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Captains' call is a first Brownlow for boom recruit

Patrick Dangerfield is the top pick of the AFL captains to claim this year's Brownlow Medal - ${keywords}
Patrick Dangerfield is the top pick of the AFL captains to claim this year's Brownlow Medal

STAR Geelong recruit Patrick Dangerfield is the man to beat in this year's Brownlow Medal count, according to the results of this year's AFL captains' poll. 

In the confidential annual survey conducted by the AFL, four of the competition's captains predicted that the former Crow would be the first Cat to win the Brownlow since Gary Ablett polled 30 votes in 2009. 

Dual-winner Ablett and last year's medallist Nat Fyfe, plus Sydney Swans star Dan Hannebery are Dangerfield's main competition in 2016 - they polled three votes apiece.

Dangerfield's arrival at Geelong will make a significant impact at the club according to the poll, with the Cats tipped to make the finals again after missing the eight last season.

The players were asked which seven other teams, apart from their own, could make the finals and Geelong, along with Hawthorn, West Coast and Fremantle, were the only teams to receive a nomination from all 17 captains.

Showing just how even this year's competition could be, a total of 12 different clubs were nominated as top-eight possibilities and six were a chance to make the Grand Final. 

Last year's premiers Hawthorn (seven votes) and runner-up West Coast (five) were picked as the teams most likely to play off in the decider again, with Fremantle (three), Geelong (one), the Swans (one) and Richmond (one) also receiving votes. 

Eagles forward Josh Kennedy is the favourite to claim his second-straight Coleman Medal as the AFL's leading goalkicker, after he polled seven votes ahead of Swans superstar Lance Franklin (four), while Franklin's young teammate Callum Mills grabbed seven nominations to be the captain's choice to take out the NAB Rising Star Award.

The full survey

Which seven other clubs do you think can make this year's top eight? (Seven selections for each captain)
Fremantle (17), Geelong (17), Hawthorn (17), West Coast (17), Sydney Swans (14), Port Adelaide (12), Richmond (7), North Melbourne (6), GWS (6), Western Bulldogs (6), Adelaide (4), Collingwood (3).

Which other club is most likely to reach the Grand Final? (11 captains picked eventual premier Hawthorn in 2015)
Hawthorn (7), West Coast (5), Fremantle (3), Geelong (1), Richmond (1), Sydney Swans (1).

Who do you think will win the 2016 Brownlow Medal? (Four captains correctly nominated Nat Fyfe in 2015)
Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong, four votes), Gary Ablett (Gold Coast, three votes), Nat Fyfe (Fremantle, three votes), Dan Hannebery (Sydney Swans, three votes), Josh Kennedy (Sydney Swans, one vote), Tom Liberatore (Western Bulldogs, one vote), Dustin Martin (Richmond, one vote), Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood, one vote), Luke Shuey (West Coast, one vote).

Who do you think will win the 2016 Coleman Medal? (One captain correctly nominated Josh Kennedy in 2015)
Josh Kennedy (West Coast, seven votes), Lance Franklin (Sydney Swans, four votes), Tom Hawkins (Geelong, two votes), Taylor Walker (Adelaide, two votes), Jeremy Cameron (GWS, one vote), Charlie Dixon (Port Adelaide, one vote), Jack Riewoldt (Richmond, two votes).

Who do you think will win the 2016 NAB AFL Rising Star? (No captain correctly nominated Jesse Hogan in 2015)
Callum Mills (Sydney Swans, seven votes), Clayton Oliver (Melbourne, three votes), Darcy Moore (Collingwood, two votes), Jacob Weitering (Carlton, two votes), Callum Ah Chee (Gold Coast, one vote), Wayne Milera (Adelaide, one vote), Christian Petracca (Melbourne, one vote), Josh Schache (Brisbane Lions, one vote).