2018 Predictions

Final Home & Away Ladder position: 4th

Best Win for the Year:

Worst Loss for the Year: Round 14 v West Coast

Leading Goalkicker: Joe Daniher

Crichton Medal (Top 3): Z.Merrett, D.Heppell, D.Smith

Most Improved: Darcy Parish

Most Brownlow Votes: Z.Merrett

Most Rising Star Votes: Josh Begley

Breakout Player(U/23): Darcy Parish

Who will win the Premiership: Adelaide

Runner up: Sydney

Wooden Spoon: Brisbane Lions

Norm Smith: Bryce Gibbs

Brownlow Winner: Patrick Dangerfield

Rising Star Winner: Paddy Dow

Coleman Medal Winner: Lance Franklin

Debuts: Guelfi, Mutch, Ridley

Biggest ladder rise: Hawthorn

Biggest ladder fall: West Coast

First coach sacked: Alan Richardson

All Australians: Fantasia, Merrett, Daniher, Hurley

Final Home & Away Ladder position: 6th

Best Win for the Year: Round 10 vs GWS
Worst Loss for the Year: round 15 vs North Melbourne
Leading Goalkicker: Joe Daniher
W. S. Crichton Medal (Top 3):Joe Daniher, Devon Smith, Zac Merrett
Most Improved: Connor McKenna
Most Brownlow Votes: Joe Daniher
Most Rising Star Votes: Jordan Riddley
Breakout Player(U/23): Josh Begley
VFL Ladder Position: 4th
VFL B&F (Top 3): Hocking, J Merrett & N Hind
Who will win the Premiership: GWS
Runner up: Sydney
Wooden Spoon: North Melbourne

Norm Smith: T Greene
Brownlow Winner: Joe Daniher

Rising Star Winner: who cares
Coleman Medal Winner: Joe Daniher
Debuts: Guelfi, Mutch
Biggest ladder rise: Fremantle
Biggest ladder fall: Port Adelaide
First coach sacked: None
All Australians: Daniher, Tipungwuti, Merrett, Heppell

Ladder: 5th (beaten in the 2nd week of the finals)

Best Win for the Year: Dreamtime

Worst Loss for the Year: you just ■■■■■■■ know it will be North Melbourne

Leading Goalkicker: Joe Daniher

W. S. Crichton Medal (Top 3):Joe Daniher, Devon Smith, Zac Merrett

Most Improved: James Stewart

Most Brownlow Votes: Zerrett

Most Rising Star Votes: Kobe

Breakout Player(U/23): BBB

VFL Ladder Position: 4th

VFL B&F (Top 3): Hocking, J Merrett, Kobe

Who will win the Premiership: Adelaide

Runner up: Geelong

Wooden Spoon: North Melbourne

Norm Smith: one of the crouches

Brownlow Winner: Dusty again

Rising Star Winner: some pelican

Coleman Medal Winner: Joe Daniher

Debuts: Guelfi, Mutch

Biggest ladder rise: Freo

Biggest ladder fall: WCE

First coach sacked: Bucks

All Australians: Daniher, Stringer, Merrett, Heppell

Round 15 vs North Melbourne. 3:45pm on a Sunday.

Just lock it in for a loss.


AFL preview series: Essendon Bombers – 8th

Cameron Rose Columnist
By Cameron Rose, 8 Mar 2018 Cameron Rose is a Roar Expert

Okay. So we’ve left the stragglers for dead in this AFL 2018 preview series, and now we’re getting into the serious stuff.

The bottom ten are behind us. The top eight are in front. Any one of the teams left could finish top four this season, and quite easily at that.

Essendon were the biggest mystery heading into 2017, for obvious reasons. Their 2016 season had been skewered by ASADA, and we didn’t know how the returning players would go, or how long it would take for the old and the new to gel together.

The Bombers proved to be a high octane side – high risk, high reward, arguably the most watchable team when on song. They ranked third in points for, but 12th in points against, a combination that told us everything we need to know about their attacking bent.

Can they find more balance this season, to rise up the ladder?

B: Martin Gleeson Michael Hartley Mark Baguley
HB: Connor McKenna Michael Hurley Adam Saad
C: David Zaharakis Zach Merrett Brendon Goddard
HF: Jake Stringer Joe Daniher Devon Smith
F: Orazio Fantasia Cale Hooker Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
Foll: Tom Bellchambers Dyson Heppell Andrew McGrath
Int: James Stewart Darcy Parish Travis Colyer Josh Green
Em: David Myers Patrick Ambrose Matthew Leuenberger

Essendon were renowned for their sizzling ball movement last year, something which is hardly going to slow down with the addition of Adam Saad to go with Connor McKenna out of the back half, Orazio Fantasia and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti up forward, and Travis Colyer floating around too.

