With the AFL’s resumption now less than a week away, former Saints star Leigh Montagna has named the four clubs that he believes will be the biggest movers in 2020.
Speaking on Fox Sports’ AFL Tonight, Joey likes Port Adelaide’s prospects to not only push for the top four but even as a premiership fancy.
“I think the two teams that could jump up the ladder and potentially be a top four team and have a real crack at a flag, definitely Port Adelaide,” he said.
“They’ve certainly got the talent, if it can just all click for them I certainly think they’re a team that can push the top end of the ladder.”
Despite finishing 10th last year and with Ken Hinkley perhaps being under more pressure than any other coach, Montagna believes they have all the tools to rise up the ladder.
“I think Ken Hinkley is a terrific coach, I like their style of footy they go about it the right way they’re a really high pressure team, they turn the football over which we know is the key to football these days,” he said.
“They just need to tidy up their efficiency inside 50, they had the most inside 50s in the comp last season they just couldn’t capitalise on them they were just a bit sloppy with their use and their finishing skills in front of goal… I think if they tidy up that aspect of their game they can challenge most teams this season.”
Montagna’s “smokey” pick to make strides forward is North Melbourne, who looked reenergised in the second half of 2019 under rookie coach Rhyce Shaw.
“The other one as a bit of a smokey, I’m really interested to see what the Kangaroos can deliver,” he said.
“There’s something building down there, it seems like they’ve got great spirit, they had a really good game plan under Rhyce Shaw. If they can stay fit and healthy and build on what they’ve done I think the Kangaroos could be the smokey this year that could be in the top four come finals time.”
Geelong and the Brisbane Lions are the two clubs the dual All Australian believes could plummet. He believes the Cats are one of the toughest teams to predict and could finish anywhere from the top two to outside the eight.
“Geelong for me are fascinating, there’s been a lot of talk about them now with all these games at home, they could easily finish in top two on the ladder and they could also slip out of the eight,” he said.
“There’s almost a feel of a little bit of the Chicago Bulls ‘last dance’ about them. How much has Ablett and Selwood, Harry Taylor, Hawkins et cetera got left in them?
“The other team is the Brisbane Lions. I think they could potentially slip a little bit from a terrific season last year.
“I just think they had all the favours last year they had a really fit and healthy list, they had a pretty good draw and they had a style of footy that worked for them, are they able to reproduce it? They’ve lost their last four games if you go back to late last season so with a few games at hoe early in the year it’s going to be really interesting to see how they jump out of the blocks in the first few weeks.”