Every Clubs Best 22 in 2021
Believe it or not, but there is already less than 100 days until Carlton and Richmond kick off the 2021 AFL Season.
Now that trading has concluded, the national, pre-season and rookie drafts have been conducted and list lodgements are taking shape, Azza thought it was a good time to analyse each teams list, and give some insight into every AFL teams likely Round 1 side.
Ins: Sam Berry (pick 28), Brayden Cook (pick 25), Jackson Hately (PSD), Mitch Hinge (FA), Luke Pedlar (pick 11), James Rowe (pick 38), Riley Thilthorpe (pick 2)
Outs: Rory Atkins (free agency), Ben Crocker (delisted), Brad Crouch (free agency), Jordan Gallucci (delisted), Kyle Hartigan (trade), Riley Knight (delisted), Myles Poholke (delisted), Ayce Taylor (delisted), Patrick Wilson (delisted)
Player to Watch: Jackson Hately will be a hugely popular SuperCoach pick in 2021, after moving from the Giants to the Crows for more opportunity. He’ll certainly get those opportunities at Adelaide, especially after the departure of Brad Crouch and will be a walk-up start.
Debutants: After being overlooked in the past 3 drafts, James Rowe’s name finally got called out by Adelaide, and should be playing Round 1 after leading the goalkicking in the SANFL in 2020. A lively, small forward that Adelaide have missed since Betts and will slot in nicely to the side.
Depth: David Mackay and Paul Seedsman have fallen out of favour and are currently out of the best 22, but will be given every opportunity to feature if they put in strong performances in the SANFL. Jake Kelly, Ned McHenry, Lachlan Murphy and even new recruit Riley Thiltorpe could also be in the mix for Round 1 pending pre-season performances. It’s clear to see the rebuild is well and truly underway at Adelaide, which could be great for SuperCoaches as opportunities will be plentiful for new recruits who perform well.
Ladder Prediction: 15th – 18th.
Ins: Nakia Cockatoo (trade), Blake Coleman (pick 24), Joe Daniher (free-agency), Harry Sharp (pick 43), Henry Smith (pick 48), Deividas Uosis (Cat B)
Outs: Jacob Allison (delisted), Allen Christensen (retired), Cedrix Cox (delisted), Matt Eagles (delisted), Mitch Hinge (delisted), Corey Lyons (delisted), Stefan Martin (traded), Sam Skinner (delisted), Alex Witherden (traded), Toby Wooler (delisted)
Player to Watch: Nakia Cockatoo is going to be fascinating to watch in the pre-season. Hugely talented player beset by injury after injury, but given Brisbane’s recent track record with other injury-prone players like McCarthy, Birchall and Ah Chee, it’s fair to say Cockatoo is in safe hands and will be given every opportunity to play Round 1. Did I mention that he will be rookie-priced in SuperCoach…
Debutants: Joe Daniher is a huge addition to Brisbane’s forward line, and will be a walk-in barring any pre-season injury concerns. Blake Coleman could be given a chance at some stage given the lack of small/medium forwards, but will have to compete against his brother Keidan who’s already had some experience in the side.
Depth: Brisbane’s depth is sitting rather pretty heading into 2021, with a raft of players pushing for a spot in the best 22. Jack Payne, Marcus Adams, Tom Berry, Deven Robertson, Daniel McStay, Keidan Coleman and Archie Smith will all be knocking on the door for opportunity. Brisbane well placed for a tilt on their first flag in nearly 20 years.
Ladder Prediction: 1st – 4th.
Ins: Jack Carroll (pick 41), Corey Durdin (pick 37), Lachlan Fogarty (pick 22), Luke Pars (rookie pick 8), Adam Saad (trade), Zac Williams (free agency)
Outs: Hugh Goodard (delisted), Matthew Kreuzer (retired), Darcy Lang (delisted), Harrison Macreadie (delisted), Callum Moore (delisted), Finbar O’Dwyer (delisted), Fraser Phillips (delisted), Cameron Polson (delisted), Ben Silvagni (delisted), Kade Simpson (retired)
Player to Watch: Zac Williams move to Carlton was a massive coup and will be one of the first picked in my SuperCoach side in 2021. Already earmarked for more midfield time at Carlton and a full pre-season ahead of him, he’s average can only go one way, up and up.
