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Demon Head

The 2007 Crystal Ball

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I'm feeling a bit bullish -

1. West Coast

2. Melbourne

3. Fremantle

4. Sydney

5. St. Kilda

6. Adelaide

7. Geelong

8. Hawthorn

I've dropped off the Bullies as I think they're overrated and I'm tipping Melbourne to have home final advantage against three different interstate opponents and that both the premiership drought and our water supply drought will be over by the end of September.

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For some reason I read the title as "top 8 after round 8." If that were the case I thought demons at 2nd was pretty astute, as our draw up until that point is sensational.

Dyslexia aside, if we aren't in the top 2 or at least the top 4 after about the halfway mark, we're in trouble. Thanks to our draw I imagine we'll be having another one of those sliding years.

BTW, how good would it be to play Freo in a qualifier at the G? Not only would we get our precious home-ground advantage against an interstate side, but I'd predict a mirrored scoreline to this year's semi, proving to our supporters and the football world that we're every bit the side all the more heavily fancied teams are.

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Great thread to bookmark for the end of year. ALthough I always like to do my pre-season ladder prediction after the NAB Cup.

West Coast (Can't go pass them)

Fremantle (Looked super impressive in the 2nd half of 2006)

Adelaide (The oldies and AAMI Stadium will see them through)

Sydney (Consistent as usual)

Western Bulldogs (I'm believing the hype)

Melbourne (Unfortunetly am expecting the usual late season fade out - tough rd 15-19 patch. No trading may hurt.)

St.Kilda (Very tempting to put them higher - very good list. But new coach may see some teething problems)

Geelong) (Will bounce back slightly to sneak into the finals)

---------------------

Port Adelaide (Like the look of the new kids. Should recapture their AAMI stadium form

Richmond (Be there-abouts but must overcome their inability to beat top sides)

Collingwood (Did play some awesome football in 06. Expect a late-season revival. No interstate trips after rd 12.)

Essendon (I'm expecting a mini revival with the inclusions of Llyod and Mal Michael. Too proud a club to remain in the bottom 4.)

Hawthorn (Not sold on this club yet. Still too many young kids to carry the load. Should dominate in Tassie though.)

Brisbane (Will win plenty at the GABBA but be useless away. Where has all the experience gone??)

Carlton (Will finally get off the bottom. May win 6-8 games. The kids from 03-04-05-06 look the goods)

Kangaroos (Have the weakest starting 22 and I think its time for a change of head coach at the end of 07. Must win at Carrara.

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Melbourne (Unfortunetly am expecting the usual late season fade out - tough rd 15-19 patch. No trading may hurt.)

Which player that was available from another Club during trading week would be likely to prevent a late season fade out? Also what would we have had to give up off our list to get that player and what would have been the net result?

I trust its not a case of trading for trading's sake.

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Which player that was available from another Club during trading week would be likely to prevent a late season fade out? Also what would we have had to give up off our list to get that player and what would have been the net result?

I trust its not a case of trading for trading's sake.

Ahhh...the old debate resurfaces. I'm not advocating trading for trade's sake (ie- Watt 4 Wheatley) but we could've gone for some bargains (ie Michael Gardiner) or saved a pick for the Pre-Season draft and punted on a Skipworth who played decent footy with the Crows. Or perhaps even traded Bell for a lucrative player from Adelaide. Remember Bell is still speculation at this stage on whether he will become good...and Adelaide were keen on Bell so we would've held some bargaining power on that one.

The Dogs struck a sneaky trade for Akermanis - round 2 draft pick!!!! What a bargain

I thought the Dees could've done exactly the same as 2005 and trade for a Pickett like impact player for a reasonably cheap price (2nd round draft pick again plus a couple of alterations in later rounds). Perhaps we could've made a serious play for Jason Johnson. He would've been handy...believe me!

Time will tell whether we should've traded. We're playing for premierships in 07 and 08. Is our current list good enough?

At this point of time we're going into battle with the same brigade. (Although Whelan and Jamer missed the Semi final.)

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Ahhh...the old debate resurfaces. I'm not advocating trading for trade's sake (ie- Watt 4 Wheatley) but we could've gone for some bargains (ie Michael Gardiner) or saved a pick for the Pre-Season draft and punted on a Skipworth who played decent footy with the Crows. Or perhaps even traded Bell for a lucrative player from Adelaide. Remember Bell is still speculation at this stage on whether he will become good...and Adelaide were keen on Bell so we would've held some bargaining power on that one.

