Coach – Brad Scott
Points For – 8th
Points Against – 8th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
- Robbie Tarrant
- Jack Ziebell
- Sam Gibson
- Daniel Wells
- Brent Harvey
2016 Rising Star Noms
Ryan Clarke (Rnd 18)
Ins – Jy Simpkin, Declan Simpson, Josh Williams, Nick Larkey, Oscar Junker, Cameron Zurhaar, Matthew Taylor, Marley Williams, Paul Ahern, Nathan Hrovat
Outs – Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Nick Dal Santo, MIchael Firrito, Robin Nahas, Brad McKenzie, Joel Tippett, Farren Ray, Daniel Wells, Aaron Black
Usually when a team goes into decline it is a slow process, with North you can almost pick the week it happened. They won nine in a row, they were flying and complaining about a lack of respect. Unbeaten and still not being talked about as a premiership prospect. They almost missed the finals from there. I suspect this is just the beginning of the pain.
The backline is ok. Tarrant came good last year, I am still not sold on him but he certainly played a good year of football, he is partnered by Hansen who continues his career as an extremely average player. McKay is the future back there but he is a work in progress. They have picked up Williams who along with Atley should give them some run back there. Overall though very short on depth and only an injury away from disaster.
The midfield to me is a problem. They have some hard nuts with McDonald, Cunnington, Swallow and Ziebell but I dont see the class or the speed. It is a workmanlike midfield at best and I dont think anyone there is elite or capable of becoming elite. Clarke was a good find last year but he doesnt solve their problems.
They have Goldstein in the ruck who is without question in the top few rucks in the comp. Was down slightly last year but still capable. The second in charge is Daw who is both a match winner and a massive liability. His lack of understanding of the game is amazing as is his ability to do something amazing.
The forward line is actually ok in a patchwork sort of way. Mason Wood hung around which helps. They are probably too reliant on Waite who at 33 seems a strange player to hang into when you have cut so many others. Higgins is a quality player with the body of an old man, Brown looks like he will continue to improve and Thomas is infuriating but gets the job done as a small forward. They are capable of kicking a score but again there is nowhere near enough depth to think they will do it with any regularity.
The first half of last year they were a top 6 team, the second of last year they were a bottom 6 team. They have then delisted or lost four players who were amongst their top ten. They have one or two players who may be ready to step up and pick up some of the slack but not enough. They are going to crash this year and crash hard. I think they will finished somewhere between 14 and 16. They will be a cautionary tale of what happens when you throw everything at a premiership with a list that just isnt good enough.