It's that time of the year again, in a tradition that has been going since.. err 2011.. Demonblog officially opens for business for another year - our eighth - with the Australia Day week look at who's a chance of taking home an honour at the end of the year.
We locked top betting luminaries such as Glen Munsie, Gary Davies, Jamie Rogers, Neil Evans, Hayden Haitana, Ryan Tandy and Freaked underscore Out in a room and gave them a simple brief - give our readers opening markets and give them value when you do it. And they did.
Updated markets will appear in the official season preview before the NAB Cup begins. Until then feel free to line up ridiculous side bets with each other based on the numbers below. Full vote counts from each year can be found here. Demonblog.com and its corporate partners will not be held responsible for any losses which you incur from these markets.
Gamble responsibly, throw all pokies into the sea etc.. Last year I had a tenner on Addam Maric to be the first goalkicker, I can tell you about irresponsible gambling.
Allen Jakovich Medal for Player of the Year
5-4-3-2-1 votes in every home and away and finals (god forbid) match. Final pre-season price in brackets.
2005 - Travis Johnstone
2006 - Brock McLean
2007 - Nathan Jones
2008 - Cameron Bruce
2009 - Aaron Davey ($8)
2010 - Brad Green ($4)
2011 - Brent Moloney ($9)
In order to avoid having my car bricked driving down Brunton Avenue I should point out that what follows isn't a scientific discussion of who our most important players are or who will win the MFC B&F. I've taken into account everyone's previous performances in the Jakovich as well as their chances of winning after losing votes to similar players (defenders/ruckmen etc..)
Any so as is tradition last year's winner starts favourite, and why shouldn't he? Beamer might have edged out Sylvia by three votes in 2011 thanks to a) a handful of outright belter games and b) Col getting himself suspended at the end of the year but I've got no doubt that with (presumably) increased support in the midfield this season that he won't be up there again.
The Golden Child Trengove is probably too short, given that he only polled 16 votes last season (=8th) but with any luck he won't spend three weeks on the sidelines at Her Majesty's Pleasure for this time around. The Demonblog Betting Exchange is setting him at a low level to guard against the prospect of a swashbuckling third season - watch odds based on pre-season performance.
Grimes represents decent value at $15 but that involves him staying fit for more than ten minutes at a time. At the moment his entire career vote tally would have only been good for equal 3rd in the 2011 count so if you're prepared to wager on him staying fit you'll get value.
Garland and Rivers aren't a bad bet but I'm speculating that they'll both lose so many votes to Frawley that it will put them out of the running. Besides, I think I can speak for everybody when I say that if we have too many games that justify two or more defenders scoring votes then we'll all die of a nervous breakdown halfway through the year anyway.
Jamar's chances hinge on having another injury free season (and smashing the glass ceiling for ruckmen) and the Stef Martin Experience's hopes rest on him having another injury full year. Either way I expect they'll take enough votes off each other to assure comfortable mid-table finishes all round.
Under the $20 mark Davey, Bail, Tapscott and Morton probably represent the best value. Cale is hardly likely to win the thing but you'd have a cheeky fiver at that price just in case wouldn't you? "Only if there was another zero on the end" I hear you say.
So and so forth down to poor old Maximum Gawn who hasn't to my knowledge been put on the LTI list yet so could IN THEORY come back well prematurely David Schwarz style then storm to victory. But he won't so you can have $50k for him if you're really keen.
$3.50 - Brent Moloney
$4 - Jack Trengove, Colin Sylvia
$5 - James Frawley, Jack Watts
$7 - Nathan Jones
$8 - Jordie McKenzie
$10 - Brad Green, Mark Jamar
$15 - Mitch Clark, Stefan Martin, Jack Grimes
$18 - Colin Garland, Jared Rivers
$20 - Jordan Gysberts, Liam Jurrah
$30 - Aaron Davey, Ricky Petterd, Luke Tapscott
$32 - Rohan Bail, Sam Blease, Lynden Dunn
$35 - Jeremy Howe, Daniel Nicholson, Neville Jetta
$45 - Clint Bartram, Cale Morton
$50 - Joel Macdonald, Matthew Bate
$75 - James Strauss, Jamie Bennell
$100 - Tom McDonald, James Sellar, Michael Evans
$150 - Jake Spencer, Jack Fitzpatrick
$250 - Lucas Cook, Tom Couch, James Magner
$350 - Kelvin Lawrence
$500 - Troy Davis, Rory Taggert, Josh Tynan
$1000 - Jai Sheahan, Leigh Williams
$5000 - Max Gawn
Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year
Highest vote getter for a defender. Running defenders who spend too much time in the midfield will be disqualified from receiving the award at the discretion of the committee.
