The AFL has conducted its annual poll of the 18 club captains on the eve of the season and they see the Gold Coast Suns qualifying for a maiden finals appearance for the 2015 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
As per recent seasons, the club captains were confidentially polled on five key questions on the season ahead and the captains believe the Suns will see September action for the first time, while Hawthorn, the Sydney Swans and Port Adelaide are the teams to beat for the premiership.
The captains were asked which seven other teams, apart from their own, could make the finals and which other club, apart from their own, could make the grand final. A total of 12 different clubs were considered possible chances to contest the finals by the club captains but Hawthorn (11), Sydney (four) and Port Adelaide (three) were the only clubs considered for a grand final berth. Hawthorn, Sydney and Port Adelaide were also the only unanimous choices by every other captain to qualify for finals action.
Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe was the choice of four captains to win the Brownlow Medal, with Gary Ablett, Travis Boak, Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood each drawing two votes apiece.
2013 John Coleman Medallist Jarryd Roughead received seven votes as the choice to lead the goalkicking this season and claim the John Coleman Medal while Geelong’s Nakia Cockatoo (four votes) and Sydney’s Isaac Heeney (three votes) were the leading tips to win the Rising Star Award and claim the Ron Evans Medal.
The full voting was:
Which seven other clubs do you think can make this year’s top eight? (18 times seven selections. In 2014, the captains correctly nominated the Sydney Swans, Hawthorn, Fremantle, the Geelong Cats, North Melbourne and Richmond, but missed Port Adelaide and Essendon.)
Hawthorn (17), Port Adelaide (17), Sydney Swans (17), Fremantle (16), Geelong Cats (16), North Melbourne (14), Gold Coast Suns (12), Richmond (8), Essendon (4), Adelaide Crows (3), Collingwood (1), West Coast (1)
Which other club is most likely to reach the Grand Final? (10 Captains picked eventual premier Hawthorn in 2014, while five more captains also nominated the Sydney Swans to make the Grand Final.)
Hawthorn (11), Sydney Swans (4), Port Adelaide (3).
Who do you think will win the 2015 Brownlow Medal? (No captain correctly nominated Matt Priddis in 2014).
Nat Fyfe (Fremantle, four votes), Gary Ablett (Gold Coast Suns, two votes), Travis Boak (Port Adelaide, two votes), Joel Selwood (Geelong Cats, two votes), Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide Crows, two votes), Dayne Beams (Brisbane Lions, one vote), Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide, one vote), Josh Kennedy (Sydney Swans, one vote), Dustin Martin (Richmond, one vote), Matt Priddis (West Coast, one vote), Daniel Wells (North Melbourne, one vote).
Who do you think will win the 2015 Coleman Medal? (Three captains correctly nominated Lance Franklin in 2014).
Jarryd Roughead (Hawthorn, seven votes), Lance Franklin (Sydney Swans, three votes), Tom Hawkins (Geelong Cats, two votes), Jack Riewoldt (Richmond, two votes), Jeremy Cameron (GWS Giants, one vote), Josh Kennedy (West Coast, one vote), Kurt Tippett (Sydney Swans, one vote), T Walker (Adelaide Crows, one vote).
Who do you think will win the 2015 NAB AFL Rising Star? (No captain correctly nominated Lewis Taylor in 2014).
Nakia Cockatoo (Collingwood, four votes), Isaac Heeney (Sydney Swans, three votes), Jed Anderson (Hawthorn, two votes), Angus Brayshaw (Melbourne, one vote), Patrick Cripps (Carlton, one vote), Matt Crouch (Adelaide Crows, one vote), Jordan De Goey (Collingwood, one vote), Jarrod Garlett (Gold Coats Suns, one vote), Patrick McCartin (St Kilda, one vote), Jaden McGrath (Brisbane Lions, one vote), Matt Scharenburg (Collingwood, one vote), Kayne Turner (North Melbourne, one vote).