Season 2019 - North Melbourne - first to sack then appoint their coach

North Melbourne

Coach – Brad Scott

2018 –
Points For – 7th
Points Against – 10th

Top 5 Best and Fairest

  1. Shaun Higgins
  2. Ben Cunnington
  3. Robbie Tarrant
  4. Ben Brown
  5. Jack Ziebell

2018 Rising Star Noms


Ins – Aaron Hall, Jared Polec, Jasper Pittard, Dom Tyson, Tarryn Thomas, Curtis Taylor, Bailey Scott, Joel Crocker, Tom McKenzie, Tom Wilkinson

Outs – Ryan Clarke, Billy Hartung, Mitch Hibberd, Tom Jeffries, Oscar Junker, Alex Morgan, Declan Mountford, Gordon Narrier, Daniel Nielson, Brayden Preuss, Josh Williams, Jarrad Waite

My Prediction

This is hard for me to write but North Melbourne were great last year. They outperformed anything I thought they were capable of. Scott coached really well and they were probably unlucky to miss the finals. They also looked to have upgraded their list in general during the trade period and found a couple of players to address their need as far as pace on the outside goes.

The backline is solid, they have wheeled Thompson around again (Weekend at Bernies style) but he seems to keep getting the job done. Tarrant is coming off a couple of really good years. Daw last year was fantastic but unlikely to make the field this year and I think it will expose them a little bit for lack of pace and make them a little more predictable. I am not sure if Pittard will play many games but they may look for his run.

The midfield is better than last year. They have been workmanlike for a long time and lacked polish but I think the additions of Polec and Hall will give them a bit more speed and in the case of Polec, a bit more polish. He is a great deliverer of the ball and will do well with Ziebell and Cunnington finding the ball for him. Higgins was great last year and if he keeps his body right, I see no reason he won’t keep going. They need good years though from players like Tyson, LDU and Ahern for North to move forward.

The forward line is dangerous. McKay is developing nicely and Brown is a very good, reliable big man. He doesn’t have a lot of bad games and consistent influences contests. Mason Wood looked good a couple of seasons back and with a good run, has good footy in him. I am not convinced on their ground level smalls and will be interesting to see how that operates this year. If they get enough delivery then they are capable of kicking a winning score.

Goldstein is a great ruck and seems to have his head in the right place now. He is durable as well and he will need to be with Preuss being traded and Daw unlikely to play. Scott has no pressure on him this year and I think identified himself as a really good coach. He had the whole team on the same game plan and they executed it well. If you wanted to look for a worry (and of course I do) it is that they don’t seem to develop their young talent particularly well and they need those young players to start to make a difference.

I think I need to accept that North are going to be competitive. They aren’t a challenger and they aren’t a threat to the top eight but if you underestimate them, they will knock you over. I don’t think the new talent they have brought in will do enough to push them into final eight calculations but will be enough to keep them from bottoming out. I think that North is likely to finish somewhere between 10-12.


North’s philosophy on the game is the right one. They play quick, they take it on and they can pile on a score when on song. Our game against them, especially the first half, was as entertaining as you’re likely to see in today’s footy and Good Friday should be a cracker. For all the players they brought in, they are not A-Graders but more you B-Grade types. Hall, Polec, Tyson and Pittard are not enough to take them from 9th to anything more than 7th at best. I can’t see them making the eight unless they get some rapid improvement from some of their kids and a guy like Mason Wood can finally shake the injuries and string together a full season.

I think they’ll make the 8. Probably 7-8.

Defence will struggle, goal kickers are scarce but Cunnington and Tyson doing the heavy lifting to get it to Higgins, Polec and Simpkin is a decent midfield.
There not slouches but definitely not a contender either. Will forever be a middle of the road team that either gets lucky on unlucky to slip out of the 6-12 range.

I have a suspicion that Polec is going to be exceptional for them.

Pleasingly, I also think his loss is a reason that Port are going to struggle in 2019.

But yeah, their inside mids giving him the ball so he can deliver to Brown… that’s going to be pretty effective I think.




Best 22
B: Pittard Thompson Williams
HB: Macmillan Tarrant, McDonald
C: Ahern Ziebell © Polec
HF: Anderson McKay Tarryn Thomas
F: Simpkin Brown Wood
R: Goldstein Cunnington Higgins
Int: Tyson, Hall, Davies-Uniacke, Jacobs

Emg: Atley, Hrovat, Garner
Depth: Campbell, Vickers-Willis, Daw (could be in team if not injured etc)

I am a bit Bullish on North I think they are a good chance to make the 8. Polec and Hall add midfield pace.
Higgins has gone to another level and should draw the tag away from Polec.
What they need is there small forwards - Anderson, Simpkin and Thomas to solidify their position in the team, kick goals, and also be a option to help out in the midfield and increase the teams speed in there as well.
Brown is a gun key forward and can be relied on for another 50 goal Hall, but North fans will be hoping McKay

Well drilled side, will beat the bottom teams, be a chance against the stronger teams, it probably depends if they can beat most of the middle of the road teams.

Polec good pick up.
Fans may be tearing their hair our with Pittard and Hall, we shall see, if they can play to the coaches systems they may work, I am sure Scott will want Hall to be more defensively minded, if not he will be spending some time in the VFL.

Not that excited about their defence, its blue collar
Midfield has potential to improve, just depends if it clicks with the new additions Hall, Polec, Tyson and more time from Simpkin Anderson, Thomas even. Not sure what player davies-uniake is, I guess given his high draft pick they hope he turns into a good mid.
Forwardline - has the 1 gun in Brown, will depend if the small forwardds can help kick a score and be dangerous and provide defensive pressure, plus Mason Wood, McKay or Garner becoming dangerous options consistently.

You could make arguments for Garner or Atley in the side if you wish, wouldnt mind Atley for Pittard. Maybe they need a third tall defender back there instead

Last year i was predicting them to be bottom four and in all sorts of trouble, Scott made a fool of me.
Finish 6-12th

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Very workman like team with a few good players, no real superstars. Their coach seems to get the most from them, as much as I don’t like to say it…I think he can coach.

If they had decent facilities and a few fans to encourage them, who knows what they could be?

I read somewhere they might be getting a new pie warmer and BBQ for training. Also heard a few footies might be donated to help.

I suspect they will be 7-9 this year.


A few turnover merchants in the backline. Their midfield snuck under the radar a bit last year and they had a very favorable fixture. Their forward line didn’t work as well without Waite around. I think you’ll find sides are but more ready for them and if be worried about how many front runners their midfields carries.

A few days before we played them last year someone on here said that we would roast these carnts slowly, and we did.

I’ll be absolutely thrilled if we roast the carnts slowly on Good Friday.

Apparently Robbie Tarrant injured himself at training today.


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So, who remembers the last time we played the tin-rattlers in R5? Easter Monday at Waverley Park back in ‘83?

The Dons won the high-scoring epic 128 vs 123. Timmy had 29 touches & 2 goals. What a legend!

Trivia: No googling. Name the 18-year-old from North Ringwood who played in our side that day.

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No one gives a fk about norf

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NR… Salmon, GO’D or Nobby Clarke?

Well done.

p.s. Think he had one touch that day.