Anticipate a number of adjustments to the highest eight subsequent season, with one younger membership nicely positioned for a maiden finals berth.
Plus what to anticipate in what looms as an interesting commerce and draft interval.
Foxfooty.com.au places ahead 23 predictions for 2023.
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Gold Coast makes the finals
After many false dawns, the Suns lastly look set to interrupt by means of for a maiden finals look in 2023. The very fact they bought shut this 12 months regardless of dropping arguably their most vital participant in Ben King is a testomony to Stewart Dew and the teaching workers together with the taking part in group. His inclusion again into this aspect may nicely be the lacking piece and will greater than make up for the lacking firepower from the now-traded Izak Rankine. The items are in place and there’s no purpose why Suns followers must be ready any longer to see their crew play finals soccer.
And Touk Miller wins the Brownlow Medal
He missed out by simply two votes in 2022, however 2023 may very well be a watershed 12 months for each Touk Miller and the Gold Coast Suns. Ought to the Suns make the finals meaning extra wins and certain extra votes and recognition for Miller, who’s already one of many competitors’s finest midfielders. The hard-runner is a tagger’s nightmare and a teammate’s dream and there’s no purpose to assume he gained’t be in nice contact in 2023. He must be proper within the combine for the Brownlow Medal.
The Gawn-Grundy combo works like a appeal
It’s the pairing that has everybody questioning simply the way it’s going to really work, however as Simon Goodwin informed AFL 360 earlier this 12 months, “We wouldn’t have had these discussions if we didn’t assume it will work.” Add to Goodwin’s feedback the actual fact Max Gawn performed an enormous half in promoting Brodie Grundy on the transfer to the Dees and there may be clearly immense buy-in and an concept as to how this dynamic will perform. If it really works, it’ll work huge, with Melbourne’s spluttering ahead combine probably turning into supercharged because of this. It was a down 12 months for Melbourne however there are many causes for optimism in 2023 and we’re tipping ‘Gawndy’, ‘Grawn’ or no matter you need to name will probably be one among them.
Pickett turns into the competitors’s prized signature
He grew to become a Demons’ premiership participant at simply 20 years of age and has the composure to win video games off his boot. And at simply 22 years of age, Kysaiah Pickett will come out of contract with round 80 AFL video games below his belt – making him the proper candidate for an enormous commerce deal. Given Melbourne already misplaced Pickett’s fellow 2019 draftee Luke Jackson, they’ll be eager to hold on to their livewire ahead. However can they afford it? With ample cap house already dedicated to the likes of Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca, Pickett could need to sacrifice an enormous payday to remain at Melbourne. Will the lure of household see him transfer interstate? Rival golf equipment reportedly confirmed curiosity in Pickett in 2022. Then there’s different Victorian golf equipment who certainly would circle the confirmed match-winner. Pickett’s signature would be the one to look at in 2023.
The Pies slide down the ladder
The factor about statistical anomalies is that they’re anomalies for a purpose. Successful the quantity of shut video games Collingwood did in 2022 was not a fluke, however equally it isn’t one thing that traditionally has been sustainable over a years-long interval. Perhaps the Pies will break the mould someway, however realistically it’s extremely unlikely the Pies win the identical variety of shut video games they did in 2022 once more. Given how tight the race was for the highest 4 and high eight in 2022, dropping even a few wins may show appreciable when it comes to ladder ramifications. It was an exceptional 12 months for the Pies, however 2023 looms as a troublesome prospect and the double probability unlikely.
The Canine miss the highest eight … once more
Canine followers are nonetheless ready for the all-important double probability, with it remaining elusive since 2010. There have been some helpful additions in Liam Jones and Rory Lobb, however the aspect’s 2023 fixture makes for grim studying. Regardless of ending outdoors the highest 4 in 2022, the Canine have been handed the second-hardest fixture within the competitors, behind solely grand finalists Sydney. It can show a tough activity, to not point out the lack of Josh Dunkley and to a lesser extent Lachie Hunter. The chances seem stacked in opposition to the Canine in 2023, however they’ll take consolation in realizing they’ve overcome the chances earlier than.