Debutants: Like Docherty, Adam Saad is a huge addition to Carlton’s backline and will provide some great rebound run-and-carry. Lachie Fogarty will also be in the mix for Round 1, but will have to put in a very impressive pre-season to dislodge those entrenched in the 22.
Depth: Carlton are slowly building a quality list, with some impressive depth. Jack Silvagni, David Cunningham, Matthew Kennedy, Michael Gibbons, Nic Newman, Paddy Dow will be in consideration for the side for Round 1, with Gibbons the unluckiest to miss. Teague is a coach who likes to favour experience over youth, so don’t get your hopes up on seeing too many cash cows coming out of Carlton in SuperCoach for 2021.
Ladder Prediction: 6th – 10th
Ins: Isaac Chugg (rookie pick 28), Jack Ginnivan (rookie pick 13), Oliver Henry (pick 17), Finlay Macrae (pick 19), Beau McCreery (pick 44), Reef McInnes (pick 23), Beau McCreery (pick 44), Caleb Poulter (pick 30)
Outs: Flynn Appleby (delisted), Dayne Beams (retired), Atu Bosenavulagi (traded), Tim Broomhead (delisted), Lynden Dunn (retired), Tom Langdon (retired), Tom Phillips (traded), Ben Reid (retired), Matthew Scharenberg (delisted), Jaidyn Stephenson (traded), Adam Treloar (traded), Travis Varcoe (retired), Rupert Wills (delisted)
Player to Watch: Josh Daicos was a standout for Collingwood in 2020, enjoying a breakout season, but was that the start of something more and could he take his game to an even bigger level in 2021? The signs look promising and will be a player to keep a close eye on in pre-season.
Debutants: Collingwood arguably won the draft night comfortably bringing in some quality talent in Oliver Henry, Finlay Macrae, Reef McInnes, Caleb Poulter, Liam McMahon and Beau McCreery, with Jack Ginnivan and Isaac Chugg being picked up in the rookie draft. Having lost so many players in the off season, the doors will be wide open for debutants. Both Macrae and McCreery look primed for a Round 1 debut, and from all scouting reports, Finlay Macrae could be better than his brother…
Depth: Outside of the 26 listed above, it becomes a little devoid of many players with AFL experience with 18 players who’ve played 10 games or less. They’ve gone from the oldest and most experienced side in 2020 to one of the youngest and least experienced which could prove challenging if they experience a bad run of injuries.
Ladder Prediction: 10th – 14th.
Ins: Coby Brand (pick 53), Jye Caldwell (trade), Nik Cox (pick 8), Josh Eyre (pick 39), Nick Hind (trade), Archie Perkins (pick 9), Zach Reid (pick 10), Peter Wright (trade)
Outs: Josh Begley (delisted), Tom Bellchambers (retired), Henry Crauford (delisted), Joe Daniher (free agency), Orazio Fantasia (traded), Noah Gown (delisted), Mitch Hibberd (delisted), Conor McKenna (retired), Shaun McKernan (free agency), Kobe Mutch (delisted), Adam Saad (traded), Jacob Townsend (delisted)
Player to Watch: Jye Caldwell will also be another popular SuperCoach pick in 2021 and a straight walk into Essendon’s midfield. Like Hately, he’s a gifted footballer that just couldn’t get regular game time at GWS but will have no trouble at Essendon. Watch his role and form in the pre-season closely but should be a relatively safe pick in SC for 2021.
Debutants: Nick Hind wil be a familiar name to Essendon supporters having played for their VFL side from 2016-2018 and produced some impressive performances across half-back that definitely haven’t gone unnoticed with Essendon trading late picks in the dying seconds of the trade period to pick him up. Will play Round 1 along with Peter Wright who crossed from the Suns during the trade period looking for more opportunities.
