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On the campaign trail: Your club's membership drive

It's a pretty good time to be a Richmond fan - AFL,Adelaide Crows,Brisbane Lions,Carlton Blues,Collingwood Magpies,Essendon Bombers,Fremantle Dockers,Geelong Cats,Gold Coast Suns,GWS Giants,Hawthorn Hawks,Melbourne Demons,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Port Adelaide Power,Richmond Tigers,St Kilda Saints,Sydney Swans,West Coast Eagles,Western Bulldogs
It's a pretty good time to be a Richmond fan

SLOGAN: 'We Fly As One'

2017 TALLY: 81,062

CURRENT TALLY: 72,096

ONLINE HUB: 19thman.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: After the heartbreak of this year's Grand Final loss to Richmond, the Crows will be desperate to go one step better and claim the club's first premiership since 1998. The Crows have bolstered their line-up with the addition of Carlton star Bryce Gibbs. The South Australian product returns to his home state eager to take the Crows to the promised land. He joins a midfield featuring Rory Sloane and the Crouch brothers, Matt and Brad. And you can't mention the Crows without talking about mercurial forward Eddie Betts. He's worth the price of admission alone with his remarkable goals. - Lee Gaskin

SLOGAN: 'Feel The Difference'

2017 TALLY: 21,362

CURRENT TALLY: 13,611

ONLINE HUB: membership.lions.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: Despite finishing last in 2017, the Lions are a club going places. They got decorated Hawthorn champion Luke Hodge in the off-season, while electric Adelaide small forward Charlie Cameron also decided he wanted to head north. Chris Fagan made huge changes in his first 12 months in the job, with the Lions scoring more, conceding less and winning more quarters than 2016. Importantly, they also won four matches in the back half of the season to validate their improvement. In Eric Hipwood they have one of the game's most exhilarating young forwards, while Alex Witherden, Hugh McCluggage and Jarrod Berry form a tantalising future midfield core. Add explosive No.1 draft pick Cam Rayner, and there's little doubt this is the best position the Lions have been in since their last finals appearance in 2009. - Michael Whiting

Luke Hodge and Charlie Cameron are making it exciting times to be a Lions fan. Picture: AFL Photos

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SLOGAN: 'Join the journey'

2017 TALLY: 50,326

CURRENT TALLY: 35,787 (up 3,000 on same time last year)

ONLINE HUB: membership.carltonfc.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: Carlton has adopted a clear direction under Brendon Bolton and the Blues are building the foundations of what they hope will be sustained success. Carlton has gone to the draft and trade period in the past two years and put together an impressive list. The Blues' veterans led by skipper Marc Murphy, Matthew Kreuzer and Kade Simpson (due to play his 300th game next season) give supreme effort each week and the talented young brigade, including Patrick Cripps, Jacob Weitering, Charlie Curnow, Sam Petrevski-Seton and newcomer Paddy Dow, are exciting. Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel. - Howard Kotton

SLOGAN: 'Forever Your Club. Forever Our Club.'

2017 TALLY: 75,879

CURRENT TALLY: N/A

ONLINE HUB: membership.collingwoodfc.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: There are always plenty – big crowds, traditional rivals, marquee games including Anzac Day, along with the chance to be part of the massive Magpie Army. Pies fans might also be rewarded for their patience, with Nathan Buckley's team set to benefit from what they hope will be a more settled line-up. They boast one of the competition's best midfields, on paper at least, with veteran Daniel Wells on track to play more than this year. There's also the possibility of weekly Mark of the Year contenders from Jeremy Howe and Goal of the Year contenders from Jamie Elliott. It could also the year giant forward/ruckman Mason Cox – the 'American Pie' – makes his mark on the game in combination with Brodie Grundy. Father-son prospects such as Darcy Moore, who will start in defence, add to the nostalgia. - Ben Collins 

SLOGAN: 'YESS'

2016 TALLY: 67,768

CURRENT TALLY: 51,566

ONLINE HUB: membership.essendonfc.com.au 

REASONS TO BUY: Clearly the Essendon faithful is excited about what could lay ahead for the club, with the Bombers passing 50,000 members before Christmas for the first time in their history. There are plenty of reasons why the future looks bright for the Bombers. They play one of the most attacking, exciting and free-flowing brands in the competition, they have perhaps the most exciting young key forward in the game in Joe Daniher, and had young gun Andrew McGrath win the NAB AFL Rising Star last year. The Bombers had three All Australians last year and returned to the finals for the first time in three years. With some big name recruits on board, including Dogs premiership star Jake Stringer, the Bombers will be aiming high in 2018. - Callum Twomey

The Bombers are pretty happy to have Jake Stringer on board. Picture: AFL Photos

SLOGAN: 'The Time Has Come'