The Dogs struck a sneaky trade for Akermanis - round 2 draft pick!!!! What a bargain

Time will tell whether we should've traded. We're playing for premierships in 07 and 08. Is our current list good enough?

At this point of time we're going into battle with the same brigade.

How do you know what we tried and what we didn't ? You mention JJ. How do you know how hard we went ? He was always going to stay at Essendon if he got a 2 year contract, which ultimately happened.

What's a 'bargain' ? And if it's a 'bargain' why is it a 'bargain' ?

I'll share with you some comments from CAC on Demonology re the draft just gone.

"Guys I know that there is alot of angst surrounding the trade period.

However, when it comes to last weeks trade period - nothing gained doesn't mean nothing ventured (or indeed offered.) We don't do our negotiation through the newspapers as other clubs do."

Also

"I won't go into what the machinations of th trade period were. Because most of our movements were looking to improve our draft position. This obviously involved players who remian on our list.

One snippet I will reveal is that the offer made to Bret Thornton by Hawthorn would have had him paid nearly double the salary of our current full back. Trading can have an effect on pay scales within a club."

BBP, we have no idea of the machinations of trade period, or what it takes to effectively balance the trade, draft, and list management.

As for your thoughts on trading Bell ? Fair comments. You've got to give something to get something. But what was on offer ? We've put a lot into Bell and I'm confident we'll reap the rewards. I suspect the club is too.

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What a bargain

.........

Time will tell whether we should've traded. We're playing for premierships in 07 and 08. Is our current list good enough?

At this point of time we're going into battle with the same brigade. (Although Whelan and Jamer missed the Semi final.)

Hannibal is quite right questioning what a bargain is and how would you know beyond a distant opinion.

Unfortunately, you will never know what we would have to give up to have traded so time will give a distorted answer because you wont have the facts.

I disagree that we are going in with the same brigade as many of our quality players should be entering their period of maturity as footballers I would expect (hope) that level of improvement would offset any negatives (form or fitness). If it does not, we wont improve.

Even if we did trade for a Gardiner (gulp) or a JJ if the younger brigade dont improve as footballers this year then we will not rise above our current positino and may even fall

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BBP, we have no idea of the machinations of trade period, or what it takes to effectively balance the trade, draft, and list management.

I suppose I'm a bit envious of Freo (Tarrant and Soloman), St.Kilda (Clarke, Gardiner, Birss) and Western Bulldogs (Akermanis, McDougall) who all traded with aggression in their pusuit for a 07 or 08 GF, while Melbourne who are also an established top 8 team folded at the trade table.

I'm not saying we've done the wrong thing. The questions will more or less be answered at the end of the year.

And thanks Hannabal for bring up CAC's views!

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I disagree that we are going in with the same brigade as many of our quality players should be entering their period of maturity as footballers I would expect (hope) that level of improvement would offset any negatives (form or fitness). If it does not, we wont improve.

Rhino, just out of interest, what changes are you hoping for (ins and outs) from the Freo Semi Final to our next final series (touch-wood we make it)

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I suppose I'm a bit envious of Freo (Tarrant and Soloman), St.Kilda (Clarke, Gardiner, Birss) and Western Bulldogs (Akermanis, McDougall) who all traded with aggression in their pusuit for a 07 or 08 GF, while Melbourne who are also an established top 8 team folded at the trade table.

I'm not saying we've done the wrong thing. The questions will more or less be answered at the end of the year.

The issue is not necessarily that they traded with aggression but that they traded wisely for net benefit of their list. The question may not be answered for a longer period of time if it can be correctly answered at all.

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Rhino, just out of interest, what changes are you hoping for (ins and outs) from the Freo Semi Final to our next final series (touch-wood we make it)

I have not got the team that played that night in front of me but I would be hoping that Moloney is back in the mix. I would hope that PJ can make the necessary improvements to his game to be a worthy inclusion in this running game. i would not cancel out a draft pick popping up like a Bartram.

And I would have Bartram back in as well. I am also banking on 12 months development of our key younger players. I do note that Pickett ran out of steam in the business end of the season so trading does not always deliver the goods.

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Rhino, just out of interest, what changes are you hoping for (ins and outs) from the Freo Semi Final to our next final series (touch-wood we make it)

Not all clubs can expect a leap forward due to the maturation of their list. Adelaide are hanging on and we saw what happened to Port and Brisbane. Port is ahead in the rebuiling process but at least the Lions have 3 flags in the cupboard. What exciting youth have Sydney blooded over the last 2 years other than Malceski ?

From a Demons perspective, it's reasonable to expect these players to imrove barring injury: McLean, Sylvia, Bate, Bartram, Dunn, Jones, Davey, Rivers, Bell, CJ, PJ, Jamar, Carroll, and Moloney. That's a fair chunk of our best side and doesn't take into account any surprise packets.

Of course that begs the question 'who's in decline' ? It goes without saying that we need Neitz, White, Robertson, and Pickett to maintain their existing levels. And in Robertson's case we could expect a better year if he's over his knee soreness.

Clubs throughout the AFL are at different levels of experience and list quality. We're in the somewhat enviable position of having a good list with vast natural improvement within it. The really good news is that much of our quality is young and already important to our best 22.

Btw, you salivate over McDougall but the guy is a hack. Unfortunately during trade time ordinary footballers like Thornton suddenly become elevated to almost star status. I'd rather do nothing than trade for trade sake, or to appease supporters.

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It's funny looking at Bigfooty and seeing dogs supporters suddenly rate McDougal as being a key to their 2007 hopes. He was one of the biggest jokes of the 600+ AFL footballers going round last year, and suddenly just because they got him more-or-less for free, they think he's going to show something.

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1. Adelaide

2. West Coast

3. Fremantle

4. Bulldogs

5. Melbourne

6. Brisbane

7. St Kilda

8. Sydney

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1. West Coast - Will finsh 19-3

2. Sydney - Last crack at a flag with this team

3. Fremantle - Tarrant to have his best season in years, playing up the ground

4. Melbourne - Must grab flag chance in 07 or 08 with Neitz still playing

5. St. Kilda - Time taken to adjust to new coach, Hayes to ease back into the action, and the ruck situation still not solved

6. Geelong - Must and will bounce back

7. Western Bulldogs - overrated midget brigade

8. Adelaide - No ruck depth, most of their good players are over 30

Rest: Hawthorn looks to have the brightest future, ahead of Port Adelaide. Richmond will find ways to fail. Collingwood will take a back step in 2007, while Carlton, Essendon, Brisbane and the Kangaroos are still years away.

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The 16 according to the TAB (To make the 8)

West Coast 1.07

Adelaide 1.12

Sydney 1.20

St.Kilda 1.25

Fremantle 1.33

Western Bulldogs 1.33

Geelong 1.70

Melbourne 1.75 (pretty juicy odds!!)

-----------------------

Collingwood 1.85

Port Adelaide 2.10

Richmond 2.60

Hawthorn 2.65

Essendon 2.65

Brisbane 3.50

Kangaroos 6.00

Carlton 6.00

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1. West Coast

2. Fremantle

3. Melbourne (my optimism astounds even myself!)

4. St.Kilda

5. Sydney

6. Adelaide

7. Bulldogs

8. Geelong

9. Richmond :rolleyes:

10. Port Adelaide

11. Collingwood

12. Essendon

13. Hawthorn

14. Brisbane

15. Kangaroos

16. Carlton

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I think everyone is rating Fremantle to high, they have made the finals only twice, the only reason they finished top four last season is because Melb, St Kilda and Collingwood dropped the ball. They still don't play well away from home, although they are getting better, they have to play the Eagles twice at Subi, these games may determine where they finish. If they can win one they might finish top four.

Eagles

St kilda

Melbourne

Sydney

Adelaide

Fremantle

Bulldogs

Geelong

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I can only see 3 teams not having any chance of making it, Carlton, Kangaroos and Brisbane.

You would think West Coast, Sydney & Adelaide would be hard pressed not to make it.

So that leaves 5 spots for 10 teams.

I'm confident St Kilda, Freo, Melbourne and the Bulldogs will make it.

Hawthorn are still very young, Geelong don't impress me [relying on youngsters like Tom Hawkins and Nathan Ablett to kick them a winning score], Collingwood have no depth, Port are ordinary, Essendon and Richmond could surprise.

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I can only see 3 teams not having any chance of making it, Carlton, Kangaroos and Brisbane.

You would think West Coast, Sydney & Adelaide would be hard pressed not to make it.

So that leaves 5 spots for 10 teams.

I'm confident St Kilda, Freo, Melbourne and the Bulldogs will make it.

Hawthorn are still very young, Geelong don't impress me [relying on youngsters like Tom Hawkins and Nathan Ablett to kick them a winning score], Collingwood have no depth, Port are ordinary, Essendon and Richmond could surprise.