Depth: Essendon’s depth is a little shaky in some areas, with some question marks over the forward line and midfield. Expect their three new gun recruits Archie Perkins, Nik Cox and Zach Reid to feature at some stage next year, with Archie Perkins and Nik Cox the most likely to debut early.
Ladder Prediction: 12th – 16th
Ins: Heath Chapman (pick 14), Nathan O’Driscoll (pick 27), Josh Treacy (rookie pick 7), Brandon Walker (pick 50), Joel Western (pick 54)
Outs: Isaiah Butters (delisted), Jason Carter (delisted), High Dixon (delisted), Jesse Hogan (traded), Brandon Matera (delisted), Cam McCarthy (delisted), Tom North (delisted), Dillon O’Reilly (delisted), Jarvis Pina (delisted)
Players to Watch: Griffin Logue and Darcy Tucker. Tucker was struck down with injury at the worst possible time, and it felt like he was on the cusp of a breakout season. Expecting Tucker to burst onto the scene in 2021 with a standout campaign. Logue’s ability to play on smalls and talls, as well as his athletic ability allowing him to intercept and rebound have him perfectly placed for a breakout season in 2021.
Debutants: At this stage, it’s likely Longmuir will back in a more experienced brigade early on and debutants will come in once the season is well underway. First round selection Heath Chapman is a chance to take up a spot and not necessarily in defence with a wing role earmarked for him by Football Manager Peter Bell, while Joel Western’s hunger to play round 1 as a small forward might work in favour with the Dockers’ forward mix an ever changing entity as they seek to kick a winning score on a regular basis. Nathan O’Driscoll is recovering from a shoulder issue.
Depth: Freo have more depth in their back half of the ground, but Brennan Cox has played forward in the past, and Lloyd Meek is available as a back-up ruckmen should Sean Darcy be required to hold down a forward post. New recruits Josh Treacy and Heath Chapman could also be deployed forward if needed. Lots of untapped depth in the midfield, along with out of favour Connor Blakely are available if any of the first choice midfield go down and Dockers did remarkably well with an undermanned backline in 2020, though they would hope it doesn’t come to that again.
Ladder Prediction: 8th – 12th
Ins: Jeremy Cameron (trade), Shaun Higgins (trade), Max Holmes (pick 20), Shannon Neale (pick 33), Isaac Smith (free agency), Nick Stevens (pick 47), Paul Tsapatolis (Cat B)
Outs: Gary Ablett (retired), Nakia Cockatoo (trade), Lachie Fogarty (trade), Jacob Kennerley (delisted), Jack Steven (retired), Jake Tarca (delisted), Harry Taylor (retired)
Player to Watch: Patrick Dangerfield’s role in the side is one to watch with more forward line time on the cards after sucessful seasons from Cam Guthrie, Sam Menegola and Mitch Duncan in the midfield. Add in Higgins and Smith to the rotations and it’s likely Dangerfield may end playing forward more than SuperCoaches would like…
Debutants: A phenomenal off-season trade period landed three star recruits – Shaun Higgins, Jeremy Cameron and Isaac Smith. All will be straight walk-ins to the Cats side with Higgins taking Ablett’s spot, Smith taking Steven’s and Cameron helping Geelong to provide the best forward line duo in the game.
Depth: Just sit back for a moment and look at the absurdity of that best 22. It reads more like an All-Stars side than a normal club best 22. Quinton Narkle, Esava Ratugolea, Tom Atkins, Sam Simpson, Brad Close, Jordan Clark, Zach Guthrie, Charlie Constable and more are all waiting in the wings, but it’ll be very very hard to see many forcing their way in unless injury takes hold.
Ladder Prediction: 1st (anything else is a bust, right?)
