Myles Stedman


After another fascinating and unfortunately tragic AFL season, we have our premiers. Hawthorn has gone back to back to back, defeating the West Coast Eagles in the Grand Final.

In doing so, the 2013-15 Hawks have cemented themselves as one of the greatest teams of all time.

Add in the 2008 triumph and you have yourself four premierships in eight years. Considering the modern game of AFL, such a period of dominance is arguably unmatched by any side of any area.

However, not all was rosy this AFL season. Of course, the footballing world had to deal with the tragedy of the loss of Phil Walsh.

If nothing else, the coming together of the community in support of each other was inspiring and made this writer proud to be an AFL fan and an Australian.

There was no shortage of on-field suffering also. Clubs like Carlton, Brisbane and Essendon sunk to new depths, leaving fans wondering what can possibly be done to turn the ship around.

Each team will be graded for their on and off-field performances in 2015, doing so in alphabetical order.

ADELAIDE CROWS: A+

We start off with a team that is a hard one to grade – the Adelaide Crows.

They finished where they probably expected to this season, making the semi-finals and going down to a far superior side in Hawthorn.

However, this isn’t why they receive their A+.

The sheer guts and heroism to fight through such a crippling tragedy as the loss of their leader speaks volumes about the young men who represent the Adelaide Football Club and the culture that they have built.

They may have just lost one of their best players in Patrick Dangerfield, but purely off the evidence of this season, this Adelaide team is certainly going places.

Bravo. We fly as one.

BRISBANE LIONS: F

Now for the not so pretty.

At the start of the year, there was plenty of cause for excitement at the Brisbane Lions.

They had just brought in free agent talents Dayne Beams, Allen Christensen and Mitch Robinson. They have a great batch of young talent including the reigning Rising Star and a young head coach, one of the club’s favourite sons.

Then the season started.

Brisbane only managed four wins all season, including two over last-placed Carlton and two impressive wins over Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs.

But what was more disappointing than the lack of wins and last place for most of the year was the manner in which the losses came.

The team seemed to show no improvement from last year to this year.

With players threatening to walk out left, right and centre, the Lions need to do something to show that there’s a reason to stay at the club for next season and beyond.

Best of luck to them.

CARLTON BLUES: F

There are not too many ways to slice it up; this was another bad year for the Blues.

The club finished last, sacked legendary coach Mick Malthouse and only won four games for year.

However, not all is blue at Carlton. They appointed promising young head coach Brendan Bolton for next year, they have the No.1 selection in the draft and are looking to make some good trades to secure some more picks.

There is also still a bit of talent left on the list, despite what David Parkin might have you believe.

Fortunately, it’s not too hard to improve for next year. Almost any signs of moving in the right direction will be an improvement.

However, the Blues still have a long rebuild ahead. Hopefully for their fans, 2016 can be a positive first step.