Australian Football League, Season 2020 Preview

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The Australian Rules Football Season restarts on the 11th of June, and AFL Fans finally get a dose of football back after around a three-month break.

Aussie Rules Football is a popular sport in Australia but continues to impress worldwide, and there is no better time to get interested in one of the most skilful sporting codes in the world that is Aussie Football.

There has been one round played for the 2020 AFL Season so far, and players are itching to get back into it after a lengthy break out of AFL Football.

Austalian Football League

For those of you who don’t know much about the teams or the better players and are keen to get into a bit of Australian Football, here is a quick preview and description of all the teams.

The contenders, the pretenders and some of the better Aussie Rules Football Players from each side for the Australian Football League.

Aussie Rules games usually consist of 4 quarters at 20 minutes each. This current season has been altered slightly, although there are still four quarters that have been shortened to 16 minute quarters. This is projected to make the game quicker and allow some of the star players to stay out on the field for extended periods.

18 Players will still take the field with four additional interchange players to help with rest and rotations in this years Aussie Football League.

AFL Home Ground advantages do not exist for some clubs as some have had to relocate in an AFL Player Hub in a specific location.

There will be no crowds, but the impact of being away from home will be interesting and could become a factor in deciding games. This may play a part for the two Western Australian Teams, the West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers who have had to relocate for the first four weeks East to the Gold Coast because of travel restrictions. The Adelaide Crows and the Port Adelaide Power have also had to do so.

Click the link to check out the Australian Football Ladder from last season and the Australian Football Schedule for AFL Season 2020 and all the AFL Fixtures.

If you want to learn a little more about the rules, here is a helpful link on Aussie Rules Football Rules.

Here is a quick description of all of the Aussie Rules Football Teams for season 2020.

Be sure to check back regularly for AFL Footy Tips and AFL Season Predictions. Free AFL Picks, AFL Expert Tips and AFL Predictions for the AFL Season.

 

Australian Football League Season 2020 Preview

Adelaide Crows

Entered the Competition – 1991

Premierships – 2 (Their last Premiership was in 1998)

Last Grand Final – 2017

Previous Season Record – (10 Wins and 12 Losses)

Star Players – #9 Rory Sloane, #2 Brad Crouch, #5 Matt Crouch

Current Premiership Odds – $81

Round 1 Result –  A home loss to Sydney (71-74)

New Coach Matthew Nicks has the big task of trying to get the Adelaide Crows to play some consistent football again. They look a long way off their 2017 Season Form in which they played off in the 2017 Grand Final and were an impressive outfit. Since then, they have lost a couple of their best goal kickers and have struggled with consistency throughout each of the following seasons.

Adelaide has a such a great supporter base, and with crowds out of the question and the club having to relocate to the Gold Coast for the first four weeks of the season, it may be tough for them to get any momentum going.

They still have enough on-field talent to win games but are indeed an outsider to make the finals based on last season and the implementation of a new game plan.

Could surprise if their big forward Taylor Walker finds some form and their elite midfielders get first use of the football from stoppages. 

ProjectionWill need a lot of luck to play finals and are a bottom four contender.

Brisbane Lions

Entered the Competition – 1987 as the Bears, 1996 as the Brisbane Lions

Premierships – 3

Last Grand Final – 2004

Previous Season Record – (16 Wins and 6 Losses)

Star Players – #15 Dayne Zorko, #9 Lachie Neale, #31 Harris Andrews

Current Premiership Odds – $15

Round 1 Result – An away loss to Hawthorn (90 – 62)

The Brisbane Lions were the surprise packet of last season and made the most of the friendlier draw to finish second on the 2019 AFL Ladder, but failed to win a final.

They will be out for revenge this year and are one of the strong contenders this season.

Former Fremantle Docker Lachie Neale was awesome last season as was their veteran Dayne Zorko. Their best defender Harris Andrews came of age, and former Adelaide Crow Charlie Cameron was one of the best forwards in the AFL Last Season kicking with 57 Goals.

Most think that Brisbane cannot repeat what they did last season with the potentially tough draw this year. They are a young emerging list but don’t write these guys off as they are well-coached and play well as a team.

Projection – A strong contender and should be a Top 6 threat if the majority of their list stays fit.

Carlton Blues

Entered the Competition – 1897

Premierships – 16 (Last Premiership was in 1995)

Last Grand Final – 1999

Previous Season Record – (7 Wins and 15 Losses)

Star Players – #9 Patrick Cripps, #3 Marc Murphy, #35 Ed Curnow

Current Premiership Odds – $67

Round 1 Result – An away loss to Richmond (105-81)

Carlton has been disappointing for an extended period now and is once again an outsider. They have a growing list, but the return of their Champion defender Sam Docherty will be refreshing after a couple of seasons out of the game.