Blackburn breaks by means of for BnF
Star Western Bulldogs skipper Ellie Blackburn has polled extra AFLW finest and fairest votes than another participant throughout the primary seven seasons of the competitors. Subsequent 12 months in season eight, that consistency might be rewarded together with her first competitors league finest and fairest medal. Nonetheless solely 27, Blackburn has been an outstanding and passionate chief for the Bulldogs over latest years. Together with her younger crew anticipated to rise subsequent season, Blackburn will solely get higher – and ballot extra votes.
Will Ashcroft has a Sam Walsh-like debut 12 months
OK, this one may not be as ‘fearless’ as others given the hype round Will Ashcroft, however doing what Sam Walsh did is not any simple feat. Nick Daicos may additionally fall on this bracket however the place Daicos spent a lot of his time throughout half-back, Walsh was thrust into the center and at occasions on the wing in his debut 12 months at Carlton. He took to it like a duck to water and there’s no purpose to doubt Ashcroft will fare equally. Even higher for Ashcroft is the help community he’ll come into. The place for Walsh he instantly grew to become the trusty sidekick to Patrick Cripps, Ashcroft could have the likes of Lachie Neale and Josh Dunkley drawing important consideration off him, permitting him to flourish much more. It’s arduous to place a ceiling on what Ashcroft may accomplish in 2023, not to mention past.
Port Adelaide storms out of the blocks … or else
No crew wants an excellent begin to the season greater than Port Adelaide after the horror present that occurred early in 2022. The Energy had been left chasing their tail after 5 straight losses and it merely proved too nice a mountain to climb regardless of an admirable restoration. The additions of Jason Horne-Francis and Junior Rioli this low season have solely added to the expectation on coach Ken Hinkley, whereas they certainly have a greater run with harm than they had been afforded in 2022. They didn’t end anyplace close to as low on the ladder as West Coast, however either side are comparable in that 2022 would ideally be checked out as a mulligan given the observe report each had constructed earlier than that time. In any case, it’s on the Energy to make issues proper to begin 2023.
Essendon turns into the primary of the newest AFLW growth sides to play finals
The Bombers had been one of the best of the 4 new golf equipment in season seven of the AFLW, ending tenth with a 4-6 report. However their share of 98.6 — thanks to shut losses to Carlton, Richmond, Collingwood and Geelong — was an ideal indication they weren’t distant from that includes in finals first up. They ranked sixth within the competitors for common factors scored. with Daria Bannister, Paige Scott and Bonnie Toogood forming a harmful mixture inside 50. With Madison Prespakis, who’s solely simply turned 22, primed to enhance once more — she completed fourth within the competitors’s finest and fairest depend final month — and a full pre-season below the crew’s belt, the Bombers must be nicely positioned for a top-eight berth.
Collect Spherical really turns into successful
The thought of 9 video games being performed in the identical state for a similar spherical is formidable – however the gamble will repay for the AFL in 2023. Whereas following within the success of the NRL’s Magic Spherical, followers are already beginning to flock to South Australia, with 100,000 tickets snapped up pre-Christmas. And the fan calls for will solely ramp up as Spherical 5 nears. It was an enormous name for the AFL to go together with South Australia’s bid for internet hosting rights, however there’s little question Premier Peter Malinauskas will make it a weekend to recollect.
The Luke Jackson commerce doesn’t resolve Freo’s ahead line woes … however a match Fyfe does
It’s no secret Fremantle haven’t discovered that huge sport ahead who can flip a sport off his boot since Matthew Pavlich retired. And whereas the Dockers went all-in to safe Demons premiership younger gun Luke Jackson, he gained’t be the participant to fill that void in 2023. Fremantle footy boss Peter Bell says Jackson will play “a big proportion ahead” as Sean Darcy takes the lead function within the ruck. However with out Rory Lobb, and Matt Taberner’s run of soppy tissue woes, the Dockers want somebody to step up and kick luggage if they’re to progress previous the semi finals. Enter Nat Fyfe — the true soccer unicorn, not Jackson. He’s the one two-time Brownlow Medallist at the moment within the AFL and a participant who can flip a match in a matter of minutes. And now, he’s now not wanted to do this within the midfield. Fremantle have recruited a mighty midfield with the likes of Andrew Brayshaw, Caleb Serong and Will Brodie. Throw Jackson into that midfield combine and it’ll enable Fyfe to play predominantly ahead. If the celebrity can resolve his accuracy yips – look out 2023 as Fyfe has a few of the finest fingers within the AFL.