The backline has a potent mix of lock-down and attack.

Michael Hartley takes the big jobs, and Martin Gleeson the small. McKenna and Saad will cause headaches breaking the lines. Yes, they’ll run themselves into trouble from time to time, but it will be exciting to watch. Michael Hurley is the gun that holds it all together, equally comfortable defending or setting up the counter.

They could perhaps become even more attacking though, if they want to double down on their strengths. Does someone like Mark Baguley come under pressure from an extra runner like David Myers or an interceptor like Matt Dea?

The midfield itself looks to lack a little dynamism, but the mooted move of Andrew McGrath through there should add a spark. The arguments over whether the Bombers really deserved the number one pick in the 2016 draft will no doubt continue.

David Zaharakis is a nice player but nothing more. Dyson Heppell is a solid player, but does not belong in the upper echelon as some would have you believe. Neither of these two are match-winners, but not everyone can be.

Zach Merrett is well on the way to becoming one of the best players in the AFL, and in truth is already there as an All-Australian last year. He’ll shoulder a big load again, and could do with taking more risks. Brendon Goddard will continue to provide good service.

Devon Smith is sure to add to the midfield mix, and has been crying out for more opportunity through the guts. He does everything well, and knows where the goals are too. We can expect 25 touches and a goal a game from him, as well as being a physical presence inside the contest. His pressure should also be a key factor in helping out the Bombers defence. Durability is his weakness.

The Dons forward-line caused big problems for opposition sides last year, and will again. What a beautiful blend they have up there.

Joe Daniher is a top ten player in the AFL and climbing (literally, when it comes to the shoulders of backmen). Watch him go to another level (again, quite literally when he takes his hangers).

Cale Hooker has been a remarkable forward given what a gun defender he was, and he gives the Bombers great flexibility as one of the top two swingmen in the competition. James Stewart was a handy surprise packet in the second half of last year, and should be better for the experience.

With Fantasia, McDonald-Tipungwuti, Colyer and Josh Green nipping around the heels, it doesn’t matter whether the ball comes in high or low to the forward-line – Essendon are set.

And then we get to Jake Stringer. Is he the missing link that can take the Dons to the next level, if he can get back to his 2015 form? For him, it’s all attitudinal. The talk is of him playing midfield-forward as opposed to a forward pinch-hitting in the middle, and this will hopefully bring out his aggressive best.

There’s nothing worse than a physical bull that plays like a squib, and too often Stringer does. When he chooses to attack the ball with gusto and accelerate through it, opponents bounce off him like ten pins. Instead, we see him flirting around the edges, letting others make the play.

Outside of their best 22, Essendon probably has more jobbers than any other team in the league. Think of Myers, Dea, Patrick Ambrose, Matthew Leuenberger, Kyle Langford, Mitch Brown and Jackson Merrett. This is no bad thing, because any one of them can come in and fill a hole. They don’t want too many of them in the same side though.

Essendon have been handed a fixture that gives them a chance. If they can get to Round 11 with a 6-5 record, which is eminently achievable, they then face Brisbane, West Coast, North, Collingwood, Gold Coast, Fremantle – this is a run of games just begging to be swept through at least 5-1, and their top four assault can take place from there.

Can we trust the Bombers to take care of business though? This is a team that lost to Carlton, Fremantle and Brisbane last year, and unforgivably threw away a game to Sydney after leading by 12 points with 1:25 left on the clock. They also led by six points with 35 seconds to go, and didn’t just draw, but lost the match. They must learn to put those sort of games to bed.

Whatever happens with the Dons this year, it’s sure to be entertaining. I’d watch.

Prediction – eighth

Cam Rose’s AFL ladder prediction

Eighth: Essendon Bombers
Ninth: Hawthorn Hawks
10th: Collingwood Magpies
11th: Western Bulldogs
12th: St Kilda Saints
13th: West Coast Eagles
14th: North Melbourne Kangaroos
15th: Fremantle Dockers
16th: Brisbane Lions
17th: Carlton Blues
18th: Gold Coast Suns

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Hartley in the side in place of Ambrose is laughable, and then this quote demonstrates very little knowledge of our side…

“Does someone like Mark Baguley come under pressure from an extra runner like David Myers”



It’s a very minor point, I know, but I get annoyed when they group our ‘small forwards’ together as one entity.

Nah, Orazio isnt just a member of our ‘small forwards’… He’s a farkin gun small forward, who still has massive scope for improvement, and could well be the best small forward in the game within two years. Maybe sooner.

He deserves a paragraph ffs.

Even a sentence.



