YOU EITHER believe in premiership windows or you don't. 

Whatever your belief, only two teams won on Grand Final day in the past decade when their average age was younger than 25 years – and just one of those averaged fewer than 100 games.

Luke Beveridge's Western Bulldogs of 2016 were an anomaly in every sense of the word, coming from seventh and winning four finals to claim a fairytale flag.

Luke Beveridge guided his young pups to the ultimate prize. Picture: AFL Photos

The average player in the Bulldogs' team was aged 24.4 years and had a meagre 82.1 matches' experience.

On the flipside, the numbers for seven of the past 10 premiers were north of 26 years and 120 games per footballer.

SEASON

CLUB

AGE

MATCHES

2010

Collingwood

24.2

101.2

2011

Geelong

27.3

145.8

2012

Sydney

26.5

131.4

2013

Hawthorn

26.8

139.5

2014

Hawthorn

26.8

137.5

2015

Hawthorn

27.8

166.8

2016

Western Bulldogs

24.4

82.1

2017

Richmond

25.1

104.1

2018

West Coast

26.3

120.8

2019

Richmond

26.5

125.6


Crystal-ball gazing ahead of each season is a largely impossible task but history at least provides a solid platform to predict what could happen. 

AFL.com.au has selected a mock 'best 25' for each club – not for round one but factoring in all players who aren't already out for the season – to work out where they are placed in this regard.

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The age and experience for those players at every team, as of March 1 this year, were then divided by 25 to reveal their side's numbers.

Where this is flawed is the 'best 25' process is subjective and each individual will have a different view, against the objectiveness of the statistics, but it at least provides a gauge.

Interestingly, only Geelong, Hawthorn and West Coast clear both the 26 and 120 bars at this stage, with Collingwood and Richmond just shy.

The Hawthorn list is the oldest and most experienced in 2020. Photo: AFL Photos

Those two clubs should reach the criteria by Grand Final day, with 23 rounds and finals spread across seven months still to go.

For example, the respective numbers for the Tigers' round one team last year were 25.9 and 111.2 and their Grand Final side, as above, was 26.5 and 125.6.

AFL.COM.AU'S BEST 25 FOR EACH TEAM

CLUB

AGE

MATCHES

Adelaide

24.6

88.2

Brisbane

25.1

96.6

Carlton

25.4

106.7

Collingwood

25.9

113.1

Essendon

25.1

96.2

Fremantle

24.4

86.3

Geelong

26.2

127.4

Gold Coast

23.5

70.5

GWS Giants

25

101.8

Hawthorn

27

133.2

Melbourne

25.1

95.3

North Melbourne

25.6

103.4

Port Adelaide

25.2

108.8

Richmond

25.6

110.7

St Kilda

24.9

94.2

Sydney

24.6

91.4

West Coast

26.5

130

Western Bulldogs

25

90.8

 
The same projection is much harder but somewhat possible when trying to figure out which teams will emerge as this year's finalists. 

Geelong, Brisbane, Richmond, Collingwood, West Coast, Greater Western Sydney, Western Bulldogs and Essendon made the top eight in 2019.

The numbers for their round one side last year were: Cats (25.6/101.5), Lions (25.1/92.5), Tigers (25.9/111.2), Magpies (26/107.5), Eagles (25.2/93.3), Giants (25.7/89.4), Bulldogs (24.3/71.7) and Bombers (25.7/85.2).

2019 Toyota AFL Grand Final between Richmond and GWS at the MCG

Beveridge's Dogs are again the exception, while Adelaide, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Port Adelaide and Sydney missed out despite fielding sides older than 25 on average in their season-openers.

Conversely, the other bottom-10 clubs last year – Carlton, Fremantle, Gold Coast, Melbourne and St Kilda – all fielded teams younger than 25 on average in round one.

Nothing is certain but, on this measure, the Crows, Dockers, Saints, Suns and Swans might face an uphill battle to qualify for September.

Then again, remember the Bulldogs.

