Jan 2011 Predictions

Sorting out the 2011 Season in January (added 17 Jan 2011)


Okay, you’ve had your enforced layoff from footy, finished the Christmas pudd, got through New Year.  The tennis is on and that means that the footy season is almost upon us.  You have spent a bit of time working out how your team will go in 2011, which team will fall and who may rise.  It’s January and you have it all worked out.


So how much better off are you than the tipster who doesn’t even think of footy until late March?  Well, the answer is: better; and worse.


You may be better off because you are reading up on the teams – working out which team looks stronger and those that are struggling.  You know more than the person who is taking a 5 month rest from thinking about tipping.  So this is good.  But there is a big danger here and it ties in with the ego.  In our endeavours to be one step ahead of others, we tend to look for trends and need to find something significant.  If you tell your footy fan friends that your analysis leads to few major changes for 2011, nobody is going to thank you (apart from Pie fans).  So there is a temptation to come up with a 2010 cellar-dweller that will rocket up the ladder in 2011; or a top team from 2010 that will plummet down the ladder.  And once you have told everyone about the big changes, you sort of lock yourself in.  It then becomes very hard to tell everyone in March that you have changed your mind.  As a consequence, you begin to look for data that will enforce your January opinions.


My strong advice is: don’t do this!  Use January and February and a chance to gather information.  The vast majority of us are not required to tip in the pre season matches, so these can be watched without barracking (except when your own team is playing and your number one concern should be no serious injuries!).  And they should be watched with one eye on the form and another on the new players / new things that teams are trialling.


To emphasise the point of not going too early, have a look at the Hawks 2010.  At the end of their round 1 pre season match vs Richmond, they looked like a premiership team.  Before round 1 of the regular season, they had lost Taylor, Sewell, Dowler and Skipper (to add to a few other injuries from pre season) and they were virtually gone.


The following off season strategy can work well.

October to December – enjoy a well-earned break.

Jan / Feb – gather information.

March – Start doing your serious team analysis