Ins: Rory Atkins (free agency), Alex Davies (pre-selection), Aiden Fyfe (rookie pick 38), Elijah Hollands (pick 7), Joel Jeffrey (pre-selection), Oleg Markov (trade), Rhys Nicholls (rookie pick 40), Jacob Townsend (rookie pick 5)
Outs: Jacob Dawson (delisted), Corey Ellis (delisted), Sam Fletcher (delisted), Pearce Hanley (retired), Jacob Heron (delisted), George Horlin-Smith (retired), Jesse Joyce (delisted), Anthony Miles (retired), Mitch Riordan (delisted), Josh Schoenfeld (delisted), Peter Wright (trade)
Player to Watch: Matthew Rowell set the AFL alight in the first 4 games of his career before being unfairly cruelled by a shoulder injury in his 5th that saw him miss the remainder of the season. In those 4 games, he recorded 9 Brownlow votes and a SC average of 126.5, something not seen since Bradd Dalziells debut for Brisbane in 2008. Watch his pre-season with interest, and if the shoulder injury is behind him, pick him and throw away the key.
Debutants: Rory Atkins and Oleg Markov are welcome additions to the very inexperienced Gold Coast side and will be straight into the side for Round 1. Pre-select recruit Alex Davies is the most likely of the draftees to feature in Round 1 pending pre-season performances while Elijiah Hollands will be eased into the side after tearing his ACL last year.
Depth: On paper, they are young and inexperienced, but have some reasonable depth and look more rounded than in previous seasons. Flanders, Fiorini, MacPherson, Corbett, Holman, Graham, Lemmens, Sharp….all ready to pounce on the opportunity to play in this developing team.
Ladder Prediction: 10th – 14th.
Ins: Ryan Angwin (pick 18), Tanner Bruhn (pick 12), Cameron Fleeton (pick 58), Jesse Hogan (trade), Braydon Preuss (trade), Conor Stone (pick 15), Jacob Wehr (pick 59)
Outs: Jye Caldwell (trade), Jeremy Cameron (trade), Aiden Corr (free agency), Jackson Hately (delisted), Sam Jacobs (retired), Zac Langdon (trade), Heath Shaw (delisted), Tom Sheridan (retired), Zach Sproule (delisted), Zac Williams (free agency)
Player to Watch: Braydon Preuss finally gets the #1 ruck mantle he has been searching for which is great news for him and great news for SuperCoaches. Will be similarly priced for SuperCoach in 2021 around the 300k mark which will be hard to pass up for those that seek some value in the R2 spot.
Debutants: Jesse Hogan will take over Jeremy Cameron’s position in the side with some big shoes to fill and as mentioned above Preuss will line up Round 1. Jacob Wehr will be fascinating to watch in the pre-season and could snag Cumming’s role if he puts in an impressive pre-season, but for now, Cumming is in.
Depth: GWS have never had an issue with depth and that continues to be the case into 2021. Sure they have lost Cameron, Hately, Williams, Caldwell, Shaw and Corr, but there are players ready to fill those shoes like Ash, Cumming, Riccardi and Green with experienced fringe players like Keeffe, Finlayson, Reid, Mumford ready to step in if required.
Ladder Prediction: 12th – 16th.
Ins: Tyler Brockman (pick 45), Connor Downie (pick 35), Denver Grainger-Baras (pick 6), Kyle Hartigan (trade), Tom Phillips (trade), Seamus Mitchell (pick 29), Jack Saunders (rookie pick 4)
Outs: James Frawley (delisted), Conor Glass (retired), Will Golds (delisted), Ricky Henderson (retired), Harry Jones (delisted), Darren Minchington (delisted), Paul Puopolo (retired), Jackson Ross (delisted), Isaac Smith (free agency), Ben Stratton (retired), Mat Walker (delisted)
Player to Watch: 11 games is all it took for Will Day to push into Hawthorn’s top 10 at their Best and Fairest last year. He’s a promising prospect for the Hawks who enjoyed a fantastic debut, but having been given a taste of football and a full pre-season ahead, he looks primed to take that breakout to the next level in 2021.
Debutants: Hawks traded in Kyle Hartigan and Tom Phillips for fourth round picks and will slot straight into the side, with Hartigan filling the void left by Frawley and Phillips providing some valuable outside run on the wing. Denver Grainger-Barras was a great pick up by the Hawks and will be first in line to debut from Hawthorn’s crop of draftees.