***AGES AS OF THE START OF MARCH 2020***

ADELAIDE
B: Luke Brown (27/150), Daniel Talia (28/186), Tom Doedee (22/21)
HB: Rory Laird (26/143), Kyle Hartigan (28/101), Wayne Milera (22/60)
C: Rory Atkins (25/97), Rory Sloane (29/199), Paul Seedsman (28/101)
HF: Chayce Jones (20/8), Taylor Walker (29/189), Tom Lynch (29/139)
F: Lachie Murphy (21/32), Darcy Fogarty (20/14), Tyson Stengle (21/4)
Foll: Reilly O'Brien (24/20), Matt Crouch (24/109), Brad Crouch (26/83)
I/C: Brodie Smith (28/167), Jake Kelly (25/75), Myles Poholke (21/11), Billy Frampton (23/3)

Next three: Bryce Gibbs (30/265), Ned McHenry (19/0), Jordan Gallucci (21/27)

AVERAGE AGE: 24.64 AVERAGE GAMES: 88.16 

BRISBANE
B: Noah Answerth (20/19), Harris Andrews (23/97), Darcy Gardiner (24/106)
HB: Daniel Rich (29/207), Marcus Adams (26/37), Grant Birchall (32/248)
C: Mitch Robinson (30/191), Jarrod Berry (22/57), Hugh McCluggage (21/63)
HF: Cam Rayner (20/46), Dan McStay (24/103), Linc McCarthy (26/53)
F: Charlie Cameron (25/108), Eric Hipwood (22/75), Oscar McInerney (25/37)
Foll: Stefan Martin (33/182), Lachie Neale (26/159), Dayne Zorko (31/168)
I/C: Jarryd Lyons (27/116), Alex Witherden (21/53), Zac Bailey (20/27), Cam Ellis-Yolmen (27/39)

Next three: Callum Ah Chee (22/45), Allen Christensen (28/133), Rhys Mathieson (23/46)

AVERAGE AGE: 25.08 AVERAGE GAMES: 96.6 

Cam Rayner celebrates a goal in last year's qualifying final. Picture: Getty Images

CARLTON
B: Lachie Plowman (25/94), Jacob Weitering (22/76), Kade Simpson (35/325)
HB: 
Sam Petrevski-Seton (22/64), Liam Jones (29/125), Sam Docherty (26/92)
C: 
Caleb Marchbank (23/48), Patrick Cripps (24/101), Sam Walsh (19/22)
HF: 
Zac Fisher (21/55), Charlie Curnow (23/58), Jack Martin (25/97)
F: 
Eddie Betts (33/316), Harry McKay (22/35), Mitch McGovern (25/64)
FOLL: 
Matthew Kreuzer (30/188), Marc Murphy (32/268), Ed Curnow (30/165)
I/C: 
Nic Newman (27/51), Will Setterfield (22/20), Paddy Dow (20/39), David Cuningham (22/25)

Next three: Jack Newnes (27/155), Levi Casboult (29/124), Jack Silvagni (22/60)

AVERAGE AGE: 25.4   AVERAGE GAMES: 106.68 

COLLINGWOOD
B: Jeremy Howe (29/183), Jordan Roughead (29/162), John Noble (22/5)
HB: Jack Crisp (26/134), Darcy Moore (24/71), Brayden Maynard (23/97)
C: Tom Phillips (23/74), Scott Pendlebury (32/301), Steele Sidebottom (29/234)
HF: Jordan De Goey (23/88), Brody Mihocek (27/40), Will Hoskin-Elliott (26/119)
F: Jaidyn Stephenson (21/40), Mason Cox (28/58), Jamie Elliott (27/105)
Foll: Brodie Grundy (25/132), Dayne Beams (30/177), Taylor Adams (26/132)
I/C: Adam Treloar (26/163), Chris Mayne (31/217), Callum Brown (21/35), Josh Thomas (28/89)

Next three: Ben Reid (30/150), Brayden Sier (22/18), Isaac Quaynor (20/4)

AVERAGE AGE: 25.92 AVERAGE GAMES: 113.12 

ESSENDON
B: Patrick Ambrose (28/87), Michael Hurley (29/179), Mason Redman (22/25)
HB: Adam Saad (25/92), Cale Hooker (31/193), Conor McKenna (23/73)
C: Darcy Parish (22/76), Dyson Heppell (27/169), Andrew McGrath (21/64)
HF: Orazio Fantasia (24/75), Joe Daniher (25/104), Devon Smith (26/138)
F: Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (26/89), Shaun McKernan (29/78), Jake Stringer (25/128)
Foll: Tom Bellchambers (30/129), Dylan Shiel (26/157), Zach Merrett (24/126)
I/C: Martin Gleeson (25/78), Matt Guelfi (22/32), Aaron Francis (22/27), David Zaharakis (30/207)

Next three: Dylan Clarke (21/12), Tom Cutler (25/66), Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (21/1)

