Real Footy podcast season preview: Could this be the year McLachlan steps down?

“He’ll probably go at some point over the next 12 months.”

This week on the Real Footy podcast, Michael Gleeson, Jake Niall and Caroline Wilson preview the 2021 AFL season – including whether this could be the year that Gillon McLachlan steps down as league CEO.

Wilson argues that if McLachlan were to step down now, he would leave on a high and with a dual legacy – AFLW, and having steered the game through COVID-19, with the league in a strong position in terms of broadcast rights.

At a club level, it’s been an off-season of turmoil for Collingwood. Now that Eddie McGuire, who united the club’s factions, is no longer president, what does the future hold for their administration? How will the Pies go on the field, and can they make the eight? Will Nathan Buckley still be coach next season? Things are changing at Hawthorn, too. Will Alastair Clarkson be on the move to another club next season?

The panel gives Brownlow and Coleman predictions, highlights the teams they are most excited to watch – and those likely to be the biggest threat to Richmond, tipped as flag favourites.

Meanwhile, can David Teague harness the talent that Carlton have brought in this off-season and take the Blues to finals? What are the factors that could hold them back? The Demons have the talent to play finals but can Simon Goodwin’s culture change help them make their way back into the eight? Their biggest recruit may not be one from on the field and more than just the coach’s job is at stake in season 2021.

And what does the season hold for Essendon? They’ve had a lot of issues over recent seasons but they seem to have drafted good, young talent and there is some optimism for fans, even if it’s not immediate.

Plus: the rule changes that will have the biggest effect on the field, and which teams might have the advantage, which commentator should take the mantle from Bruce McAvaney, AFLW premiership predictions and much more.

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