Adam Treloar Media Opportunity
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 13: Adam Treloar poses during a Western Bulldogs AFL media opportunity at Whitten Oval on November 13, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

2021 is finally here and the footy season cannot come soon enough, football will likely return to its spiritual home in Melbourne and fans will return in their thousands.

The lead up to round one is filled with hot takes and speculation, not to mention everyone's predictions. But how often are those predictions on the safe side of the fence?

In this series we will be going out an a limb and make some fearless predictions for the upcoming season, everything from free agency moves to premiers and award winners.

Predictions 50-41

Predictions 40-31

30. Port Adelaide show 2020 was no fluke

The Power were the big improvers in 2020 and were unlucky not to be playing off in the grand final.

In 2021 they will prove to be the real deal as they contend for a second AFL premiership. They are serious contenders who must be talked about more often.

29. Jaidyn Stephenson can't find spark

Jaidyn Stephenson struggled massively toward the end of his tenure at Collingwood, he seemed out of ideas and offered very little danger to opposition defenders.

Jaidyn Stephenson Media Opportunity
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 16: Jaidyn Stephenson poses for a photo during a North Melbourne Kangaroos AFL media opportunity at Arden Street Ground on November 16, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

He arrives to Arden Street as their big recruit, however his form won't change too much as the delivery from North's midfield offers little to no decent service, Collingwood win this trade, for the time being.

28. Charlie Curnow shows glimpses of his best

Charlie Curnow has missed two years of footy as seven knee injuries have plummeted him into football obscurity.

2021 is the year for Curnow though, with a new doctor and new strategy for that troublesome knee set to see him return late in the year and have a hand in what will be a critical year for the Blues.

27. The clear-out at Essendon continues

Unfortunately the 2020 exchange period was just the beginning for the Bombers, with more senior names set to follow the likes of Daniher, Saad and Fantasia in finding the exit door at Tullamarine.

Midfielder Zach Merrett will be the headlining name in 2021, with his future already placed under the question as he looks to exercise his free agency rights.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 14: Zach Merrett of the Bombers directs his teammates during the round 21 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Gold Coast Suns at Etihad Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Jake Stringer, Devon Smith and Darcy Parish join Merrett on the long list of Bombers out of a contract at the season's conclusion.

26. Adelaide farewell their greatest ever goal-scorer

2021 will be the end of Taylor Walker's career. As the Crows continue to rebuild and look to the future, they will do so by saying farewell to the club's greatest ever goal-scorer.

Walker will walk away a Crow's legend and leave the forward line in the hands of the young Darcy Fogarty for 2022 and beyond.

25. Adam Treloar makes Pies pay

Unlike Jaidyn Stephenson, Treloar is making a move up the ladder.

Arriving at the Dogs, the former Magpie will relish the deep midfield opportunities and return to playing career best footy.

Collingwood will live to regret pushing out such a talented footballer, and an even greater personality whilst paying him to strut his stuff for another team.

24. Lions reserves face tough test from VFL

In 2019 the lions reserves team went through the home and away season and finals series undefeated, flying a class above their opponents in the NEAFL.

However, with the NEAFL and the VFL coming together for next season, their reign of domination is over, it will be back to reality for the Lions magoos.

23. Nat Fyfe claims third Brownlow

More midfield depth at Fremantle will help the dockers skipper to a third 'Charlie' in 2021.

Fyfe will dominate the competition once again and claim a third Brownlow Medal, with Angus Brayshaw and Adam Cerra making further strides in their development and offering as a great supporting cast to their skipper.

2019 Brownlow Medal
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 23: Nat Fyfe of the Dockers is seen after winning the Brownlow Medal during the 2019 Brownlow Medal Count at Crown Palladium on September 23, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

22. Eagles' premiership window shuts

It's do or die in 2021. This prediction isn't that the Eagles can't win it this year but more to say this is their last chance.

Their list is ageing and seems like it's falling away from the chasing pack as it's now or never for the Eagles. They're more than capable, but it has to be 2021.

21. Daniher finds fitness and joy

Daniher had been keen to depart Essendon and Victoria for a long time before securing a move to Brisbane at the end of the 2020 season.

Now out of the spotlight, Daniher is primed to thrive once again. The former Essendon spearhead's best footy has always come hand-in-hand when his passion for the game is at its highest and that will shine through in 2021.

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