Darcy Parish has stepped up at a young age. Picture: AFL Photos

AVERAGE AGE: 25.16 AVERAGE GAMES: 96.2 

FREMANTLE
B: Luke Ryan (24/49), Alex Pearce (24/53), Joel Hamling (26/85)
HB: Nathan Wilson (27/116), Griffin Logue (21/23), James Aish (24/82)
C: Stephen Hill (29/206), Andrew Brayshaw (20/39), Darcy Tucker (23/70)
HF: Michael Walters (29/151), Jesse Hogan (25/83), David Mundy (34/316)
F: Brandon Matera (27/139), Matt Taberner (26/71), Rory Lobb (27/89)
Foll: Sean Darcy (21/26), Nat Fyfe (28/173), Connor Blakely (23/60)
I/C: Adam Cerra (20/41), Blake Acres (24/75), Reece Conca (27/126), Hayden Young (18/0)

Next three: Ethan Hughes (25/50), Brennan Cox (21/34), Caleb Serong (18/0)

AVERAGE AGE: 24.44 AVERAGE GAMES: 86.28 

David Mundy is the Dockers' oldest player by almost five years. Picture: AFL Photos

GEELONG
B: Tom Stewart (26/68), Mark Blicavs (28/158), Jake Kolodjashnij (24/93)
HB: Mark O'Connor (23/30), Harry Taylor (33/261), Zach Tuohy (30/186)
C: Mitch Duncan (28/203), Joel Selwood (31/295), Jordan Clark (19/18)
HF: Luke Dahlhaus (27/178), Esava Ratugolea (21/28), Brandan Parfitt (21/54)
F: Gryan Miers (20/25), Tom Hawkins (31/256), Gary Ablett (35/345)
Foll: Rhys Stanley (29/133), Patrick Dangerfield (29/248), Jack Steven (29/183)
I/C: Cameron Guthrie (27/161), Tom Atkins (24/23), Jack Henry (21/45), Quinton Narkle (22/12)

Next three: Jed Bews (26/83), Nakia Cockatoo (23/34), Sam Menegola (27/65)

AVERAGE AGE: 26.16 AVERAGE GAMES: 127.4

GOLD COAST
B: Sam Collins (25/23), Rory Thompson (28/103), Jack Lukosius (19/21)
HB: Pearce Hanley (31/161), Charlie Ballard (20/32), Jarrod Harbrow (31/245)
C: Brandon Ellis (26/176), Jack Bowes (22/42), Lachie Weller (24/86)
HF: Darcy MacPherson (22/39), Ben King (19/14), Ben Ainsworth (22/41)
F: Izak Rankine (19/0), Sam Day (27/120), Alex Sexton (26/119)
Foll: Jarrod Witts (27/102), David Swallow (27/139), Brayden Fiorini (22/47)
I/C: Matt Rowell (18/0), Touk Miller (24/100), Hugh Greenwood (27/51), Wil Powell (20/20)

Next three: Jesse Joyce (22/63), Will Brodie (21/19), Noah Anderson (19/0)

AVERAGE AGE: 23.52 AVERAGE GAMES: 70.52 

Sam Flanders, Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson may all be in the Suns' best 25 by year's end. Picture: AFL Photos

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
B: Heath Shaw (34/308), Sam Taylor (20/30), Aidan Corr (25/83)
HB: Zac Williams (25/102), Phil Davis (29/166), Nick Haynes (27/128)
C: Josh Kelly (25/118), Jacob Hopper (23/67), Lachie Whitfield (25/133)
HF: Tim Taranto (22/63), Jeremy Cameron (26/154), Toby Greene (26/145)
F: Jeremy Finlayson (24/38), Harry Himmelberg (23/65), Brent Daniels (20/33)
Foll: Sam Jacobs (31/201), Stephen Coniglio (26/133), Callan Ward (29/217)
I/C: Matt de Boer (29/187), Harry Perryman (21/36), Jye Caldwell (19/2), Sam Reid (30/90)

Next three: Jackson Hately (19/7), Lachie Ash (18/0), Daniel Lloyd (28/39)

