Preview Who will finish higher in 2019 - Western Bulldogs, Port Adelaide or North Melbourne?

Who will finish higher?


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King Cold

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Thread starter #1
Seeing as this has been done for last year's preliminary finalists, the Bulldogs, Power and Kangaroos are a good comparison coming into this season as all are middle of the road and have been hard to predict in recent times.

For example:
Western Bulldogs were widely tipped to miss finals in 2016 but they won the premiership.
Port Adelaide were widely tipped to win the premiership in 2015 but they finished 9th.
North Melbourne were widely tipped to win the wooden spoon last year but they finished 9th.

Who will finish higher on the ladder out of this trio and why?
 

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adammania9

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#3
I feel like it’s inevitable that North narrowly miss out but that’s just me, I hope they play finals since I like the club and I like watching them.

Port Adelaide can still definitely play finals I reckon. Their
Bulldogs I’d be stunned if they finish above the other two. I don’t think any areas of need have been addressed over the off-season.
 

CrowInFiji

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#6
North will push for finals, they have added a couple of good players and they just need to get on a run, though I wouldnt have them in my 8.

Western bulldogs I have anywhere from 10th to 14th but if someone told me they would push for the last finals spot I wouldn't fall off my chair.

Port have lost quality and broke the bank bringing in middling players last year. I'm sure they will be hoping their 3 top end draft picks this year can make an impact this year. Will be battling Carlton for the spoon.
 

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Bulldogs I’d be stunned if they finish above the other two. I don’t think any areas of need have been addressed over the off-season.
Such as?

We've arguably got the most growth already on our list left to come than any other team.

We might be a bit light on talls currently having culled a few older fringe/injury prone types like Roughead, Campbell, Adams, Redpath and Collins, but more than half of who's left are kids with heaps of development to come like English, Schache, Cordy, Naughton and Young.

Our midfield is great, we have plenty of depth on the flanks at both ends too and we've readded to our medium stocks over the last eighteen months with the likes of Gowers and Greene up forward filling in the old roles of Picken, Crameri and Stringer, while Crozier down back is helping out the likes of Wood and Morris.

Question really is can we keep fit finally and build continuity with a best available team every week.
 

Isaac Cumming No 1

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#10
Such as?

We've arguably got the most growth already on our list left to come than any other team.

We might be a bit light on talls currently having culled a few older fringe/injury prone types like Roughead, Campbell, Adams, Redpath and Collins, but more than half of who's left are kids with heaps of development to come like English, Schache, Cordy, Naughton and Young.

Our midfield is great, we have plenty of depth on the flanks at both ends too and we've readded to our medium stocks over the last eighteen months with the likes of Gowers and Greene up forward filling in the old roles of Picken, Crameri and Stringer, while Crozier down back is helping out the likes of Wood and Morris.

Question really is can we keep fit finally and build continuity with a best available team every week.
It's very rare for an AFL team to have the best available every week fir any length of time though.
Depth and the capacity to cope with injuries are an important and dlsadly inevitable part of the game.
 

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It's very rare for an AFL team to have the best available every week fir any length of time though.
Depth and the capacity to cope with injuries are an important and dlsadly inevitable part of the game.
Agree depth helps, but look at say Geelong 2016, Port 2017, Richmond the last two years etc, having charmed injury runs letting continuity within the team can definitely help performance. Particularly when your best players stay out on the park and you're able to build around them.

They barely had any injuries those years and if anything their best players might only had missed 1/2 games tops all year, think Henderson at Geelong was their longest one out that year.

Would be nice if we're not dealt a season ending blow in preseason or the first month or so for a change, like not losing a Libba etc (happened to Murphy too obviously but he's retired now if course).
 

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adammania9

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#13
Addressing a near empty forward line which has resulted in you needing to play your best midfielder at CHF. Only three sides scored fewer points than the Bulldogs last year and one of them has recruited two key forwards whilst the Dogs have picked up only Sam Lloyd, a VFL regular in his last season.

