Which Bandwagon should you jump on? Geelong, Port Adelaide, Melbourne or Western Bulldogs left in flag fight
Perth has finally landed a grand final, but our two teams couldn’t even qualify for September. With no WA clubs left in the fight, Samantha Rogers is here to help you pick a side.
- Tomahawk’s power and longevity key to banishing Demons
- Why Melbourne’s Jackson is a football unicorn
- How ‘embracing the challenge’ got WA Demon to a prelim
Geelong have had the most recent success out of any team left in the premiership race. Since 2007, the Cats have won three flags, made two more grand finals and only missed out on September action on one occasion. Some footy fans argue Geelong has had enough, but only four of the 23 that played the Giants are premiership players - and one didn’t win a flag at the Cats.
Joel Selwood (2007, 2009, 2011), Tom Hawkins (2009, 2011) and Mitch Duncan (2011) are the only players that remain from their golden era, while Issac Smith has three flags with Hawthorn.
Even polarising coach Chris Scott only has the 2011 flag to show for his 202 games at the helm, with Mark Thompson leading the Cats to their 2007 and 2009 premierships.
So is it fair to not want them to win?
WA players to watch: Mitch Duncan and Sam Menegola.
It’s been 56 years since Melbourne won their last premiership. For context, The Beatles played their first Australian show and Tokyo hosted the 18th Summer Olympics in 1964.
We also want club legends Neale Daniher and Ron Barassi to witness another flag.
In their attempt three years ago, the Demons were demolished in the preliminary final by eventual premiers West Coast at Optus Stadium, and a great footy story it would make if they could hoist the cup at the same venue.
But if a drought-breaking flag and a redemption story isn’t reason enough to jump on the bandwagon, the three WA kids playing in their home state should be enough to make red and blue the new neutral.
WA players to watch: Luke Jackson, Trent Rivers and Kozzy Pickett.
With the borders closed to Victoria, only South Australian fans will be able to enter WA to cheer on their side if Port make the grand final. Tourism boost aside, would the thousands of Port supporters that’ll flock to Perth make the premiership decider even better?
Their one and only flag was way back in 2004, when a crop of their exciting young talent were still learning their ABCs - Zak Butters, Xavier Duursma and Connor Rozee.
One of their most exciting kids is emerging key forward Mitch Georgiades, who won’t play on Saturday due to a lingering hamstring injury but will be pushing for grand final berth after the bye.
Port are also the only non-Victorian team left in the race and considering it’s only the second grand final to be played OUTSIDE of the state, it’d be fitting for WA’s neighbours to take the cup over the border.
WA players to watch: Sam Powell-Pepper and Aliir Aliir.
As the only team not to finish in the top four this season, the Dogs have had the hardest fight to get to the preliminary final.
They showed their bark by easily knocking off Essendon, before proving their bite in a one-point win over Brisbane at the Gabba.
They’re not the favourite to beat Port in Adelaide but who doesn’t love an underDog story?
WA players to watch: Aaron Naughton, Tim English and Jason Johannisen.
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