2005 - Nathan Carroll and Ryan Ferguson (shared)
2006 - Jared Rivers
2007 - Paul Wheatley
2008 - Matthew Whelan
2009 - James Frawley ($22)
2010 - James Frawley (2) ($3.50)
2011 - James Frawley (3) ($4)
Despite the close run Seecamp last year where Frawley (18), Garland (15), Macdonald (14) and Rivers (11) were all in contention until the last couple of weeks I'm backing Chip to run away with it this year and JoelMac to slide down the ladder as his opportunities dry up. Besides I was clearly the only person in the world who thought JoelMac was any good last year then somehow Rivers finished 2nd in the B&F so what do I know?
Buyer beware on Grimes, Bennell and Martin. The Experience is almost certain to be DQ'ed from the award by about three-quarter time of Round 1 and the other two might not be far behind if they spend too much time outside the defensive 50. As for James Sellar who knows what he'll be doing.
$2 - James Frawley
$5 - Colin Garland, Jack Grimes
$7 - Jared Rivers
$15 - Joel Macdonald
$25 - Tom McDonald
$30 - ANY OTHER PLAYER
$50 - Jamie Bennell, James Strauss
$80 - James Sellar
$100 - Stefan Martin
$1000 - NO ELIGIBLE PLAYER
Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year
The highest scoring player in the Jakovich Medal count who has either played zero AFL games before the start of the season OR debuted in the final four games (not including byes) of the preceding season.
2005 - No players eligible.
2006 - Matthew Bate
2007 - Michael Newton
2008 - Cale Morton
2009 - Jack Grimes ($4 fav)
2010 - Tom Scully ($5) [AWARD REVOKED SEPTEMBER 2011]
2011 - Jeremy Howe ($30)
For the first time in a few years it's hard to set a market for this one. No top of the draft recruits who are guaranteed a game means that any of five or six could sneak in or for the first time since Demonblog's first year that rookies could miss out on votes altogether.
I'd be looking at the No Eligible option myself but McDonald starts favourite based on encouraging performances late last year while Cook must surely get a game at some point. I expect this market to swing wildly based on NAB Cup/Pre-Season form.
Mind you with apologies to Jeremy Howe and the permanently crocked Grimes would you really want to win this award considering the fate of some of the players above?
$5 - Tom McDonald
$9 - Lucas Cook
$12 - James Magner, Tom Couch
$15 - Kelvin Lawrence, Troy Davis, Jack Fitzpatrick
$20 - Rory Taggert, Josh Tynan
$50 - NO ELIGIBLE PLAYER
$100 - Leigh Williams
Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year
Formerly the Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal
2005 - Jeff White
2006 - Jeff White (2)
2007 - Jeff White (3)
2008 - Paul Johnson
2009 - Mark Jamar ($3)
2010 - Mark Jamar (2) ($1.50 fav)
2011 - Stefan Martin ($30)
The smallest field of all sees last year's surprise winner pushed back down into second place due to the full time return of The Russian. And every time he gets five votes this year we will all stand for the anthem.
$2 - Mark Jamar
$6 - Stefan Martin
$50 - Jake Spencer, Jack Fitzpatrick
$100 - ANY OTHER PLAYER
$1000 - NO ELIGIBLE PLAYER
$5000 - Max Gawn
Paul Prymke Plate for Pre-Season Performance
2008 - Aaron Davey
2009 - Cameron Bruce
2010 - Brad Green
2011 - Colin Sylvia
No market. Refer to the main Jakovich table for a guide. Votes will be given for the intra-club match on February 17 (any guest reporters? I'll do a lot for this club but I won't ditch work to go to Casey Fields) and both games during the NAB Cup menage a trois. At least there are two more properly competitive games after that.