Dave Cardamone takes a look at what to expect around the league on the eve of Round 19.
You’ll notice there’s something intriguing about the state of the ladder and the scheduling of this week’s fixture. You could try and figure it out but even the historians with all their wealth of football knowledge would not be able to help you. No internet search, the AFL website or library would you be able to find the answer. For the first time in the competition’s history the top nine teams on the ladder will be playing the bottom nine come the beginning of Round 19. Remarkable considering the complexities of creating the fixture for starters then the work required by the football Gods to make it all happen.
LeCras on Notice
Despite out west there is now no hiding from the scrutiny of the Melbourne media for the 30-year old. Turning 31 before seasons end the focus is squarely on the ageing forward as the Eagles poor performances have been analysed from all angles and the footy world has spoken. Arguably his position is one of the toughest on the field, with two key forwards ahead of him he has kicked a respectable 23 goals but it’s his consistency that has fallen away with only five games with 15 disposals or more.
Most Wanted Series
As we count down towards the “silly season” otherwise known as the “trade period” those who have been following our Most Wanted Series will be hotly anticipating the countdown of our top three. We’ve illustrated a series of players who will be wanted by other clubs and interrogated their chances of staying or leaving for another club. On the flip side of that there’s the clubs with the greatest ammunition to launch an attack on the available crop of stars at seasons end. The consistent dark horse up north the Swans are no doubt leading the way. Tippett seemingly on the outer, a veteran or two to hang up the boots at seasons end, they have massive faith in their internal development and a lot of clubs a crying for a target up forward, watch this space.
Pie in the sky
So the pressure is off the Pies, Nathan Buckley will be coach until the end of the year. They host the top of the table Adelaide this Sunday and are no doubt a real chance to pull off a massive upset, with the Crows yet to show their hand away from home. The question is are the Collingwood faithful on board for the rest of the year? 40,000 spectators on average their last three home games that including a blockbuster clash against the Bombers where 60,000 fans attended. The feathers a ruffling and the black and white army are keen to see a future, some direction and game plan going forward.
Stephen Coniglio, welcome back young man. Has played just the two games this year in Rounds 7 and 8 and boy don’t the Giants need him. Adds another dimension to the engine room whilst instantly taking the pressure of Josh Kelly in the process. Hopefully he gets a real run at it towards finals as the competition needs a firing Coniglio.