Hawthorn - 20 flags by 2050

Who's closer to a flag, Geelong or Hawthorn?

  • Hawthorn

    Votes: 141 56.4%
  • Geelong

    Votes: 109 43.6%

  • Total voters
    250

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Walshawk

Club Legend
Mar 24, 2017
1,886
1,776
Blackburn
AFL Club
Hawthorn
What is interesting is that the two clubs who were brave enough to state their lofty ambitions - Hawks and Richmond, actually achieved them. Most other clubs are too afraid to even plan to win multiple premierships in private let alone announce it to the footy world. 20 by 2050 highly unlikely given where we are now we would need two or three more dominant eras), but at least we have a crack.
 

HairyO

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 13, 2015
23,409
24,875
AFL Club
Hawthorn
What is interesting is that the two clubs who were brave enough to state their lofty ambitions - Hawks and Richmond, actually achieved them. Most other clubs are too afraid to even plan to win multiple premierships in private let alone announce it to the footy world. 20 by 2050 highly unlikely given where we are now we would need two or three more dominant eras), but at least we have a crack.
Saints had a plan to win a flag by 2020. But everyone laughed at it.
 

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backtozero

Club Legend
Jul 26, 2020
1,827
4,220
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
What is interesting is that the two clubs who were brave enough to state their lofty ambitions - Hawks and Richmond, actually achieved them. Most other clubs are too afraid to even plan to win multiple premierships in private let alone announce it to the footy world. 20 by 2050 highly unlikely given where we are now we would need two or three more dominant eras), but at least we have a crack.
How do you know what clubs have or haven't planned privately?
 

roacheee

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Aug 25, 2015
6,279
14,354
AFL Club
Richmond
Can you read?

"Most other clubs are too afraid to even plan to win multiple premierships in private let alone announce it to the footy world"
Bwahahaha...thanks for the laugh pea-brain
 

PJays

Senior List
Nov 2, 2020
237
312
AFL Club
St Kilda
Saints had a plan to win a flag by 2020. But everyone laughed at it.
Lots went wrong for St Kilda in 2018 and 2019.

Our number 1 pick McCartin had his career ended by concussions. Koby Stevens & Billy Longer suffered the same fate.

Roberton was All Australian squad in 2017, but hasn't been the same since due to heart issues.

Now, imagine McCartin had become All Australian key forward, and the 2020 Saints had that version of McCartin plus the 2017 Roberton. They would've come close to winning the flag I reckon.

Another what if- What if the Saints had drafted Petracca and Bontempelli instead of McCartin and Billings?

Again, probably would've come very close to the 2020 flag.

St Kilda was only soundly beaten in 3 games in 2020 out of 19- the other 16 were all wins or very close losses. We lost a semi final to Richmond by 31, despite kicking 6.13, missing a goal due to an incorrect goal review, and missing Ryder (3rd in our B&F on votes per game, and BOG in Week 1 finals). We were missing Ryder, Carlisle and Gresham- 2 of our top 10 players and 3 of our top 12 or 14. Richmond were at full strength, and kept nailing arsey goals that bounced through. 31 point loss to the eventual premier but could've been much closer. (And that was the 3rd comfortable loss of the season).

Saints win those 4 or 5 single digit losses, (plus the game they were 8 points up with 8 minutes left vs West Coast and lost by 15) all of a sudden they're minor premier with a double chance.

Things that must go right to win a flag:

- Nail your draft picks

- Have a good run with injuries

- The right coaching staff

- Building a culture and convincing Players to buy in and play for less than they're worth
(this is where Collingwood failed, after contending from 2018 to 2020 their window is now over, for now, after overpaying Treloar, Stephenson, Phillips and the associated fall out)

And of course, a bit of luck. It's not always easy to tell which players will eventually develop into quality AFL players. Coaching plays a role, but there's always that luck- some players have "it", others don't and it's not always apparent to anyone, it just surprises everyone when it happens.

Hawthorn

Hawthorn won 4 flags in 10 years but consider how they got there. In 2005 drafted Buddy, Roughhead and Lewis- 3 stars all peaked together, winning 2 flags and then another 2 without Buddy.

Now Roughhead was a priority pick #2. These days, that would be pick 20 or so.

Roughhead kicked 6 in the 2014 prelim and Hawthorn won by 3 points.

They also picked up Hodge as a #1 priority pick in 2002. If that was 2020, that's pick 19. Hodge won multiple Norm Smiths.

