2023 Mongrel Punt Crystal Ball

We’ve read the predictions of the best – now it’s time to read those of the rest!

As we like to poke fun at the experts (some of whom are highly paid) who trot out wild predictions, what type of hypocrites would we be if we didn’t do the same and wear the criticism?

Personally, I thought we’d be the coolest type, but the other blokes disagreed, and so, here we are, ready to put our collective knowledge (and wild guessing ability) to the test.

Here are The Mongrel team predictions for 2023… which may or may not be edited at some point during the season to save face. Just kidding – I had someone send me screenshots last year… can’t get away with that stuff, anymore.


Who will be Premiers in 2023?

Collingwood (Matt Parnell)

Melbourne (Hodgey)

Geelong (Slugger)

Brisbane (Matt Passmore)

Melbourne (Matt O)

Brisbane (JB Eddy)

Melbourne (Tim Hunt)

Melbourne (DJK)

Brisbane (Max)

Brisbane (Doc)

Melbourne (HB)

Melbourne – even if I want #cattoback – Jimmy Day

Brisbane (Trent)


 Who will be Runners-Up in 2023?

Brisbane (Matt Parnell)

Brisbane (Hodgey)

Melbourne (Slugger)

Sydney (Matt Passmore)

Brisbane (Matt O)

Sydney (JB Eddy)

Brisbane (Tim Hunt)

Brisbane (DJK)

Fremantle (Max)

Geelong (Doc)

Sydney (HB)

Geelong (Jimmy Day)

Melbourne (Trent)


Who will be Wooden Spooners in 2023?

Hawthorn (Matt Parnell)

North Melbourne (Hodgey)

St. Kilda (Slugger)

St. Kilda (Matt Passmore)

Hawthorn (Matt O)

GWS (JB Eddy)

Hawthorn (Tim Hunt)

Hawthorn (DJK)

Hawthorn (Max)

Hawthorn (Doc)

Hawthorn (HB)

Hawthorn (Jimmy Day)

West Coast (Trent)


Biggest Rise (Team) 

Gold Coast(Matt Parnell)

Port Adelaide (Hodgey)

Carlton (This is the year!)(Slugger)

Gold Coast – Gotta happen eventually (Matt Passmore)

Essendon (JB Eddy)

Adelaide (Tim Hunt)

Essendon (DJK)

Port Adelaide (Max)

Adelaide (Doc)


Adelaide  (Jimmy Day)

Carlton (Trent)


Biggest Fall (Team) 

St. Kilda (Matt Parnell)

Collingwood- 4th to missing finals, St Kilda will be crap though (Hodgey)

St. Kilda (Slugger)

St Kilda (JB Eddy)

Collingwood (Matt Passmore)

Sydney (Matt O)

Sydney (Tim Hunt)

Fremantle (DJK)

St Kilda (Max)

Collingwood (Doc)

Fremantle (HB)

St Kilda or Collingwood (Jimmy Day)

Sydney (Trent)


Who will finish top three in the Brownlow?

Touk Miller – Patrick Cripps – Tom Mitchell (Matt Parnell)

Tom Green- Clayton Oliver- Lachie Neale (Hodgey)

Christian Petracca – Andrew Brayshaw – Callum Mills (Slugger)

Patrick Cripps – Touk Miller – Christian Petracca (JB Eddy)

Touk Miller- Andy Brayshaw- Lachie Neale (Matt Passmore)

Clayton Oliver, Touk Miller, Zak Butters (Matt O)

Clayton Oliver, Andrew Brayshaw, Tom Green (Tim Hunt)

Clayton Oliver, Marcus Bontempelli, Touk Miller (DJK)

Andrew Brayshaw, Marcus Bontempelli, Clayton Oliver (Max)

Touk Miller, Clayton Oliver, Marcus Bontempelli (Doc)

Clayton Oliver, Connor Rozee, Lachie Neale (HB)

Lachie Neale, Touk Miller, Nat Fyfe (Jimmy Day)

Touk Miller, Clayton Oliver, Chad Warner (Trent)


Who wins the Coleman in 2023?

Jeremy Cameron (Matt Parnell)

Tom Lynch (Hodgey)

Ben King (Slugger)

Barry McKay (the few he kicks for North will tip him over the edge) (JB Eddy)

Ben King (Matt Passmore)

Jeremy Cameron (Matt O)

Jeremy Cameron (Tim Hunt)

Jeremy Cameron (DJK)

Tom Lynch (Max)

Aaron Naughton (Doc)

Jeremy Cameron (HB)

Tom Lynch (Jimmy Day)

Nat Fyfe (Trent)


Best recruit of 2023

Lachlan McAndrew. Kidding. Tim Taranto (Matt Parnell)

Josh Dunkley (Hodgey)

Jack Gunston (Slugger)

Josh Dunkley (JB Eddy)

Jaeger O’Meara (Matt Passmore)

Tim Taranto (Matt O)

Jack Gunston (Tim Hunt)

Jayden Hunt (DJK)

Jacob Hopper (Max)

Jack Gunston or Oskar Baker (Doc)

I want to say Tom Mitchell, but it’ll be Tim Taranto. Looks great. (HB)

Tanner Bruhn (Jimmy Day)

Brodie Grundy (Trent)


Who will be the Rising Star in 2023?

