AFL 2011 Power Rankings – Round 23 – All-Australian Edition

In the final edition of the Power Rankings for 2011, I’m grading the season of each club plus picking their All-Australian contenders (a bit hard in some cases!). I have put together my All-Australian Team for this season – a difficult process at the best of times – so don’t be too tough on me if I’ve left out a few players!

 

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Collingwood 1 <NO CHANGE>

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Season Grade: A A superb season, with the chance for 21 wins from 22 games in round 24. Have suffered a rare injury crisis in recent weeks but are well positioned for a second tilt at a Premiership. The Mick Malthouse story has dominated their year.

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All-Australian Contenders: Dane Swan, Scott Pendlebury, Dale Thomas, Travis Cloke, Leon Davis, Ben Reid

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Hawthorn 2 UP 1

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Season Grade: A The Hawks have just quietly put together an outstanding season, despite their own share of injuries throughout the season. Buddy has bounced back to his best, whilst Sam Mitchell has been brilliant in the midfield.

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All-Australian Contenders: Sam Mitchell, Lance Franklin, Grant Birchall, Josh Gibson

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Geelong 3 DOWN 1

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Season Grade: A- A bit stiff to be ranked 3rd, given they've accumulated 18 wins so far in 2011 (although Hawthorn may still finish ahead of the Cats on the ladder). A quality side, but I now rate the Pies and Hawks a clear #1 and #2 respectively.

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All-Australian Contenders: Matthew Scarlett, Corey Enright, James Kelly, Steve Johnson

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Carlton 4 <NO CHANGE>

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Season Grade: B+ Just about any Carlton supporter would have taken 5th place on the ladder and a home final. Losses to the Dogs and Eagles mid-season killed off their chances for top 4. Otherwise, the Blues have won most of the games they should have.

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All-Australian Contenders: Chris Judd, Marc Murphy, Heath Scotland, Bryce Gibbs, Andrew Walker

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West Coast 5 <NO CHANGE>

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Season Grade: A No doubt the surprise packet of 2011. A mostly injury free year has done wonders, with a wealth of youngsters showing great signs beneath the core senior group. Not sure too many people saw this turnaround coming following the wooden spoon in 2010.

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All-Australian Contenders: Dean Cox, Darren Glass, Andrew Embley, Matt Priddis

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St Kilda 6 <NO CHANGE>

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Season Grade: B- Easy to forget that the Saints were dead and buried with 1 win after 8 rounds, sitting 15th on the ladder. Whilst the Saints have won 10 of their next 14, I have doubts about their immediate future with an aging list and few youngsters coming through.

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All-Australian Contenders: Nick Dal Santo, Ben McEvoy, Sam Fisher

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Sydney 7 <NO CHANGE>

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Season Grade: B An indifferent season from the Swans, highlighted by their round 23 win over the Cats at Skilled Stadium. I don't see a Premiership winning list here, however they aren't going backwards anytime soon. Sam Reid has been a solid find.

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All-Australian Contenders: Adam Goodes, Jude Bolton, Ted Richards

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Essendon 8 <NO CHANGE>

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Season Grade: B Where to start with the Dons? They opened the season better than anyone could have expected (3rd on the ladder with 5 wins after 8 rounds). The wheels fell off, but they've fought their way back, into an Elimination Final appearance in September.

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All-Australian Contenders: None (sorry Bomber fans!)

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North Melbourne 9 UP 1

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Season Grade: C+ Once again the Roos have not bottomed out, but on the other hand – they continue to fall short against sides above them. They need to make some significant changes at Arden Street to move up on the ladder. Trade week is calling.

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All-Australian Contenders: Andrew Swallow, Todd Goldstein, Daniel Wells

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Fremantle 10 DOWN 1

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Season Grade: C It's very difficult to rate the Fremantle season, given the amount of injuries they have experienced throughout the year. With a full list to choose from, they're probably a top 8 side. Maybe they can prove this to be the case in 2012.

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All-Australian Contenders: Nathan Fyfe, Matthew Pavlich

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Richmond 11 UP 2

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Season Grade: C+ The Tigers looked up and about mid-season, with 4 and a half wins from their first 9 games, before a form slump. A current 3-game winning streak gives fans something to look forward to in 2012, with Cotchin and Martin sure to be in the thick of it.

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All-Australian Contenders: Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin

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Bulldogs 12 <NO CHANGE>

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Season Grade: C- Tipped by most as a top 4 (and possibly even Premiership) contender pre-season, the Dogs have been a mighty disappointment in 2011, with Rodney Eade sent packing as a consequence. Another list needing an overhaul.

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All-Australian Contenders: Matthew Boyd, Ryan Griffen, Dale Morris

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Adelaide 13 UP 2

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Season Grade: C- Another coach copped the brunt of some very ordinary football – Neil Craig – following some ordinary footy from the Crows throughout 2011. Scott Thompson has been superb all year, with Adelaide improving since the change of coach.

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All-Australian Contenders: Scott Thompson

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Melbourne 14 DOWN 2

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Season Grade: D+ The Demons face some massive issues over the off-season – finding a coach being the priority. But also, finding a group to compete on a weekly basis must be looked at. The Dees have an average losing margin of 61 points this season.

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All-Australian Contenders: None (no surprise, is it?)

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Brisbane 15 UP 1

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Season Grade: C Just 4 wins for the season, but I get the feeling that the Lions are building something special. Despite the losses, they've competed this season – with their average losing margin less than 30 points (with 4 losses by less than 10 points).

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All-Australian Contenders: Simon Black

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Gold Coast 16 DOWN 2

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Season Grade: B+ Three memorable wins (against Port Adelaide, Brisbane and Richmond) was a pass mark in my book for the AFL's newest club. Watch out for the Suns in 2012, with another pre-season into their young stars. Ablett has been phenomenal.

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All-Australian Contenders: Gary Ablett Jnr

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Port Adelaide 17 <NO CHANGE>

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Season Grade: F An embarrassment of a season for the Power, no matter which way you look at it. They gave the Suns their first ever win and actually competed in no more than a handful of games. 2012 can't come quick enough. John Butcher looks a great find.

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All-Australian Contenders: You're kidding, right?

 
 

Power Rankings – 2011 All-Australian Team

B: Grant Birchall (HAW) Darren Glass (WCE) Josh Gibson (HAW)

HB: Heath Scotland (CAR) Ben Reid (COL) Leon Davis (COL)

C: March Murphy (CAR) Scott Pendlebury (COL)Dale Thomas (COL)

HF: Scott Thompson (ADE) Travis Cloke (COL) Adam Goodes (SYD)

F: Stephen Milne (STK) Lance Franklin (HAW) Andrew Walker (CAR)

FOLL: Dean Cox (WCE) Chris Judd (CAR) Gary Ablett (GCS)

INTER: Todd Goldstein (KAN) Dane Swan (COL) Sam Mitchell (HAW) Steve Johnson (GEE)
 
 
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