The midfield has also been underperforming the last couple of years now.

We've arguably got the most growth already on our list left to come than any other team.
That is completely opinionated and I don’t think many people outside of your board will agree with that.

We might be a bit light on talls currently having culled a few older fringe/injury prone types like Roughead, Campbell, Adams, Redpath and Collins, but more than half of who's left are kids with heaps of development to come like English, Schache, Cordy, Naughton and Young.
Yeah I dig that. In two to three years, the Bulldogs could have the best key defensive stocks in the league. That said, Schache doesn’t really have a partner up forward, unless Boys keeps being fed game time.

Our midfield is great, we have plenty of depth on the flanks at both ends too and we've readded to our medium stocks over the last eighteen months with the likes of Gowers and Greene up forward filling in the old roles of Picken, Crameri and Stringer, while Crozier down back is helping out the likes of Wood and Morris.
I don’t know. It’s flashy and young and it looks good on paper, but it was comprehensively beaten many times during the year and it ranks in the bottom half of almost all key stats. Definitely needs improvement - that said it could come from Libba’s return or Bont playing more midfield.
 

PowerForGood

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#14
Talk about falling off a cliff.
Port Adelaide were playing for 2nd spot on the ladder in Rd 16 last year. Now we are cooked.
 

Virgin Dog

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#15
Talk about falling off a cliff.
Port Adelaide were playing for 2nd spot on the ladder in Rd 16 last year. Now we are cooked.
The coaching changes that happened over the break could fix it though. I'm especially keen to see what impact Schofield can have, after bringing one of the most impressive state league sides I've seen in years through a completely dominant season. You guys lost Wingard, Polec and Pittard who were all best 22, but Burton, Lycett and Mayes could all be best 22.

Port are incredibly hard to pick for next year tbh
 

Mofra

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North's additions over the off season are probably the most impressive of the three so on paper North would be ahead.

Bulldogs were putrid for most of the year and were incredibly young so have in-group improvement which is far harder to gauge and is generally more inconsistent. We did seem to play much better late in the season when Dunkley went into the middle which released Bonti to play more outside (his contested numbers fell from 50% to 33% late in the year, coinciding with us playing our best football).

Port receive an instant boost with Lycett but I'm not sure where else they improve. They already had one of the statistically most effective defences last year so adding Burton may not be as big a deal as some suggest.
 

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Addressing a near empty forward line which has resulted in you needing to play your best midfielder at CHF. Only three sides scored fewer points than the Bulldogs last year and one of them has recruited two key forwards whilst the Dogs have picked up only Sam Lloyd, a VFL regular in his last season.
Think you'll find Schache played CHF once he came into the side

Bont plays deep forward when he plays there. Our forwardline is very young still and will improve with experience, not because it has a lack quality, there's every chance quality will be unleashed up there with experience as we don't really have any proven mediocrity up there for now. I'm taking youth over proven mediocrity every day of the week. The only experienced head who was moved forward last year and will stay there is Wallis, while yes Lloyd will help with depth and experience and probably will replace Dickson eventually who seems to be on his last legs and struggling with soft tissue injuries.

Schache, a resting ruck type, Gowers, Greene, Lipinski, Wallis, Dickson/Lloyd, resting mids and the likes of Cavarra and Hayes, mature aged VFL players were drafted to add small forward depth should all run through there this year. If Picken comes back from his concussion then he'll add to that too.

We've seen your Pies improve very quickly with inexperienced talls like Cox and Mihocek performing well and a massive spread coming from the flanks/midfield, no reason why we can't improve either based on spread and not relying heavily on too few.

The midfield has also been underperforming the last couple of years now.
Instability due to injuries hadn't helped plus a revolving door of ruck personnel, but we're getting our mix right now as I'll explain later.

That is completely opinionated and I don’t think many people outside of your board will agree with that.
We'll agree to disagree on that then

We have 30 players on our list who'll be 25 or younger his year with a couple more who'll be 26-27 like Crozier, Jong, Wallis, Libba, Roberts, JJ.

