The AFL is officially back, and oh how sweet it is!
Many teams have serious claims to win the premiership at this point of the season, but as the season wears on, the separation in class between those who canâ€™t contend and those who canâ€™t becomes even more evident.
Below, weâ€™ll look at the four teams primed and ready to go all in and take out the leagueâ€™s ultimate prize – the AFL premiership.
West Cost Eagles
The Eagles came into the 2020 season as a genuine premiership contender, and nothing has changed since the shutdown. With a formidable midfield boasting the likes of stars Luke Shuey, new recruit Tim Kelly, Andrew Gaff and Elliot Yeo and other star talent around the ground such as Nic Naitanui, Shannon Hurn, Jeremy McGovern and the potent forward line duo of Jack Darling and Josh Kennedy, the Eagles are well placed to have another solid run at a premiership. With all that talent around the ground mixed with an entertaining and well-disciplined style of football, weâ€™ve been accustomed to seeing the Eagles contend since Simpson took over the reins. The Eagles look better placed than ever to make it a second premiership in three years.Â Â
The reigning premiers are one of the most entertaining teams in the league – thereâ€™s no going past the Tigers as being genuine contenders once again. With their fast paced and heavy pressure style of football that has the capability of overrunning every team in the league and the same list that has seen them win two of the last three premierships themselves, the Tigers are once again in heavy contention to go all the way. Led by stars Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin, Jack Riewoldt and Tom Lynch and the rest of the crew who have been so solid over the last three years, the Tigers will again be the benchmark of the league as they aim to go back to back in 2020. Follow this link for AFL tips.
After a fantastic 2019 which saw the Giants reach their first grand final in the clubâ€™s history, the fairytale wasnâ€™t meant to be after they were dismantled at the hands of the Tigers. But with that comes plenty of experience from the big day and the Giants have the list that if all can stay healthy are in serious contention to go one step further than they did in 2019 in shortened season. The Giants get new captain back Stephen Coniglio along with former captain Callan Ward, who both missed the 2019 Grand Final due to injury. Mix that with the other star talent around the ground such as Jeremy Cameron, Lachie Whitfield, Josh Kelly and Toby Greene, and the Giants boast one of the more electrifying lists that could cause anyone trouble, which puts them in prime position to push on in 2020 from a near perfect 2019.Â
The Pies are a team that perhaps go under the radar as a serious threat for the 2020 flag. In 2018, they were just a kick away from winning the premiership against the West Coast Eagles, while they were also just being pinched at the death again in 2019, this time at the hands of the GWS Giants in the Preliminary Final. With a vast majority of the list still intact and spades of up and coming talent throughout the list, the Pies are ready to shine in 2020. Led by stars Scott Pendlebury, Brodie Grundy, Steele Sidebottom and Jordan De Goey, the Pies gave the crop that could lead Nathan Buckleyâ€™s to his first flag.Â