More AFL captains believe expansion side Greater Western Sydney will play finals this season than Collingwood.
The 18 skippers have made their predictions for the season, with the smallest club in the land tipped to snare a place in the top eight ahead of the AFL heavyweights.
It’s a bad omen for Adam Treloar, who swapped his orange guernsey for the black and white stripes in the off-season.
Six captains think the Giants will march on into September this season – the same number as preliminary finalists North Melbourne – but just three have backed Collingwood to do so.
Geelong and Port Adelaide were popular choices to bounce back from poor seasons in 2015 and make the finals.
Every opposition captain believes the Cats will be back in the finals this year, with 12 supporting the Power’s bid to jump back into the top eight.
Alongside Geelong, reigning premiers Hawthorn and the two West Australian clubs were universal choices to make the finals.
Seven believe the Hawks will reach another grand final day, five believe West Coast will again play in the game’s showpiece and three have backed Ross Lyon’s Fremantle side to make the decider.
Geelong, Sydney, and surprisingly Richmond, were given the nod as grand finalists by one captain each, who were asked to nominate `which other club is most likely to reach the grand final?’
On the question of the likely Brownlow Medallist, four captains nominated Patrick Dangerfield in his first year with the Cats.
Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe, Gold Coast skipper Gary Ablett and Sydney midfielder Dan Hannebery each won the support of three captains.
West Coast forward Josh Kennedy is a runaway favourite to win another Coleman Medal, with seven votes, while Sydney youngster Callum Mills won the same amount of votes to be the top Rising Star choice.
AFL CAPTAINS POLL 2016
Which seven other clubs do you think can make this year’s top eight?
17 – Fremantle, Geelong, Hawthorn, West Coast
14 – Sydney
12 – Port Adelaide
7 – Richmond
6 – North Melbourne, GWS Giants, Western Bulldogs
4 – Adelaide
3 – Collingwood
0 – Brisbane, Carlton, Essendon, Gold Coast, Melbourne, St Kilda
Which other club is most likely to reach the grand final?
7 – Hawthorn
5 – West Coast
3 – Fremantle
1 – Geelong, Richmond, Sydney
(11 captains picked eventual premier Hawthorn in 2015)
Who will win the Brownlow Medal?
4 – Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong)
3 – Nat Fyfe (Fremantle), Gary Ablett (Gold Coast), Dan Hannebery (Sydney)
1 – Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood), Dustin Martin (Richmond), Josh Kennedy (Sydney), Tom Liberatore (Western Bulldogs), Luke Shuey (West Coast)
(4 captains picked Nat Fyfe in 2015)
Who will win the Coleman Medal?
7 – Josh Kennedy (West Coast)
4 – Lance Franklin (Sydney)
2 – Taylor Walker (Adelaide), Tom Hawkins (Geelong), Jack Riewoldt (Richmond)
1 – Jeremy Cameron (GWS), Charlie Dixon (Port Adelaide)
(1 captain picked Josh Kennedy in 2015)
Who will win the Rising Star?
7 – Callum Mills (Sydney)
3 – Clayton Oliver (Melbourne)
2 – Darcy Moore (Collingwood), Jacob Weitering (Carlton)
1 – Wayne Milera (Adelaide), Josh Schache (Brisbane), Callum Ah Chee (Gold Coast), Christian Petracca (Melbourne)
(No captains picked Jesse Hogan in 2015)