The only players who'll be 30 or over this year off the top of my head are Morris, Picken, Suckling and Wood.

Write us off at your own peril, we are building again and have done so a few times through a nucleus of youth entering their prime to build around in the AFL era. Grant, Smith, Johnno, Brown, West, Darce etc in the late 90s under Wallace. Murph, Gia, Hahn, Minson, Griffen, Cooney, Boyd, Cross, Gilbee, Morris, Lake etc under Eade in the mid 2000s, then we challenged not too long after we started coming good. In 2015-16 we had a good mix of kids coming on, plodders playing above their level and veterans playing well in Bevos new system and that was off the back of an exodus of disgruntled players. Since then the veterans and plodders have largely moved on and injuries have hurt us, but we have youth coming through again and our youth back then are now entering the right age. We currently have a stack of players in the right age group, just our talls are on the younger side of that for now.

Once our young talls perform consistently then I'd imagine a spike in performance, like Melbourne has shown the last two-three years gradually with the likes of Gawn, McDonald and Hogan to build around a group entering their prime.

I'm very confident we will come good again based on our list showing similar signs to the players/list demographic who've done so previously for the club, just how soon we come good remains to be seen but should be within the next two-three seasons as long as they stick together.

Yeah I dig that. In two to three years, the Bulldogs could have the best key defensive stocks in the league. That said, Schache doesn’t really have a partner up forward, unless Boys keeps being fed game time.
Did I not mention Gowers and Greene before?

We probably need one more key forward, but we're playing the long game here. Would like to see Boyd/English play deep more often as support too, Boyd because he's a better forward (but he's currently got a dodgy back so doubt we'll see much of him this year) and English to develop his game. If they do then Bont will be free to roam midfield more often.
I don’t know. It’s flashy and young and it looks good on paper, but it was comprehensively beaten many times during the year and it ranks in the bottom half of almost all key stats. Definitely needs improvement - that said it could come from Libba’s return or Bont playing more midfield.
Having a decent ruckman would help too

Once we moved Trengove in there in the last 6 weeks or so of the season last year we started playing better footy. He is easily our best clearance ruck and I hope we persist with him in there until English is ready to take the number one mantle. For now English can play primarily forward when in the ones to gain experience.

But yeah, English is still a kid who will improve, Boyd is a 75/25 forward ruck, not the other way around, while Roughead is no longer. These three rucked a lot last year and they're not the answer (English not yet but in the future definitely)

On our midfield we've had a lot go through there trying to find the right mix. Wallis was found to be a weak link in regards to clearance differential when in there but he's found a decent role as a goal kicking half forward. Dahlhaus' form completely plummeted in there since we won the flag and McLean replaced him in there, Dahl has since left obviously, but the midfield went past him too.

Dunkley, Libba, Bont, Macrae, McLean is a good nucleus for us and all are in the right age group (22-27). West and Smith will eventually transition through there but would imagine they play elsewhere first to integrate.
 

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North's additions over the off season are probably the most impressive of the three so on paper North would be ahead.
North simply have to challenge again

Big trade period for them adding more players in that mid to late twenties bracket that they're already well stocked in. They did their quick list cleanout in 2016 moving the old guard on, had one year adjusting to life without them then came back up.

Simply now or never for the next 2-3 years while they still have the likes of Goldstein, Higgins, Tarrant, Thompson etc around providing key pillars.

Bulldogs were putrid for most of the year and were incredibly young so have in-group improvement which is far harder to gauge and is generally more inconsistent. We did seem to play much better late in the season when Dunkley went into the middle which released Bonti to play more outside (his contested numbers fell from 50% to 33% late in the year, coinciding with us playing our best football).
Imo Trengove in the ruck was more significant for us late in the year than Dunks, hopefully Bevo keeps him there until English develops a clearance game.

