Despite losing twice in the finals last season, there are some who put forth a strong case for the Collingwood Magpies to win it all in the Toyota 2019 AFL Premiership competition.
After being mediocre for several years previous, any hint of potential from Collingwood is heavenly manna from Magpies supporters.
The AFL, if it was the league’s intent to introduce parity, have succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.
Prior to last season, most predictors had West Coast tipped to fail to qualify for the top eight, perhaps even to wind up dead last on the table, but there must have been something in the air at the spanking new Optus Stadium, something legal, because the Eagles were overachievers all season.
A few seasons back, Western Bulldogs won the premiership from seventh. The Richmond Tigers moved from 13th to take the flag in 2017.
After what happened to Adelaide last year, many are wondering if Richmond can stay near the top, or if they will experience the same sort of plunge the Crows underwent last season.
Resuming with Collingwood, they seem to be espousing a win now attitude. They sacrificed draft picks in order to get Dayne Beams back in the Pies fold at the cost of two first round picks.
Beams supplies something the rest of the highly rated Magpies’ midfield was lacking last season, a true scorer.
The four incumbents, Adam Treloar, Steele Sidebottom, Taylor Adams and Scott Pendlebury, accounted for just 42 goals in 2018. That equates to 1.9 per home-and-away game and while no one is suggesting that a midfielder be a serious contender for the Coleman Medal, improved scoring from the midfield is something no AFL coach would pass by.
Beams kicked 18 in 21 games, sixth best for average in the league, so it is obvious that one or two goals from the middle per game would have a huge impact for the Magpies.