AFL’s night-of-nights preview

As individual pursuits go, the Brownlow medal is undoubtedly the most prestigious within the AFL.

However in this media savvy age plagued with false modesty and regurgitated clichés, the significance of the Brownlow medal is continually downplayed by our games superstars, who insist premiership success takes priority over any individual award.

Though with the expansion of the AFL to an 18-side competition, simple mathematics has ultimately meant that before the start of the season 10 sides were destined to fail to achieve a finals birth.

Subsequently for the first time since 1999, an individual from a non-finals side looks posed to take home footballs highest honour and salvage something from an otherwise disappointing season.

Trent Cotchin (RICH) – $4.00

Don’t be fooled by his lack of experience, at 22 years of age Trent Cotchin is widely regarded as a prospective superstar of the competition and the next captain of the Richmond Football club.

In a break out year for Cotchin, the youngster validated his selection at number 2 in the 2007 draft, showcasing his contested work and innate running ability and proved to be an integral part of the Tigers tilt at September.

Throughout the season he earned glowing praise from the media, who began to compare his skill-set with that of Carlton and West Coast great Chris Judd; who funnily enough was crowned a Brownlow medalist in his own right at just 21 years of age.

Image

Gary Ablett is posed to secure his second Brownlow medal tomorrow night.

Gary Ablett (GC) – $4.00

Deservingly thrust into equal favoritism with Trent Cotchin after a season in which he had 40+ possessions on seven separate occasions.

Expect the 2009 winner to feature heavily in the polling, despite his team only managing 3 wins during the home-and-away season.

Jobe Watson (ESS)  – $5.00

Watson’s Bombers were flying at 8-1 by round 9, largely off the back of the outstanding play of the Essendon skipper.

And onlookers tomorrow night can expect the All-Australian centre to feature prominently in the early rounds in the wake of the Bombers premature finals push.

Sam Mitchell (HAW)  – $7.00

30 votes in last years count and once again the Hawks ball magnet is expected to put in a good showing tomorrow night.

Mitchell’s chances are bolstered by the fact that on this occasion he will be eligible to collect the converted award, unlike last year.

Patrick Dangerfield (ADE) – $8.00

Leading the competition in hardball gets with 184; Dangerfield has consistently turned heads this year with his blistering speed, contested ball work and ability to change a game.

34 possessions, 22 contested possessions, five clearances and two goals, pencil Dangerfield in for an arbitrary three for his performance against Fremantle in Round 20.

Scott Thompson (ADE) – $9.00

Last year’s Malcolm Blight medalist, the Adelaide veteran will be looking to add to his silverware tomorrow night.

Another solid season, though you’d assume him to be slighted shaded by his younger Crows counterpart.

Josh Kennedy (SYD) – $11.00

Don’t be surprised if Josh Kennedy comes out firing in the early goings of tomorrow night, following 25+ possessions for the first six rounds.

Another solid season from Kieran Jack may prove to be the proverbial thorn in Kennedy’s side.

Image

Dane Swan after tasting Brownlow medal success last year.

Dane Swan (COLL) – $13.00

Could the 2011 winner go back-to-back? Unlikely yes, but beyond the realms of possibility – never.

While the Collingwood champion certainly lacked the same damaging touch that saw him poll an unheralded 34 votes last year, Swan still managed to keep his tag as one of the competitions most prolific ball winners, averaging a sultry 35 possessions in his 18 games.

Danye Beams (COLL) – $17.00

Beams has flourished in the unfortunate absence of Luke Ball through a season ending knee injury.

Averaging 31.2 possessions and more than a goal game throughout the season, Beams has come of age after a frustrating 2011 season in which he struggled for consistency.

Odds aren’t a true indicator of just how close Beams may get.

Scott Pendlebury (COLL) – $26.00

The silky smooth Collingwood midfielder has enjoyed another solid year with the Pies, averaging just under 30 disposals a game.

A month out following a fractured tibia, significantly decreases his chances tomorrow night however, along with competition for votes amongst his peers in Dane Swan and Dayne Beams.

Joel Selwood (GEE) – $34.00

Snubbed by the All-Australian selectors a mere week ago, a Brownlow medal would certainly go a long way to healing fresh wounds.

The Geelong skipper is the best-placed player from the cattery to take home Charlie, unlikely as it may be.

TAB Odds – Subject to Change – Gamble Responsibly

Cal Godde is a first year La Trobe Sport Journalism student, follow him on Twitter: @Calgodde

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s