Without Hodge and Roughhead- and with two lesser players instead- Hawthorn probably wouldn't have won 1 flag, let alone 4.

Hawthorn's previous flags in the 80's and 1991 were won while they were cheating the salary cap (John Hook and Don Scott have both admitted this)- another strategy that doesn't work in the modern AFL!

Geelong

The AFL's equalisation system makes it very difficult these days for any team to have sustained success.

Geelong has done it, but with 14 or 15 of their best 22 being 28 or over, they have one more year, maybe two of contending and then the dam will finally burst and they'll have a few years of mediocrity. The free agent system won't allow them to replace Selwood, Hawkins, Dangerfield, etc etc. Not with other teams circling the few Free Agents every year.

They have done a tremendous job with mature age recruits (Blicavs, Podsiadly, Stewart, Kelly) but they won't unearth enough players to keep them contending beyond 2021/22. Their list is just too old. They've gone all in with Cameron, Higgins and Smith, hoping to win a flag and knowing they'll be down for a while afterwards- like Sydney tried with Buddy and now they're having a down period.

As great as Geelong have been for the past 17 years or so, ultimately they've only won 3 flags. In fact they've only won 3 since 1963!

Geelong also got Ablett, Scarlett and Hawkins under the old father/ son system. Nowadays they'd need to bid and use a higher pick, instead of merely use a 3rd round pick to draft those players. Like Hawthorn, they benefited from rules that have changed significantly since.

The Future

There aren't any recent examples of clubs winning multiple flags and then multiple more within the next 15-20 years.

This is why I dont see any club winning 20 flags by 2050- and Carlton, Essendon and Collingwood are the only 3 who I give any real chance, as they'd need 4, 4 and 5 within 30 years.

The AFL is designed as an equal opportunity system, and there's 18 clubs.
 
Last edited:

HairyO

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 13, 2015
23,409
24,875
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Lots went wrong for St Kilda in 2018 and 2019.

Our number 1 pick McCartin had his career ended by concussions. Koby Stevens & Billy Longer suffered the same fate.

Roberton was All Australian squad in 2017, but hasn't been the same since due to heart issues.

Now, imagine McCartin had become All Australian key forward, and the 2020 Saints had that version of McCartin plus the 2017 Roberton. They would've come close to winning the flag I reckon.

Another what if- What if the Saints had drafted Petracca and Bontempelli instead of McCartin and Billings?

Again, probably would've come very close to the 2020 flag.

St Kilda was only soundly beaten in 3 games in 2020 out of 19- the other 16 were all wins or very close losses. We lost a semi final to Richmond by 31, despite kicking 6.13, missing a goal due to an incorrect goal review, and missing Ryder (3rd in our B&F on votes per game, and BOG in Week 1 finals). We were missing Ryder, Carlisle and Gresham- 2 of our top 10 players and 3 of our top 12 or 14. Richmond were at full strength, and kept nailing arsey goals that bounced through. 31 point loss to the eventual premier but could've been much closer. (And that was the 3rd comfortable loss of the season).

Saints win those 4 or 5 single digit losses, (plus the game they were 8 points up with 8 minutes left vs West Coast and lost by 15) all of a sudden they're minor premier with a double chance.

Things that must go right to win a flag:

- Nail your draft picks

- Have a good run with injuries

- The right coaching staff

- Building a culture and convincing Players to buy in and play for less than they're worth
(this is where Collingwood failed, after contending from 2018 to 2020 their window is now over, for now, after overpaying Treloar, Stephenson, Phillips and the associated fall out)

And of course, a bit of luck. It's not always easy to tell which players will eventually develop into quality AFL players. Coaching plays a role, but there's always that luck- some players have "it", others don't and it's not always apparent to anyone, it just surprises everyone when it happens.

Hawthorn

Hawthorn won 4 flags in 10 years but consider how they got there. In 2005 drafted Buddy, Roughhead and Lewis- 3 stars all peaked together, winning 2 flags and then another 2 without Buddy.

Now Roughhead was a priority pick #2. These days, that would be pick 20 or so.

Roughhead kicked 6 in the 2014 prelim and Hawthorn won by 3 points.

They also picked up Hodge as a #1 priority pick in 2002. If that was 2020, that's pick 19. Hodge won multiple Norm Smiths.

Without Hodge and Roughhead- and with two lesser players instead- Hawthorn probably wouldn't have won 1 flag, let alone 4.