Carlton really performs finals
The Blues spent all however the remaining minute of season 2022 within the high eight. However a devastating Spherical 23 loss to Collingwood ensured Carlton slipped out of the finals race in merciless trend. With a second pre-season below coach Michael Voss’ belt, there’s little question the Blues will enhance. Given the nightmare harm run for his or her backline final season and the premature accidents to key midfielders, certainly luck might be on their aspect in 2023. Carlton hasn’t performed finals in a decade but when star combo Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay can repeat their type of 2022, the Blues might be a September bolter.
The Cats preserve kicking on
It’s robust being the hunted, and even more durable to stay forward of the pack when you find yourself the one being chased. But it surely’s arduous to see how Geelong will fall down – even with skipper Joel Selwood now retired. There’s loads of expertise to steer from the entrance, and loads of younger expertise to step up and plead their case for a beginning spot. Max Holmes is about for an enormous 12 months after being the 2022 grand remaining heartbreak story, whereas younger Sam de Koning can solely get higher with extra video games below his belt. If the Cats’ key weapons keep match, there’s no purpose why they gained’t be there as soon as once more on that final Saturday in September.
Hawks uncovered on and off the sphere
Hawthorn gutted its record on the finish of 2022, with only one participant remaining over the age of 30. Whereas the rebuild is clearly underway, it’s off the sphere the place issues lie as nicely. Jeff Kennett has been changed as membership president – however even that was a messy affair together with his choose Peter Nankivell not the person who ended up in cost. Former gamers had been divided of their help of Kennett’s chosen successor and the newly elected president Andy Gowers. Add within the racism investigation, which is able to come to go sooner or later early subsequent 12 months, and 2023 guarantees to be a difficult 12 months for the Hawks each on and off the sphere.
Harry Petty proves himself … as a ahead
The Demons struggled to seek out avenues to aim in 2022. It took till the ultimate quarter of their semi-final loss to Brisbane for Melbourne to uncover a potential answer: Harrison Petty. The important thing-position participant confirmed he has the flexibility and composure to be the massive goal they should help the likes of Ben Brown and Bailey Fritsch. Tom McDonald can also be due again after combating an ankle harm and taking no half after Spherical 10, giving coach Simon Goodwin loads of tall choices in assault. The Demons have already got a robust backline with the expertise of Steven Might and Jake Lever, so can they shift Petty into a job ahead in 2023? It’s price a glance.
Tigers leap into the 4
Richmond was unfortunate first spherical finals losers in 2022 after some late Joe Daniher heroics on the Gabba. However as an alternative of dwelling on their earlier-than-hoped exit, the Tigers went to work and recruited GWS midfield duo Jacob Hopper and Tim Taranto. Their arrivals will ease strain on veteran Trent Cotchin and permit looming star Shai Bolton to spend extra time floating ahead the place he does his finest work. The Tigers managed to sneak into the eight with out celebrity Dustin Martin for a lot of the 12 months for private causes and harm, so simply think about how excessive they’ll climb with the three-time Norm Smith Medallist match and firing. Jack Riewoldt continues to be producing whereas they’ve discovered kids in Noah Cumberland and Josh Gibcus. Even Judson Clarke confirmed promise. There’s lots to love at Tigerland in 2023.
West Coast lifts itself out of the cellar
The Eagles had what can solely be described as a disastrous 2022 marketing campaign, beginning with Jack Darling’s vaccine hesitancy and ending with accidents to greater than half their record. The membership was so decimated that they needed to flip to Covid top-up gamers on a number of events. They simply by no means recovered. However there’s mild on the finish of the tunnel for the Eagles, with Oscar Allen to play his first minutes since 2021 and set to take up the mantle of retired nice Josh Kennedy. Campbell Chesser, Tom Cole, Jeremy McGovern, Dom Sheed and Elliot Yeo are simply a few of the names able to have an effect in 2023. We’re not saying the Eagles are destined for finals … however they’ll be out of the picket spoon hazard zone.