AVERAGE AGE: 24.96 AVERAGE GAMES: 101.8 

Heath Shaw is a rare veteran on the Giants' list. Picture: AFL Photos

HAWTHORN
B: Ben Stratton (31/188), James Frawley (31/225), Blake Hardwick (23/66)
HB: James Sicily (25/82), Ben McEvoy (30/206), Jarman Impey (24/116)
C: Isaac Smith (31/200), Tom Mitchell (26/111), Tom Scully (28/173)
HF: Chad Wingard (26/161), Mitch Lewis (21/14), Jack Gunston (28/192)
F: Paul Puopolo (32/190), Jon Patton (26/89), Luke Breust (29/207)
Foll: Jon Ceglar (29/76), James Worpel (21/33), Jaeger O'Meara (26/92)
I/C: Liam Shiels (28/205), Sam Frost (26/91), Ricky Henderson (31/152), Shaun Burgoyne (37/376)

Next three: Jack Scrimshaw (21/14), Tim O'Brien (25/62), Ollie Hanrahan (21/9)

AVERAGE AGE: 27.04 AVERAGE GAMES: 133.2 

James Worpel has shown he's got a bright future at Hawthorn. Picture: AFL Photos

MELBOURNE
B: Neville Jetta (30/148), Steven May (28/131), Oscar McDonald (23/74)
HB: Christian Salem (24/90), Jake Lever (23/75), Michael Hibberd (30/142)
C: Ed Langdon (24/68), Jack Viney (25/119), Adam Tomlinson (26/140)
HF: Bayley Fritsch (23/45),Tom McDonald (27/161), Alex Neal-Bullen (24/73)
F: Kozzy Pickett (18/0), Sam Weideman (22/31), Jake Melksham (28/168)
Foll: Max Gawn (28/120), Clayton Oliver (22/82), Christian Petracca (24/85)
I/C: James Harmes (24/91), Angus Brayshaw (24/80), Nathan Jones (32/286), Mitch Brown (29/70)

Next three: Jayden Hunt (24/68), Aaron vandenBerg (27/35), Luke Jackson (18/0)

AVERAGE AGE: 25.08 AVERAGE GAMES: 95.28 

New Demon Kysaiah Pickett looks an exciting prospect. Picture: AFL Photos

NORTH MELBOURNE
B: Marley Williams (26/120), Robbie Tarrant (30/148), Majak Daw (28/50)
HB: Jasper Pittard (28/148), Josh Walker (27/85), Shaun Atley (27/197)
C: Trent Dumont (24/82), Ben Cunnington (28/209), Jared Polec (27/128)
HF: Taylor Garner (26/43), Nick Larkey (21/19), Tarryn Thomas (19/20)
F: Cameron Zurhaar (21/28), Ben Brown (27/121), Kayne Turner (24/79)
Foll: Todd Goldstein (31/234), Shaun Higgins (31/220), Jack Ziebell (29/210)
I/C: Jy Simpkin (21/56), Luke McDonald (25/109), Luke Davies-Uniacke (20/21), Jed Anderson (26/63)

Next three: Jamie Macmillan (28/157), Paul Ahern (23/18), Sam Durdin (23/19)

AVERAGE AGE: 25.6   AVERAGE GAMES: 103.36 

PORT ADELAIDE
B: Ryan Burton (23/63), Tom Clurey (25/81), Darcy Byrne-Jones (24/86)
HB: Hamish Hartlett (29/164), Tom Jonas (29/139), Riley Bonner (22/42)
C: Karl Amon (24/59), Tom Rockliff (30/190), Xavier Duursma (19/20)
HF: Robbie Gray (31/218), Justin Westhoff (33/268), Connor Rozee (20/22)
F: Zak Butters (19/19), Charlie Dixon (29/135), Brad Ebert (29/246)
Foll: Scott Lycett (27/93), Travis Boak (31/264), Ollie Wines (25/141)
I/C: Peter Ladhams (22/5), Dan Houston (22/60), Sam Powell-Pepper (22/57), Steven Motlop (28/170)

Next three: Jack Watts (28/174), Joel Garner (20/4), Mitch Georgiades (18/0)

AVERAGE AGE: 25.16 AVERAGE GAMES: 108.8 

Xavier Duursma is shooting for the top. Picture: AFL Photos

RICHMOND
B: David Astbury (29/129), Dylan Grimes (28/151), Nathan Broad (26/54)
HB: Nick Vlastuin (25/141), Bachar Houli (31/207), Jayden Short (24/71)
C: Josh Caddy (27/157), Dustin Martin (28/224), Jack Graham (22/39)
HF: Shane Edwards (31/255), Jack Riewoldt (31/262), Kane Lambert (28/95)
F: Jason Castagna (23/76), Tom Lynch (27/156), Shai Bolton (21/28)
Foll: Ivan Soldo (23/22), Dion Prestia (27/155), Trent Cotchin (29/234)
I/C: Toby Nankervis (25/71), Sydney Stack (19/17), Daniel Rioli (22/77), Marlion Pickett (28/1)

