MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 11: Magpies head coach Nathan Buckley with AFL Neale Daniher after going down the MND slide during the round 12 AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Collingwood Magpies at Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 11, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/AFL Media/Getty Images)

1. Neale Daniher deserves to be the Australian of the Year

Is there a more inspirational person in sport at the moment? I don’t think so, Daniher has been battling the horrible Motor Neurone Disease (MND) for the past four years, however his positivity and courage is incredible. The speech he made to the whole Melbourne Football Club last week was a tear-jerker, you could’ve heard a pin drop. The Big Freeze 4 for MND has been the best and to show the respect towards this incredible man, all 18 AFL coaches committed to going down the slide this year as part of the Big Freeze!

2. The Suns’ future is in serious doubt

After winning their first two games of the season, the footy world was impressed with how the Suns had started under the guidance of a new coach. Since then it has been a disaster for Stuart Dew and his young Gold Coast side. With a combination of injuries and poor form, the Suns are having a season from hell. In the last two weeks they have lost to the Cats by 85 points and recently by 108 points to the Giants. It begs the question, what can the AFL do and could this spell the end of one of the AFL’s expansion teams?

3. The Swans are a serious contender in 2018

SEE ALSO:  Every side’s best 22 of the past decade: Essendon

Whilst the start of the year was a bit of a tough one for Sydney with three losses at home to Port Adelaide, Adelaide and North Melbourne, many experts were writing off the Swans. You can’t keep a good team down though, especially one with so much class. The Swans have now won five in a row, are right in the hunt for a top two finish and a genuine threat for this year’s flag!

They have the best forward in the competition in Buddy Franklin, Callum Sinclair, who is a much improved ruckman who kicks goals, a big bodied midfield that features stars like Luke Parker, Josh Kennedy and Dan Hannebury and a solid experienced backline with Dane Rampe, Heath Grundy and Jarrad McVeigh. Add to this some of the best young talent in the competition: Will Hayward, Ben Ronke, Tom Papley and Oliver Florent and Sydney have the side to go all the way in 2018!

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA – JUNE 09: Lance Franklin of the Swans celebrates after kicking a goal with Tom Papley of the Swans during the round 12 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Sydney Swans at Etihad Stadium on June 9, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media/Getty Images)

4. The Power are starting to silence some of the critics in 2018!

After Port Adelaide were knocked out of last year’s finals campaign by the West Coast in a thriller in extra time, lots of experts described the Power as ‘flat track bullies’! They were able to thrash teams in the bottom eight of the ladder, but couldn’t quite get the job done against the top eight sides.

SEE ALSO:  Bontempelli recommits to Dogs

This year is a different story for the Power though and after a solid 14-point victory over last year’s premiers, they have now beaten Richmond, Sydney, North Melbourne and the Crows. Maybe it’s time Port Adelaide were taken seriously as being a real contender in 2018, and with one of the best draws out of all the teams for the rest of the season, their destiny is in their own hands.

5. Gaz is a chance to win his third Brownlow Medal

Ablett averaged 31.19 when he won his second Brownlow Medal in 2013 and this year he is averaging 30.6. If statistics mean anything, he is a chance to win his third Brownlow Medal.

In the last two weeks he has most certainly racked up maximum votes. Ablett had 37 possessions and three goals last week against his old side the Gold Coast Suns and most recently starred against the Roos with 34 disposals and two goals.

He’s only missed four games so far this season, and stranger things have happened given the race for the Charlie has opened up following Nat Fyfe’s ineligibility.

We all know that the umpires love him so it wouldn’t be such a silly move to put a few hard earned dollars on Gary Ablett taking home the Brownlow this year!