• (L-R): Grant Hansen and Derek Kickett (NITV)Source: NITV
The Marngrook Footy Show is back for another year and an all-star panel, including a new co-host, previewed the upcoming AFLW grand final and round one of the AFL season.
Will Davies

22 Mar 2018 - 12:29 PM  UPDATED 22 Mar 2018 - 12:29 PM

The Australian Football League is back for another year and so too is The Marngrook Footy Show, live on NITV.

With host Grant Hansen welcoming new co-host, but no stranger to the show, Derek Kickett, the all-star panel quickly got stuck in to discussing season 2018.

“Finals is one of our destinations to get to,” Essendon player Anthony McDonald Tipungwuti said of the Bombers this season.

“We’ve been working really hard to play round one and we’re really looking forward to playing against the Crows (on Friday).”

Former Bombers and Port Adelaide champion Gavin Wanganeen asked Tipungwuti about his own role within the Essendon side, having played primarily as a forward, but also in defence and briefly through the midfield.

“I would love to have a crack in the midfield, that’s probably my goal this year,” Tipungwuti said.

“I’ve been working hard on my endurance and I think I’m good enough to play in the middle but at the moment I’m just going to take it year by year… so we’ll see what happens.”

Port Adelaide’s Chad Wingard joined the show from Adelaide, and he’s predicting big things from one of the Power’s star recruits.

“(Jack) Watts kicked six goals last week but the way he plays, there’s not many players that can really play tall, play small, run the ground, have that versatility and players like that you’ve got to really hang on to,” Wingard said.

“Obviously Charlie Dixon, (Justin) Westhoff and (Tom) Lynch from up in Gold Coast; blokes like that are really hard to come by and I think Watts is gonna add another dynamic to our team.”

Port Adelaide finished fifth in season 2017 before losing to West Coast in the first week of the finals.

With the addition of players such as Watts from Melbourne and Tom Rockliff from Brisbane, they are tipped to be strong again in 2018.

There was also plenty of love for Richmond on The Marngrook Footy Show, with former Tiger Kevin Bartlett arriving waving a Richmond scarf, hailing the Tigers premiership from 2017, which he consistently predicted would happen throughout the show last year.

After again pumping up Richmond and labelling Alex Rance an “Adonis”, Bartlett forecast continued and vast improvement at Tigerland.

“I think man will land on mars before Carlton will beat Richmond,” Bartlett said when their round one match against the Blues on Thursday night was discussed.

“No, let’s be honest,” Bartlett added. “Is there anyone on this panel who really believes that Carlton will beat Richmond tomorrow night?”

Other than being humoured by Hansen, there indeed wasn’t much support for Carlton.

Bartlett tipped Richmond by 129 points.

Kickett also tipped Richmond to win, but by 100 points less.

Collingwood AFLW player and former Hockeyroos player, Georgie Parker, was another of the panellists on Marngrook on Wednesday night, and having played in her debut season of AFLW, Parker spoke about her journey to football.

As part of a preview of this Saturday’s AFLW grand final, Parker said she expects Western Bulldogs to win, but she’ll be barracking for Brisbane Lions.

The Marngrook Footy Show will be live from 8.30pm on NITV every Wednesday in 2018, with Hansen to be joined by long-time friend of the show Kickett, who replaces former co-host Gilbert McAdam.

“I’m wrapped to be part of the team this year,” Kickett said on the show on Wednesday.

“Just before I do carry on, obviously I’m taking on Gilly’s spot. But Gilly, if you’re out there mate, thanks for the opportunity and all the best to you and hope you’re watching the show.”

Hansen also praised McAdam’s influence.

“Talking about Gilly, no one can replace him and I know he’s watching in Alice Springs tonight,” he said.

“We’re gonna miss you Gilly but as you know brother, the show goes on and we know you’ll be tuning in every week. So put your hands together folks, for Gilbert McAdam.”

The Marngrook Footy Show airs Wednesdays, 8.30pm on NITV (Ch. 34) and catch up On Demand. Join the conversation #Marngrook