I am so sick of cricket. There are too many kinds going on simultaneously all over the world. It gets you hankering for a game that (The Footy Gospel’s excellent work notwithstanding) is scarcely known beyond these shores. If there’s one thing you can rely on in footy, it’s that your favourite player isn’t going to spend the off season with the Dhaka Danger in the Bangladeshi T20 league. You’d never see our blokes somewhere like that anyway because floodplains are notably poor for altitude training.
So, I haven’t watched any footy since Grand Final Day – still interested in my predictions? I have watched some NAB Challenge highlights. And very misleading they are too, because from reading the stream-of-consciousness of Twitter during the games, people are not that impressed with the overall game of some individuals who come up well in the edited snippets. [Aside – reading tweets of people with pay TV is the new going down to watch colour TV through the window of Radio Rentals – discuss.]
My impressions are just that we seem to have recruited pretty well, Reiwoldt has never looked better, Cotch looks sharper than he has in years, and Jacob Townsend’s tackling technique needs work (he was knocked cold by some Port player’s arse). I am pretty excited by the potential in Mabior Chol, but he is probably in the ‘project player’ category, despite Brendan Lade saying he’s a chance for Round 1. I saw Daniel Rioli’s turn of pace, and what would have been a stunning goal if not for Ty’s radar being a bit wonky. You can’t help but feel excited having a Rioli.
The Port game ended up as a demolition derby, and the main loser is Reece Conca. As far as I know there is no miracle LARS-equivalent for hammies. Only patience and mental toughness will get him back, and I wish the young man all the best with it.
Overall I am pretty optimistic but lets face it, that is based on a very narrow base of information and largely on my sunny good nature. I can’t see any reason why we shouldn’t make the 8 this year. Port will not miss out and GWS really look ready to take that step to me. The teams who’ll make way are Adelaide and North. Sydney are going to fall out of contention but still make finals. There’s is one big upwards mover: the Doggies. Here’s my final 8;
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Greater Western Sydney
Premier: West Coast d Westen Bulldogs (Norm Smith to Andrew Gaff of WC)
Coleman Medal: Jeremy Cameron, GWS
Brownlow Medal: Patrick Dangerfield, Geelong