Written by AFL Online on 17th Sep 2009
For many football fans, the two preliminary finals are the greatest games of the year. It is when it is all to play for. Once you get to the Grand Final, the hype and hoopla takes over. Everyone wants to play in a Grand Final and this is what these two games are all about.
Can the Western Bulldogs topple not only St Kilda but their very poor pedigree? They have a horrible record in big finals and have lost their last five preliminary finals. They haven’t played in a Grand Final since 1961. Most of the AFL betting is on St Kilda to stroll through to just their third Grand Final in the last 40 years.
The Saints have been the best team all year and will be determined not to fall short this close of playing in a Grand Final. Many of the Saints side have played in three losing Preliminary Finals in recent times. The second of which was against the Swans. Adam Schneider was the catalyst for the Swans that night and now he is playing for St Kilda. Nick Riewoldt is in career best form and should lead the way for the Saints.
The Bulldogs are honest tryers but once again should find themselves outmatched and outgunned.
The other final between Collingwood and Geelong is a lot harder to gauge. Geelong have had another incredible season. Collingwood have been hot and cold but appear to be turning warm at the right time. They survived against the Crows and will fancy their chances against the Cats. The two met in the corresponding match two years ago with the Cats just getting across the line.
This is also the last football to be played before the Brownlow medal. Once again the field is wide open. Will it be Gary Ablett of Geelong who was very unlucky to miss out last year? Can Nick Riewoldt or Dane Swan claim enough votes to win. Two time winner Adam Goodes is an outsider to claim his third Brownlow. He has the advantage of not having that many team-mates who will take votes away from him.
As usual it should be a great night and one which will provide more lore for footy history. Simon Black has polled well in recent year and could do so once again.
Following the AFL season, David Wiseman is looking forward to the Melbourne Cup.