As part of the annual AFL Players’ Top 50, players were surveyed and asked which side from 2016 will slide the most throughout the 2017 season, and one team was on everybody’s lips.
47 per cent of players surveyed said North Melbourne would tumble down the ladder more than any other side, with Hawthorn (32 per cent) and Geelong (5 per cent) the next two popular choices.
The Kangaroos were undefeated through nine rounds last season before limping to September with just 11 wins, and were subsequently smashed by Adelaide in the first week of the finals.
North lost Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Daniel Wells, Nick Dal Santo and Michael Firrito all in the off-season, with players predicting Brad Scott’s men to face a tough 2017 campaign.
Hawthorn were also a favourite response for almost a third of the players surveyed, as they believe life without the likes of Jordan Lewis and Sam Mitchell may be tougher than first thought.
The Hawks have recruited Jaeger O’Meara and Tom Mitchell as replacements, but players are still suggesting this could be the beginning of Hawthorn’s demise.