2017 TALLY: 51,254

CURRENT TALLYTBC

ONLINE HUB: membership.fremantlefc.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: Chief among them is the chance to become part of history, as the Dockers start playing their home games at Perth's new, world-class Optus Stadium. There is also great optimism for an improvement on their 14th finish this year, given skipper Nat Fyfe appears set to recapture his Brownlow Medal form, former Giant Nathan Wilson will be a superb addition, and injury-plagued pair Harley Bennell and Alex Pearce could finally spend more time on the field than on the sidelines. Then there's the prospect of Aaron Sandilands returning to fitness and form, perhaps in combination with youngster Sean Darcy. It's also highly likely Freo fans will get to see two potential champions in the making: No.2 draftee Andrew Brayshaw and No.5 pick Adam Cerra. - Ben Collins 

SLOGAN: 'Stand Proud in 2018'

2017 TALLY: 56,577  

CURRENT TALLY: 44,846 (up approximately 4000 from this time in 2016)

ONLINE HUB: membership.geelongcats.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: Gary Ablett, anyone? It's fair to say Cats' fans will be more than excited to see the game great back in the blue and white hoops, with Ablett scheduled to return to their home patch for the first time in round four against St Kilda. There aren't too many football fans, let along Geelong supporters, who won't anticipate seeing Joel Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield and Ablett starting in at the same bounce. The Cats have nine games at their GMHBA Stadium fortress for the first time ever, which will be welcomed by Geelong-based fans, and their off-season recruiting of the mature-aged Ablett, Stewart Crameri and Tim Kelly indicates they think they're a good chance to be around the mark again in 2018. - Jennifer Phelan

SLOGAN: 'Ride The Next Wave'

2017 TALLY: 11,665

CURRENT TALLY: 7023

ONLINE HUB: goldcoastfcmembership.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: A new coach brings new hope. After premierships with Port Adelaide and Hawthorn as a player and then seven years (including one flag) as an assistant coach at Sydney, Stuart Dew knows how to win. It's all he's ever done. Despite the struggles of 2017, many of them due to injury, the Suns still have a list choc-full of talent. Steven May and Tom Lynch are as good a bookend combination as any in the competition, while Jack Martin, Peter Wright, Callum Ah Chee and Ben Ainsworth bring an excitement few forward lines have to offer. Gold Coast is young and hungry – it's the perfect time to get on board and watch them rise. - Michael Whiting

SLOGAN: 'Be GIANT'

2017 TALLY: 20,944

CURRENT TALLY: 13,457 (35.26 per cent increase on last year)

ONLINE HUB: membership.gwsgiants.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: Star midfielder Josh Kelly turned his back on millions to remain committed to the Giants, so why wouldn't their fans? But seriously, Leon Cameron's side has made two straight preliminary finals, and while they haven't claimed a maiden flag yet, there's little doubt they'll be contenders again next year. The Giants are chocked full of guns all over the ground, they play an exciting brand of footy, and Spotless Stadium is a great place to watch the team, especially when they win at home more often than not. GWS fans could be there to witness the club's first premiership. - Adam Curley

Josh Kelly has put his faith in Greater Western Sydney. Picture: AFL Photos

SLOGAN: 'Game Face On. Always.'

2017 TALLY: 75,351

CURRENT TALLY: 60,100

ONLINE HUB:  membership.hawthornfc.com.au 

REASONS TO BUY: 1996 as in the year. Any Hawthorn supporter with a sense of history will understand how close the club was to disappearing at the end of that season, due to an AFL-brokered merger with Melbourne that would have left the Hawks as very much the junior partner. Now, the financially strong Hawks are unlikely to be in such a parlous state any time soon but only paid-up club members can ensure such a diabolical situation never happens again. On a more immediate front, the Hawks played some exciting footy over the second half of last season and a repeat of that, added to some of the key players returning from injury, has them primed for a return to the finals. In 2018, standard 11-game Hawk members have access rights to nine MCG games (six home, three away) and two at Etihad (one home, one away). - Ashley Browne 

SLOGAN: 'Be a part of our journey'

2017 TALLY: 42,233

CURRENT TALLY: 29,053 (as of December 22)

ONLINE HUB: membership.melbournefc.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: The Demons are on the precipice of finals, having narrowly missed September action last year, and have one of the brightest young lists in the competition. After years of playing non-competitive football, Melbourne is an exciting team and under coach Simon Goodwin the team plays with flair, aggression and a brashness that has fans buoyant about what's to come. Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca and Jesse Hogan represent the club's future, while the recruitment of the game's best young defender, Jake Lever, points to the fact Melbourne has become a destination club for prospective free agents and trade targets. After the disappointment of last year, the Demons will be motivated to make finals for the first time since 2006.

