The AFL is gearing up for the first ever AFL draft on Thursday, and there are plenty of things to keep an eye on.
While the AFL is currently a pre-season tournament, there are a lot of other events happening across the country, including the All-Star Game and the Grand Final.
Here are some things to watch for, along with the teams that will be on the field on Thursday night:1.
The teams in this year’s AFL will all be on a bye for the pre-finals.
Adelaide, Gold Coast, Hawthorn, Richmond, Collingwood, Carlton and North Melbourne will all have to go.
They will all need to pick up a couple of key players to win the premiership.2.
There are only eight games to be played, with a total of 33 games on offer.3.
There will be no pre-rounders, but there will be players in the mix for the best AFL players in 2019.
The biggest name to watch in the draft is likely to be Tom Lynch.
He’s been one of the AFL’s most consistent performers since joining the club in 2015, and his versatility in the backline could prove to be his downfall.
He was the second-highest-rated recruit in the AFL draft, behind only Tom Hawkins.4.
The first round will be the biggest event in the competition, with the AFL deciding on the order of picks in the top 10 of the draft order.
There is no pre‑round, so teams will have to be sure of their selections by Thursday night.5.
There have been a lot more high-profile names than usual in the first round, including Tom Hawkins and Matthew Boyd.
The latter was the first pick, with no one expected to fall anywhere.6.
There has been some speculation about how many picks the Demons will have in the premiers, with one source saying they will be as few as four.7.
The Demons’ premiership odds are currently a whopping 15/1.
They have to have a strong chance to make the finals, which would likely be the top-four.8.
The Kangaroos have one of their better midfields in Tom Scully and Will Chambers, with Sam Docherty, Daniel Gorringe and Aaron Young all capable of filling a crucial role.9.
The Cats’ pick is a bit of a mystery, with their first-round pick being one of four.
They could be in line for a good player if they pick in the middle, but that will depend on how they handle injuries.10.
There’s plenty of drama at the top of the table, with Collingo and Richmond having been linked to several players, including Jack Viney, who is also rumoured to be available.11.
It’s a big day for the Crows with the return of star defender Jack Gunston.
They also have a huge chance of getting the top pick, which could mean the Bulldogs and Hawks will go head to head for the premier spot.12.
It will be a busy week for the Bombers, who are going into the draft as favourites, having been the only side to make a final bid to the premasters.
They’ll have to do some serious work on their list in order to keep their hopes alive.13.
West Coast has two key players in Michael Barlow and Luke Hodge, who have been in the club for a few years.
The Eagles will also need to find their best young defender, which will be key to their chances of winning the prem, especially if Mitch Clark continues his superb form.14.
The Suns have a lot going for them, with big name picks Jack Gunner and Michael Hurley.
They are also in the finals race, but will be in a tough spot to win it all.15.
The Western Bulldogs are likely to go all in on the premirals.
The team will be looking for its best player, as well as a marquee recruit, with Jake Carlisle likely to miss out.16.
The Saints have been linked with a number of players, with Josh Jenkins and Josh Schache both available, and could be the pick to win a premiership for the second year running.17.
The Giants have a great chance of winning their second premiership since 2005, with Luke Dunstan, Sam Gilbert and David Myers in the running for a spot in the team.18.
The Tigers could be hoping for a big win, having finished second in the ladder in the past two seasons, but are still hoping to land a player to win back their best player spot.19.
The Dogs have a chance of going all in, having picked three premiers since the start of last season.
It’ll be tough, but they have a big chance of picking a key player.20.
The Blues have some tough decisions to make with their picks.
Luke Schache is out for a year after rupturing his Achilles tendon, while Jake Carlis will be out until at least the end of 2019