General 09 Season Preview

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Stuart McConnell

The Trials are over, Tipping Comps are being filled, Fantasy Teams are being recruited, and the Headlines are once again ringing that all too familiar tune. Yes, that's right, NRL 2009 has arrived.

After the complete shambles I made of my predictions last Season, the Administrators from Rleague have kindly offered me another chance to prove myself in 2009. So, in order to give everyone an insight into my thinking, and my record collection, I have put together a quick and easy outline that hopefully says more than a series of verbose paragraphs written by a disgruntled media commentator (I'm looking at you Phil?).

Before we get into each of the teams, I thought it would be handy to provide a quick list of the key areas I have concentrated on and their subsequent definitions. These being:
Top Gun - The player a team simply cannot do without. This player is instrumental to their overall style of play.

Young Gun - The player who has that special something, and could become the "next big thing". This player will then be linked with offers from numerous Clubs, as his current Team tries to secure his services in order to reap the benefits of their investment.

Loose Cannon - The player who has proven talent, but perhaps has not shown that at a consistent level. Alternatively, it could also be a player returning from injury hoping to re-discover their spark, or a new signing with a weight of expectation on their shoulders.

Theme Song - If the team were to put out a greatest hits album, which song would be on high rotation. Essentially, it is a song that attempts to sum up everything about the Club at this point in time.

Now that the administration is out of the way, let's take a look at each of the teams.

Brisbane Broncos
Top Gun - Israel Folau
Young Gun - Alex Glenn
Loose Cannon - Sam Thaiday
Theme Song in '09 - "Under Pressure" - David Bowie
At the End of 26 Rounds - 7th

The Bulldogs
Top Gun - Michael Ennis
Young Gun - Ben Barba
Loose Cannon - Ben Roberts
Theme Song in '09 - "(Just Like) Starting Over" - John Lennon
At the End of 26 Rounds - 10th

Canberra Raiders
Top Gun - Terry Campese
Young Gun - Justin Carney
Loose Cannon - Stuart Flanagan
Theme Song in '09 - "Fight For Your Right" - The Beastie Boys
At the End of 26 Rounds - 15th
*As a side-note, check out the Raiders Player Profile page on their site. I know that it is cold in Canberra, but a bigger bunch of pasty white guys you will never ever see.

Cronulla Sharks
Top Gun - Paul Gallen
Young Gun - Karl Filiga (technically he was the "next big thing" a couple of years ago, and already has the high priced Contract, but we'll give him another shot)
Loose Cannon - Reece Williams
Theme Song in '09 - "The Pretender" - The Foo Fighters
At the End of 26 Rounds - 6th

Gold Coast Titans
Top Gun - Scott Prince
Young Gun - David Mead
Loose Cannon - Nathan Friend
Theme Song in '09 - "No Excuses" - Alice in Chains
At the End of 26 Rounds - 5th

Manly Sea Eagles
Top Gun - Brett Stewart
Young Gun - Tony Williams
Loose Cannon - Chris Bailey
Theme Song in '09 - "The Battle of Who Could Care Less" - Ben Fold's Five
At the End of 26 Rounds - 1st

Melbourne Storm
Top Gun - Cameron Smith
Young Gun - William Isa
Loose Cannon - Jeff Lima
Theme Song in '09 - "It's All Been Done" - The Barenaked Ladies
At the End of 26 Rounds - 3rd

New Zealand Warriors
Top Gun - Simon Mannering
Young Gun - Russell Packer
Loose Cannon - Stacey Jones
Theme Song in '09 - "Good Times, Bad Times" - Led Zeppelin
At the End of 26 Rounds - 2nd

Newcastle Knights
Top Gun - Gidley
Young Gun - Akuila Uate
Loose Cannon - Cory Patterson
Theme Song in '09 - "The Times They are a Changin'" - Bob Dylan
At the End of 26 Rounds - 9th

North Queensland Cowboys
Top Gun - Johnathon Thurston
Young Gun - Donald Malone
Loose Cannon - Willie Tonga
Theme Song in '09 - "Accidents Will Happen" - Elvis Costello
At the End of 26 Rounds - 4th

Parramatta Eels
Top Gun - Feleti Mateo
Young Gun - Etu Uaisele
Loose Cannon - Jarryd Hayne
Theme Song in '09 - "Stuck in a Rut" - The Darkness
At the End of 26 Rounds - 12th

Penrith Panthers
Top Gun - Michael Jennings
Young Gun - Lachlan Coote
Loose Cannon - Jarrod Sammut
Theme Song in '09 - "Things Don't Seem" - Australian Crawl
At the End of 26 Rounds - 16th

St George-Illawarra Dragons
Top Gun - Ben Hornby
Young Gun - Possessing arguably the oldest playing roster, it is hard to find a candidate.
Loose Cannon - Jamie Soward
Theme Song in '09 - "Don't Believe The Hype" - Public Enemy
At the End of 26 Rounds - 8th

South Sydney Rabbitohs
Top Gun - Roy Asotasi
Young Gun - Shaune Corrigan
Loose Cannon - John Sutton
Theme Song in '09 - "Wake Me Up When September Ends" - Green Day
At the End of 26 Rounds - 13th

Sydney Roosters
Top Gun - Mitchell Pearce
Young Gun - Ben Jones
Loose Cannon - Setimata Sa
Theme Song in '09 - "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" - The Arctic Monkeys
At the End of 26 Rounds - 11th

Wests Tigers
Top Gun - Benji Marshall
Young Gun - Tim Moltzen
Loose Cannon - Gareth Ellis
Theme Song in '09 - "Livin' on the Edge" - Aerosmith
At the End of 26 Rounds - 14th

Fingers crossed, I get close this Season. Good luck to your Team.

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