Magpies voted the AFL team to beat again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies voted the AFL team to beat again

Sam Lienert 17/03/2011 04:21:51 PM Comments (0)

Reigning AFL premiers Collingwood have been overwhelmingly voted by their rivals as the team to beat again this season.

Of the 16 opposing skippers, 14 of them picked the Magpies as the team most likely to reach the grand final, in the league's annual pre-season poll.

No-one picked St Kilda - the losing grand finalists of the past two years - with Hawthorn (two votes) and Western Bulldogs (one) the only other clubs to rate a mention.

The Magpies were also the only club universally tipped to make the eight, although only one captain had each of last year's fellow top four clubs the Bulldogs, Saints and Geelong missing out.

Not a single captain picked Melbourne to reach the finals in coach Dean Bailey's fourth season in charge.

There was no love for newcomers Gold Coast either, with Brisbane, Port Adelaide and Richmond also unanimously picked to finish in the bottom nine.

But the Suns are expected to attract one honour, with No.1 draft pick David Swallow having impressed enough to prompt 13 skippers to pick him to win this year's Rising Star award.

No-one else attracted more than one vote.

Hawthorn star Lance Franklin was a popular choice to win his second Coleman Medal, having won his first in the Hawks' 2008 premiership year.

Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge was among the three top Brownlow Medal tips, picking up three votes, as did Geelong's Joel Selwood and Collingwood's Dane Swan.

Exciting Melbourne forward Liam Jurrah was the top choice to win both mark of the year and goal of the year.

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