The title is to attract my Freo supporting friends and annoy my West Coast supporting friends.
Three weeks ago so many commentators were saying that 2016 was a year horrible for my Freo Dockers. And such a view could be supported with the winless Dockers languishing at the bottom of the ladder. In the last three weeks Freo has beaten a depleted Essendon, a disillusioned Brisbane and a disappointing Port Adelaide. With the best midfielder in the AFL out for the season, arguable the best ruckman on the sidelines and an All Australian backman injured. In fact just this week Coach Ross Lyon had 25 fit players to choose from. In his own words a ‘tipping point’.
Two or three chilled chardonnays down the road in the Rangie, West Coast’s season could best be described as ordinary. Some FTB (flat track bully) wins at home in front of a ageing but vocal booing crowd, some disappointing losses away, West Coast sit just inside the top eight heading for another finals appearance. Kennedy is a A grade forward kicking from everywhere with characteristic confidence. With the skilled but patchy LeCras backing him up.
However who is better placed? As I have come to realise, all that matters is winning the Grand Final. Not making finals, not winning preliminary final, but the big dance. Something Fremantle came close too, but have never done. Yes that stings.
Making finals means nothing unless you win the big dance. Will West Coast make and win the Grand Final this year? Very doubtful. If someone offers you odds on Freo not making the Grand Final, take them. Fremantle wont even make the finals.
But here is the point. Fremantle is better placed. A fine young crop of young players are getting valuable games in them. The best player in the AFL will be back in 2017 ready to fire. As will a host of other players rested up for a great tilt. And a lower place on the ladder means more opportunity to grab some great players.
West Coast on the other hand will fall over the line into another finals appearance. If they finish high enough they might even win a home final. But will they win the Grand Final? No. In fact their mediocrity will mean they continue to top up and believe they are in it. They are not.