Are AFL preseason games an indicator for the season ahead?

AFL preseason is a time for teams to blow out the cobwebs, show off the young talent and try new tactics/rules. It is also a time for fans to either feel excited for the season ahead or miserable for what is to come, are AFL preseason games (JLT/NAB) an indicator for the actual AFL season?

Lets look at the top for teams from 2018-2015 and their preseason results, with the findings below:

2018

West Coast Eagles (premiers)

1 win / 1 loss

Win: West Coast Eagles (56) vs Port AdelaideĀ  (54)

Loss: Fremantle (101) vs West Coast Eagles (39)

Collingwood (runners-up)

1 win / 1 loss

Loss: GWS (96) vs Collingwood (36)

Win: Collingwood (113) vs Western bulldogs (80)

Richmond (3rd)

2 wins

Win: Essendon (37) vs Richmond (124)

Win: Richmond (128) vs North Melbourne (58)

Melbourne (4th)

2 wins

Win: North Melbourne (71) vs Melbourne (124)

Win: Melbourne (119) vs St Kilda (93)

2017

Richmond (premiers)

3 wins

Win: Richmond (92) vs Adelaide (73)

Win: Port Adelaide (51) vs Richmond (79)

Win: Richmond (107) vs Collingwood (114)

Adelaide (runners-up)

2 wins / 1 loss

Loss: Richmond (92) vs Adelaide (73)

Win: Adelaide (70) vs Geelong (64)

Win: Adelaide (142) vs Brisbane Lions (103)

GWS GIANTS (3rd)

2 wins / 1 loss

Win: GWS (70) vs West Coast Eagles (37)

Loss: GWS (42) vs Sydney (54)

Win: GWS (125) vs North Melbourne (87)

Geelong (4th)

2 losses / 1 win

Loss: Hawthorn (98) vs Geelong (94)

Loss: Adelaide (70) vs Geelong (64)

Win: Geelong (122) vs Essendon (100)

2016

Western Bulldogs (premiers)

1 win / 2 losses

Win: GWS (73) vs Western Bulldogs (104)

Loss: Western Bulldogs (60) vs Melbourne (72)

Loss: Collingwood (107) vs Western Bulldogs (105)

Sydney (runners-up)

2 wins / 1 loss

Win: Sydney (81) vs Port Adelaide (60)

Loss: Sydney (60) vs GWS (94)

Win: Carlton (69) vs Sydney (91)

GWS (3rd)

2 wins / 1 loss

Loss: GWS (73) vs Western Bulldogs (104)

Win: Sydney (60) vs GWS (94)

Win : Brisbane Lions (83) vs GWS (122)

Geelong (4th)

1 win / 2 losses

Loss: Geelong (123) vs Collingwood (131)

Win: Essendon (24) vs Geelong (111)

Loss: Fremantle (83) vs Geelong (71)

 

2015

Hawthorn (premiers)

1 win / 2 losses

Loss: Hawthorn (72) vs Collingwood (116)

Loss: North Melbourne (85) vs Hawthorn (72)

Win: St Kilda (39) vs Hawthorn (145)

West Coast Eagles (runners-up)

1 win / 2 losses

Win: West Coast Eagles (78) vs Carlton (47)

Loss: Port Adelaide (89) vs West Coast Eagles (49)

Loss: West Coast Eagles (85) vs Fremantle (104)

North Melbourne (3rd)

2 wins / 1 loss

Loss: Adelaide (90) vs North Melbourne (80)

Win: North Melbourne (85) vs Hawthorn (72)

Win: Richmond (106) vs North Melbourne (120)

Fremantle (4th)

2 wins / 1 loss

Win: Fremantle (61) vs Melbourne (43)

Loss: Sydney (65) vs Fremantle (56)

Win: West Coast Eagles (85) vs Fremantle (104)

Findings

Setting one thing straight is that all the premiership winning teams won at least one game, this has been the trend since 2013 when Hawthorn who won the premiership did NOT win a preseason game.

The win ratio is tough to use because some preseason had 2 games per team and others 3 games, so it cannot really be used. The only premiership winning team from 2015-2018 that won all games was Richmond (2017). 2015 and 2016 saw the ‘would be’ premiers win just 1 and lose 2 in preseason.

Any conclusions? not necessarily but remember since 2013 every premiership winning team has won at least one game in preseason… will this trend be bucked?