Grand finalists, Brownlow, top eight: AFL captains make their 2022 predictions

THE AFL has polled the 18 club captains for their views on the impending 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season, and they see Melbourne and the Brisbane at the top end of the ladder as the teams to beat.

In total, Melbourne and Brisbane drew the votes of 11 of the 18 club captains as the teams most likely to be a part of Grand Final day this year. This was followed by Western Bulldogs (three votes) and Richmond and Port Adelaide (2 votes each).

A total of 12 different clubs were considered possible chances to contest the finals while five different clubs were considered to reach the Toyota AFL Grand Final.

Unanimously, the view of the game’s on-field leaders is that there will be six players across the competition as this year’s Brownlow Medal favourite with Marcus Bontempelli (eight votes) the standout ahead of Clayton Oliver (four votes).

The Coleman Medal – the game’s leading goalkicker – was predicted to be the domain of Carlton’s Harry McKay (six votes), with Geelong’s Jeremy Cameron (four votes) as his main rival.

Jason Horne-Francis was the standout to claim the Ron Evans Medal as the NAB AFL Rising Star with seven of the 18 captains nominating the North Melbourne youngster to take out the award.

The captains were asked five key questions on the season ahead, with the proviso that their individual answers would be treated anonymously to ensure personal views.

The full voting is below:

Which seven other clubs do you think can make this year’s top eight?
(18 times seven selections).
17 – Brisbane, Melbourne, Western Bulldogs, 
16 – Port Adelaide
13 – Richmond, Geelong
11 – Sydney 
9 – GWS Giants
5 – Essendon, Carlton
2 – Fremantle
1 – St Kilda

Which other club is most likely to reach the Grand Final? 
(No captains picked eventual premier Melbourne in 2021).

6 – Melbourne
5 – Brisbane 
3 – Western Bulldogs
2 – Richmond
2 – Port Adelaide

Which player from another club do you think will win the 2022 Brownlow Medal?
 (One captain correctly nominated Oliver Wines in 2021).

8 – Marcus Bontempelli, Western Bulldogs
4 – Clayton Oliver, Melbourne
2 – Patrick Cripps, Carlton
2 – Josh Kelly, GWS Giants
1 – Christian Petracca, Melbourne
1 – Lachie Neale, Brisbane

Which player from another club do you think will win the 2022 Coleman Medal?
(No captain nominated eventual Coleman medallist Harry McKay in 2021).

6 – Harry McKay, Carlton
4 – Jeremy Cameron, Geelong 
3 – Tom Hawkins, Geelong 
3 – Aaron Naughton, Western Bulldogs
1 – Max King, St Kilda
1 – Lance Franklin, Sydney

Which player from another club do you think will win the 2022 NAB AFL Rising Star?
(No captain nominated eventual Ron Evans medallist Luke Jackson in 2021).

7 – Jason Horne-Francis, North Melbourne 
5 – Nick Daicos, Collingwood
2 – Josh Rachele, Adelaide 
1 – Logan McDonald, Sydney 
1 – Finn Callaghan, GWS Giants
1 – Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Western Bulldogs
1 – Josh Ward, Hawthorn