MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Trent Cotchin of the Tigers comes off the field with the premiership cup during the 2017 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the Adelaide Crows and the Richmond Tigers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 30, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

The 18 AFL coaches were quizzed across several weeks in July on a range of topics in a 20-question anonymous online survey, held by AFL Media and the AFL Coaches Association.

Among the topics were which team will win the premiership, who is the best match-day coach and which side has been the biggest surprise package.

Appearing on, 14 of the 16 (87.5%) coaches to complete the survey tipped the Tigers to go back-to-back, with Collingwood and West Coast (equal 6.25%) the only other two teams backed to win the flag.

The Pies and North Melbourne were considered the most surprising teams this season, with both teams combining for almost two-thirds of the voting.

Hawks mentor Alastair Clarkson was dubbed the best coach on match day, who dominated 50% of the voting.

Fremantle’s Ross Lyon and Western BulldogsLuke Beveridge were judged the equal second best match-day coaches with 13% of the voting, with Brisbane’s Chris Fagan, Geelong’s Chris Scott, Richmond’s Damien Hardwick and Sydney’s John Longmire following.

The coaches also declared that utilising a smaller forward line was the greatest tactical innovation of the game in recent years, and judged the MCG as the best venue to play at.

Coaches survey results:

Who will win the premiership?
1. Richmond
2. West Coast, Collingwood

Who is the best match-day coach?
1. Alastair Clarkson
2. Ross Lyon, Luke Beveridge
3. Chris Fagan, Chris Scott, Damien Hardwick, John Longmire

(The full survey results will be published in the round 20 AFL Record).