Crystal Ball Our predictions for the 2024 AFL season are in

Crystal Ball Our predictions for the 2024 AFL season are in

The Sherrin is primed, the boots are laced, and anticipation is sizzling as we stand on the cusp of another thrilling AFL season. While the crystal ball can’t guarantee absolute certainty, it can offer a glimpse into what the footy gods might have planned. So, our esteemed team of journalists have peered into the depths of football’s crystal ball and emerged with their predictions for season 2024.

Premiership contenders: The consensus is clear, with Brisbane Lions clawing their way to the top of most tipsters’ lists. Their consistent performance over the past few years, coupled with a burning desire to finally claim the elusive premiership, makes them formidable contenders. However, the road to the flag is never easy, and teams like Collingwood, hungry for redemption under Craig McRae, and GWS Giants, seeking their first premiership under the leadership of Toby Greene and Adam Kingsley, are sure to provide fierce opposition.

Dark Horses: Don’t count out the Western Bulldogs and Carlton. The Dogs, led by the ever-reliable Marcus Bontempelli, have the potential to make a deep run if they can maintain their momentum. Meanwhile, Carlton, buoyed by last year’s strong performance, will be looking to avoid the dreaded “sophomore slump” and solidify their position as a genuine threat.

Wooden Spoon contenders: While the bottom of the ladder is always unpredictable, West Coast Eagles find themselves in the unenviable position of being heavily tipped for the wooden spoon. Their off-season losses and ongoing rebuild have many experts questioning their ability to compete in the highly contested league. However, Hawthorn shouldn’t be completely discounted either, as they strive to escape the depths of the ladder and reclaim their former glory.

Individual brilliance: The race for the coveted Brownlow Medal promises to be a tight contest. Rising star Nick Daicos is generating considerable buzz, while seasoned campaigner Errol Gulden is also tipped to be a strong contender. However, one expert throws a curveball, suggesting Harley Reid could be the surprise packet if he manages to stay injury-free.

Looking beyond the Brownlow, the AFL Rising Star race is wide open. While George Wardlaw is expected to make an immediate impact, keep an eye on Ryley Sanders who could emerge as a serious contender for the prestigious award.

Club under the microscope: All eyes will be on Melbourne in 2024. Following a significant off-season overhaul, their performance will be under intense scrutiny. Can they adapt to the changes and maintain their status as a premiership contender?

Finals heartbreak or redemption?: Fremantle face a pivotal year. With pressure mounting on coach Justin Longmuir, they desperately need to improve upon last year’s performance. Can they rise to the challenge and finally break their finals drought, or will their struggles continue?

Will the Suns finally shine?: The Gold Coast Suns have shown glimpses of potential in recent years, but consistently falling short of finals appearances has left fans yearning for more. While just missing out on the top eight this year, according to our experts, their quest for finals glory continues.

Surprise packets and potential disappointments: The beauty of the AFL lies in its unpredictability. Young guns like Finn Callaghan and Ollie Henry could potentially become breakout stars, while established teams like Port Adelaide might face an unexpected dip in form.

It’s important to remember that these are just predictions, and the season is bound to be filled with twists, turns, and unexpected heroes. So, buckle up, footy fans, and get ready for another enthralling season of AFL!

As the first bounce approaches, the only certainty is that the 2024 AFL season promises to be a thrilling spectacle, filled with high-flying marks, bone-crunching tackles, and moments of pure sporting magic. Who will hoist the premiership cup? Only time will tell.