The Cats could be headed for their first minor premiership since 2008 after a dominant start to the season.
Many wrote Geelong off from making the finals altogether over the summer after it seemed that they had peaked with this current side. However, through shrewd coaching and a revitalised list and play style, these Cats are purring on the top of the ladder.
Chris Scott’s side sits a game and some healthy percentage clear on top, and with a number of games down at GMHBA Stadium to come, are well positioned to hold onto their throne. Youngsters like Tom Atkins, Gryan Miers and Jordan Clark have emerged to give hunger, while the likes of Tim Kelly, Mitch Duncan, Tom Stewart and Mark Blicavs are enjoying career-best seasons.
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Collingwood aren’t far behind the Cats in second place and might have the most upside of any team in the competition. It feels like the Pies have another gear they can go to yet, and at their best are nearly unbeatable.
Nathan Buckley’s side faces a pretty cosy run into the bye, with clashes against Sydney, Fremantle and Melbourne. And it doesn’t get much tougher on the other side of it, where they face the Bulldogs, North Melbourne and Hawthorn.
If Collingwood can stay healthy and take care of what is their easiest stretch of the season, the minor premiership is well within their grasp.
GWS are the sleeping giants in the minor premiership race and their best footy is undeniable. When Leon Cameron’s side flexes their muscles they can beat anyone and are more than capable of seriously challenging for first place.
As has been their problem for some time, replicating their best footy away from home remains a major obstacle. They have the team, they have the game plan and when they get going, have the momentum. But they need it to all come together, and the Giants would want to prove that they can win on the MCG to validate their premiership credentials.
Richmond, West Coast and Adelaide all remain outside chances of winning the minor premiership, but it would be foolish to count any of them out.The Tigers may be the walking wounded, but they have recently shown that system can overcome personnel. The Eagles play a ton of games at Optus Stadium down the stretch where they could pick up some serious momentum. The Crows could yet take their game to another level and rise to the top as they did in 2017.