Every year something jumps up and surprises us, whether it’s a bottom 4 side becoming a top 8 side or a coach getting sacked. What will surprise us in 2015?
Here are 8 very bold predictions I have made, will any of them come true?
After an interesting off-season I believe this year could go either way for the Bulldogs. A change in coach and a captain who made a shock decision to leave the club will have an impact. There is no doubting they have some great young prospects at the club, lead by the recruit of Tom Boyd. Leadership will be a real problem for the Bulldogs and it will take a while to get a balance of experience and youth to guide this side up the ladder.
Probably the least bold prediction on this list given how much respect they won in 2014. Despite making the 8 in 2013, not many people, myself included, tipped them to improve last season and boy were we wrong. If Ken Hinkley can continue to motivate the playing group to play the hard running, fast paced game style then they will be very difficult to stop. I’m predicting a Port Adelaide vs Fremantle Grand Final.
Like the Bulldogs I believe this season could go either way for North Melbourne. They have the experience and talent to say that they should be making the finals and even the top 4. However questionable recruiting gives me doubt that they will find success in 2015. I’m not convinced either Jarrad Waite and Shaun Higgins will improve their side, it could set them back given they already had some of the best KPP prospects in the league before recruiting the injury prone Waite. If things go bad for North this year then expect things to go worse for Brad Scott.
Chris Judd might divide opinions between football supporters but their is no questioning that the umpires love him. When fit, Chris Judd is still one of the best midfielders in the game and still Carlton’s most damaging midfielder at stoppages. If Judd can manage his body to see out the year I think he will poll very well on Brownlow night.
I can’t see this season being as catastrophic as their 2009 season when they missed the 8 coming off a premiership. However I’m given the improvement of teams around them I don’t see them finishing in the top 4 in 2015 and history suggests that teams outside the top 4 can’t win the premiership. I still think they have the talent to match it with the best sides, but I think it will all come down to injury management.
He wasn’t that far off it in his debut season for the Giants and after a couple of injury interrupted years I’m looking for him to really stamp his mark on the competition. With Patton still recovering from an ACL injury I believe Cameron will thrive having control over the Giants forward line. The odds for Cameron to win the Coleman Medal are currently $17, something to think about!
After a disappointing 2014 the Pies will be looking to make the finals as a minimum requirement. The pressure on Buckley has already been building from outside the club and some fans have begun questioning whether he is the best man for the job. I’m not sure they have a list that is good enough to keep other teams that are vying for their spot in the 8 out. If this is Buckley’s last season you would expect Collingwood to be professional and do it at the end of the year. But if things are going badly, a round 19 loss against Carlton might be the final straw.
This is my boldest prediction yet! Will Channel 7 finally pull their finger out and give the fans a HD broadcast of the biggest game of the year? It’s unlikely, but how long can we keep living in the dark ages for?