Player Watch #4: Shaun Higgins - extends North contract until end 2021

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the Ziebull

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 14, 2010
19,965
15,753
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Half back to prolong his career ala Matty Boyd? Easier to be defensively accountable in the backline than the midfield and he could set us up from down back.
Yep I could see him going to half back in a few weeks time when LDU comes back and plays in the guts, would be good to have a good ball user coming out of back 50
 

Roo Beauty

Norm Smith Medallist
May 16, 2015
7,496
14,548
Locker #1
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Higgo played half back for the dogs and was so ordinary they dropped him. Midfield or forward for mine.
He was also injury riddled and had no confidence, coupled with a sh*t Dogs culture. That was way back in 2014 too, six years later I think his skills would be well suited to coming out of our defence. God knows we need some.
 

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ChoppyGun

Club Legend
Jul 19, 2020
1,105
2,296
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I must be a hard marker as I don't think his game was that exceptional.

Sure he played well no doubt, but too many cheap touches for my liking plus he is not working hard enough the other way.
 

Devington

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 4, 2013
8,336
14,747
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Just wasn't damaging by foot. IIRC Short had more meters gained with ~15 less disposals. Everything else about Higgo's game was pretty much as good as it gets though. Was originally harsh on him for being ineffectual overall, but he did actually clock up some quite decent pressure stats and while the ball wasn't that damaging in his hands it was certainly safe.

If we had our other first choice midfielders playing you would absolutely takes those stats from Higgo, floating across half back, every day of the week.
 

ChoppyGun

Club Legend
Jul 19, 2020
1,105
2,296
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Totally agree Devington.

I'm not saying he played poor, he was very good. But the stats flatter him. He is not damaging to the level capable of.

I'm also very tired of him getting the ball and immediately handballing to a stationary target, purely to receive when he could just do it all to start with.

It puts lesser players under pressure unnecessarily.

The best players rarely stat gather like this.......unless you are Tom Mitchell who's even worse.
 

Devington

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 4, 2013
8,336
14,747
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I'm also very tired of him getting the ball and immediately handballing to a stationary target, purely to receive when he could just do it all to start with.
It is an odd habit of his, and I do wonder about the rationale behind it. Maybe he just has a phobia with regards to bouncing the ball? Trying to give other blokes a touch to bring them into the game? Make opponents stutter step and get lost as they decide who to hone in on momentarily? Dunno.
 

Shermanator

Didn't get Luke Jackson NMFC :(
Mar 23, 2001
9,480
23,440
Inside Ben Brown’s hair
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Wildcats/Pacers/Chelsea/Scorchers
It is an odd habit of his, and I do wonder about the rationale behind it. Maybe he just has a phobia with regards to bouncing the ball? Trying to give other blokes a touch to bring them into the game? Make opponents stutter step and get lost as they decide who to hone in on momentarily? Dunno.
I reckon it’s this, a split second diversion tactic and he also gets a 2 for 1 stat too, thats his footy IQ working right there.

Imagine this guy playing wing for West Coast, Richmond (or ironically) the Bullies when they’re at full strength?.. he would put on a clinic.
 

ferball

Premium Platinum
Jul 24, 2015
18,478
35,058
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I reckon it’s this, a split second diversion tactic and he also gets a 2 for 1 stat too, thats his footy IQ working right there.

Imagine this guy playing wing for West Coast, Richmond (or ironically) the Bullies when they’re at full strength?.. he would put on a clinic.
He has put a few clinics on for us over the last few years whether we've been at full strength or not.

It's not about the second stat. Maybe about Brownlow votes but really...

It's about generating movement off the ball, ie you moving and trying to get the other guy moving if he is stationary as well as putting the opposition off their immediate focus on you while you have the ball, ie diversionary and all that goes with it. Ideally your guy will hold the ball and draw a tackle giving it back to you with a little more space and sometimes more speed and momentum.

Sometimes that split second of hesitation in the opposition is enough to break a line, especially if you run hard at the opposition after dishing off, and it really works well if your team mate is smart enough to drop it just over the head of your opponent.

However it can also attract the eye of the umps and people judging the best players if it works cos you are generating attacking movement, especially if you can break a line.

Atley does it too. And for all his flaws and the sh*t he cops one of the reasons he does it is cos no one runs with him to break the lines. Maybe similar with Higgo. Frankly if more players were moving when he had the ball he'd be hand balling to moving targets with multiple options (not just give it back to him) and opposition lines and zones would be breaking.
 

ferball

Premium Platinum
Jul 24, 2015
18,478
35,058
AFL Club
North Melbourne
If nothing else your opponent is often flat footed while assessing what is gonna happen with the ball whereas if you didn't give and get your opponents would be generating momentum and moving toward you.
 

Shermanator

Didn't get Luke Jackson NMFC :(
Mar 23, 2001
9,480
23,440
Inside Ben Brown’s hair
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Wildcats/Pacers/Chelsea/Scorchers
He has put a few clinics on for us over the last few years whether we've been at full strength or not.

It's not about the second stat. Maybe about Brownlow votes but really...

It's about generating movement off the ball, ie you moving and trying to get the other guy moving if he is stationary as well as putting the opposition off their immediate focus on you while you have the ball, ie diversionary and all that goes with it. Ideally your guy will hold the ball and draw a tackle giving it back to you with a little more space and sometimes more speed and momentum.

Sometimes that split second of hesitation in the opposition is enough to break a line, especially if you run hard at the opposition after dishing off, and it really works well if your team mate is smart enough to drop it just over the head of your opponent.

However it can also attract the eye of the umps and people judging the best players if it works cos you are generating attacking movement, especially if you can break a line.

Atley does it too. And for all his flaws and the sh*t he cops one of the reasons he does it is cos no one runs with him to break the lines. Maybe similar with Higgo. Frankly if more players were moving when he had the ball he'd be hand balling to moving targets with multiple options (not just give it back to him) and opposition lines and zones would be breaking.
Yep I agree and all the good line breakers like Josh Kelly, Kade Simpson, Pendles, Bont, Gaff, Yeo and Lachie Neal are brilliant at it.
 

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