No. 1 choose adjustments fingers — once more
When the four-way mega commerce was struck throughout October’s trade interval, Choose 1 modified golf equipment for the primary time in 21 years. In 2023, don’t be shocked to see it transfer once more, largely due to simply how good the participant broadly touted as the highest draft prospect is. In actual fact if Harley Reid had been eligible for the 2022 draft, most recruiters imagine he would’ve been a top-three prospect — probably No. 1. That’s how good this child is already. A Bendigo Pioneers product, Reid can play throughout any line — and win video games from any line. He’s a superb interceptor and clear distributor in defence, he has explosive Dustin Martin-like energy at stoppages and terrific overhead marking capacity inside 50. Golf equipment might be clamouring to get their fingers on Choose 1 subsequent 12 months, so count on a mightily juicy supply to be put ahead in an try and land the prized draft choice.
Crows make the decision early … and it may not be fairly
Adelaide has already been dealt a troublesome begin to season 2023, with 4 of its first eight video games in opposition to final 12 months’s high eight, plus matches in opposition to ninth positioned Carlton and a Showdown to contest. It’s been greater than 5 years since their 2017 minor premiership excessive and since then, they’ve completed within the decrease half of the ladder each season. The Crows are anticipated to enhance from their 14th end in 2022 – but when they’re sitting 2-6 or worse after eight rounds, the decision would possibly come to begin the rebuild early. And whether or not or not coach Matthew Nicks is the suitable man to steer them by means of that interval might be a query requested. There’s little question there’s expertise coming by means of the ranks – it’s only a matter of how affected person they need to be with that improvement. The robust name was made with Matt Crouch late final 12 months – with extra of these calls anticipated if they’ll’t get an excellent run early.
Giants sure for backside 4
The Giants haven’t managed to emulate their finals success because the brutal 2019 Grand Closing defeat to Richmond. And after a sixteenth place end and the exits of Jacob Hopper and Tim Taranto, we aren’t anticipating new coach Adam Kingsley to work miracles. Prized No. 1 draft choose Aaron Cadman is predicted to get an excellent run in his debut 12 months, however like younger Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, there can’t be an excessive amount of early strain positioned on him. Jesse Hogan is able to kicking luggage however wants to seek out fixed type if he’s to show himself as GWS’ most important man in assault. There’s a strong backline for the Giants and a midfield boasting loads of expertise. However bringing all of it collectively might be Kingsley’s hardest activity in simply his first 12 months on the helm.
Sydney again within the huge dance
Whereas their grand remaining efficiency was lower than fascinating, the Swans have all the weather to make it again to the Grand Closing once more in 2023. Previously 4 years, solely GWS has did not again up a Grand Closing look by lacking finals altogether, which is sweet odds for the Swans in 2023. With the McCartin brothers rock strong in defence and the midfield led by Luke Parker with loads of younger expertise together with Chad Warner, James Rowbottom and Dylan Stephens, there’s a lot upside for coach John Longmire. It’s simply discovering the suitable ahead line steadiness for Sydney – and the way they work round Buddy Franklin in what’s prone to be his remaining 12 months within the sport.
Ross the Boss gained’t have reply for King-sized gap
St Kilda suffered an enormous blow this month when Max King went down at coaching in an incident that has now dominated him out of its 2023 marketing campaign. The lack of King is big for the Saints, given the dominance he has of their ahead line. King had virtually 100 pictures on aim final 12 months, with the subsequent finest Tim Membrey solely hovering across the 60 mark. Whereas King’s accuracy was a difficulty for St Kilda in 2022, he was in a position to attract a number of defenders and take huge marks to offer himself these alternatives in entrance of aim. With out him, the Saints’ focus must shift. Lyon’s return to the Saints may shortly go from fairytale to nightmare if he can’t discover different avenues to aim.
Initially revealed as Fearless 2023 AFL predictions are dangerous information for Magpies, excellent news for Carlton