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AFL Preview 2021 Geelong and Gold Coast

GEELONG
2020 FINISHED 4th 12 wins 5 loses (PLAYED OFF IN GRAND FINAL)

“A SECOND FLAG UNDER SCOTT BECKONS”

Geelong came agonisingly close to taking the AFL premiership in last year’s COVID year AFL Grand Final. They somewhat put the questions over their September failures to bed but the fact remains they still came up short. That’s not a knock on the Cats as all teams have succumbed at the hands of the Tigers in recent years. However their window is now and they have managed there off season accordingly.

On analysis it certainly looks like the Cats have improved their list. Sure they had the retirement of the superstar Gary Ablett and Harry Taylor also finishing up. But the coup of recruiting Jeremy Cameron and throw in the classy Shaun Higgins and the leadership of former Hawk Isaac Smith and the Cats are potent. So much for free agency supporting the bottom teams, this is a recruiting coup from last year’s second top side!

Geelong played a very high possession ball game in 2020 and you wonder whether this may be tweaked a bit on the Grand Final failure. It can be looked at in 2 ways, when you have the ball the opposition don’t OR the more you use the ball the higher chance to turn it over. There would be little doubt that the Cats will have the confidence to move the ball quicker with the addition of Cameron and also Hawkins up forward so their transition may be a lot quicker than in 2020.

Chris Scott is one of the most pragmatic coaches in the game. The Cats have consistently performed (finished top 3 in 4 of last 5 years) BUT have failed to win a premiership. They took one step closer in 2020 and it will be important for Scott to hold his nerve. It may very well be the ability of Scott to slot Smith, Cameron and Higgins into his game plan that could produce the Grand Final win. With Cameron going forward this may allow Dangerfield to play more midfield giving the Cats drive for longer out of the midfield. Geelong are ready the time is now!

2021 PREDICTION- GEELONG 1st 17 WINS

GOLD COAST

“ITS TIME FOR THE SUNS TO PLAY CONSISTENTLY”
2020 FINISHED 14th 5 wins 11 loses 1 draw

In a season that started with so much promise for the Suns, it quickly became more of the same. After a heavy defeat in Round 1 God Coast returned after the COVID break in stunning form winning their first 3 game they would only go on to win 2 more for the rest of the year.

Matt Rowell was a revelation of the competition leading the Brownlow Medal before a shoulder injury put him out for the season. He has top liner written all over him and his leadership at such a young age is spectacular and he will be a big plus back into the team.

On the surface there is every reason to think the Suns can improve. Their top line recruits have shown that they are ready. The emergence of King, Lukosius and Rankine showed what he can do in patches and now its time to put some consistency behind it. The club also had some seniors players come in and perform in Greenwood and Ellis.

The ongoing question mark over this side is to deliver consistent high level AFL winning type footy. They have shown it in patches for far to long now. How does coach Stuart Dew pull this side together for consistent efforts is the big query over them. They had a host of players improve last year (as we have touched on) yet they still only managed to win 5 games.

The Suns have all the ingredients to start taking the step forward but there is something invisible holding them back. We rate Stuart Dew as a coach and his team need to overcome the consistency hurdle in order to begin climbing the AFL ladder. How they do this in a season that reverts back to longer quarters is going to be the big question of 2021.

2021 PREDICTION-GOLD COAST 15th 7 WINS