Hawthorn's previous flags in the 80's and 1991 were won while they were cheating the salary cap (John Hook and Don Scott have both admitted this)- another strategy that doesn't work in the modern AFL!

Geelong

The AFL's equalisation system makes it very difficult these days for any team to have sustained success.

Geelong has done it, but with 14 or 15 of their best 22 being 28 or over, they have one more year, maybe two of contending and then the dam will finally burst and they'll have a few years of mediocrity. The free agent system won't allow them to replace Selwood, Hawkins, Dangerfield, etc etc. Not with other teams circling the few Free Agents every year.

They have done a tremendous job with mature age recruits (Blicavs, Podsiadly, Stewart, Kelly) but they won't unearth enough players to keep them contending beyond 2021/22. Their list is just too old. They've gone all in with Cameron, Higgins and Smith, hoping to win a flag and knowing they'll be down for a while afterwards- like Sydney tried with Buddy and now they're having a down period.

As great as Geelong have been for the past 17 years or so, ultimately they've only won 3 flags. In fact they've only won 3 since 1963!

Geelong also got Ablett, Scarlett and Hawkins under the old father/ son system. Nowadays they'd need to bid and use a higher pick, instead of merely use a 3rd round pick to draft those players. Like Hawthorn, they benefited from rules that have changed significantly since.

The Future

There aren't any recent examples of clubs winning multiple flags and then multiple more within the next 15-20 years.

This is why I dont see any club winning 20 flags by 2050- and Carlton, Essendon and Collingwood are the only 3 who I give any real chance, as they'd need 4, 4 and 5 within 30 years.

The AFL is designed as an equal opportunity system, and there's 18 clubs.
2014 Hawks had an insane run of injuries including losing the coach for 5 weeks.

Having strong systems is as important as anything else.
 

PJays

Senior List
Nov 2, 2020
237
312
AFL Club
St Kilda
2014 Hawks had an insane run of injuries including losing the coach for 5 weeks.

Having strong systems is as important as anything else.
Correct but Hawthorn had all their players back for finals. Just like Richmond 2019

Yeah system I'd put under the coaching bracket. They're responsible for developing a system and teaching it to the players.

Picking coaches is a bit like drafting players. Some coaches have a certain something, but it's not always apparent in the beginning. And it's not obvious how well their ideas will translate into head coaching reality as football constantly changes, or how well they'll be able to hold a culture together over a long period of ups and downs.
 

Roby

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 27, 2008
7,492
4,488
Melbourne
AFL Club
Hawthorn
2014 Hawks had an insane run of injuries including losing the coach for 5 weeks.

Having strong systems is as important as anything else.
Just ignore him he just a Hawthorn hater who makes baseless claims.

Hawks were the worst affected injured team in 2014.
 

Roby

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 27, 2008
7,492
4,488
Melbourne
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Correct but Hawthorn had all their players back for finals. Just like Richmond 2019

Yeah system I'd put under the coaching bracket. They're responsible for developing a system and teaching it to the players.

Picking coaches is a bit like drafting players. Some coaches have a certain something, but it's not always apparent in the beginning. And it's not obvious how well their ideas will translate into head coaching reality as football constantly changes, or how well they'll be able to hold a culture together over a long period of ups and downs.
Wrong, again!

You obviously no nothing about Hawthorn, I doubt you've watched them play other than a Grand Final.
 

HairyO

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 13, 2015
23,409
24,875
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Correct but Hawthorn had all their players back for finals. Just like Richmond 2019

Yeah system I'd put under the coaching bracket. They're responsible for developing a system and teaching it to the players.

Picking coaches is a bit like drafting players. Some coaches have a certain something, but it's not always apparent in the beginning. And it's not obvious how well their ideas will translate into head coaching reality as football constantly changes, or how well they'll be able to hold a culture together over a long period of ups and downs.
We got Cyril back for the Grand Final. Suckling was injured in the finals.

When Clarko was injured we had 6 starting players injured too. Won all 5 games.
 

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PJays

Senior List
Nov 2, 2020
237
312
AFL Club
St Kilda
We got Cyril back for the Grand Final. Suckling was injured in the finals.

When Clarko was injured we had 6 starting players injured too. Won all 5 games.
In recent years, as far as I can remember the only flag winners with important absences were Dogs and WC. Dogs missing 6 or 7 of their best 22 and WC missing Gaff and Nic Nat.

Most of the time, the Premier has had 20 or 21 of their best 22 available on Grand Final day and rarely missing good players.

This suggests health of players is very helpful. Which is kind of obvious though
 

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