- Ben Guthrie

SLOGAN: 'Be a Shinboner'

2017 TALLY: 40,343

CURRENT TALLY: 27,306

ONLINE HUB: membership.nmfc.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: The future is now for the Roos, whose off-season cleanout over the past two years transformed the list from among the AFL's oldest to one of the youngest. There is still a sprinkling of veteran talent to steady the ship – such as Jarrad Waite, Robbie Tarrant, Scott Thompson and Todd Goldstein – but North is placing major trust in its youth. That means fans will get to see what the likes of No.4 draft pick Luke Davies-Uniacke, Jy Simpkin, Paul Ahern, Josh Williams and Ben McKay can do. There is a good young group ahead of them as well, while Ben Brown might give the Coleman Medal a shake in 2018. Marc McGowan

Luke Davies-Uniacke headlines the next crop of Roos. Picture: AFL Photos

SLOGAN: 'We Are Port Adelaide'

2017 TALLY: 60,051

CURRENT TALLY: 47,241

ONLINE HUB: weareportadelaide.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: Get excited Power fans – 2018 promises to be a sensational year for the men in black, white and teal. The Power ticked every box over the off-season, bringing in Brisbane Lions ball-magnet Tom Rockliff, Geelong speedster Steven Motlop and Melbourne utility Jack Watts. Add them to an already-quality side featuring the likes of All Australian duo Paddy Ryder and Robbie Gray, Travis Boak, Ollie Wines, Chad Wingard and Charlie Dixon and you have the makings of a formidable outfit. The Power are one of the most exciting sides in the competition and have a number of match-winners. Hang on, this is going to be some ride. - Lee Gaskin

SLOGAN: 'Strong and Bold'

2017 TALLY: 72,669

CURRENT TALLY: 68,163

ONLINE HUB: membership.richmondfc.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: Convincing Richmond supporters to become members must be just about the easiest job in the world. A club that had been starved of success over the past few decades pulled off a magnificent and unlikely flag, sparking a bigger premiership celebration than any in recent memory. As appealing as watching Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin, Alex Rance and Jack Riewoldt is, the stories of the likes of Jacob Townsend and Jack Graham were equally as compelling. A side that had been so maligned under coach Damien Hardwick smashed through its September hoodoo and Tigers fans will hope their team can do it all over again. - Dinny Navaratnam

SLOGAN: 'Get your halo on'

2017 TALLY: 42,052

CURRENT TALLY: 29,509

ONLINE HUB: saintsmembership.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: St Kilda should be on the verge of breaking a finals drought that stretches back to 2011. Nick Riewoldt and Leigh Montagna are gone but the younger players should be ready to step up. Jack Billings would probably have made the Virgin Australia AFL All Australian team last year if he converted his chances in front of goal, Seb Ross took his game to another level and Jake Carlisle fit into the backline seamlessly. The biggest highlight though could be the imminent return to Moorabbin, which the Saints are hopeful will happen in March. - Dinny Navaratnam

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SLOGAN: 'Be in the moments that matter'

2017 TALLY: 58,838

CURRENT TALLY: 29,049

ONLINE HUB: membership.sydneyswans.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: The Swans are perennial contenders having not missed the finals since 2009 so any fan jumping on board for 2018 can expect a pretty good show. Superstar forward in Lance Franklin is must-watch every time he steps onto the SCG, and being there live to see the four-time Coleman medallist when he's on fire, is a sight to behold. There's also the famed Bloods culture, an elite midfield group, and some of the most exciting young talent in the game today in the likes of Isaac Heeney, Callum Mills, Tom Papley and Zak Jones. Sydney fans are rarely let down. - Adam Curley

Lance Franklin always puts on a show for the Swans. Picture: AFL Photos

SLOGAN: 'Take it on'

2017 TALLY: 65,064

CURRENT TALLY: Unavailable due to the transition to Optus Stadium

ONLINE HUB: membership.westcoasteagles.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: Spring-heeled ruckman Nic Naitanui's return, after missing all of last season with a knee injury, should be enough to get fans excited. The Eagles will be quick, too, with speed demon Lewis Jetta joined by pacy draftees Jack Petruccelle and Liam Ryan, who isn't shy to leap for a mark, either. A youth movement has swept through the club, so expect to see plenty of the likes of Ryan, Daniel Venables, Willie Rioli, Tom Cole and Brayden Ainsworth, and maybe even key forwards Jarrod Brander and Oscar Allen. But if none of that excites you, West Coast will be playing in the new Optus Stadium, so that is reason alone to open the wallet for a look. - Marc McGowan 

SLOGAN: 'Where Real Strength Lives'

2017 TALLY: 47,709

CURRENT TALLY: 31,042 (as at December 20)

ONLINE HUB: membership.westernbulldogs.com.au

REASONS TO BUY: They can consider 2017 an aberration and there's no reason to think the Dogs won't be better for the hard lessons the season produced. They've welcomed exciting young forward Josh Schache, whose has undeniable potential and will no doubt have a better chance of finding his feet in his home state alongside an up-and-running Tom Boyd, and two experienced heads in Hayden Crozier and Jackson Trengove, who will bring new things to their back half. Fixture wise, they've got nine home games at Etihad Stadium, including big clashes with Essendon, Geelong, Hawthorn and Carlton, plus an additional game in Ballarat (two in total) that will provide two opportunities for short country trips for Melbourne-based fans. - Jennifer Phelan