27/02/2024

The premiership cup is back up for grabs in 2023, along with the league's most prestigious individual honours, in what will be one of the most competitive AFL seasons in recent memory. (Images: AFL; Design: Will Cuckson)

The clock is counting down to another AFL season, and the 2023 edition is sure to be one of the most competitive and unpredictable seasons in recent memory.

The contributors at The Inner Sanctum have put on their thinking caps to bring you their predictions for the season ahead.

For a more in-depth look at the predictions from three of our contributors, Brandon Patane, Jakson Bertoli, and Callan Cummins, check out The Inner Sanctum YouTube channel for the 2023 AFL Season Predictions video.

Brandon Patane

Premiers: Brisbane

Runners Up: Melbourne

Top 8:

Brisbane

Geelong

Melbourne

Fremantle

Carlton

Richmond 

Sydney

Port Adelaide

Wooden Spoon: West Coast Eagles 

Brownlow Medal: Patrick Cripps 

Coleman Medal: Tom Lynch

Rising Star Winner: Will Ashcroft

Surprise All Australian: Hayden Young

Recruit Of The Year: Josh Dunkley 

Set For A Breakout Season: Elijah Hollands

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: Here to stay: Dockers dismantle the Bulldogs to make it 6-0 for the year.

Jakson Bertoli

Premiers: Richmond

Runners Up: Brisbane

Top 8:

Richmond

Geelong

Brisbane

Carlton

Fremantle

Sydney

Melbourne

Port Adelaide

Wooden Spoon: Hawthorn

Brownlow Medal: Jeremy Cameron

Coleman Medal: Tom Lynch

Rising Star Winner: Will Ashcroft

Surprise All Australian: Rowan Marshall

Recruit Of The Year: Tim Taranto

Set For A Breakout Season: Finn Callaghan

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: Master teaches Apprentice a few trick: North beat Hawthorn

Callan Cummins

Premiers: Brisbane

Runners Up: Geelong

Top 8:

Brisbane

Melbourne

Geelong

Richmond

Carlton

Sydney

Fremantle

Collingwood

Wooden Spoon: Hawthorn

Brownlow Medal: Clayton Oliver

Coleman Medal: Ben King

Rising Star Winner: Will Ashcroft

Surprise All Australian: Chad Warner

Recruit Of The Year: Blake Acres

Set For A Breakout Season: Finn Maginness

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: Suns’ heartbreak: First finals appearance so close yet so far

Anthony Alesiani

Premiers: Brisbane 

Runners Up: Geelong

Top 8: 

Brisbane

Geelong

Richmond

Sydney

Carlton 

Melbourne

Fremantle 

Collingwood 

Wooden Spoon: North Melbourne

Brownlow Medal: Touk Miller

Coleman Medal: Tom Lynch

Rising Star Winner: Jase Burgoyne

Surprise All Australian: Sam Powell-Pepper 

Recruit Of The Year: Jason Horne-Francis 

Set For A Breakout Season: Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: It’s Cur-Now Time For Finals Bound Blues

Thomas Grattan

Premiers: Geelong 

Runners Up: Brisbane 

Top 8: 

Brisbane 

Geelong 

Richmond 

Melbourne 

Sydney 

Collingwood 

Carlton 

Fremantle 

Wooden Spoon: North Melbourne 

Brownlow Medal: Clayton Oliver 

Coleman Medal: Harry McKay 

Rising Star Winner: Will Ashcroft 

Surprise All Australian: George Hewett 

Recruit Of The Year: Josh Dunkley 

Set For A Breakout Season: Maurice Rioli Jr

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: Tassie Triumphs as 19th license finally awarded.

Ari Stamatakos

Premiers: Brisbane Lions 

Runners Up: Melbourne Demons 

Top 8: 

Brisbane 

Melbourne 

Geelong 

Sydney 

Carlton 

Fremantle 

Richmond 

Gold Coast 

Wooden Spoon: GWS Giants

Brownlow Medal: Touk Miller 

Coleman Medal: Harry McKay 

Rising Star Winner: Will Ashcroft 

Surprise All Australian: Oliver Florent 

Recruit Of The Year: Jack Gunston 

Set For A Breakout Season: Jesse Motlop  

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: Adelaide Oval Resembles Cow Paddock At The Conclusion of Gather Round 

Ashleigh Matosevic

Premiers: Brisbane 

Runners Up: Collingwood

Top 8:

Sydney

Geelong

Brisbane 

Richmond

Collingwood

Gold Coast

Melbourne

Essendon

Wooden Spoon: West Coast

Brownlow Medal: Andrew Brayshaw

Coleman Medal: Jeremy Cameron 

Rising Star: Harry Sheezel 

Surprise All-Australian: Zaine Cordy 

Recruit of the Year: Tim Taranto 

Set For A Breakout Year: Oscar Allen

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: Brisbane’s top pick Ashcroft dominates on debut

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Elly McNerney

Premiers: Melbourne 

Runners Up: Richmond 

Top 8: 

