Now that the AFL trade and draft period are behind us, it’s easier to pick how teams will be lining up for next season. There have been a few additions to most squads, and it’s always interesting to see how the players adapt to their new teammates and surroundings.
Some of the most talked-about trades were Gary Ablett returning home to where it all began, as well as Bryce Gibbs heading back to South Australia. These are the kind of key positional changes can have a dramatic impact on the way a team performs throughout the campaign. Here are four midfields that are looking like they will be a major threat to opposition sides next year.
Source: Titus O’Reily via Facebook
Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood are already an imposing force through the middle of the park, and now with Ablett joining the mix, they are shaping up to have the most attacking midfield in the premiership.
The Cats have been looking for that something extra for a while now to make the final push towards the Grand Final, and although they have been a hugely competitive side in recent times, they have been eliminated in the preliminary finals for the past two years. Their supporters will be hoping the prodigal son is the key to their success next year as they search for their first flag since 2011.
Source: 7 News Adelaide via Facebook
The Crows’ midfield was arguably the best in the competition last term and it’s hard to see them not being extremely competitive once again. Newcomer Bryce Gibbs will be joining up with Rory Sloane and Matt Crouch in the middle, and all signs point to the trio becoming a powerhouse on the pitch.
Adelaide will be hungry for another shot at the flag after coming so close last year when they went down to the Richmond Tigers in the Grand Final. The bookmakers certainly think they are capable contenders yet again, with the latest Aussie Rules betting having them as equal favourites on $5.50, alongside the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
Source: Perth Live News via Facebook
Any midfield that can lose the first six games of a season and come back to make the semi-final should never be underestimated. The Swans’ campaign was a little unorthodox in 2017, but there was no denying the resilience and drive that was shown by their players to achieve what they did.
They became the team that nobody wanted to face in the finals, and the midfield three of Josh Kennedy, Luke Parker and Dan Hannebery, were the engine room that made the team so dangerous. They were the most accurate midfield in front of goal last season, and we can expect them to do more of the same in 2018.
Source: Richmond FC via Facebook
The defending champions will be out to prove it wasn’t just a one-time deal in their next campaign, and an unchanged midfield of Dustin Martin, Trent Cochin and Dion Prestia should prove to be a massive help in doing so. With the current Brownlow Medal holder in Martin, and a previous winner in Cochin, the Tigers seem to have the middle of the park safely taken care of with these tremendous players. The trio are equally as good at dropping back to defend, as they are of turning defence into attack, and Richmond have a great chance at making it back-to-back premierships next year with this three in control.
Now the only question is which midfield will bring that little something extra to the table that gives them the edge over the rest of the competition? Chances are it could very well be one of these four sides, as they look to guide their team towards the Grand Final and a coveted AFL premiership.
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