There were a number of big changes we witnessed in 2022, they have potential to change some things in a big way.
Geelong takes a team of “old Men” into a grand final. With more than half of its best 22 over 30, Geelong made it very convincingly to the Minor Premiership and ultimately the Grand Final. So, maybe teams will think twice about dumping players when they hit what was thought to be some kind of limit.
For example Buddy got another year after his major fitness problems of 2-3 years ago. Same with Pendlebury whose decision making in the centre of the ground has been excellent.
So how will that effect the prospects of younger players ? There will be less positions available for younger players. Journeymen will have their AFL journeys cut short.
Craig McCrae spends the preseason practising tight finishes : goes from 17th to 4th in one season. So I guess every team will be doing just that, but even more so. Also every team will analyse what Collingowod did, to work out a defence to that “close end game” strategy.
The Stand Rule, 6 /6 rule what other changes are likely to stay. Have they been good for the game ?
17 other clubs will analyse that game plan over the break. Some might have the right list to do something like it. But good older players papers will not be stamped so soon at many clubs. Older players can be much tougher, the problem is speed, good older players who are still fast are clearly leaders in longevity in the game.