Geelong 

Melbourne 

Richmond

Sydney 

Brisbane

Carlton

Western Bulldogs 

Collingwood 

Wooden Spoon: North Melbourne 

Brownlow Medal: Marcus Bontempelli 

Coleman Medal: Tom Lynch 

Rising Star Winner: Will Ashcroft

Surprise All Australian: Jack Bowes 

Recruit Of The Year: Blake Acres 

Set For A Breakout Season: Dan McStay 

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: Grun-Dee dominance sees Melbourne get Kings Birthday win 

Theo Dimou

Premiers: Sydney 

Runners Up: Melbourne 

Top 8: 

Melbourne

Geelong

Richmond

Sydney

Brisbane 

Port Adelaide

Carlton

Collingwood 

Wooden Spoon: Hawthorn 

Brownlow Medal: Christian Petracca 

Coleman Medal: Tom Lynch 

Rising Star Winner: Will Ashcroft 

Surprise All Australian: Ryan Burton 

Recruit Of The Year: Josh Dunkley 

Set For A Breakout Season: Isaac Quaynor 

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: Hinkley has his last hurrah as Port Adelaide coach with Josh Carr now in the driver’s seat

Lachlan Dand

Premiers: Melbourne

Runners Up: Richmond

Top 8: 

Melbourne

Geelong

Richmond

Brisbane

Fremantle

Collingwood

Carlton

Sydney

Wooden Spoon: GWS

Brownlow Medal: Touk Miller

Coleman Medal: Tom Lynch

Rising Star Winner: Harry Sheezel

Surprise All Australian: Adam Cerra

Recruit Of The Year: Izak Rankine

Set For A Breakout Season: Max Holmes

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: Touk good: Gold Coast gets second ever Brownlow medalist as Miller claims Charlie

Jordan Janssen

Premiers: Brisbane

Runners Up: Melbourne

Top 8:

Brisbane

Geelong

Melbourne

Richmond

Sydney

Carlton

Fremantle

Collingwood

Wooden Spoon: North Melbourne

Brownlow Medal: Touk Miller

Coleman Medal: Jeremy Cameron

Rising Star Winner: Will Ashcroft

Surprise All Australian: Sam Powell-Pepper

Recruit Of The Year: Josh Dunkley

Set For A Breakout Season: Sam Flanders

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: DA DA DA DA DAAAAAA: Carlton heartbreak no longer as it marches into September

Monique Quercio

Premiers: Melbourne 

Runners Up: Collingwood 

Top 8: 

Melbourne

Brisbane 

Geelong 

Collingwood

Sydney 

Fremantle 

Western Bulldogs 

Richmond

Wooden Spoon: Hawthorn 

Brownlow Medal: Andrew Brayshaw 

Coleman Medal: Charlie Cameron

Rising Star Winner: Jhye Clark 

Surprise All Australian: Errol Gulden 

Recruit Of The Year: Tom Mitchell 

Set For A Breakout Season: Ash Johnson 

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: Pies prove first season under McRae was no fluke, securing back to back top four finishes

Tom Hayes

Premiers: Melbourne 

Runners Up: Richmond 

Top 8: 

Melbourne

Richmond

Brisbane

Sydney

Geelong

Carlton

Fremantle

Collingwood

Wooden Spoon: West Coast

Brownlow Medal: Patrick Cripps

Coleman Medal: Tom Lynch

Rising Star Winner: Will Ashcroft

Surprise All Australian: Bayley Fritsch

Recruit Of The Year: Tim Taranto

Set For A Breakout Season: Tom De Koning

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: 10 year wait to make the eight: Blues to play finals

Jack Dobson

Premiers: Sydney

Runners Up: Richmond

Top 8: 

Sydney

Richmond

Geelong

Melbourne 

Brisbane

Fremantle

Carlton

Collingwood

Wooden Spoon: West Coast

Brownlow Medal: Touk Miller

Coleman Medal: Matt Taberner

Rising Star Winner: Will Ashcroft

Surprise All Australian: Will Ashcroft

Recruit Of The Year: Josh Dunkley

Set For A Breakout Season: Errol Gulden

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: Swans discover hangover cure, break Grand Final thumping trend

Scott Kertes

Premiers: Geelong

Runners Up: Melbourne

Top 8: 

Melbourne

Geelong

Richmond

Brisbane

Carlton

Collingwood

Sydney

Fremantle

Wooden Spoon: Adelaide

Brownlow Medal: Max Holmes

Coleman Medal: Jeremy Cameron

Rising Star Winner: Jhye Clark

Surprise All Australian: Max Holmes

Recruit Of The Year: Josh Dunkley

Set For A Breakout Season: Max Holmes

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: Ken first coach to go after power shortage to start the season.

Jono Baruch

Premiers: Brisbane 

Runners Up: Richmond 

Top 8: 

Geelong

Brisbane 

Richmond 

Melbourne 

Sydney 

Fremantle

Carlton 

Collingwood

Wooden Spoon: Hawthorn 

Brownlow Medal: Andrew Brayshaw 

Coleman Medal: Jeremy Cameron

Rising Star Winner: Harry Sheezel

Surprise All Australian: Luke Davies-Uniacke 

Recruit Of The Year: Josh Dunkley 

Set For A Breakout Season: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

The Headline You’ll See At Some Point In 2023: Gillon’s parting gift to the Apple Isle at long last: a Stadium and a 19th licence.

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