Port receive an instant boost with Lycett but I'm not sure where else they improve. They already had one of the statistically most effective defences last year so adding Burton may not be as big a deal as some suggest.
Port are a hard one

Their best players are starting to age, have some solid young players, but most of them are in midfield like SPP or are running back flank types like DBJ, Bonner and Houston.

Just feel they're too much of a known commodity now, so midtable seems likely for them until either their best players drop off, or Hinkley moves on and the latter re-signed recently so that option seems unlikely.
 

ManOfClay

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#20
It's very rare for an AFL team to have the best available every week fir any length of time though.
Depth and the capacity to cope with injuries are an important and dlsadly inevitable part of the game.

We coped in 2016 and we’ll cope again when the right parts of our list have enough experience again.

Losing a lot of our top level experienced players in the past couple of seasons didn’t help when the injuries did come. But luckily it’s all a learning curve and a great portion of our list did learn how to achieve success as a group. It’s a luxury some clubs don’t have
 
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#21
North clearly.

Bulldogs are rebuilding again, which in itself is odd considering they won a flag in 2016 with plenty of young talent. Not enough has been said about how things have turned to shit so quickly at Whitten Oval. You just can't be winning a flag in 2016 around what we thought of as special young talent, to then be irrelevant within 12 months. Anyhow, they are rebuilding and might be doing so for the next 50 years.

Port, and Hinkley, are living off a 2015 preliminary finals run that was a Luke Hodge smother away from a grand-final. I'd hate to support these bunch of pretenders and they are not improving as a list. They should be hitting the rebuild button.

North, whilst an injury to Brown away from irrelevance, have a settled back line lead by Tarrant, and with their recruits adding polish to the grunt of Cunnington, Ahern, Anderson and Ziebell, will be a very dangerous team. I'd almost go as far to say they will just about be unbeatable at Etihad and will pick up wins in Hobart. Top 6 minimum for mine.
 

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#22
Port looked like a top 6 team most of the season before they got the wobbles.

North were finals contenders all season until they ran out of steam.

The Western Bulldogs were wooden spoon contenders at best until they have a couple of consolation wins to cost themselves a better draft pick.

Can't see much changing, so I'd have Port finishing highest in the range of 7 to 10, North just behind them in 8th to 12th and the Bulldogs in the range of 12th to 16th.
 

Yojimbo

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#23
An interesting side note with the Power, Kangaroos and the Bulldogs is that they are scheduled to play a total
of five games combined at the MCG for the year while playing six games combined at Optus Stadium in Perth.

The Kangaroos had twelve players in 2018 who played every game the most in the AFL and yet failed to play
finals, the Power had six where as the Bulldogs had only two.

The Kangaroos additions of Polec, Tyson and Hall will help their midfield while the new rules could help the
Power, but their midfield is a bit one paced.

All three teams have huge lists of needs and things that must go right, but if I had to try to order them it
would be the Kangaroos the Power and then the Bulldogs.
 

B4Bear

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#24
North clearly.

Bulldogs are rebuilding again, which in itself is odd considering they won a flag in 2016 with plenty of young talent. Not enough has been said about how things have turned to shit so quickly at Whitten Oval. You just can't be winning a flag in 2016 around what we thought of as special young talent, to then be irrelevant within 12 months. Anyhow, they are rebuilding and might be doing so for the next 50 years.

Port, and Hinkley, are living off a 2015 preliminary finals run that was a Luke Hodge smother away from a grand-final. I'd hate to support these bunch of pretenders and they are not improving as a list. They should be hitting the rebuild button.

North, whilst an injury to Brown away from irrelevance, have a settled back line lead by Tarrant, and with their recruits adding polish to the grunt of Cunnington, Ahern, Anderson and Ziebell, will be a very dangerous team. I'd almost go as far to say they will just about be unbeatable at Etihad and will pick up wins in Hobart. Top 6 minimum for mine.
I like the cut of your jib sir.
 
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