Depth: With Frawley, Stratton, Henderson, Pupolo, Smith, Stratton all gone and injuries to Sicily and Gunston, youth is no longer going to be a dirty word at the Hawks with plenty of kids ready to step up into senior roles in 2021. While Nash, Hanrahan, Greaves, Maginness, Jaith, Day, Moore may not have played much senior football, the future is bright with some exciting talent on the list that will have no trouble stepping into some big shoes.
Ladder Prediction: 12th – 16th.
Ins: Jack Bowey (pick 21), Ben Brown (trade), Bailey Laurie (pick 22), Fraser Rosman (pick 34)
Outs: Harley Bennell (retired), Kyle Dunkley (delisted), Mitch Hannan (traded), Kade Kolodjashnij (retired), Oscar McDonald (delisted), Braydon Preuss (trade), Corey Wagner (delisted), Josh Wagner (delisted)
Player to Watch: The biggest question on everyone’s lips at Melbourne, will Ben Brown return to his lofty form and kick 60 goals a season in 2021? Time will tell. The falling out with North was hard to watch (especially as a supporter), but a fresh team and a developing forward line could be the catalyst for a return to form. A huge addition to Melbourne’s forward line that we’ll all be watching with keen interest.
Debutants: Ben Brown will be the only new face in Melbourne’s best 22 in Round 1, but new recruit Bailey Laurie will definitely be in the mix given he was recruited to fill the void of small pressure forward, something Melbourne is lacking.
Depth: There’s a lot of players on the outer at Melbourne, with Tom McDonald, Nathan Jones, Neville Jetta falling well out of favour, with a few others on notice as well. But Melbourne’s depth runs deep with Jackson, Hore, Baker, Sparrow, Bedford, Petty ready to make their mark on the side in 2021.
Ladder Prediction: 6th – 10th.
Ins: Atu Bosenavulagi, Aiden Corr, Eddie Ford, Charlie Lazzaro, Connor Menadue, Will Phillips, Tom Powell, Phoenix Spicer, Jaidyn Stephenson, Patrick Walker, Lachie Young
Outs: Paul Ahern (delisted), Ben Brown (traded), Joel Crocker (delisted), Majak Daw (delisted), Sam Durdin (delisted), Shaun Higgins (traded), Lachie Hosie (delisted), Ben Jacobs (delisted), Jamie Macmillan (delisted), Tom Murphy (delisted), Jasper Pittard (delisted), Ed Vickers-Willis (delisted), Marley Williams (delisted), Mason Wood (delisted)
Player to Watch: Tom Powell, North’s second selection at the AFL National Draft has been likened to Tom Mitchell and Lachie Neale, with some phenomenal statistics in the SANFL. With an average of 35 disposals per game and a SC average of 153.7 in 2020, he’ll be straight into the new look North side, and should be straight into most SuperCoach sides when it opens.
Debutants: Aiden Corr, Will Phillips, Lachie Young and Jaiden Stephenson also join Powell into North’s Round 1 side, and given the new look side, there will also be plenty of other opportunities to come for new recruits Bosenavulagi, Ford and Menadue.
Depth: With one of the largest off-season cull we’ve seen, North’s depth has taken a huge hit, to put it mildly. Walker, Xerri, Campbell and Comben are the remaining key position players which leaves a lot to be desired, not to mention there’s players like Dom Tyson and Aaron Hall that are out of favour. But within this interesting list, lies some future prospects in Jack Mahony, Flynn Perez, Kryon Hayden, Eddie Ford and Tristan Xerri that give North fans some hope.
Ladder Prediction: 14th – 18th.
