‘Will they be ready?’ Previewing a blockbuster first week of finals

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This week on the Real Footy podcast, Michael Gleeson, Caroline Wilson and Jake Niall discuss the blockbuster first week of finals and how the games are likely to play out.

Will the Blues be like the Richmond teams of 10 or so years ago, who struggled with their first taste of finals after a long drought? Or will their September debutants be ready for the big stage after so many blockbuster matches in front of big crowds?

The Saints have not played a final in Melbourne since 2011 – when Ross Lyon was coach. Would a win against the Giants make Lyon the coach of the year? Or would Michael Voss take the crown with a win for the Blues?

Jake Melksham has been struck down by injury on the eve of finals. Can the Demons cover his loss in this finals campaign? Are they in finals-winning form? Collingwood’s X-factor is Jordan De Goey. Can he put in a match-winning and influential performance against Melbourne, and how crucial will it be given the Pies’ midfield pace issue?

Kane Cornes and Marnie Vinall also join the panel to discuss our series on the AFL’s most influential people. Which people do our judges think is too high on the list? Who do they think was unlucky to miss out on the top 50? And where does inspiration cross over with influence?

Plus, the finals ticketing system and why it must change, Will Ashcroft’s Rising Star snub, why the AFL should shift the pre-season bye and more.

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