MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 25: The Blues look dejected after losing the round 23 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Adelaide Crows at Etihad Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
  1. Melbourne deserve to be playing finals footy

Two weeks is a long time in footy.

The Dees lost to the Swans at home two weeks ago and were on the brink of missing the finals for the 12th year in a row with two tough games to come.

Since that loss, Melbourne have beaten second-placed West Coast in Perth and the in-form Giants at the ‘G and have proven that they deserve their spot in September.

How deep they will go into the finals is an unknown as they take on September specialists Geelong in the first elimination final, but enjoy the moment Dees fans, you’ve waited a long time for this.

  1. It’s going to be a long pre-season at Carlton

Carlton gave their fans absolutely no glimmer of hope for next year with a 104-point loss to the Crows to cap off a horrid season.

The Blues are said to be in the hunt for gun Giant Dylan Shiel but with Essendon also in the mix for him, who do you think put forward a better case to finish the year? The team who got belted by 104 points or the team who went to Adelaide and dominated from start to finish. I know where I’d rather go…

The players should be making the most of the next couple of months off because It’s going to be a long and gruelling pre-season and it probably won’t get much better when the 2019 season comes around.

  1. The Bombers will be a force to be reckoned with next year

Some think Essendon wasted the 2018 season after they blew the first half of the year and narrowly missed out on finals but if anything, missing out this year should make them that little bit hungrier for success next year.

They will have Joe Daniher back, get a full pre-season into Orazio Fantasia and Aaron Francis, they’ve poached Ben Rutten from Richmond and they are right in the mix for Dylan Shiel.

If they can land Shiel, they could be genuine premiership contenders in 2019.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 24: David Zaharakis of the Bombers celebrates a goal during the 2018 AFL round 23 match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Essendon Bombers at Adelaide Oval on August 24, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Media/Getty Images)
  1. Richmond is a class above the rest of the competition

Richmond have been pushed right to the final siren in the last few weeks, but it doesn’t matter how close the opposition get to them, you still just know they’re going to win.

That’s the sign of a champion team.

The Bulldogs got within three points on the weekend but the Tigers still had complete control of the game and did just enough to still get the win.

They are deserved premiership favourites and it’s going to take a big effort to beat them in September.

  1. We were all wrong about the Kangaroos

People are tossing up Nathan Buckley and Alistair Clarkson for coach of the year but what about Brad Scott?

Nobody gave North Melbourne a chance in hell this season and many people had them tipped for the wooden spoon, and yet they finished ninth on the ladder.

Shaun Higgins and Ben Brown are genuine superstars and Scott’s move of throwing Jack Ziebell forward was masterful.

They don’t have a lot of superstars, but Scott developed a game plan that worked for them and they executed it just about every week.

Throw in the fact they’ve still got cash to splash to try and land a big fish in the off-season, North Melbourne could be right in the mix for finals next year.