They do have one of the best midfielders in the competition in Patrick Cripps and did play some good football in the back end of last season under new coach Jeff Teague, to rack up seven wins.

According to the experts, it will probably be another long year for Carlton fans, but if they can stay fit and Charlie Curnow shows promise up forward, they may surprise and pinch some wins.

Projection – Will surprise and win some tough games, but consistency has been non existent in recent years.  Another bottom four contender.

Collingwood Magpies

Entered the Competition – 1897

Premierships – 15 (Their last Premiership was in 2010)

Last Grand Final – 2018

Previous Season Record – (15 Wins and 7 Losses)

Star Players – #4 Brodie Grundy, 10# Scott Pendlebury, #22 Steele Sidebottom, #7 Adam Treloar, #2 Jordan De Goey

Current Premiership Odds – $6.50

Round 1 Result – An away win against the Western Bulldogs (34 – 86)

The 2018 Grand Finalists, Collingwood has been a contender for a few seasons now and will continue to do so. They have arguably the best ruckman in the AFL in Brodie Grundy and have a core Midfield that continues to get the job done and extract the football from the congested situation.

One of their vulnerable positions is said to be the forward line, but if their big American up forward Mason Cox can show the form he showed in the back end of the 2018 AFL Season they will again be dangerous. Jordan De Goey is an exciting player up forward for the Pies, and they have a plethora of players who can kick goals.

Collingwood is one of the strongest clubs in the AFL and is well-coached and well managed.

They will again be a strong contender this season, although won’t have their loud fans at games which will prove interesting to see how it impacts the club.

Projection – Should make the finals comfortably and are a fancied favourite for a Top 4 Finish.

Essendon Bombers

Entered the Competition – 1897 (Fact – Won the very first Premiership)

Premierships – 16 (The last Premiership was in 2000)

Last Grand Final – 2000

Previous Season Record – (12 Wins and 10 Losses)

Star Players – #7 Zach Merrett, #9 Dylan Shiel, #18 Michael Hurley

Current Premiership Odds – $34

Round 1 Result – A home win against Fremantle (63 – 57)

Essendon has been unpredictable in recent seasons, and it will be interesting to see how they go in John Worsfold’s last season as coach.

The Bombers don’t rely on star players and have a core bunch that can play consistently good football.

The pace of Dylan Shiel, Conor McKenna and Adam Saad makes their games exciting, and Jake Stringer and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti always provide excitement up forward.

If their big forward Joe Daniher can become injury free and provide a reliable target up forward, they may do some damage.

Projection – The Bombers have the talent to finish in the final 8, but will need a little bit of luck with injuries and their more experienced campaigners to play consistent football. An outside finals hope.

Fremantle Dockers

Entered the Competition – 1995

Premierships – 0

Last Grand Final – 2013

Previous Season Record – (9 Wins and 13 Losses)

Star Players – #7 Nat Fyfe (2019 Brownlow Medal Winner) #10 Michael Walters, #16 David Mundy

Current Premiership Odds – $101

Round 1 Result – An away loss against Essendon (63 – 57)

After sacking their coach last season during one of the most substantial list rebuilds in recent times, the Dockers will have their work cut out for them to perform in the 2020 AFL Season.

New coach Justin Longmuir has a new game plan for the club, and it will be interesting to see how the players adapt to it and how soon it can become effective.

They are a young emerging list but do have arguably the best player in the competition in Nat Fyfe, and Michael Walters is one of the most exciting players in the AFL. The losses of two of the best running mids, Brad Hill and Ed Langdon could prove costly, and it will be interesting to see who steps up.

They have had to relocate to the Gold Coast in a player hub so they are far from home which may have an impact. The break may prove helpful to them as a few of the better tall players in Joel Hamling, Alex Pearce and Jesse Hogan have been able to recover from injuries.

Projection – Don’t except too much from the Fremantle side, but they didn’t look too bad in their Round 1 encounter and did have a solid showing in the pre season. A bottom 6 finish looks a certainty without a home ground advantage in the early stages.

Geelong Cats

Entered the Competition – 1897

Premierships – 9 (Their last Premiership was in 2011)

Last Grand Final – 2011

Previous Season Record – (16 Wins and 6 Losses)

Star Players – #35 Patrick Dangerfield, #4 Gary Ablett Jr, #14 Joel Selwood, #44 Tom Stewart

Current Premiership Odds – $13

Round 1 Result – An away loss to GWS Giants (105 – 73)

The Geelong Cats have been a solid contender in the AFL Since 2007 when they won their first Flag in over 40 years.

