Geelong assistant coach Josh Jenkins has named his 10 best storylines heading into Saturday’s AFL Grand Final.
Plenty of topics have dominated the discussion over the past week and for much of the season, and Jenkins has narrowed down what stands out above the rest in terms of significance.
Appearing on SEN’s The Run Home as co-host, Jenkins provided listeners with his 10 to consider ahead of and during the Grand Final.
Check out the list below:
10. The ex-Saints rucks
“The former Saints teammates who will be against each other in the centre bounce,” he began.
“Rhys Stanley and Tom Hickey – Hickey has been to four clubs – and the former Saints will be squaring off in the middle of the ground at 2:30pm tomorrow (Saturday) when one of the umpires bounces the ball.
“Tom Hickey’s story is incredible and Rhys Stanley, who I’ve worked closely with this year has had his knockers all the way through (but he’s in the Grand Final).
“In my opinion, he’s had one of his more consistent seasons this year, he’s been really solid, he understands the role, he understands what’s asked of him and his teammates love it when he’s up and about, so hopefully he can do that against his old teammate.”
9. Tyson Stengle
“I’ve actually tried to pour some cold water on this story a little bit. A lot has been made (saying) he made some mistakes and he’s a bad dude, but he’s never been a bad dude.
“He’s a young man who has made two or three errors that a lot of people make and it cost him his career in Adelaide.
“I was of the opinion Adelaide should have persisted with him and helped him work his way through those issues, but perhaps also there were some distractions for him in Adelaide that he doesn’t have in Geelong.
“So Tyson Stengle’s story is remarkable, his story is amazing without a premiership medal but it would take him to another level.”
8. Joel Selwood as captain
“He’s got three premierships as a player, he’s chased one since 2012 when he took over the captaincy.
“He won three in five years and he’s been chasing one for ten years as captain, so Joel as captain at 8.”
7. Jeremy Cameron
“The narrative is the Cats sold the farm to get him and only a premiership would do, well he’s one game away from helping them win that premiership.
“Three first-round draft picks I think you would say is a fair deal for a premiership-winning forward, if that happens.”
6. The unlucky Swan
“It’s sad and I would hate to be the player in that situation.
“Logan McDonald, the omitted player in Grand Final week. It happens a lot and there are plenty of players who have experienced it and it’s unique that John Longmire has experienced it (when he was dropped in 1998 ahead of North Melbourne's Preliminary Final that the club won).
“There’s nothing really that would give Logan McDonald that much comfort, but to have a senior coach who has actually been dropped in (the week before) Grand Final week, that’s almost as close as you can get.”
5. Selwood set to break all-time finals record
“He’s played two seasons basically of finals footy, plays his 40th final tomorrow, in a Grand Final if you don’t mind, to break the record held by Michael Tuck.”
4. Buddy's contract pays off?
“Potentially the absolute climax for Buddy (Lance Franklin) in terms of the nine-year deal.
“Imagine saying that at the end of the nine-year deal, a nine-year deal that most people thought he wouldn’t get through, that he would actually help the Swans to win a premiership.”
3. Danger to win a Grand Final?
“How long have we been talking about if Patrick Dangerfield will ever win a premiership? He gets another crack at it tomorrow and your best chance is your next chance, and he gets that opportunity tomorrow.
“He had a chance in 2020 and Richmond was too good on that occasion.
“Dangerfield’s (CV) is not bad: eight All-Australians, a Brownlow, all these types of things.
“He gets a chance for team success tomorrow.”
2. McCartin’s comeback
“Paddy McCartin I’ve got at two. His comeback is incredible.
“Again, for the fourth or fifth time this year, I’m happy to put my hand up and say I didn’t think he’d be able to play as a key defender at AFL level. Well he’s done that and them some, and we’ll have our work cut out for us trying to quell his influence in terms of intercept marking.”
1. Injuries dominating the headlines
“It’s owned the headlines… but I think the injuries and queries on Max Holmes and Sam Reid have been the headline of this Grand Final. The injured player, will he or won’t he… there’s always one or two, but these two genuinely feel like 50/50s.
“Chris Scott said today we wish we were in a position to be able to make a decision on it, Sydney sounds a little more certain, I’m being skeptical but maybe that’s the Geelong in me.
“I just think the way they’ve picked their team makes me think it could be a late change, Reid out, McDonald in.
“That’s absolutely owned the headlines this week.”