Next three: Jack Higgins (20/33), Liam Baker (22/22), Kamdyn McIntosh (25/90)

AVERAGE AGE: 25.64 AVERAGE GAMES: 110.68 

The Tigers' stars are starting to enter career-twilight territory. Picture: AFL Photos

ST KILDA
B: Jarryn Geary (31/188), Dougal Howard (23/45), Callum Wilkie (23/22)
HB: Jimmy Webster (26/93), Jake Carlisle (28/134), Hunter Clark (20/29)
C: Jack Billings (24/107), Seb Ross (26/124), Bradley Hill (26/149)
HF: Jade Gresham (22/81), Tim Membrey (25/92), Jack Lonie (23/63)
F: Max King (19/0), Paddy Ryder (31/243), Dan Butler (23/45)
Foll: Rowan Marshall (24/33), Jack Steele (24/78), Dan Hannebery (29/213)
I/C: Shane Savage (29/163), Zak Jones (24/90), Luke Dunstan (25/103), Dylan Roberton (28/128)

Next three: Ben Long (22/30), Dean Kent (26/76), Josh Battle (21/26)

AVERAGE AGE: 24.88 AVERAGE GAMES: 94.2 

SYDNEY
B: Lewis Melican (23/37), Dane Rampe (29/159), Callum Mills (22/77)
HB: Jordan Dawson (22/25), Aliir Aliir (25/50), Jake Lloyd (26/137)
C: Oliver Florent (21/53), Josh Kennedy (31/246), Dylan Stephens (19/0)
HF: Tom Papley (23/82), Sam Reid (28/143), Will Hayward (21/53)
F: Isaac Heeney (23/102), Lance Franklin (33/300), Nick Blakey (20/21)
Foll: Sam Naismith (27/28), Luke Parker (27/195), George Hewett (24/93)
I/C: James Rowbottom (19/12), Harry Cunningham (26/113), Sam Gray (28/96), Colin O'Riordan (24/15)

Next three: Callum Sinclair (30/101), Tom McCartin (20/34), Lewis Taylor (25/112)

AVERAGE AGE: 24.64 AVERAGE GAMES: 91.36 

Nick Blakey had an excellent debut season with the Swans in 2019. Picture: AFL Photos

WEST COAST
B: Jackson Nelson (23/55), Tom Barrass (24/65), Brad Sheppard (28/178)
HB: Shannon Hurn (32/269), Jeremy McGovern (27/126), Lewis Jetta (30/196)
C: Jack Redden (29/211), Elliot Yeo (26/155), Andrew Gaff (27/197)
HF: Jamie Cripps (27/163), Jack Darling (27/196), Mark Hutchings (28/113)
F: Oscar Allen (20/23), Josh Kennedy (32/243), Liam Ryan (23/37)
Foll: Nic Naitanui (29/166), Luke Shuey (29/201), Tim Kelly (25/48)
I/C: Dom Sheed (24/102), Tom Hickey (28/99), Jack Petruccelle (20/23), Will Schofield (31/190)

Next three: Liam Duggan (23/85), Nathan Vardy (28/68), Tom Cole (22/41)

AVERAGE AGE: 26.48 AVERAGE GAMES: 130 

The Eagles are one of the Leagues oldest teams, led by 32-year-old Shannon Hurn. Picture: AFL Photos

WESTERN BULLDOGS
B: Easton Wood (30/160), Zaine Cordy (23/71), Jason Johannisen (27/126)
HB: Hayden Crozier (26/108), Alex Keath (28/30), Caleb Daniel (23/91)
C: Bailey Smith (19/23), Marcus Bontempelli (24/127), Lachie Hunter (25/128)
HF: Sam Lloyd (29/80), Aaron Naughton (20/41), Bailey Dale (23/50)
F: Josh Schache (22/54), Josh Bruce (27/113), Ed Richards (20/41)
Foll: Tim English (22/29), Josh Dunkley (23/66), Jack Macrae (25/141)
I/C: Tom Liberatore (27/132), Patrick Lipinski (21/32), Toby McLean (24/79), Matt Suckling (31/171)

Next three: Mitch Wallis (27/133), Taylor Duryea (28/132), Tory Dickson (32/113)

AVERAGE AGE: 25.04 AVERAGE GAMES: 90.84