They got off to an excellent start last season but started to tire in the latter stages with an older list. They did play in a preliminary final, but were outclassed by the eventual winner the Richmond Tigers.

The shorter quarter lengths may help them out a little, and they are expected to again be a contender in the back end of the season.

Patrick Dangerfield is their best player, and they have the 36 Year Old Gary Ablett Jr who is arguably the Greatest Afl Player of the last 20 years, so expect them to be a solid contender once again.

The loss of Tim Kelly will hurt, but picking up former Saint Jack Steven, will prove valuable.

Projection –  The Cats will be a definite finals contender and one of the more fancied sides to stake a claim for a Top 4 finish.

Gold Coast Suns

Entered the Competition – 2011

Premierships – 0

Last Grand Final – Never

Previous Season Record – (3 Wins and 19 Losses)

Star Players – #28 Jarrod Witts, #24 David Swallow, #8 Brayden Fiorini

Current Premiership Odds – $251

Round 1 Result – A home loss to Port Adelaide (29 – 76)

The Gold Coast Suns have never played in the AFL Finals in their short AFL Time, and once again it looks unlikely.

A young list, they only managed three wins last year, but won’t have to do much travel in the first 4 weeks of the Competition as one of the AFL Hubs is set up on the Gold Coast.

They do have some good emerging young players but are the favourites to finish towards the bottom of the AFL Ladder.

Projection – The player Hub being based in the Gold Coast may help them pinch a win in the early stages of the season, but just like last year they are the favourites for the Wooden Spoon (Finishing Last).

Greater Western Sydney Giants

Entered the Competition – 2012

Premierships – 0

Last Grand Final – 2019

Previous Season Record – (13 Wins and 9 Losses)

Star Players – #22 Josh Kelly, #3 Stephen Coniglio, #18 Jeremy Cameron, #4 Toby Greene, #6 Lachie Whitfield, # 14 Tim Taranto, 1# Phil Davis

Current Premiership Odds – $7

Round 1 Result – A Home win against Geelong (105 – 73)

If we are talking about the most talented list in the Australian Football League then, the GWS Giants are probably it. Gun defenders, gun midfielders and perhaps the best goal kicker and small forward in the competition, the Giants should be favourites to win the Flag this season.

They managed to make the 2019 Grand Final last season but were smashed by the Richmond Tigers in the biggest game of football, 114 to 25.

The Giants will be out for revenge this season and will more than likely be one of the teams to beat.

Being based in Sydney which is more famous for Rugby, they traditionally don’t play in front of large crowds so the fact that there won’t be any fans in the stands shouldn’t affect them.

Projection – One of the big contenders to take out the 2020 Premiership and a huge Top 4 chance.

Hawthorn Hawks

Entered the Competition – 1925

Premierships – 13 (Their last Premiership was in 2015)

Last Grand Final – 2015

Previous Season Record – (11 Wins and 11 Losses)

Star Players – #3 Tom Mitchell 10# Jaeger O’Meara, #5 James Worpel, #6 James Sicily

Current Premiership Odds – $17

Round 1 Result – A home win against Brisbane (90 – 62)

The Hawks have been the most successful AFL side over the last 10 Years and have what many consider as the greatest coach in AFL History in Alastair Clarkson.

Clarkson continues to get his team up each year, and their ability to recruit and trade for players to fill various roles is second to none.

The Hawks get their Brownlow Medalist of the 2018 AFL Season Tom Mitchell back who missed the entire 2019 Season with a broken leg. Mitchell Holds the AFL Record for most disposals in an AFL game with 54 Disposals and will be a welcome addition to the midfield of coach Clarkson for the 2020 Season.

Hawthorn is still solid in all areas on the field and are very well coached.

Projection – Expect the Hawks to be around the top 8 at the back end of the season, and if they make the finals, they may do dome damage.

Melbourne Demons

Entered the Competition – 1897

Premierships – 12 (Their Last Premiership was in 1964)

Last Grand Final – 2000

Previous Season Record – (5 Wins and 17 Losses)

Star Players – #11 Max Gawn, #13 Clayton Oliver, #5 Christian Petracca, #7 Jack Viney

Current Premiership Odds – $34

Round 1 Result –  An away loss against West Coast (78 – 51)

After such a promising 2018 Campaign the Demons couldn’t back it up last year and were incredibly disappointing with only five wins and finishing second last on the AFL Ladder.

Was it a tougher draw that helped produce such bad results or did the Demons just fluke the 2018 Season?

The question will be answered this year, but there is no doubt they certainly have talent in a few of the critical areas on the football field.

