Sport AFL What your AFL team did right and wrong in 2017
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What your AFL team did right and wrong in 2017

adelaidewalkerbetts
The Adelaide Crows finished the year on top of the ladder. Photo: Getty
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What a great home-and-away footy season we have seen.

The AFL will be very pleased – plenty of games were close and the re-emergence of Richmond has everyone excited for the finals.

The Tigers are an enormous addition to September but for 10 other clubs, things have ended too early.

Here’s what I have been impressed by – and not enjoyed so much – at your club so far in 2017.

Adelaide (ladder position: 1st)
✅  Attacking game style
✅  The Crouch brothers (Dangerfield who?!)
✅  Don Pyke’s ability to get the most out of his players
❌  Going into the finals on the back of two losses

Geelong (2nd)
✅  
Development of the club’s second-tier players
✅  Superb home form once again
✅  Ability to win without Dangerfield and Selwood
❌  MCG form (won three, lost two) was not convincing

Richmond (3rd)
✅  Dustin Martin’s superb season
✅  Damien Hardwick’s game plan change
✅  Only one side (West Coast) has been in front for longer during matches in 2017
❌  Lack of second genuine key forward

Greater Western Sydney (4th)
✅  
The way they run in waves with the ball
✅  How Josh Kelly has handled discussion on his future
❌  A few older players battling (Heath Shaw, Steve Johnson and even Shane Mumford)
❌  Unsure they can stand up when it counts

Port Adelaide (5th)
✅  Paddy Ryder’s ruck work − it is outstanding
✅  Ability to kick big scores
❌  Record against the top sides
❌  Average losing margin of over five goals

Sydney (6th)
✅  The stunning recovery from 0-6
✅  John Longmire recognising he needed to change things
✅  Lance Franklin’s season (now level with Tony Lockett on four Coleman Medals)
❌  Hard to find a negative … the slow start?

lancefranklinsydney
Lance Franklin kicked 10 goals against Carlton on Saturday. Photo: Getty

Essendon (7th)
✅  Fightback after tough 2016
✅  The simplistic approach John Worsfold has implemented
✅  Zach Merrett’s continued success
❌  Lack of outside speed hurts them at times

West Coast (8th)
✅  Josh Kennedy (his 65 goals came from just 17 games)
✅  Ability to deliver when it counted against the Crows
❌  Fade-outs in games were a worrying trend
❌  Interstate win-loss record of 3-7

Melbourne (9th)
✅  Improved again in 2017
✅  Clayton Oliver − so impressive for a second-year player
❌  A last-round defeat Demons fans will never forget
❌  Ill-discipline and silly suspensions cost them regularly

Western Bulldogs (10th)
✅  Marcus Bontempelli − even in a tough year his star shone
✅  Bailey Dale looks a very handy find
❌  Celebrated that premiership for too long in my book
❌  Defence looked a mess at times. Joel Hamling a huge loss

St Kilda (11th)
✅  Seb Ross announcing himself as an excellent player
✅  How Nick Riewoldt’s farewell was handled
❌  Had the talent to make finals but didn’t deliver
❌  Don’t like their slow, predictable style of play

Hawthorn (12th)
✅  The recruitment of Tom Mitchell − he will finish top three in the Brownlow
✅  Alastair Clarkson’s risks (trying Gunston, Sicily, Burton etc back)
❌  Never won more than two in a row, lacked consistency
❌  Got thrashed in a few ‘un-Hawthorn-like’ performances

tommitchellhawthorn
Tom Mitchell had the most disposals of any player in 2017. Photo: Getty

Collingwood (13th)
✅  Taylor Adams − I enjoy his work
✅  Will Hoskin-Elliott looks a shrewd pick-up. Very handy player
❌  Hate their style of play − they don’t give their forwards a chance
❌  Lack flair across the board

Fremantle (14th)
✅  Easy to forget but they did start pretty well
✅  They got games into plenty of their kids
❌  100-point loss was a really disappointing way to leave Subiaco
❌  More tough years to come

North Melbourne (15th)
✅  Ben Brown has emerged as an A-grade forward
✅  Luke McDonald will be a deserving B&F winner
❌  They’ve won just nine of their last 36
❌  No Rising Star nominations despite plenty of kids playing

Carlton (16th)
✅  The talent is obvious − five Rising Star nominations says it all
✅  Finally beat Hawthorn
❌  Didn’t kick over 100 points once and were worst attacking side
❌  Won fewer games than they did last year

Gold Coast (17th)
✅  Tom Lynch’s 44 goals is a good haul in a struggling side
❌  Finished the season in disgraceful fashion
❌  In-out-in-out saga with Gary Ablett’s selection looked bad from afar
❌  Some serious work needed at all levels of the club

Brisbane Lions (18th)
✅  The positivity around the club despite just five wins
✅  Eric Hipwood’s obvious talent
❌  The wooden spoon
❌  Still going to be hard to attract players

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