• Pete Roberts

2020 Ladder Prediction

In the ultimate exercise in futility and self-torture, it’s time to get the crystal ball out of the cupboard and predict the 2020 AFL Ladder.

Based on zero scientific methods (unlike these guys) and relying purely on semi-educated guesswork, here it is:

1. GWS

2. Collingwood

3. Richmond

4. Western Bulldogs

5. West Coast

6. Geelong

7. Port Adelaide

8. Hawthorn

9. Brisbane

10. Melbourne

11. St Kilda

12. Sydney

13. Essendon

14. Carlton

15. North Melbourne

16. Adelaide

17. Fremantle

18. Gold Coast

With such an even competition these days, the middle rungs of the ladder from about 5th to 14th are clearly the most difficult. Definitely not comfortable where some teams sit, but every tweak seems to make it look worse.

- Bullish about the Giants and their depth. Ready to peak this year. And if the Grand Final hammering has spurred them on instead of denting their spirits, I’m very confident they’ll have enough wins on the board

- Still think Collingwood have the right list, the right coaching and the right gameplan to be a huge contender again. Where does their improvement come from? Having the same 22-25 players on the ground this year might help.

- Richmond are just Richmond. Depth is great, culture is nailed. Could easily have had them on top again.

- The two bolters on my list are the Bulldogs and Port Adelaide. Bruce up forward and Keath down back gives the Dogs some much needed height, and Tim English looks like taking another leap forward again this year. Loads of goalscorers who are very hard to defend, and if they can hold up in defence they’re going to be very exciting to watch this season.

- I might be the only one giving Port Adelaide a reasonable chance this year. The numbers suggested they weren’t far off last year – two losses under 10 points and only 8 first quarters won in 2019 was far from ideal. Could be the surprise packet of 2020.

- Positions 8-12 are an absolute lottery. Could have them in any order. This is my best guess but there might be egg on my face come Round 23.

- Towards the bottom its tricky too, but the likes of Adelaide, Fremantle and the Gold Coast Suns seem to be missing the kind of firepower up forward to win enough games. Footy is tough when you can’t score.

There you have it. This will be locked away for the year and won’t be revisited until the final game of Round 23 is complete. It will look ridiculous at some point during the season, just hopefully not the end.

The ultimate aim is to end up on this list in the right category (although I should definitely not be considered an “expert” at this point in time). Fingers crossed!