AFL draw. Photo: Shannon Morris
Connolly says: Crows have clearly done the best of the top-order teams, seventh best draw on Age formula, play three of last year’s top eight twice but none of the other top four teams.
Connolly says: Improving Lions could be one to watch with the AFL’s fourth-best draw, a lot easier than this year, with return clashes against GWS, Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.
Connolly says: Blues have done well in commercial terms with 11 Friday or Saturday night games, and OK on football front with road trips all well spread. Tough run at start though.
Connolly says: Pies had toughest draw of 2012, and only fractionally easier this time. Play the grand finalists twice each, and have two lots of consecutive six-day breaks to tackle.
Connolly says: Bombers have done pretty well for a team in the eight most of year, this draw ranked sixth best. Only meet two finalists twice and get a return clash against GWS.
Connolly says: Dockers had much easier draw this year, but improved performances lead to tougher handicaps. Decent run home, though, if Freo can hang in there. WA derby to start.
Connolly says: Preparation the big issue for the Cats, the only side to have a triple-header of six-day breaks, and back-to-back later on. First game at Simonds not till round 10, either.
Connolly says: Slightly easier run at it for Suns next year, don’t play any of the 2012 finalists twice and four of the bottom six twice.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
Connolly says: AFL fledgling gets a good deal, though two clashes with local rival Sydney makes for tougher draw than Suns. Won’t play at Skoda home until round seven.
Connolly says: Hawks have clearly the toughest deal. Play every other member of 2012 top eight in first seven games, and all five return clashes against top eight teams.
Connolly says: Statistically the best draw in the competition. Demons play only one top eight team twice, only once in Perth and get to face both Gold Coast and GWS twice each.
Connolly says: Has copped a very tough whack. Roos face three of the top four twice, have two trips to Perth, more six-day breaks than anyone and a very challenging start to the season.
Connolly says: Power has done very well. Plays only two finalists twice, has return games against GWS and Gold Coast, and no consecutive road trips. Might need the help, though.
Connolly says: Middle-of-the-road draw for Tigers, the upside only one return bout with a finalist from this year, the down to trips to Perth. Nice finish with four of last five at MCG.
Connolly says: Probably toughest draw of this year’s non-finalists, though decent start. Plays seven games outside Victoria, including New Zealand, and has consecutive six-day break.
Connolly says: Has got off pretty lightly for a reigning premier. Swans get benefit of two GWS clashes and nice start to season, though finish is pretty challenging.
Connolly says: Second toughish draw in a row with two lots of consecutive six-day breaks and travel factor always adding to task. Four of first six games at home some consolation.
Connolly says: Dogs haven’t been afforded much largesse for poor performer, several better-placed rivals with better draws. Easily toughest run of 2012 bottom four teams.