AFL Grand Final 2023 Tips – First Goal Predictions

First Goal Tips - AFL Tips

Everyone loves a first goal scorer bet and we’ve broken down all the key numbers to help you find an early winner in this Saturday’s AFL Grand Final.

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While the betting market tends to be dominated by forwards, in recent years it has generally been midfielders that have kicked the first snag, with 11 of the last 13.

The starting position of the first goal scorer in Grand Finals dating back to 1980 is as follows: 


Collingwood have the edge on first goals in 2023, kicking the opener in 14 of 25 matches this year. Brisbane have only booted the first major in 11 games.

The Lions and Magpies are ranked fourth and fifth respectively for first quarter scoring, both averaging 24 points in opening stanzas.

There is only one player on either list who has kicked a first goal in a Grand Final in former Hawk Jack Gunston, who started the scoring in the 2013 decider. It’s unlikely he’ll be adding a second to his tally, however, given he hasn’t played since Round 22.

First Goal Scorer Tips

Jordan De Goey
First Goal Scorer - AFL Grand Final

While he hasn’t had his biggest season in front of the sticks, De Goey is in good first goal form, kicking the opener in two of his last ten matches. The star midfielder has attended 85% of centre bounces on average in the last three weeks so you can be sure he will be amongst the action early on Saturday.

Joe Daniher
First Goal Scorer - AFL Grand Final

Going against the midfield trend with the Brisbane tall who has some strong numbers supporting his case for an opening goal. Daniher has kicked the first snag in two of his last three away games against the Magpies and two of his last four away finals. The Lions’ mids aren’t strong goal kickers, with McCluggage, Neale and Dunkley only booting 16 between them in 2023, so a forward looks a stronger play for the visitors.

Previous AFL Grand Final First Goal Scorers

The Grand Final first goal scorers since 1980 are listed below:

1980: Dale Weightman, Richmond, Midfield

1981: Mark Williams, Collingwood, Midfield

1982: Wayne Johnston, Carlton, Forward

1983: Richard Loveridge, Hawthorn, Forward

1984: Leigh Matthews, Hawthorn, Forward

1985: Dermott Brereton, Hawthorn, Forward

1986: Jason Dunstall, Hawthorn, Forward

1987: Wayne Johnston, Carlton, Forward 

1988: Peter Schwab, Hawthorn, Midfield 

1989: Gary Ablett Snr, Geelong, Forward 

1990: Paul Salmon, Essendon, Forward

1991: Peter Sumich, West Coast, Forward

1992: Trevor Poole, Geelong, Midfield

1993: Paul Salmon, Essendon, Forward

1994: Tony Evans, West Coast, Midfield

1995: Craig Bradley, Carlton, Midfield

1996: Tony Lockett, Sydney, Forward

1997: Jason Heatley, St Kilda, Forward

1998: John Blakey, North Melbourne, Midfield

1999: Brett Ratten, Carlton, Midfield

2000: James Hird, Essendon, Midfield

2001: Alastair Lynch, Brisbane, Forward

2002: Anthony Rocca, Collingwood, Forward

2003: Alastair Lynch, Brisbane, Forward

2004: Josh Carr, Adelaide, Midfield

2005: Mark Nicoski, West Coast, Bench

2006: Ashley Hansen, West Coast, Forward

2007: Cameron Mooney, Geelong, Forward

2008: Tom Lonergan, Geelong, Forward

2009: Max Rooke, Geelong, Forward

2010: Darren Jolly, Collingwood, Ruck

2010: Tyson Goldsack, Collingwood, Defender

2011: Travis Varcoe, Geelong, Midfield

2012: Xavier Ellis, Hawthorn, Midfield

2013: Jack Gunston, Hawthorn, Forward

2014: Josh Kennedy, Sydney, Midfield

2015: Luke Shuey, West Coast, Midfield

2016: Luke Parker, Sydney, Midfield

2017: Rory Sloane, Adelaide, Midfield

2018: Travis Varcoe, Collingwood, Midfield

2019: Jeremy Cameron, GWS, Forward

2020: Dion Prestia, Richmond, Midfield

2021: Christian Petracca, Melbourne, Midfield

2022: Tom Hawkins, Geelong, Forward

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Joel has worked for more than six years at Sportsbet and BetEasy in the content and tipping space, specialising in AFL, cricket, NBA and UFC.