Ten Minutes To Go In The 2023 Season – Certainties, Possibles, Impossibles

The Final 10 Minutes of the Season


The Clock is Ticking – Tick Tock, Tick Tock 

The clock, tick tock, is winding down on season 2023, and time, tick tock, is running out for a lot of teams and a host of players under injury clouds trying to be fit for September.

There are so many scenarios, lucky bounces, umpire’s calls, and other permutations to play out before the final siren sounds to end the home and away season for season 2023, so what is certain, possible, and impossible in the final ten minutes of the season?



  1. Collingwood, Brisbane, and Port Adelaide will finish in the Top 4, though the exact order is yet to be decided.


Collingwood finishing on top of the ladder is not a certainty just yet, but it is highly probable. They would need to lose both of their last two matches as well as dropping around three percentage points (about a six-goal turnaround) to not finish on top.

With De Goey and Hill now joining Moore and Daicos (of the Nick variety) on the sidelines, the depth of the Pies squad will be tested in the coming weeks.

The lowest the Maggies can finish on the ladder is second and they are certainly in no danger of losing their home ground finals advantage.


Brisbane will make the top 4 and could even finish on top of the ladder at season’s end, however, they must win their remaining two games against an injury-riddled Pies outfit AND a resurgent St Kilda team in the final game of the year to be assured of even keeping second spot.

Finishing at least second on the ladder, and as such a home-ground finals advantage, MUST be the priority of the Lions.


Port Adelaide will finish the season in either second, third or fourth spot. Port’s thumping win over the disappointing Giants last weekend secured them the double chance in September.

If the Power can go to Perth and defeat the in-form Dockers (which will not be an easy task), and then back it up with what should be a soft kill against the Tigers, then second place is not out of the question, but it does rely on Brisbane slipping up against either the Pies or the Saints.


  1. Carlton will make the Top 8 after Caleb Marchbank’s ‘sleight of hand’ moment last weekend guaranteed the Blues their dream of making the finals – for the barrackers of the Navy Blues, it truly was a magical moment.

It is possible the Blues could finish as high as fourth on the ladder, however, it is more likely they will finish somewhere between fifth and eighth. All the Baggers can do is keep winning to maintain fifth spot on the ladder and then hope the Dees falter in their last two games of the year to magically get the double chance.


  1. Gold Coast players will now certainly be auditioning for next year knowing they will have to prove to Dimma they are part of his future at the club.

The arrival of Dimma at ‘Club Sunland’ means the era of tanning, fun, pleasure, lazing around the beach and getting coaches sacked is no more.

Given the new hope around Metricon (or at least desperation by a lot of players to suddenly keep their jobs) the Suns could be the team to put a dampener on the Blues.

The days of chez nous are certainly over at the Gold Coast.


  1. The winner of the Greater Western Sydney and Essendon match will certainly be very much in the hunt for a chance for an unexpected finals appearance come Round 24.

Both the GWS and Essendon have improved greatly this year under the tutelage of new coaches Adam Kingsley and Brad Scott, and sadly, as both teams have performed and entertained above season’s expectations, it will be curtains for season 2023 for the loser of this match.


  1. Richmond most definitely cannot make the finals, and as their reign of supremacy comes to an end, time has finally run out for some of the Tigers of old.

Well played Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt and thanks for the entertainment.


  1. The Boundary Umpire from last week’s Collingwood v Geelong match will certainly not be seen again on a AFL field for a long, long, long time. Jeremy Cameron thanks him very much for the gifts he gladly accepted.


  1. The performance of the ARC will certainly be debated continuously until the end of time with shock jocks like Robbo and Kane always starting their ranting ARC diatribe with, “I am not a technological expert, but I believe….” Suggestion, interview an expert on the subject instead of your ‘non-expert’ opinion and/or the ‘pub test’.




  1. Adelaide can still make the Finals with 12 wins based solely on their superior percentage over the Saints, Bulldogs, Bombers, and Giants.

As unlikely as it may seem, ‘if’ they beat the Swans on Saturday night the Crows will find themselves in a tight struggle come Round 24 (they play the Eagles) for eighth spot on the ladder.


  1. Melbourne, as improbable as this scenario was even a week ago, could now possibly slip out of the top four.

With Max Gawn having a rare ordinary game against the Blues, Brodie Grundy and company again showing Melbourne lacks real forward options, and with Christian Petracca’s last-minute shot on goal being adjudged a ‘soft call’ behind, the end result is the Dees are now in battle to hold onto their position inside the top four.

The Demons must beat either the dangerous Hawks this weekend or the suddenly in-form Swans team at the SCG the following week to be assured of the double chance.


  1. St Kilda are a step closer to getting there.

I know many Saints fans who refuse to use the ‘f’ word at the moment, so I will respect their wishes and just say, all you have to do is put one more little ‘w’ on the board and then your ‘f’ dreams come true.


  1. Here come the up-and-down in-form brigade making a late charge for possible September action – the Bulldogs, the Swans, and the Cats.

The Western Bulldogs must be licking their chops at the moment, as after all their indifferent form this year, they play the Eagles this weekend (they are the luckiest puppies in the world). A win against the hapless Eagles will keep the limping Doggies’ season alive – for at least another week.


Sydney’s late-season flourish of good form has seen them slowly slink their way back into the finals race, however, they must win one, if not both (depending on other results), of their remaining matches to keep their spot in the eight. Adelaide in Adelaide and Melbourne at home are not the easiest of games.


Geelong. Midway through the second quarter of last weekend’s game against the Pies, the Cats looked old and slow for a 15-minute patch as they let the game slip. It was only a momentary lapse (as is the character of the Geelong, they never gave up and fought the game right out) but it highlighted the differences between the Cats of 2023 and the extraordinary Cats of 2022.

It is possible the Cats can still make the finals, but their destiny is not in their own hands. Whether they make the finals or not, the players have done Geelong Football Club proud this year as the reigning Premier.


  1. Fremantle are possibly the most in-form team in the competition presently and they must be rueing it has taken them this long into the season to suddenly find the form most knew they were capable of.

The phrase, it is always darkest before the dawn, may possibly be true for the Dockers in 2024, the same as it was for the Cats in 2007 and the Tigers in 2017.


  1. Hawthorn will finish sixteenth this year regardless of other results, but their improvement as the year has progressed belies their lowly position on the ladder and it is very possible to see success for the Hawks in the coming years.

James Sicily’s season had been brilliant (when he is not suspended) and he must be in All-Australian contention.




  1. I tried to praise the West Coast Eagles last week, but that performance against Freo was bloody pathetic. There is no shame in losing, but capitulating is unforgivable, especially when you have been guilty of capitulating multiple times this year. I find it impossible to say anything positive this week about the Eagles – you deserve the wooden spoon.


  1. North Melbourne, I find it impossible to comprehend you could win their first two games of the year and then lose your next 19 matches in a row and somehow or another still not be last on the ladder. The following sums up the Kangaroo season – if there was a prize for being the biggest loser, the Roos would still finish second.