Game Day North vs Bulldogs. Preseason game 1. Welcome back Maj.

Billy Not Really

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The kick in is where we will miss Scotty Thompson the most. He had the vision to see an option 50 to 60 out and the skill to execute the kick. Pittard and JMac are both limited to long and high up the line or the 15-metre bail oot to the pocket. I have seen people mention Ahern, Murphy, and even Mason Wood as potential options. None of them are guaranteed a spot in the best 22 though.
You're getting me all sentimental for Scotty again dammit. His kick ins were sublime, never had to worry once when he was handling them.

Out of the players you mentioned, I think Ahern is the most likely to be a guaranteed best 22 spot player, Wood a close second but he has more inconsistent form and injuries. Ahern can be placed in the middle or at half back / doing kick-ins. So already he has more flexibility as a player.
 

the flying ham

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The kick in is where we will miss Scotty Thompson the most. He had the vision to see an option 50 to 60 out and the skill to execute the kick. Pittard and JMac are both limited to long and high up the line or the 15-metre bail oot to the pocket. I have seen people mention Ahern, Murphy, and even Mason Wood as potential options. None of them are guaranteed a spot in the best 22 though.
Yep, hard to take the kick ins for senior game from the reserves

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ferball

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They had pretty much a full strength midfield though, and played them the whole game. We were missing 4 best-22 mids and rotated the ones we did have more. Doesn't excuse some of the shitty skills but "the dogs had just as many outs" isn't true in terms of how the game played out.
Add Higgins and put Ziebell in the vicinity and three Bulldogs players won't be all over Cunners every time he gets the ball. It was clearly a game plan to swamp him at every contest.

They brought a lot of pressure. First pre season game... To me it was like they were trying to make up for last years finals exit and the world laughing at their soft sookiness.

Their pressure caused the skill issues. Especially among older players, the ones who spent a bit of time under Brad reverted to slow high passes. But even TTs kicking was a little off under pressure.

It would be nice if we are a year behind them. We seemed to mix things around a bit but they seemed very focused in what they did. For example swamping Cunners and swarming forward off the back of it. We seemed to be trying players out and obviously giving our dominant kpds for the game some room to find their feet.

I think the dogs will be on a mission this year. Whether or not they are up to it remains to be seen. And if that is their best form then keeping it until September will be no mean feat.
 

nj23

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Not sure if this has been posted elsewhere yet so my apologies. And I can’t find who asked about centre bounce stats so I can’t hit the quote button.
Dogs went a-grade at centre bounces and we shared it around.
 

ChopChopDigDig

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Watched the game finally today. Not worried, was a praccy and we had a third of our best 22 out (at least).

HOWEVER, is there a more disappointing D50 exiting team in the comp than NMFC at the moment? Jmac, McDonald and Atley are the best we've got but jeeze, don't see how we're going to be successful with them. They can't hit a target out of defense, struggle to run back when the ball rebounds and dont provide enough run.
 

King Corey

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Jmac, McDonald and Atley are the best we've got but jeeze, don't see how we're going to be successful with them. They can't hit a target out of defense, struggle to run back when the ball rebounds and dont provide enough run.
Yeh there's a bit of an issue there.

Only Atley out of that crew has a "weapon" in his pace. But he really doesn't zip out of there all that much. I recall more Pittard rebounds in one season than Shaun's whole career.

I did like Luke's aggression and physicality. He fluffed things a bit but if we tighten up on the unchecked ball coming in I think he can play a part.

Actually feel for Jamie. Looks to have shed weight which when you're starting off as an in-shape athlete must mean a lot of empty stomachs, green teas and poached fish. Was clearly trying hard but the easily sidestepped tackles were on show alongside a few uncharacteristic loose kicks.

But it's February so will hope in his case his hard work bears fruit in the season proper.
 

Kangaroos4eva

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Watched the game finally today. Not worried, was a praccy and we had a third of our best 22 out (at least).

HOWEVER, is there a more disappointing D50 exiting team in the comp than NMFC at the moment? Jmac, McDonald and Atley are the best we've got but jeeze, don't see how we're going to be successful with them. They can't hit a target out of defense, struggle to run back when the ball rebounds and dont provide enough run.
It’s why I am on the McKenzie bandwagon and hope he really comes on in the vfl and gets back on the list.
 

GunSchwatta

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Actually feel for Jamie. Looks to have shed weight which when you're starting off as an in-shape athlete must mean a lot of empty stomachs, green teas and poached fish. Was clearly trying hard but the easily sidestepped tackles were on show alongside a few uncharacteristic loose kicks.
Not going to jump into Macmillan unfairly as every second thread includes that thanks to a certain someone, but uncharateristic loose kicks? Really?

Crikey I think at his best he can contribute, but his kicking has near done me in throughout his entire career.
 

Pykie

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Watched the game finally today. Not worried, was a praccy and we had a third of our best 22 out (at least).

HOWEVER, is there a more disappointing D50 exiting team in the comp than NMFC at the moment? Jmac, McDonald and Atley are the best we've got but jeeze, don't see how we're going to be successful with them. They can't hit a target out of defense, struggle to run back when the ball rebounds and dont provide enough run.
We have the worst batch of medium defenders in the league.

We as supporters have become accustom to them, become loyal to them etc.