Ins: Aliir Aliir (trade), Orazio Fantasia (trade), Tyson Goldsack (rookie pick 16), Lachlan Jones (pick 16), Ollie Lord (pick 49), Taj Schofield (rookie pick 37)
Outs: Joe Atley (delisted), Wylie Buzza (delisted), Tobin Cox (delisted), Brad Ebert (delisted), Riley Grundy (delisted), Jake Patmore (delisted), Cam Sutcliffe (delisted), Jack Watts (retired), Justin Westhoff (retired)
Players to Watch: Butters, Rozee and Duursma, all recruited in 2019 are firmly entrenched into Port’s best 22 and will be an absolute force to be reckoned with in the future, as they enter the all important 3rd season, this is the season where they could stamp their authority as a midfield trio to take Port Adelaide to their first flag since 2004.
Debutants: Aliir and Fantasia have been traded in to further strengthen the side, and it’s Lachlan Jones that will be in strong contention to also debut for the Power in Round 1.
Depth: Arguably one of the strongest depth-wise in the AFL, with ready-made players at their disposal. Burton, Motlop, Goldsack, Mayes, Bonner have played 50 games or more and will be in contention, with plenty of youth in Drew, Burgoyne, Hayes, Mead, Williams and Lord ready to step up if required.
Ladder Prediction: 1st – 4th
Ins: Maurice Rioli (pick 51), Samson Ryan (pick 40)
Outs: Derek-Eggmolesse-Smith (delisted), Luke English (delisted), Jack Higgins (traded), Oleg Markov (traded), Fraser Turner (delisted)
Player to Watch: Dustin Martin needs no explanation, after all he was recently listed as the most marketable athlete in Australia. Pure excitement and a pleasure to watch but will we ever see a season like we did in 2017?
Debutants: There’s been very little change at Richmond in the off-season, and it’s expected that the Round 1 line-up will be nearly identical to that which was put forward for the 2020 AFL Grand Final. Both Maurice Rioli and Samson Ryan will take some time to develop and it’s unlikely we’ll see them debut unless there was a catastrophic run of injuries.
Depth: Premiership teams are built on the strength of their depth. So it’s no wonder that Richmond’s depth runs deep with an abundance of players ready to step into the side. Caddy, Chol, Aarts, Naish, Ross, Dow, Collier-Dawkins will all be given their chances, as will Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones when they return from suspension.
Ladder Prediction: 1st – 4th
Ins: Brad Crouch (free agency), James Frawley (free agency), Matthew McLoed-Allison (pick 26), Jack Higgins (trade), Tom Highmore (pick 45), Shaun McKernan (free agency)
Outs: Ryan Abbott (delisted), Logan Austin (delisted), Jack Bell (delisted), Nathan Brown (retired), Nick Hind (traded), Doulton Langlands (delisted), Jonathon Marsh (delisted), Jack Mayo (delisted), Matthew Parker (delisted), Ed Phillips (delisted), Shane Savage (delisted)
Player to Watch: While Brad Crouch will miss Round 1 due to suspension, all eyes will be on him when he debuts for the Saints in Round 3 to see what impact he immediately has for the Saints given his midfield talent and ball-winning ability.
Debutants: Another year, another Jack joins St. Kilda. Jack Higgins slots straight into the half-forward line pushing out Jack Lonie, and Brad Crouch will enter the best 22 soon after he serves his suspension.
Depth: Of all the clubs, this was definitely the hardest best 22 to settle on with so much good talent and not enough spots. Jarryn Geary and Jack Sinclair were super unlucky to miss, with Dean Kent, Luke Dunstan, Jimmy Webster, Jack Lonie, Dylan Roberton stiff as well. Add in the likes of Jack Bytel, Ryan Byrnes, Darragh Joyce and new recruit Tom Highmore, Saints are well positioned to aim higher in 2021.
Ladder Prediction: 5th – 8th
Ins: Braeden Campbell (pick 5), Malachy Carruthers (rookie pick 3), Errol Gulden (pick 32), Tom Hickey (trade), Logan McDonald (pick 4)
Outs: Aliir Aliir (delisted), Zac Foot (delisted), Michael Knoll (delisted), Jack Maibaum (delisted), Harry Reynolds (delisted), Brady Rowles (delisted), Ryley Stoddart (delisted), Elijah Taylor (delisted), Jackson Thurlow (delisted)
Player to Watch: Is this the year we finally see Lance Franklin return to the field and string a few games together? Plagued by injuries since 2018, AFL fans will be praying to see a return of the excitement machine that is Buddy and for SuperCoaches he could be a bargain pick if the team over at SC HQ give him a generous discount.
