Just before Round 1 of the 2015 AFL season, I put in my preseason predictions with an AFL playlist. I attached a 'theme song' to each club, that of which I thought would represent their upcoming season.
Now that the 2015 season is done and dusted, I've gone back and looked at my preseason predictions (through song), and attached a new 'theme song' to each club.
The clubs are listed by their ladder position, and the songs may be attached due to title, and not necessarily the meaning of the song. It's a bit of fun...so don't take it too seriously!
1 - FREMANTLE
Preseason prediction song: Time is running out – Muse
End of 2015 season song: The Times They Are A'Changin - Bob Dylan
Pav, Sandilands and McPharlin are all getting old and with a cloud over Crowley, have they missed their opportunity? - That was the question I posed at the start of the season. Is time running out? Maybe.
McPharlin has hung up the boots; there are question marks over Pav and who knows how long Sandilands and Crowley can go on for. Changes are needed and changes are coming. Bennell looks to be donning the purple in 2016, but will Cam McCarthy from GWS and Aaron Black from the Roos be joining him? Experts are pressuring Ross Lyon to change his game style - but one thing is for sure - the Dockers need options up foward...and if changes don't occur, time may be indeed running out for Fremantle.
Preseason prediction song: Irreplaceable - Beyonce
End of 2015 season song: Guess Who’s Back - Rakim
Preseason, I doubted the Eagles' depleted backline (having no MacKenzie, Glass (ret.), Waters (ret.) or Brown at their disposal), hence the irreplaceable theme song.
Surprise! The Eagles, along with the Bulldogs were the two biggest surprises of 2015. The club went from finishing 13th in 2013, 9th in 2014 to placing second best in the home and away season, finishing only two points behind fellow Western Australian team, Fremantle.
'Guess who's back' applies to their stunning return to elite football in 2015, as well as where I predict they'll be in 2016. They were absolutely out-done, out-worked and out-played on Saturday, but I see them being back in the final four next year.
Preseason prediction song: 3peat - Lil Wayne
Hawthorn became the fifth club in AFL/VFL history to achieve a three-peat on Saturday. They are a champion team, led by a champion captain, directed by a champion coach.
Four in a row? Sure, why not. They may be past their best, but that hasn't stopped them from wiping the other teams aside in the past few years.
Just for a laugh, 'The Horses' by Daryl Braithwaite... anyone?
4 - SYDNEY
Preseason prediction song: Second best – Dolly Parton
End of 2015 season song: Pretty Good Year - Tori Amos
At the start of 2015, I predicted we'd see a Hawthorn-Sydney grand final rematch. Sydney finished fourth, in what was an OKAY year. Unfortunately, the Adam Goodes booing debacle and the Buddy Franklin admission and rumour mill meant Sydney were never a realistic chance of making the Grand Final once the finals started.
It was a pretty good year, although next year will be tougher. No Goodes, no Shaw and no Jetta. What will the Swans be able to do in 2016?
5 - RICHMOND
Preseason prediction song: Roar - Katy Perry
Like in 2014, Richmond roared into the finals this year, claiming major scalps along the way, and finishing in a very respectable fifth position on the ladder.
However, the roaring stopped once they met North in the first final. The excuses are wearing thin and Richmond need to make moves in the off-season.
6 - WESTERN BULLDOGS
Preseason prediction song: The show must go on – QueenEnd of 2015 season song: Who Let the Dogs Out - Baha Men
Preseason, it was all about moving on from the off-season from hell that saw the Dogs lose Cooney, Griffen and McCartney in a matter of weeks.
But seriously, in 2015, who let the dogs out? Where did this inspiring, fairy-tale team come from? Luke Beveridge - tick. Bob Murphy - tick. Jake Stringer - tick. And there are a host of other young dogs that get the nod of approval for their awe-inspiring 2015 campaign.
7 - ADELAIDE
Preseason prediction song: Danger Man - Elvis Presley
You are the pride of South Australia and you made everyone proud in 2015. Dealing with unprecedented circumstances and such tragedy, as a football club, as players and as humans - the AFL community could not be prouder of what the Adelaide Football Club was able to do after the tragic passing of their coach, Phil Walsh.
Not only on the football field (finishing 7th and making a qualifying final), but as people - what you were able to this year was inspiring, emotional and very touching.
Well done to the Crows.
8 - NORTH MELBOURNE
Preseason prediction song: No More Excuses – Kill The AlarmEnd of 2015 season song: What Do I have to do - Martina McBride AND Jump Around - House of Pain
Another season of inconsistency, poor losses, surprising wins and question marks over North Melbourne. What do they have to do to make it past a prelim final and onto the biggest stage of all?
The Jarrad Waite and Shaun Higgins experiments worked, but surely Lindsay Thomas as a sub in the last few games wasn't a great sign?
Stop jumping around North. It's getting very hard to believe in you as a serious contender.
9 - PORT ADELAIDE
Preseason prediction song: Power Trip – J.Cole ft Miguel
End of 2015 season song: Wake Me Up When September Ends - Green Day
Preseason, I had them making top four and Paddy Ryder as the All-Australian ruckman. Well, I was off. But I don't think I was the only one. What a disappointment.
Don't let the 9th place finish fool you, Port had a stinker of a year. Other teams figured out how to defuse their speedy game style, and Port were left looking like a second-rate team (maybe even third) for most of the season.
