Two years on from their premiership glory, the Eagles have taken a couple of steps back despite having a list just as worthy – if not better – for an additional premiership cup to their trophy cabinet.
The Eagles’ torrid battle with injuries was once again a primary chapter in their home and away camping, as was their inability to find success outside of Perth.
If this West Coast outfit can remain on the track and finally find some minutes to play as a collective, their chances of claiming the 2021 premiership are as strong as any of their rivals.
A first week exit out of the finals doesn’t represent where this side places in the competition and they’ll be sure to show why as they begin planning for next year.
With a damaging forward line, a star-studded midfield and a no-nonsense defensive unit all adding to the Eagles’ flag bid, we’d say they’re as strong as a contender as any other side going into 2021.
Can the Tigers make it three in a row and move to an impressive four flags in five years? Absolutely.
Damien Hardwick has the formula for success and the squad to match, launching his side into a dynasty to remember, and they’re not done yet.
While 2020 proved to be a test for all, it was just another day at the office by the end of the season-decider and its hard to draw any reason why they won’t repeat history, again.
With all of their best 22 staying on for next season and age well and truly on their side, there is no doubt Richmond will be a strong contender come the business end of the season.
Sitting as the premiership favourites, the likely return to some form of the norm next year will see Richmond’s contention for the flag grow stronger as they return to playing football at their fortress that is the MCG.
Despite all their recent success, the Tigers will be as hungry as ever to add to their glorious dominance of the past four years.
You can just never rule out the Cats it seems.
Geelong proved once again in 2020 that their play for a premiership is well and truly alive and now they’ve managed to add an abundance of strength, speed and class to their list.
The Cats added three-time premiership Hawk Isaac Smith, Kangaroos smooth mover Shaun Higgins and if that wasn’t enough, 2019 Coleman Medal winner and Giants superstar Jeremy Cameron to their list in what was a bust trade period.
To go as close to winning the premiership as the Cats did and then to add the names they have, its hard to see this squad not make the big dance next year.
Some will question the age of Chris Scott’s men, but with Tom Hawkins having the greatest year of his career at 32 years of age, the men in hoops have proved that experience is key to moving up in this competition.
With Geelong now having arguably the strongest forward line in the AFL, added to a solid defensive unit and midfield that goes as deep as any, you’d be smart backing the Cats for the 2021 flag on any of the Australian betting sites.
Many believed that 2020 was the Lions’ best chances of winning a flag as they eyed off a home Grand Final at the Gabba thanks to the unprecedented circumstances that took place this year.
While the Lions held onto a top two finish for the second straight year and were once again well into the race for the premiership, they remained off the pace at times due to their limited finals experience.
In 2019 the Lions left the finals race in straight sets after a promising home and away season, and 12 months on managed to knock off the premiers before falling to the Cats in the preliminary final. The heartbreak of failed campaigns will only fuel this young sides place as a premiership contender.
The astronomical turn around of this club from several seasons ago shows the club is only moving in one direction, up.
With their star names only set to get better and the addition of Joe Daniher to their forward line, this Lions side have the premiership blue print in hand.
A minor premiership was a massive stepping stone for the South Australians, with the Power bowing out of the finals by a kick to the eventual premiership in Richmond one week out from the Grand Final.
Ken Hinkley has turned a finals hopeful into a speed driven juggernaut that isn’t looking to slow down any time soon.
The Power enjoyed an exciting trade period following on from their equally exciting 2020 campaign, adding Aliir Aliir and Orazio Fantasia to a list already overflowing with flare.
Add new faces into the mix and Port’s competitive ranks of fringe players worthy of an AFL position hands Hinkley a very good problem to have.
With Travis Boak leading from the front and plenty of eager stars spread across the field, the Power’s shout for flag next year is as worthy as any.
Can the Power prove 2020 was no fluke and add some silverware in 12 months time? The belief Port Adelaide have in place down at Alberton suggests so.