PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 05: Cale Hooker (right) and Dylan Shiel of the Bombers look dejected after a loss during the 2019 AFL First Elimination Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Essendon Bombers at Optus Stadium on September 05, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

While many fans gauge their sights to who might win the 2021 AFL Premiership as the season rolls closer, the tight battle at the top might be as enticing as the scrap to avoid the wooden spoon.

Adelaide *won* the 18th-placed trophy last season for the first time in their history following a nightmare season both on and off the field whilst in a tussle with North Melbourne for finishing second last.

The Kangaroos will enter the new season by kickstarting a newborn era under coach David Noble, who has arrived at Arden Street with plenty of optimism ahead of his new tenure.

Both the Kangaroos and Crows ended the 2020 season with three wins from 17 matches and will look to vastly improve on their disappointing campaigns.

While the two sides both stand a chance to avoid the wooden spoon, one of the 18 clubs must claim the league’s most unwanted honour.

We take a look at the leading contenders for the unwanted wooden spoon award for 2021.


1. Adelaide 

It’s very hard to rule out a side for the wooden spoon who finished dead last the year prior, so here we are.

The Crows endured a horrid 2020 season, going winless until Round 15 before managing a three-game winning run against the Hawks, Giants and Blues.

That trio of victories would be the only period the Crows sang the song post-match, ending with a dismal record of 3-14 for the season.

Moving into 2021 and Matthew Nicks will enter his second season at West Lakes without star onballer Brad Crouch and a cloud over the future of small forward Tyson Stengle following several off-field incidents.

There’s no argument that the club are in a stronger place than where they were 12 months ago, but it remains lightyears away from their near successes of 2017.

The club’s biggest additions will come in the form of former Giants onballer Jackson Hately and No.2 draft selection Riley Thilthorpe.

Collectively, the pair will bring 13 AFL games of experience to the table along with a desirable amount of optimism for the future.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – JULY 13: Taylor Walker of the Crows runs out for the round 17 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Adelaide Crows at Metricon Stadium on July 13, 2019 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)