go wrong for the status quo to be maintained. 

St. Kilda

The Saints are building a solid side with plenty of talent. Their old brigade of Reiwoldt and Montagna must be at the end, if not there already, but it is their mid-field of Jack Steven, Jack Steven and Jack Steven that is their biggest gaping hole.  And we know that a fair bit of the game is dependant upon the mids being successful.  

Finally, there is always the ability for the Saints to dig a mighty big hole for themselves, as they have managed to do on a regular basis, with something like dwarf throwing or off-field dalliances and romps with underage girls. 

Gold Coast

Surely this crowd are but a figment of the AFL’s imagination of what a real club should look like?

The Suns have yet to receive the same largesse as GWS although that might well come soon.  They spent all their loot on one G Ablett Junior  who has seen better days and almost did a runner with Prestia and O’Meara (we rarely saw them on the track anyway). Coupled with some doubtful off-season antics from Hanley and their main ruck Nichols getting into too much Chrissy pudding, it has set them back once again.  

Sadly, the Suns are not going to shine any time soon. At least not until they realise they are a football side and not some form of sideshow or theme park that abounds in that part of the world.

North Melbourne

Similarly to Richmond, the Kangas throw everything they have available at draft time to pick up players to get them into the finals. And the same happened in 2016 - they were obliterated on the big day and now have decided to retire/retrench a good number of the old stagers that got them there in the first place.  

Despite a 9 - 0 start, they scraped into the finals by  a very small margin. Had Billy Stretch’s kick in round 3 had gone the other side of the goal post, then St.Kilda would have played finals instead of North who are now suffering from previous mediocre finishing positions, whereby they don’t get the top talent from the draft, and don’t win anything along the way. 

With all the lost talent, and little replaced, a slide out of finals and down the ladder is a certainty. 

[To be continued ... ]

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