Coach – Rhyce Shaw
Points For – 8th
Points Against – 14th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
2019 Rising Star Noms
Bailey Scott (Round 1)
Cameron Zurhaar (Round 7)
Tarryn Thomas (Round 12)
Nick Larkey (Round 16)
Ins – Charlie Comben, Flynn Perez, Aiden Bonar, Jack Mahoney, Matt McGuiness
Outs – Nathan Hrovat, Tom McKenzie, Scott Thompson, Declan Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Sam Wright
North had a horror start to the season before their interim coach came in and saved the year by allowing them to climb up towards mediocrity. A change in coach seemed to make a massive difference to the playing list who were given permission to play simple aggressive football and for the most part it worked.
The backline looks thin with the retirement of Thompson, he alongside Tarrant have held things together back there for a long time. They will be hoping that Daw can get his body and mind right to get back to where he was in 2018 when he looked really good down back. Their smaller backs look a worry to me as well with Atley, Williams and Pittard being inconsistent and not convinced they work hard enough both ways.
The midfield is working class at best. Cunnington is a thug but he is also a gun. He gets the job done most weeks and wins a mountain of contested ball. Ziebell looks beaten up and his body over the last couple of seasons is holding him back. Polec came in last year to give them outside run but he struggled to impact games the way he did at Port. The change back towards more contested football under Shaw did not suit him at all. Dumont has become an important player for them and I they need Higgins revolving through for class. Overall though it is a very uninspiring midfield.
The forward line looks like their strongest area. Brown is so hard to stop once he gets going and Larkey looks like he is going to be a player. Thomas looked classy last year and Zurhaar is great to watch. They would love to see Simpkin take the next step and become a consistent threat. There is still an inconsistency to their forward line but it would be hard when you are getting delivery from a midfield that is fighting the ball forward more often than running it forward.
Goldstein really found his rhythm last year and looked like he was returning to his best. He had some down games but overall can still match it with the best rucks in the game. He is aging though and they don’t have a lot of depth in his position. They need him to stay fit. Rhyce Shaw looked like a fun coach last season and found a style that got the team over the line but it will be interesting to see how he goes over a longer period.
I don’t see where the improvement is going to come from in the North list. They will be relying on improvement from their list but I think despite having some good young players coming through, they are likely to drop off from last year. They still lack class across the field and I think they are likely to go backwards this year. I think they will finish at the top end of the bottom four. Between 14-16