Finals eligibility to be expanded
I don’t normally broadcast rumours, but the current beating of the jungle drums within the corridors of power is just too emphatic to ignore. Those whose opinions matter most are so impressed with how the competition is shaping up ahead of this 2016 season, that they feel there is no other option than to increase the number of finals positions to 16. There are just too many teams who look like finals contenders.
We spoke to head honcho Lachlan McGillan. “Keep this under your hat, but we are quite excited about this radical new plan. In truth it’s not a completely new idea, if you go back just a few years to 1916, a similar construct was employed. Fitzroy finished on the bottom of the ladder, yet still made the finals and went on to win the premiership. The opportunity it provides to all teams to play finals can only be a good thing.. Why have a logjam (people in the media love saying the word logjam) of teams lining up for finals action, when you can have that logjam in the finals?”
He went on to say “Sure there will be naysayers, but think of the benefits, that’s six more clubs that will get the financial benefits of selling finals packages. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not just focused on the extra money, although the money IS nice, heh heh, but that’s not what we’re about at the Eh?FL."
Lets look at the facts.
Hawthorn and West Coast:- Reigning grand finalists. Hard to see either of them missing out.
Fremantle and Sydney:- Respective additions in Bennell and Franklin plus the continuing home ground advantages they enjoy should see them win enough games to make it.
North Melbourne:- The Roos regain Daniel Wells’ silky skills, which should only add to the potency of this Preliminary final side.
Adelaide:- Yes, they lost Dangerfield, but they are a well-drilled unit with enough midfielders to step up and fill the void. They do play well at Adelaide oval too.
Western Bulldogs:- Last year’s surprise packet have an abundance of youth and depth, they can only improve.
Richmond:- Despite their penchant for finishing 9th, the Tigers have a settled side with many players entering their prime years.
Now to the teams that missed out last year.
Port Adelaide:- The Power welcome back a couple of their speedy prime-movers in Polec and White, a major factor in their 2015 decline.
Geelong:- have addressed deficiencies in the ruck and clearances with the addition of Zac Smith and Dangerfield. Lachie Henderson arrives to add experience wherever he is needed. All this and full pre-seasons from Menzel and Vardy will see the Cats surge back up the ladder.
Collingwood and Melbourne:- Both of these sides impressively went undefeated in the NAB Challenge, and we all know how good a guide that is.
GWS:- A boatload of first round draft picks now have the maturity to match their undeniable talent. It’s just a matter of time, and quite possibly that time is now.
Gold Coast:- Must improve with the return of the little master. Remember him?
Quite compelling, I cannot help but agree with Lachlan, 14 teams won’t fit into the 8.
It’s the only rational solution.