Debutants: Logan McDonald was arguably the best player in the draft behind Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, slipping to Sydney at pick 4. Given he can hold his own against opponents 10 years his senior as saw in the WAFL this year, he’ll be well and truly ready for a Round 1 debut and a well addition to Sydney’s forward line, especially if injury plagued Sam Reid and Lance Franklin aren’t fit.
Depth: The ruck battle between Tom Hickey and Callum Sinclair will be an interesting affair, even more so when Naismith returns from injury once again. But it highlights the strength of Swans depth, with backman in Fox and Gould, midfielders in Clarke, Taylor and Bell and forwards in Ronke, Gray all pushing for spots in 2021.
Ladder Prediction: 12th – 16th
Ins: Luke Edwards (pick 52), Zac Langdon (trade), Zane Trew (rookie pick 12), Isaiah Winder (pick 57), Alex Witherden (trade)
Outs: Hamish Brayshaw (delisted), Tom Hickey (traded), Lewis Jetta (delisted), Mitch O’Neill (delisted), Nic Reid (delisted), Will Schofield (retired), Anthony Treacy (delisted), Francis Watson (delisted)
Player to Watch: Alex Witherden was an astute pick up by West Coast in the trade period and will be a great boost to the Eagles defensive area with his rebound and run off half-back. He has shown a lot of promise in SuperCoach, especially in the 6 games he played, including putting up a monster 170 in Round 9 against Essendon. Now with more security, he should flourish and could be in line for a breakout season.
Debutants: Zac Langdon is the other addition to West Coast that should walk straight into Eagles Round 1 side, adding some polish to the half-forward line but he’ll have his work cut out for him battling the likes of Ah Chee, Cameron and Jones for that forward position.
Depth: It’s an experienced side with plenty of talent waiting in the wings for their opportunity. Brander, Williams, Ah Chee, Rotham, Jones, Petruccelle will all push their case for a Round 1 position and shows how deep the depth is at West Coast. The only question mark will be who takes the ruck duties if Nic Naitanui gets injured after losing Hickey to Sydney.
Ladder Prediction: 4th – 8th
Ins: Dominic Bedendo (pick 55) Mitch Hannan (trade), Stefan Martin (trade), Lachlan McNeil (rookie pick 11), Adam Treloar (trade), Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (pick 1)
Outs: Tory Dickson (retired), Billy Gowers (delisted), Fergus Green (delisted), Sam Lloyd (retired), Brad Lynch (delisted), Callum Porter (delisted), Matt Suckling (delisted), Lachie Young (traded)
Player to Watch: Josh Dunkley was a little bit of an enigma in 2020, thrown into various roles whether it be midfield, forward or even ruck. But with the additions of Treloar and Martin, we should hopefully see a return to a more permanent role in the midfield but honestly who knows with Bevo. A very interesting wait and see.
Debutants: Adam Treloar will have a point to prove at the Dogs after the horrid fall out with Collingwood and is obviously a Round 1 starter adding to this already absurd midfield. #1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan is a future superstar of the game and is more than Round 1 ready and will slot in nicely alongside Bruce.
Depth: Well there is one thing that Western Bulldogs aren’t short of and that’s midfielders. It’s going to be an interesting balancing act to watch play out to see how they rotate Hunter, Bontempelli, Liberatore, Smith, Wallis, Macrae, Treloar and Dunkley through the midfield. It’s also going to be interesting to see how Bevo tackles the key position spots at the Dogs, as I have Naughton moving back into defence to allow English and Martin to take the twin ruck/forward role. Lipinski, Richards, Weightman, Cordy, Jong, Dale, Schache, West, Butler, Cavarra round out this deep team and will get opportunities but will have to work hard to break into this side.
Ladder Prediction: 4th – 8th