Max Gawn is one of the best ruckman in the competition, and Clayton Oliver and Jack Viney are both decent midfielders. The pickup during trade period of former Fremantle Docker player Ed Langdon will provide run and carry and youngster Christian Petracca is coming of age as a forward.

They need more consistency up forward and a proven goalkicker for the coming season.

Projection – The Demons may be an outside chance at playing finals if they find some of their 2018 form, but from what we saw last year, it looks a long way away.

North Melbourne Kangaroos

Entered the Competition – 1925

Premierships – 4 (Their last Premiership was in 1999)

Last Grand Final – 1999

Previous Season Record – (10 Wins and 12 Losses)

Star Players – #10 Ben Cunnington, #50 Ben Brown, #4 Shaun Higgins, # 7 Jack Ziebell

Current Premiership Odds – $41

Round 1 Result – A home win against St Kilda (56 – 54)

The Kangaroos come into the season with a new coach and some fresh hope for the future. Just the ten wins last season, but some of the younger players are beginning to show some promise and starting to mature as AFL Footballers.

North Melbourne are not favoured to do a lot this season but have been known to surprise in previous years.

They have a reliable goal kicker in Ben Brown and one of the best in and under Midfielders in the Competition. Ben Cunnington won the best and fairest last season and knows how to extract the football from a congested pack situation. He can also apply top-notch tackling pressure on the defensive side.

Throw in a couple of experienced campaigners in Jack Ziebell, and Shaun Higgins and the Kangaroos have some talented individuals who know how to compete on the big stage.

Projection – North Melbourne will be a slim finals hope at best, but may surprise on the odd occasion and look like a finals bound team. 

Port Adelaide Power

Entered the Competition – 1997

Premierships – 1 (2004 AFL Premiership)

Last Grand Final – 2007

Previous Season Record – (11 Wins and 11 Losses)

Star Players – #10 Travis Boak, #9 Robbie Gray, #11 Tom Rockliff

Current Premiership Odds – $26

Round 1 Result – An away win against Gold Coast (29– 76)

After a split record season last year, the Power will be out to prove to critics that they can play finals football. The pressure will be on Coach Ken Hinkley who needs to impress to continue to coach the club into the future.

Last season saw the Power blood some great young players, with the likes of Conor Rozee and Xavier Duursma showing some real promise at crucial moments during games. Dan Houston and Sam Powell-Pepper are a couple of other youngsters that continue to impress.

A couple of their more experienced players Travis Boak and Robbie Gray will need big seasons, and they may be a threat if they can finally get some consistency out of their big forward Charlie Dixon.

Projection – Port Adelaide is a finals chance and may do some damage towards the back end of the season if they remain fit.

Richmond Tigers

Entered the Competition – 1908

Premierships – 12 (Last Seasons AFL Premiers 2019)

Last Grand Final – 2019

Previous Season Record – (16 Wins and 6 Losses) Reigning Premiers

Star Players – #4 Dustin Martin, #19 Tom Lynch, #3 Dion Prestia

Current Premiership Odds – $4.50

Round 1 Result – Home win against Carlton (105 – 81)

You might notice that only 3 star players are listed and to be honest, its probably only Dustin Martin that is a real star. Richmond doesn’t need to rely on stars as they are a reliable team in all areas of the game, and are well-coached.

The Tigers have won 2 out of the last three Premierships and will once again be the Hot Favourtirtes to take out the title of 2020. A solid backline of defenders, midfielders that are not afraid to get their hands dirty and proven goal kickers make them the team to beat for season 2020.

Throw in the fact that they have a fantastic coach in Damian Hardwick and one of the better on-field captains of recent times Trent Cotchin.

Projection – The Tigers are the best all-around footy team going around and are a big chance to defend their Premiership Title.

St Kilda Saints

Entered the Competition – 1897

Premierships – 1 (1966 Premiership Winners)

Last Grand Final – 2010 (Fact – Played in the last Drawn Grand Final)

Previous Season Record – (9 Wins and 13 Losses)

Star Players – #15 Jack Billings, #4 Jade Gresham, #6 Seb Ross, #8 Brad Hill

Current Premiership Odds – $67

Round 1 Result – An away loss to North Melbourne (56-54)

The Saints have struggled the last couple of seasons after almost making finals in 2017, and it will be interesting to see how new coach Brett Ratten goes in charged of the St Kilda Football Club.

The Saints were active on the trade table and managed to pick up one of the fastest midfielders in the league in Brad Hill, and former Sydney Swan Zak Jones will also prove valuable. They did lose Jack Steven, who went home to Geelong and his run and carry of the football will be missed, but Brad Hill should be able to fill that void.

