We’ve finally arrived.

All the hard hits, the hangers, the straight kicks and out on the fulls, the injury set backs, the stand rules, the no crowds and the ‘home’ games no where near where they should be. Season 2021 has had it all, and we’ve stayed glued to our seats the whole time.

Remember that time Gary Rohan kicked a goal after the siren to see the Cats take an important victory over the Western Bulldogs? Rumour has it Greg in IT is still celebrating today.

Or that time that Darcy Parrish put on an absolute show in the ANZAC Day blockbuster, becoming the second player in history to record more than 40 disposals in the important day and helping his Bombers to a season-defining win over the Pies. 

No matter what it is, we’ve felt it with you. WIth some if not most of us spending more time in our houses than we’d care to, the 2021 season has acted as a lifeline, and now we enter the pointy end. We don’t know about you, but we think this finals season might just be one of the greats.

Eight teams remain, rounded out by last week’s blockbuster final round, which saw the Bombers sneak home after taking the win against the Pies. Without the bye round, we’re straight into the mix, and we’re ready to watch some bloody good footy. So, who made the cut?

  1. Melbourne
  2. Port Adelaide
  3. Geelong
  4. Brisbane Lions
  5. Western Bulldogs
  6. Sydney Swans
  7. GWS Giants
  8. Essendon

Claiming the minor premiership for the first time since 1964, Melbourne are back, and they’re back with a vengeance, and didn’t they do it in emphatic fashion? Max Gawn stood up when it counted, kicking a goal after the siren to win it, after a 44-point deficit comeback. The men in red and blue have been outstanding all year, led by their in-form ruckman, Gawn and bullish midfielder, Christian Petracca, they’re on track to claim the cup that has been just out of reach all these years. The red and blue faithful will be praying that the year is finally here for the Dee’s to break the drought, can they do it?

Port Adelaide and Geelong share a familiar story, the two clubs have performed well the last few years, but have fallen short at the final hurdle. WIth the likes of Patrick Dangerfield, Tom Hawkins and Scott Selwood, it seems like Geelong has the superstar power to make it this year, but as I’m sure many Port fans will argue, so do they. Travis Boak, Ollie Wines and Charlie Dixon, to name a few. Geelong will be disappointed with a third place finish, after giving up a 44 point lead against the Demons, will they get their confidence back come next week?

The ultimate fairytale finish saw the Brisbane Lions sneak into the top four, knocking out the Western Bulldogs by the smallest of margins. The Lions have had an up and down season, but managed to make it count in the last game against the Eagles. Will Chris Fagan’s men make waves this September, now with the double chance?

The Western Bulldogs have returned to the form that saw them claim a fairytale premiership in 2016, but a few shock losses let them down in the later half of the season, with many expecting them to sit within the top two, which was the case until the last few rounds. An injury to their key forward Joshua Bruce could see the wheels start to fall off, but the likes of Andrew Naughton will see to it that isn’t the case.

The Sydney Swans have been the surprise package that no one saw coming this year. Buddy Franklin is back to his uninjured best, plus Isaac Heaney and Tom Papley have been providing the x-factor all year long. Critics haven’t picked the young side to go far into their finals campaign, but are they ready to prove the doubters wrong?

With the likes of Toby Green, Tim Taranto and Harry Himmelberg, the Giants have got a full list of exciting players ready to right the wrongs of the 2019 grand final, where Richmond hung them out to dry. Scraping in after a surprising season, the orange army will be getting behind their Giants.

And last, but not least, the ultimate unexpected eighth place of them all. The Essendon Bombers. Who would have thought? Not us. We don’t think even Bombers fans expected this one, but yet here they are. With the likes of Darcy Parrish, Zach Merrit and Jake Stringer leading the charge, the Bombers could very well be the unexpected surprise that no one saw coming.

Who are you backing this finals season?