Jed Busslinger (Matt Parnell)

Reuben Ginbey (Hodgey)

Will Ashcroft (Slugger)

Will Ashcroft (JB Eddy)

Will Ashcroft (Matt Passmore)

Will Ashcroft (Matt O)

Will Ashcroft (Tim Hunt)

Will Ashcroft (DJK)

Will Ashcroft (Max)

Will Ashcroft is the easy one. Sam Darcy (Doc)

Will Ashcroft (HB)

Just to be different, Harry Sheezel (Jimmy Day)

Sam Darcy (Trent)


It’s going to be a breakout year for…?

Errol Gulden (Matt Parnell)

Jason Horne-Francis (Hodgey)

Lloyd Meek (Slugger)

Hayden Young (Matt Passmore)

Oscar Allen (JB Eddy)

Errol Gulden (Matt O)

Jai Culley (Tim Hunt)

Oscar Allen (DJK)

Will Day (Max)

NOT Oscar Allen…  Darcy Fogarty (Doc)

Archie Perkins (HB)

Darcy Fogarty/Tanner Bruhn (Jimmy Day)

Keidean Coleman (Trent)


Biggest story of the year 

Toby Greene takes to captaincy like Toby Greene to a man’s eye as GWS make the eight (Matt Parnell)

Tom De Koning bidding war between Swans and Carlton dominates talks for the year, with him flocking off to Sydney, paving the way for bigger contract offers to young guns being the norm.  (Hodgey)

Tasmania Finally gets its Team! Federal budget commits money for the new stadium & precinct. AFL to become a 19-team competition in 2027. (Slugger)

AFL gives up on the four-umpire system as players and fans vent frustrations that the game is being taken over by too many technical free kicks which should go unnoticed.  (Matt Passmore)

The combination of Gawn and Grundy proves a massive issue for opposition clubs, and Melbourne romp to the premiership, losing only one game in the process. (Matt O)

Ben and Harry McKay finally admit to being one person. Barry is vilified by the AFL media for drawing a cheque while working two jobs. He then joins Carlton full-time, while also taking up a full-time position as a Visy green energy pathway development consultant. This is accepted, and his work ethic is praised. (JB Eddy)

Along with finally announcing Tasmania as the 19th team in the competition, the AFL begins exploring the Northern Territory/North-Western Australia as a potential 20th team set to enter the comp before 2030. (Tim Hunt)

After another misfiring start to the season, Ken Hinkey falls on his own sword and steps down as head coach of Port Adelaide. A number of players look to flee the ship in lieu of sticking with a rebuilding team (DJK)

After being bundled out of the finals in straight sets, Chris Scott abruptly resigns as coach of Geelong, citing both a newfound desire for farming and the fact that he doesn’t want his hair to grey any further (Max)

Gillon McLachlan’s farewell tour carries on into 2024 because he can’t help himself. It’s been carried on for way too long. (Doc)

Two mid-season retirements at West Coast (Hurn and Shuey) send the team into complete rebuild… a year or two too late. (HB)

Concussion law suits nearly break the AFL, as they implement mandatory helmets for all players and rule that only one player can tackle an opponent at once. Plus I would not be surprised if mid-season trading is introduced. (Jimmy Day)

Adelaide and GWS both leapfrog fellow long term rebuilding sides, Essendon, Gold Coast, Port Adelaide and St Kilda building boiling point pressure on those coaching appointments. (Trent)


What’s your one terrible take?

Teams get so concerned about the sheer amount of new talent in Brisbane that they ignore Eric Hipwood, who makes a serious charge for the Coleman (Matt Parnell)

Dan McStay becomes the 2023 “Mabior Chol” kicking 45+ goals to stamp himself as the alpha dog in the Collingwood forward line. (Hodgey)

Patrick Dangerfield solidifies his legacy as a top-5 all-time AFL great if he captains Geelong to back-to-back premierships. Winning a second Gary Ayres award, and claiming the Norm Smith Medal. (Slugger)

Nat Fyfe wins the Coleman is 75 goals (Matt Passmore)

Eddie McGuire is announced as the new CEO of the AFL. (Matt O)

Essendon finish 6th to great fanfare and acclaim. Still do not manage to win a final. (JB Eddy)

Three weeks out from the finals, for reasons passing understanding (definitely not because Carlton are set to finish in 9th spot again) the AFL announce a play-in tournament featuring sides placed 7th through 10th will kick off the 2023 finals campaign. Carlton proceed to lose their last three games and finish 11th. (Tim Hunt)

Kane Cornes decides to give up his click-bait journalism and retires from the public eye to take up his calling of becoming a Weight Watchers consultant, helping to fix the fatties of the world he has so rallied again (DJK)

Charlie Comben kicks 30 goals for North Melbourne, becoming the first player of the modern era to do so whose name was completely unknown to everyone outside his team at the beginning of the season (Max)

After losing the Grand Final, Geelong will once again whinge to the AFL to push to have a final at Kardinia Park. Face it Cats fans, no one wants to go to that dump to watch them play a final ever again! (Doc)

After some misfirings in 2022, the score review will work an absolute treat all season in 2023. No blurred goal line decisions, no grainy footage that is inconclusive even though they tell you it’s conclusive, and definitely no controversies. All hail The Arc! (HB)

With the Hawks charged with tanking, they got to go back to the future and poach Alastair Clarkson from North, to coach, run the board, and be in charge of player welfare. (Jimmy Day)

The AFL actively puts a 3-game Grand Final series on the agenda (Trent)


There we go – who is closest to the mark and what would you have different? Feel free to copy and paste the criteria in the comments or respond on our socials. Hey, if we’re sticking our big, fat necks out, you should as well.

– HB


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