The Saints could be a surprise packet this season as they are a Melbourne based team and won’t have to do a lot of travel in the initial stages of an unprecedented season. Might need to improve on the offensive end and kicks some goals, but they do have a good set of young players who have the talent to be competitive.

Projection – The Saints could give the finals a nudge if they stay fit and start implementing the game plan of the new coach. More than likely favoured to finish mid table at best.

Sydney Swans

Entered the Competition – 1897 as South Melbourne, Became the Sydney Swans in 1982

Premierships – 5 (Their last Premiership was in 2012)

Last Grand Final – 2016

Previous Season Record – (8 Wins and 14 Losses)

Star Players – #23 Lance Franklin, #26 Luke Parker, #12 Josh Kennedy, #5  Issac Heeney, #24 Dayne Rampe

Current Premiership Odds – $67

Round 1 Result –  An away win against Adelaide (71-74)

The Swans struggled last season, and it saw the end of a side that has been competitive in the AFL for around 15 Seasons. They did have a tough draw last year but just could not get any consistency going.

They have a good core of star players and will need to rely heavily on them as some of the younger players are taking a while to mature.

The games leading current day goalkicker has been ruled out of the initial stages of the season with a severe hamstring injury and could miss up to 2 months of football. Can they kick enough goal without Lance Franklin?

If the Swans more experienced players can stay fit, they may remain competitive and give the finals a nudge. Didn’t look the most impressive during the pre-season, but managed to win their first game in round one.

Projection – An outside chance of the finals but looks unlikely. Never write the Swans off though, as many AFL Fans have found out in past seasons.

West Coast Eagles

Entered the Competition – 1987

Premierships – 4 (Their last Premiership was in 2018)

Last Grand Final – 2018

Previous Season Record – (15 Wins and 7 Losses)

Star Players – #6 Elliot Yeo, #13 Luke Shuey, #11 Tim Kelly, #3 Andrew Gaff, #20 Jeremy McGovern, #24 Shannon Hurn, #9 Nic Natainui

Current Premiership Odds – $5.50

Round 1 Result – A home win against Melbourne (78-51)

The 2018 Premiers have one of the most talented lists in the league, and the only real question is how they will adjust to being in a player hub all over the other side of the country for the first four weeks of competition.

The Eagles generally have to travel a lot during a regular AFL Season and always handle it very professionally.

They will go into the majority of their matches as favourites or a chance to win and have a core bunch of star players that know how to get the job done.

The addition of former Geelong gun Tim Kelly will be welcoming to the Eagles Midfield and give them even more depth. The only question for the Eagles is the Player Hub situation and how far they are away from family and friends.

Projection – Expect them to play in the finals just on talent alone, and if travel resrictions are lifted and they get their home ground advantage back they are a genuine Premiership Chance.

Western Bulldogs

Entered the Competition – 1925

Premierships – 2 (Their last Premiership was in 2016)

Last Grand Final – 2016

Previous Season Record – (12 Wins and 10 Losses)

Star Players – #4 Marcus Bontempelli, #11 Jack Macrae, #5 Josh Dunkley

Current Premiership Odds – $17

Round 1 Result – Home loss against Collingwood (34-86)

The Bulldogs were fancied to do some damage this season and make a Top 4 push, but those hopes were dashed when they were very disappointing in their round one encounter and well beaten by Collingwood.

They have had a few months to think about that game and will be out to prove that they are still a team to be respected.

Marcus Bontempelli is their exciting star player, and Jack Macrae knows how to get the football at will. The Bulldogs also had a young player in Josh Dunkley come of age last year and had an impressive standout season in the middle.

The 2016 Premiers still have the same coach, and if they start playing some confident football, they may just play finals and do some damage in the backend of the year.

Projection – They should play finals and maybe a sneaky Top 4 chance with a bit of luck.

The Season begins on the 11th of June with Collingwood taking on Richmond at the MCG.

Check out the video below to see some of the top plays from AFL Season 2019.

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Draft Stars

4 Comments

  1. Hi there Chris,

    I am becoming a compulsive visitor to your website, primarily due to my love for golf.

    The present article “Australian Football League, Season 2020 Preview” is informing about the upcoming AFL Season.

    Good review of all teams and great facts about the players.

    Keep us regaled with your stories. I look out for your articles.

    Aparna

  2. This website is for football lovers. It has a very beautiful picture of a football field at the beginning so it makes me want to scroll down to see what is in store. I can see that a lot of work is put into creating this website. I like how the teams are listed in the table of content and linked to other sites for more detail. This site makes good reading for football lovers because the content is so rich. 

    Charmaine

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