Can I talk about my favourite season of the year if I promise to not then link it back to some glib aspiration for the upcoming football season? I love autumn. Always have. Can’t stand the heat: dry or humid I don’t care for any of it; no viable avenue for refuge. The only way to stay cool is to fret over how much coal and cash I am burning sitting in air-conditioned comfort. More cash than coal if I was totally honest with you.

 So with great relieve we stumble into autumn; the drop in temperature occurs not in steady decline rather in lumps and the first instalment is well and truly in folks. Brisk mornings, clear, crisp air - even the commute into Perth City each day seems mildly less depressing.

A slight chill raises my spirit and gives pause for what I have come to term “generic optimism” which others may refer to as a “happy disposition”, but that terminology sounds way too permanent for my liking or comfort.

It may also have something to do with the onset of the great game, that one thing that always ensures you have something to do on a Friday night (even if you can’t stay awake past 9.30pm when you come to sit and down and watch it). The one thing that sees you spend way too much time indoors, sedentary in front of a TV set. My wife once called me the laziest person she ever met one frosty June.

Lazy indeed. But it takes a certain kind of discipline to sit in front of a TV and absorb 8 games of football over a weekend. By the time you get through the Melbourne game on a Sunday afternoon you feel like an insomniac at 2.00am, watching Deutschland Spiegel re-runs hopelessly despairing what you will do for kicks when the test pattern comes on…………… alone in the world………….. only three more hours till After the Bounce!

So in a good frame of mind I have some Fremantle based predictions I would like to share and I invite your challenge or embellishment. But make them bullish and bright after all the sun is shining but not quite burning and the air is as brisk as peppermint. And it’s so good to have the footy back.

 PREDICTIONS FOR 2012

What Goes Around

I suspect the last derby was an important one for Fremantle folk. It renewed the hatred which was some what on the wane after 4 years of dominance. The odd jolt that Ballars’ noble failed attempt delivered is perversely necessary to top up on the loathing and remind one of how much you reject the notion of West Coast and all it stands for.

I don’t think the players have forgotten either, though up to ten who played in that last game won’t be talking part the next time they meet. Which is the point of course.  Fremantle to win both derbies and win them well.

36 to 1

This is what I locked Nat Fyfe in on to win the Brownlow Medal. The owner of this site got him at longer I feel and thinks he might buy a boat with his winnings. The thought of Richmond out on his yacht, iPad in hand editing posters for reasons only known to him may seem foreign to some of you but believe me a new boat is a logical transaction for someone who already controls the weather.

Forget resource & energy stocks fans - it’s Nat Fyfe! Sell vital organs if you have to but get on him.

Ben Hilfenhaus

Maybe Ben is not the best illustration for Jayden Pitt, as Pitt is a young player yet to fully develop his game and Ben is bowling absolute puss again over there in Tobago.

But we see something in him that is not yet on display to others, I think its the fact his physique totally betrays the footballer he actually is and will be: a tough, inside ball winner with tremendous endurance and foot skills. He is a little heavier this year and a bit meaner. By years end I expect we will have assigned him a decent knick name which of course is the only real endorsement of a league footballer in this town (that and Mark Duffield labelling you “elite”).

 

Default Position

It’s hard for a Fremantle fan to grasp the notion of a final ladder position being somewhere other than 5th to 18th. So we all say 6th and we feel comfortably optimistic in doing so.

But.

Work backwards, how many wins to make the top four? I think 15 will do you. Then go and look for the eight games that we are going to lose. They are not there. Are they? If so, where? Could it be?

 Fremantle to finish fourth in a canter. And some of the more angry middle aged fans around the place slowly and in a very subtle (almost passive) way warm to the coach who got them there.