Yes I fancy Essendon and Richmond for the 8 altho Simmond's broken ankle has not helped Richmond.

I think Hird and Lloyd back can really make a difference and Michael will really add something.

I think Kent Kingsley will be a very handy pick-up for Richmond and will surprise many. Rich, Brown, Kingsley, Pettifer and Riewoldt will give the Tigers some fire power.

I think both can make the 8 for a year or two on the back of their veterans but then will slide back soon after without a flag in this cycle.

I agree Collinngwood are the obvious sliders - Didak and Holland out for significant periods, Tarrant gone and Buckley, Burns, Rocca and wakelin all aging. Only their soft draw can help them. I'm not sure what they expect of MM this year, surely they're rebuilding - maybe he's supposed to give youth a go. How can he fail at that? Surely they don't expect to improve on last year's result? Maybe it's play youth and finish somewhere in the middle 8. That's realistic altho 9-12 is more likely.

I reckon one of Sydney or Adelaide may slide and if pressed I'm guessing Sydney. They rely on Brett Kirk and if he gets injured IMO they are goners. Spida will help them and they could easily make a complete fool of me.

Minimum two changes to the 2006 8 almost certain. That's what has happened every year since the 8 started and there's good statistical reason behind the expectation. the other thing that has happened each year is that a team from outside the 8 has finished top 4 the next year. Any takers for 2007?

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the other thing that has happened each year is that a team from outside the 8 has finished top 4 the next year. Any takers for 2007?

Geelong would have to be that team as they've tasted finals in 2004 and 2005 and therefore are the most qualified out of that group.

Richmond's so called 'super foward line' may be a wild smokey for top 4.

Port Adelaide if their kids keep developing at a rate of knots and they make AAMI their fortress.

Collingwood purely based on their soft draw. But remember they play all 4 interstate games by round 12 and without Didak and Holland, their season could be over by the halfway mark.

The rest will play teams into form.

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the other thing that has happened each year is that a team from outside the 8 has finished top 4 the next year. Any takers for 2007?

I like it. Makes a nice change from the usual "top 8 at rd 22" lists everyone has.

With the amount of lists approaching or still in their prime (Freo, WC, Dogs, Saints, Swans, Demons, Crows), Whoever comes from outside the 8 to make it will be hard pressed to squeeze one team out. This year may well be the year that proves the exception to old's rule. As far as I can see only Adelaide and the Swans look like they're due to begin declining, and both of those teams could easily still make the top 4 again. Still, assuming 1 team WILL jump that far up...

Geelong have been there before in the last 3 years, and in 2006 they underachieved. Of the teams outside the top 8 they're the most likely I'd say. Their forward line, once again, will be the deciding factor. I love their defence and their midfield is still pretty strong, but I worry about their depth. In all honesty I can see them going better than last year, but top 4?

Richmond are due to make big inroads. If Wallet's 5 year plan is supposed to come to fruition, then this is the first year they should be scheduled to make the finals. Will they? I'll believe it when I see it.

Hawthorn have the talent to do great things, and it'll either be this year or next that they'll start coming into their own. My money's on next year, but you never know.

Essendon are a joke, but if they can keep that spine intact for 22 rounds they'll give finals a shake. Top 4? I'd be hugely surprised but it's not outside the realms of possibility that they could be in competition for it in the last few rounds, particularly considering their draw.

I reckon people give the Roos a hard time. Looking at their list compared to those of other clubs, I have them in the bottom four. But I can't dismiss the fact that they were in many peoples' top 8 before the start of 2006. We of all clubs know how it is to be ignored in the media after 1 average season, only to come out and make the finals the following season. We did it year after year for a while there. Brisbane, Carlton, Port and Collingwood I give no chance of making the 4 for various reasons, but I can't ignore the Roos. Except for last year they always seem to make so much out of so little, and while EVERYONE has condemned them to a miserable 2007, I'm not ready to write them off just yet.

But in all seriousness out of all the bottom 8 in 2006, only Geelong are any tangible threat to the top 4 in my mind. After that it's daylight...

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But in all seriousness out of all the bottom 8 in 2006, only Geelong are any tangible threat to the top 4 in my mind. After that it's daylight...

Not a chance in hell.

Their midfield is still slow, and they are relying on Tom Hawkins to kick 200 goals for the year.

Besides, as long as Thompson is in charge and the small-town mentality remains, they won't be going anywhere.

They'll make the 8, but thats only due to their home ground advantage.

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