I’m not going to defend that actual piece’s conclusions, but every time a season preview from somewhere on the internet gets posted here people tear into it about how some part of it or another proves that they don’t know anything about Essendon or football in general. Meanwhile, elsewhere on this board, earnest discussion is taking place about whether or not Shaun ■■■■■■■ McKernan could play as a midfielder.


I actually thought it was pretty well thought out with the exception of the Myers comment. The Hartley for Ambrose is going to happen a bit I suspect, so not left field at all.

Team looks reasonable though you could obviously argue some fringe players like THE, BBB, Myers ans the injured Lav to name a few and Colyer would be lucky to get a run.

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Wouldn’t at all be surprised if 2018 doesn’t turn out to be the most disappointing season in 15 years, given the expectations.

They’re called carpenters nowadays, you insensitive pillock.

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I want us to break through this year but in my head I think our time starts from 2019 onwards. The midfield is just not there yet but will have a year to gel, develop and improve and get ready for a real assault at the top 4 in 2019.

Ladder finish: 10th
Best and fairest: Merrett
Premiers: Richmond easily
Norm Smith: Prestia
Brownlow: Tom Mitchell
Spoon - North
Coleman: Daniher
Essendon breakout: Parish
Season surprise: Melbourne to make the GF

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Here is how I see the year panning out:

  • We’ll go with Adelaide for a half, and actually have a small lead on them in the 3rd quarter. Our mature age recruit Guelfi will burst through the middle and hit up our surprise selection Aaron Francis, 40m out, straight in front. For reasons nobody will ever understand, instead of going back and slotting the set shot, Francis will inexplicably play on, get caught by Daniel Talia, turn the ball over for a goal, and the crows will run away with the win.

  • This will be followed by a very disappointing loss to Freo.

  • The week after the Freo loss, pressure begins to mount. Brent Stanton writes a passionate article in the HS about what it means to be ‘Essendon,’ and something about Jack Macrae being a floater.

  • This article inspires the team to beat the Doggies. New recruit Jake Stringer - who hasn’t touched it the first two weeks, and won’t touch it again - kicks 4 goals and mimes a shotgun shot into the air for some reason. (STRINGA)

  • But poor form continues, culminating in another disappointing Anzac Day performance.

  • after the Anzac Day debacle, a thread will appear on Bomberblitz titled “Don’t make plans for 2019 - Brent Stanton, Damien Hardwick and Mark McVeigh.”

  • Our fast-break game plan will trouble a few teams though, including a couple of scintillating wins against Geelong and St Kilda.

  • We’ll even finally have Brisbane on toast. Well, until the last quarter when a previously quiet Eric Hipwood goes on two devastating runs down the wing to kick two incredible goals. The second of which, will be goal of the year, with the image of poor Michael Hartley trying to chase him down becoming just as iconic as the goal itself.

  • Outspoken former captain Jobe Watson, will go on television and tell the footy world that he doesn’t believe Woosha’s game plan can win Essendon a premiership, creating more pressure.

  • Fans are divided in their support of worsfold, until the final nail… A 100+ point loss to gold coast in Gold Coast finally pushes the supportive types over the edge. Youngster Jordan Ridley will debut, have five goals kicked on him by Peter Wright, have his nose broken and get suspended. He’ll never play senior footy again.

  • Brent Stanton continually denies his desire to coach the club, saying that he is very busy smoking ciggies, and he’d have to quit them in order to coach full time. Nobody believes him.

  • We even lose to eventual wooden spooners Hawthorn, and Cyril Rioli - with a bandage on his head - will kick 13 goals.

  • Small respite is found in a late season gutsy win against the Saints, with livewire debutent Jordan Houlihan kicking 4.

  • But as the crowds dwindle, support for Woosha hits an all time low.

  • The day after the final loss to Port, Woosha is sacked.

  • A week later, Brent Stanton is announced as new Essendon coach, with Mark McVeigh and Andrew Welsh joining him as assistants, giving a feel of the ‘Good old Essendon.’

  • After the finals finish up, dual premiership coach Damien Hardwick dramatically quits Richmond citing exhaustion.

  • Shortly after, Hardwick is announced as Stanton’s senior assistant coach, to act as a mentor, and help drive the club to be more ‘Like Richmond.’

  • Lamenting our lack of defence and contested footy, Stants and Hardwick declare that the team will not only have a more defensive game plan, but the player’s bodies will be built up to be bigger and stronger, and it will be done very, very quickly…


Could you please be more specific?

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Apologies. I used dot points for the sake of brevity.


I’m excited! Jordy Houla to kick 4 on debut!

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Plus Franga is playing round 1.

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I feel for you, man.

Yep, pretty much how I see it too.


Apart from North and Joe (injuries), I reckon I did pretty well with these predictions! From March 8.

Anyone else want to see how they did?

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