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No finals, Brad Johnson, non contenders, four weeks, season over, North Melbourne, West Coast, Adelaide, Essendon, GWS Giants, Hawthorn, Gold Coast, Port Adelaide

In the final four weeks of 2022, there are six teams officially and two more clubs needing results and teams hoping for a miracle if they make the finals.

With just four rounds left to play in this home-and-away season, Fox Footy’s Brad Johnson looks at what each club can take from those final games.

And he says that all eight clubs should focus on “preparing for the summer”.

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North Melbourne (2 wins, 16 losses, 18th)

Brad Johnson: For me, it’s the end of the year for some of their players who have had great individual years – like Luke Davies-Younick, his growth as a player, and Gee Simpkin. The next four weeks are calm for North Melbourne. Enjoy the last four weeks, hang with him, and give them some motivation to take care of themselves as they head into the preseason with a new coach leading them forward.

It still comes: Essendon (A), Sydney (H), Adelaide (A), Gold Coast (H)

West Coast Eagles (2-16, 17th)

BJ: West Coast’s four weeks of focus should be no detriment to their key players. They had a lot of operations last year (after the 2021 season) and that means players are ready to hit and make an impact this season. So no harm to me. Go through the four weeks and then cast spells. Hopefully, then they’ve found a suitable roster to start the summer and won’t wait for players to return from work.

It still comes: Gold Coast (A), Adelaide (H), Fremantle (A), Geelong (A).

‘A dusty decision must be quick’ | 02:07

Adelaide (5-13, 16th)

BJ: The Crows’ competitiveness has been good, so for Adelaide it’s about maintaining that competitive edge for the next four weeks. Get the first few quarters right and continue to plan to be the competitive beasts you’ve always been. They were hard to play.

It still comes: Carlton (H), West Coast (A), North Melbourne (H), Port Adelaide (A).

GWS Giants (5-13, 15th)

BJ: The focus will be on the performance of these players to give them a chance to finish the season with some spirit. Wins and losses don’t matter to the Giants now. Their big questions around who they will sign and not sign and the coach they will hire will be following the end of the season. The same is true at North Melbourne, where a coach has yet to be appointed. Just enjoy the last part of the difficult season.

It still comes: Sydney (A), Essendon (H), Western Bulldogs (A), Fremantle (H)

Blues Smoking Smoking | 02:10

Essendon (6-12, 14th)

BJ: Essendon will need to do well over the next four weeks to prepare itself with some of the young players it could acquire this off-season. Like Baldwin, Martin, Wanganin, Hobbs and D’Ambrosio debut in 2022. They’ve got some young players who have really shown themselves to be capable. Confidence going into the summer is vital for Essendon to prepare itself for the first few weeks of 2023.

It still comes: North Melbourne (H), GWS Giants (A), Port Adelaide (H), Richmond (H)

Hawthorne (7-11, 13th)

BJ: I think their aim should be to win two out of four. They had a great year under Sam Mitchell. Their style is something they want to keep evolving. Now they want to finish as strong as they can. They’ve been a real upgrade, they’ve got some young players who have consistently shown themselves to be able to hold their own at AFL level. His ability to win two games in the opening round and upset some of the finalists is something to watch.

It still comes: St Kilda (A), Gold Coast (H), Richmond (A), Western Bulldogs (H)

He started to believe that he had started 01:01

Gold Coast (8-10, 12th)

BJ: It’s been a great year from the Gold Coast. They had some pretty solid high-end performance fixes. They have to finish as hard as they can. You can’t completely skip the last four weeks. As a junior team, the past few years have started off well and then faltered as the season wore on. They started OK this year, improved and maintained. It’s important to finish to say that their progress has really improved and they should really have ambitions to play in the finals next year. They need to aim for three or four wins to see out 2022 and probably still fall short of the final series. They are setting their sights on what could happen next year.

It still comes: West Coast (H), Houghton (A), Geelong (H), North Melbourne (A).

Port Adelaide (8-10, 11th)

BJ: The power is still mathematical possibilities, but now they are relying on being defeated by others. And then they need an element of luck in that. The reality is that Port Adelaide started the season slowly with five straight losses and then they came back good. The run is very little delayed.

It still comes: Collingwood (A), Richmond (H), Essendon (A), Adelaide (H).

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