Tim Watson is truly one of the AFL greats, an Australian Football Hall of Fame inductee and triple premiership player renowned for his skill and explosive bursts of pace.
Tim says fans will hear a lot more about two issues in 2012: gambling integrity and injuries.
"The integrity and gambling issues will become a greater and greater concern as the money around the game gets bigger and bigger.
"And I think as always injuries are going to be a major talking point, particularly collisions to the head. If you look at concussions and trends around the world and caring for the head, it’s definitely an issue we'll hear more about."
Consistent with Tim’s theory about injuries to the head becoming a major talking point, he also believes we’ll see a big rise in the physicality of the game.
"We're heading down the same line as last season, really strong competitive inside footy, we'll see more of that. Damien Hardwick is saying that. Scott Pendlebury said after Collingwood’s Grand Final loss they were not big enough. Sides will be superaggressive
and hard on the inside."
He expects Collingwood and Hawthorn will be up in contention for the flag. "Hawthorn got so close and if they have a good run with injuries they’ll be one of the dominant teams. And Collingwood coming off the disappointment of last year will be extremely hungry."
Tim played 307 games for Essendon from 1977-1994 and kicked 335 goals. He was the youngest player to debut for Essendon when he ran out onto the field in 1977 at the tender age of 15
years and 305 days.
Following a year of retirement in 1992 – in which he joined Seven's commentary team as a special comments expert – Tim returned to footy and was rewarded with his third flag with
Essendon in 1993, having previously played a starring role in the Bombers’ 1984 and 1985 premiership teams.
Tim retired from football for good at the end of 1994 and rejoined Seven’s AFL commentary team and presented the weeknight sport bulletin on 7 News for four years. He also hosted 4-Quarters (1995), Around The Grounds (1997) and Against All Odds: James Hird’s Own Story following the 2000 Grand Final.
Tim returned to the AFL ranks in 1999 as coach of St Kilda, a position he held for two seasons.
In October 2000, Tim joined Channel Seven full-time and co-hosted the footy show The Game and from 2002 sat with Bruce McAvaney and Caroline Wilson "on the couch" as a member of
the Talking Footy team.
Currently the weekend sports presenter for Channel Seven Melbourne, Tim also co-hosts Melbourne radio station SEN's breakfast show, Morning Glory.