Magpies rule the roost
Rival AFL skippers nominate premiers Collingwood as team to beat
REIGNING AFL premiers Collingwood have b e e n o v e r whelmingly voted by their rivals as the team to beat again this season.
Of the 16 opposing skippers, 14 of them picked the Magpies as the team most likely to reach the g r a n d f i n a l , i n t h e l e a g u e ’ s a n n u a l p r e - season poll.
No-one picked St Kilda – t h e l o s i n g g r a n d finalists of the past two years – with Hawthorn ( two votes) and Western Bulldogs ( one) the only other clubs to rate a mention.
The Magpies were also the only club universally tipped to make the eight, although only one captain had each of last year’s f ellow t op-f our c l u b s t h e B u l l d o g s , Saints and Geelong missing out.
Not a single captain p i c k e d Mel b o u r n e t o reach the finals in coach Dean Bailey’s fourth season in charge. There was no love for newcomers Gold Coast either, with Brisbane, Port Adelaide a n d R i c h m o n d a l s o unanimously picked to finish in the bottom nine.
But the Suns are expected to attract one honour, with No. 1 draft pick David Swallow having i mpressed e nough t o prompt 13 skippers to pick him to win this year’s Rising Star award.
No-one else attracted more than one vote.
Hawthorn star Lance Franklin was a popular choice to win his second Coleman Medal.
H a w t h o r n s k i p p e r Luke Hodge was among the three top Brownlow Medal tips, picking up three votes, as did Geelong’s Joel Selwood and Magpie Dane Swan. AFL CAPTAINS 2011: Back row, Brent Harvey, Domenic Cassisi, Chris Newman, Brad Green and Nathan Van Berlo ( left side) Gary Ablett, Darren Glass, Jonathon Brown, Cameron Ling, Matthew Boyd ( centre holding cup) Nick Maxwell ( right side) Matthew Pavlich, Luke Hodge, Adam Goodes, Jobe Watson, Nick Riewoldt and Chris Judd