With the males’s footy season underway right this moment 7NEWS.com.au’s AFL columnist Campbell Brown has dropped his predicted top eight for the 2022 marketing campaign.
Melbourne headed a runaway top six final season and went on to the win flag – the first crew to take action since Hawthorn in 2013.
However whereas they may appear a transparent favorite to return to again, dwelling as much as expectations all through the home-and-away season is one other beast.
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A gradual low season of commerce motion has additionally mixed with potential enchancment at some of the youthful finalists have additionally opened the door for renewed challenges.
Faucet right here to revisit Hawthorn premiership participant Campbell Brown’s predictions for the backside 10 – and learn on for his 2022 top eight.
8. Higher Western Sydney
The Giants are a tough aspect to know what you’re going to get from every week. They’ve the class on paper to win most weeks however have been inconsistent.
They do, although, have two of the greatest younger key defenders in the competitors in Jack Buckley and Sam Taylor, which offers nice stability at the again.
Something apart from a top-eight end is a large fail for this group, however I do assume they sneak in.
Class and sturdy management makes Cats contenders most years, and they continue to be tough to put in writing off.
Geelong hardly ever lose video games at house and will once more this 12 months win sufficient video games to make the finals. I don’t assume they will go all the means, although.
The Bombers tasted finals soccer final 12 months and will enhance once more this 12 months.
Wonderful buying and selling and recruiting over the previous couple of years has actually injected a lot of younger expertise into their checklist.
Their midfield is one of the greatest in the AFL now and if there’s nonetheless enchancment left in Zach Merrett, Darcy Parish and Andy McGrath, then they are going to be exhausting to cease.
The dominant aspect of this era will bounce again into the top eight in 2022 after the season they needed to have final 12 months.
Three flags in 5 years, two years in hubs, no crowds and a lot of accidents would have made motivation inconceivable for Richmond coach Damien Hardwick.
They’re a proud group and will hit kind. The return of their two most essential gamers from harm in Dustin Martin and Noah Balta is critical.
4. Western Bulldogs
Final 12 months’s grand remaining loss will burn in the stomach of this group.
They get pleasure from taking part in a tricky, combative model of soccer, which all the time makes them exhausting to beat. The Bulldogs have A-grade gamers on each line.
Josh Bruce’s return from an ACL may give them a lift later in the season and take some stress of Aaron Naughton.
3. Port Adelaide
One other aspect that has been oh, so shut the previous couple of seasons however has in the end come up a bit quick in back-to-back preliminary finals.
I’ve all the time felt there must be one other tall avenue to objective outdoors Charlie Dixon, so it was nice buying and selling to herald Jeremy Finlayson from GWS.
Additional improvement from Todd Marshall and Mitch Georgiades now makes their ahead line multi-faceted. Port Adelaide have the checklist to win the flag.
They’re the premiers who performed an nearly flawless finals collection final season.
The Dees must be even higher positioned this 12 months to go all the means. Simon Goodwin’s aspect maintain a very well-balanced defence, midfield and ahead line.
No space has a weak spot. Luke Jackson specifically is about for a giant 12 months.
A top-four crew the final two seasons and have failed the acid take a look at in huge finals. They’ll get two stars again from ACL accidents, which will likely be an enormous increase.
Cam Rayner’s return will instantly increase their midfield and ahead depth, and Eric Hipwood in the again half of the season will take some stress off Joe Daniher.
The Lions would have realized some priceless classes the final two seasons that may take all of them the means this season.
Watch the AFL dwell and free on Channel 7 as a 2021 grand remaining rematch between Melbourne and the Bulldogs opens the season on Wednesday, March 16.
This week’s LIVE footy motion contains:
AFL | ROUND 1
Wednesday 16 March: Melbourne v Western Bulldogs (MCG) – All markets from 6.30pm AEDT [7mate, 7]
Thursday 17 March: Carlton v Richmond (MCG) – All markets from 7.00pm AEDT [7mate, 7]
Friday 18 March: St Kilda v Collingwood (Marvel Stadium) – All markets from 7.00pm AEDT [7mate, 7]
Saturday 19 March
GWS Giants v Sydney Swans (Accor Stadium Australia) – Sydney from 5.00pm native [7mate]
Brisbane Lions v Port Adelaide (Gabba) – All markets from 7.00pm [7mate, 7]
Sunday 20 March
Adelaide Crows v Fremantle (Adelaide Oval) – Adelaide from 3.30pm, Perth from 1.00pm 
West Coast Eagles v Gold Coast SUNS (Optus Stadium) – Brisbane from 6.30pm, Perth from 4.30pm [7mate]
AFLW | FINALS WEEK 1
Saturday 19 March
North Melbourne v Fremantle (Arden Road) – Protection from 2.00pm AEDT [Check local guides]
Brisbane Lions v Collingwood (Gabba) – Protection from 4.00pm AEDT [Check local guides]