Nick Dal Santo has posed the biggest questions that he is asking of the 18 AFL clubs leading into the 2020 season.
These are questions that we hope to have answered and will watch with interest over the course of the year.
The former All-Australian midfielder has asked the following of the Power, Tigers and Saints.
1. Can they find consistency?
“They have been the least consistent team of the last five years.
“It’s more than just the win-loss, win-loss which they’ve done consistently – win one week, lose the next – and that just flows on. But it’s the way they play their football and the measurements about what is winning or losing, it’s off the charts.
“Can they find consistency? It starts now. It’s the fine details that you think don’t make a huge difference. It all adds up to something when you are playing in such a competitive competition.”
2. Can Charlie Dixon’s body hold up?
“Nine games, 13 goals last year and got dropped along the way.
“He had the horrific injury the year before, had an interrupted pre-season. I’m a big fan of Charlie Dixon. I like what he does, I love his presence at times.
“If Port are to be who I think they can be, he needs to be really prominent.
“But can he do it physically and mentally and deliver more than nine games and 13 goals?”
3. What output does Ollie Wines have?
“Something’s going on there. There needs to be some more answers (as to why he’s not captain).
“On the back of the rumours around trade period, there’s more going on.
“If Ollie Wines doesn’t have a great year, Port Adelaide supporters will instantly go back to the trade period, will instantly go back to him not being captain anymore and question his want to be there.
“He had 12 games last year, he’s been removed from captaincy but what sort of output does he have?”
1. Can they go back to the well again?
“Can they put themselves physically and mentally on the line to do it again?
“We don’t know how many chances they have and history shows that the window we often speak about, it’s not open for as long as you think.
“They’ve had three really good goes at it and ultimately got two (premierships), so that’s been exceptional whatever happens from here on.
“They’ve got the team to do it all again.”
2. What does Marlion Pickett deliver this year?
“We know what he did Grand Final day, we know where he’s come from, but what do we get from him next year?
“What does Pickett deliver if that (Grand Final performance) is the standard?
“I don’t even know if he’s in the best team when they are all up and going. That’s a compliment because of how much depth they have.
“There were some injuries and reasons he got that opportunity to start with. I just want to see how he goes this year.
“I’m just not quite sure what we get from him after such a small case study.“
3. Are the Tigers a one or two ruckman team?
“(Toby) Nankervis for me is the number one ruckman.
“What does (Ivan) Soldo do? What does (Mabior) Chol do? And there’s (Noah) Balta who could be anything. He’s got all the attributes to be a superstar. He does some unusual things, does some brilliant things at times.
“How do they play their structure? What do they do with these other two? Soldo, Chol or Balta? How do they fit them all in?”
1. How do the new players impact the Saints?
“(Brad) Hill, (Paddy) Ryder, (Zak) Jones, (Dougal) Howard, (Dan) Butler – they were the big winners of the trade period.
“They were fantastic, held their nerve, got their men, gave up something to get them.
“We know them individually and what they’ve done in the past. What do they get out of these guys?
“Throw in (Max) King and (Dan) Hannebery. They need to stand up.”
2. Who is going to bring the speed and ball use?
“The Saints have a very similar midfield. Seb Ross, (Luke) Dunstan, (Jack) Steele – same style of player.
“The best midfields have a great blend and they compliment each other because they are all able to do different things.
“Who brings the blend of speed, ball use and a little bit of X-factor?”
3. Can Rowan Marshall have the same, if not more, impact than last season?
“He was the most improved player in the competition.
“He shocked many with how good he was. He’s got a wingman now in Paddy Ryder.
“Does that compliment him? Does it detract from him a little bit?
“If Rowan Marshall can produce something similar to last year, it’s a great result. If he can go to another level it’s an even bigger tick.”
Dal Santo's three big questions concludes on Tuesday with Sydney, West Coast and Western Bulldogs.
Listen to Dal's 3 questions below: