Mag­pies rule the roost

Ri­val AFL skip­pers nom­i­nate premiers Colling­wood as team to beat

Townsville Bulletin - - Game On -

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

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