10 - GEELONG
Preseason prediction song: Don’t stop believing – Journey
End of 2015 season song: Take a Bow - Madonna
2015 officially marked an end of a wonderful era for the Geelong Football Club. A dominant, successful and thoroughly enjoyable period which was highlighted by three premierships came to a close as club legends Stevie J, James Kelly and Matthew Stokes were told their services were not needed a the club in 2016.
Despite Jimmy Bartel, Corey Enright and Tom Lonergan all going on for 2016, it was the general consensus that the great Geelong team of the mid-00's was all but done and dusted.
Don't worry though, you've only got Dangerfield, Henderson, Selwood (?), Smith (?), a refreshed Daniel Menzel and a returning Mitch Duncan and Mitch Clark to add to your line-up next season...only.
11 - GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
Preseason prediction song: Smells like teen spirit – Nirvana
End of 2015 season song: The Future is Now - The Offspring
2015 was travelling along very nicely for the Giants until injuries (as they do) ruined any intentions of playing finals for the first time in the clubs history.
It was all about the teen spirit preseason, but most importantly, the focus throughout 2015 was to secure that teen spirit on extended contracts into the future.
The Giants managed to sign young stars Jeremy Cameron, Dylan Shiel, Stephen Coniglio, Devon Smith and Will Hoskin-Elliot. They will lose Adam Treloar, but will gain a nice pick in return, and there are questions marks over Cam McCarthy's future at the club.
12 - COLLINGWOOD
Preseason prediction song: Pressure – Billy Joel
End of 2015 season song: Too Little, Too Late - JoJo
Pressure was the key word heading into Collingwood's 2015 campaign. Pressure on coach Nathan Buckley. Pressure on Travis Cloke's goal kicking. And pressure to perform.
But unfortunately for the Pies, it was too little, too late in too many of their games mid-season. A host of 'honorable losses' would lead to their poor finish to the season. They came very close to beating the Hawks, Fremantle, Sydney, Port Adelaide and so on, but it wasn't to be for the Pies in 2015.
Treloar is coming. Freeman and Seedsman are going. Where will the Pies be in 2016?
13 - MELBOURNE
Preseason prediction song: Keep ya head up – 2pac
End of 2015 season song: A little better - Gnarls Barkley
The last few years have been woeful for the Demons - so, 7 wins, an improved list and the messiah and rising star, Jesse Hogan, made things 'a little better' in 2015.
I said preseason, 'the future looks okay, but the immediate looks gloomy', and Angus Brayshaw, Jesse Hogan and Tom McDonald helped Melbourne fans see the light at the end of the tunnel this year.
14 - ST. KILDA
Preseason prediction song: Nice Guys Finish Last – Green Day
End of 2015 season song: I'm so excited - The Pointer Sisters
'I'm so excited' pretty much sums up my feelings towards the Saints this year. Namely their comeback win against the Bulldogs and their thumping of Essendon later in the season had me laughing at my preseason prediction - they would be battling for the wooden spoon.
2015 was an exciting season for the Saints. However, that excitement needs to become consistent if they are any chance of moving up the ladder in 2016.
15 - ESSENDON
Preseason prediction song: On the way down – Ryan Cabrera
End of 2015 season song: Same Old Song And Dance – Aerosmith
Unfortunately for the Bombers, it was another 'same old' year for the club. The supplements saga and the mental toll on the players was the focal point of the season..again.
Injuries, stress, pressure and a lopsided W-L column meant James Hird was not the man for the future at the club. John Worsfold is the man left with the responsibility to dig this club out of its hole.
Highlight of the season: Cale Hooker's goal to beat Hawthorn, Round 2.
16 - GOLD COAST SUNS
Preseason prediction song: Rocket Man – Elton John
End of 2015 season song: Here Without You - 3 Doors Down
Many would of had the Suns fighting for a top 8 position preseason. 'Here comes the sun' would have been an appropriate theme song looking back now.
However, injuries, injuries and you guessed it, more injuries crippled the Suns in 2015. Oh, and not to mention some off-field incidents which means the club will be without young stars Harley Bennell and Charlie Dixon come the trade period.
To name a few injuries...Ablett, Jaeger O'Meara, Dion Prestia and David Swallow. Ouch.
17 - BRISBANE
Preseason prediction song: Move On Up – Curtis Mayfield
End of 2015 season song: Help! by The Beatles
Brisbane was another team, which preseason experts had vying for a finals spot. Enter: Beams, Christensen and Robinson, and the team was looking rejuvenated.
However, a lack of forward power, injuries and rumours of another player exodus meant the Lions found themselves down the bottom of the ladder once again.
They asked the AFL for 'help' with a priority pick, which was refused, but did they shoot themselves in the foot by winning that last game against the Bulldogs and losing out on the top pick in the draft?
Preseason prediction song: Same Old Song And Dance – Aerosmith
End of 2015 season song: Rock Bottom Blues - Kid Rock
It was a shocking year for the Blues and there's not much else to say to be honest. They need to rebuild and do it the right way, not the fastest or cheap way. First thing on the to do list: Get Jake Carlisle and play hardball over Chris Yarran. Oh, and make the right decision for your club with the first pick in the 2016 AFL draft.
It was a turbulent year for the AFL, with off and on field scandals and tragedies hitting the game like never before.
Would love more suggestions for theme songs for each club, so give it a go!
Look out for the 2016 AFL playlist edition at the end of the year.