2020 AFL Season is here!

The Footy is back!

With Round 1 of the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season kicking off last night we thought we would take a closer look at our Southern NSW superstars and catch up on Round 1 preparations in what is likely to be a season unlike any other.

Last night’s opener saw the Richmond Tigers get over Carlton by 24 points and as usual Coolamon’s Michael Gibbons was busy in an undermanned Blues forward line. Micky is no doubt in for another challenging year but continues to make improvements to his game and should be a valuable contributor to Carlton week in week out. Matt Kennedy missed out but should not be too far away from his first game in the navy blue for 2020.

In Western Sydney, the GIANTS start their season at home against Finley’s favourite son, Tom Hawkins and the evergreen Geelong Cats. It will be hard to tip against the Big Big Sound this year with a throng of big names back on the paddock including SNSW stars Harry Perryman, Harry Himmelberg, Jacob Hopper and Jeremy Finlayson who are all playing outrageously good footy as was in evidence at their recent game against the Tigers at Robertson Oval. With Narrandera’s Zac Williams soon to recover from an Achilles issue and Broken Hill star Isaac Cummings coming in as a more than able replacement, the word ‘unbeatable’ does start to pop in the mind. If only there was room for Matt Flynn and Zac Sproule and we could rename them the SNSW GIANTS.

On the other side of old Sydney town, the ‘Swannies’ have their bags packed for a trip to Adelaide to face the Crows and two of our Southern NSW stars could line up on each other with Harry Cunningham and Taylor Walker both being named on the wing for their respective clubs although the late mail is that Tex will probably spend most of his time up forward. This one looks to be an arm wrestle with both clubs needing to start the season well in what is likely to be a challenging year.

Temora’s Luke Bruest and Wagga Wagga’s Isaac Smith enter season 2020 as legitimate veterans and both will be keen as mustard on turning this year into a big one for the Hawks.   Recent draftees Matt Walker and Jacob Koschitzke are still biding their time in the background and unable to play with the suspension of the VFL so we will have to wait to see these two exciting talents in action.

After an impressive back half of 2019 the Western Bulldogs are poised to again be one of the teams to beat and Wagga’s Matt Suckling will as usual be leading the way with his elite skills and wealth of experience. Named as a forward in Round 1, Matt is likely to make life miserable for the Collingwood defence in tonight’s massive Marvel Stadium matchup.

2020 will also see a couple of familiar faces in new colours. Dougal Howard has made the jump from Port Adelaide to St Kilda and will start this weekend with the newly invigorated Saints alongside fellow new recruits Brad Hill, Zac Jones and Paddy Rider.  Essendon will go into Round 1 with a new full forward naming new recruit, Leeton’s Jacob Townsend, in his first game for the Bombers. Jacob received a career lifeline from the Hanger late last year and will no doubt be looking to make the most of this opportunity to extend what has already been a highly successful AFL stint.

The 2020 AFL Women’s competition will now enter 3 weeks of finals after the last two rounds were unfortunately scrapped.

GIANTS fans will be delighted at the fact that their team has reached a semi and will play Melbourne featuring former Wagga player Gabrielle Colvin. With Holbrooks’s Alyce Parker and Hay’s Jodie Hicks playing their career best footy, GWS could go a long way towards securing a first Grand Final appearance in 2020. Parker in particular is having another outstanding season after her breakout debut year in 2019. So far Alyce has consistently racked up 20 plus possessions and is only getting better every week.

Although we can’t take the trip down the highway to get to a game in person, it is fantastic that the AFL season can get started and we will all be watching on at home and cheering on our favourite players from the Footy factory!