Is the 2012 AFL season shaping to be the best ever? Already we’ve seen some classic clashes worthy of finals in the opening 4 rounds, including the epic Hawthorn vGeelong clash on Easter Monday.
In one of the most hotly contested AFL football seasons ever it seems 13 clubs are in the race for the 8 finals spots.
Melbourne is football crazy with great attendances in the opening rounds.
West Coast are continuing their resurgence from last season and look formidable even without Mark Le Cras. The win against Hawthorn was epic in tough conditions. Great to see Daniel Kerr coming into great form. Jack Darling, Beau Waters and Darren Glass are playing great footy.
Carlton are looking like the Carlton of old – although the fastest Carlton side we’ve seen post the “mosquito fleet”. Garlett, Betts, Murphy, Judd… The midfield and forwards are lighning quick. And the defense launch attacks with rapid precision. The win against Collingwood was stunning. Can this be their year?
Sydney has been a surprising strong contender with their emerging young fleet including Luke Parker to complement the seasoned campaigners like Adam Goodes and Rhys Shaw. The improvement of Lewis Jetta and his accurate kicking and silky skills is an exciting prospect.
Essendon are continuing their rise with added maturity of young Bombers and players like Brent Stanton and Jobe Watson having a stellar season. They are a team brimming with confidence. The win over Carlton was a huge scalp that can only fuel confidence further. Hopefully they won’t get ahead of themselves.
Adelaide are looking much improved under new coach Brenton Sanderson, playing a more accountable game. Adelaide need to capitalise on a favourable draw to edge into the final 8. Tippett and Walker are massive targets up forward and Scott Thompson is a perennial ball magnet.
Fremantle look more dangerous under new coach Ross Lyon, and significantly more competitive interstate. The win over St Kilda was a massive confidence booster. The running of Stephen Hill is a highlight, as well as the great form of Barlow.
St Kilda after a slow start mean business and seem to have shrugged off the dramas of last year. It’s awesome to see Lenny Hayes back playing scintillating footy.
North Melbourne are an excitement machine who look to threaten anyone on their day. Consistency will be a big factor in their performance. Daniel Wells, Lindsay Thomas and Andrew Swallow are silky players with mercurial ability to take the game from the opposition.
Hawthorn, Collingwood and Geelong are below par on last year but still playing great footy. These teams are still expected to play a major role come September. While not in the 8 currently, this should quickly change. Hawthorn is loving the silky skills of Buddy Franklin and Cyril Rioli. Collingwood has some its stars down on form but this should change. Geelong is still packed with match winners like Bartel and Selwood.
Richmond seems to perennially be in a rebuilding stage. It needs to also find consistency. On its day Richmond can threaten anyone. Can this be the year to make the final 8? The young Tigers like Trent Cotchin are the key to Tiger hopes.
The other sides seem off the pace already but hopefully will rise above expectation. This season is hot!