However Williams, McDonald, MacMillan, Atley, Pittard as a group is ******* ordinary on a league level.

Most on this board make out like we have Pickett, King, Blakey, Archer and Pike down there.

I think Pittard is a pretty good player and certainly performed closer to his AA squad year last year than some previous ones. However, he's not exactly a top 4-5 medium defender in the league and even he stood out like dogs balls last year. I know he's a fan favorite, however, he's very much a wait and see for me, to ensure he backs up 2019, rather than reverting to his 2018 form for Port.


I've said it throughout pre-season, whilst Williams is a good, bordering great, 1-on-1 small/medium defender, you just can't afford to carry his footskills in a top 4 side. I've no doubt he would get fully exposed in a tight pressurized Prelim or GF. He just simply wouldn't get a game for a top 4 side at the moment. It's more an indictment on the defensive ability of the others in the area, rather than Marley, as I love his endeavor, effort and pace. If he was better with ball in hand he's probably be one of the best small defenders in the league. Turnovers are just death in the league at the moment.

MacMillan is basically Williams, minus the defensive ability at the moment, with an ability to rack the ball up 20+ times a game. Not a great combination. His weight loss seems to have correlated with his footskills turning to complete shit. There's no way he'd be playing regular football at a top side at the moment. He gets regularly exposed defensively and is a turnover merchant with the ball....

Atley will play his 200th game in Rnd 3, last year was his first season with an average of 20+ disposals. He owes the club a few years of very good football. Again, I feel he's a guy that has had an extremely cruisey career to date, in a very good defensive unit, I doubt he's played even 70% of the games he's played for us so far.

McDonald is a wait and see. But I'm not very hopeful, like his mates down there, his footskills go to complete water under pressure. His football brain and decision making is terrible. I don't think it's necessarily athletic/skill/ability with Luke, just between the ears. He regularly tries ridiculous options, glory kicks and just plain bad decisions. Doesn't regularly get to the right spots, bombs away blindly just trying to roost the ball like it's an u/13's juniors match etc. Which is pretty damm disappointing considering by this stage of his career, he should be an absolute gun HBF. He seems like a larrikin off the field and certainly plays like a pretty immature player on it...




The med. defender situation needs to be seriously addressed in the FA market or the draft over the next couple of years as these guys should all be in their primes and are all decidedly average at the moment with the exception of Atley and Pittard on occasions.
 
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King Corey

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Not going to jump into Macmillan unfairly as every second thread includes that thanks to a certain someone, but uncharateristic loose kicks? Really?

Crikey I think at his best he can contribute, but his kicking has near done me in throughout his entire career.
Look, I'm far from a MacMillan fanboy. But I reckon he has a reasonable (not exceptional) mid-range passing kick in space. Against the dogs even that deserted him.

You can clearly see the guy has worked really hard to come in at a more mobile weight which as mentioned is no mean feat when he was far from a boombah to start with. So am hoping he gets some reward for that discipline.
 

GunSchwatta

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Look, I'm far from a MacMillan fanboy. But I reckon he has a reasonable (not exceptional) mid-range passing kick in space. Against the dogs even that deserted him.

You can clearly see the guy has worked really hard to come in at a more mobile weight which as mentioned is no mean feat when he was far from a boombah to start with. So am hoping he gets some reward for that discipline.
Fair enough, I agree discipline a strong point which is reflected in his leadership roles i suspect, but we will have to disagree on this.

Whenever Macmillan touches the footy I have a near panic attack on what will happen next. Have done for years.
 

Merlin007

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We have the worst batch of medium defenders in the league.

We as supporters have become accustom to them, become loyal to them etc.

However Williams, McDonald, MacMillan, Atley, Pittard as a group is ******* ordinary on a league level.
This structural weakness, together with his own inconsistency in the forward line, helps explain Wood being trialled at HBF. Presumably he gets at run in the next couple of praccy games, and maybe Turner replaces Williams as the lock down?
 

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Long Live the King

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Attempting to take a constructive approach to my criticism of Macmillan / Atley / Turner...I recall that when they started their careers J Mac was considered a natural born leader, Atley brought game breaking speed and Turner a fearless attack on the ball........surely its time to add another dimension to their game....
 

The acurate one

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We have the worst batch of medium defenders in the league.

We as supporters have become accustom to them, become loyal to them etc.

However Williams, McDonald, MacMillan, Atley, Pittard as a group is ******* ordinary on a league level.

Most on this board make out like we have Pickett, King, Blakey, Archer and Pike down there.

I think Pittard is a pretty good player and certainly performed closer to his AA squad year last year than some previous ones. However, he's not exactly a top 4-5 medium defender in the league and even he stood out like dogs balls last year. I know he's a fan favorite, however, he's very much a wait and see for me, to ensure he backs up 2019, rather than reverting to his 2018 form for Port.


I've said it throughout pre-season, whilst Williams is a good, bordering great, 1-on-1 small/medium defender, you just can't afford to carry his footskills in a top 4 side. I've no doubt he would get fully exposed in a tight pressurized Prelim or GF. He just simply wouldn't get a game for a top 4 side at the moment. It's more an indictment on the defensive ability of the others in the area, rather than Marley, as I love his endeavor, effort and pace. If he was better with ball in hand he's probably be one of the best small defenders in the league. Turnovers are just death in the league at the moment.

MacMillan is basically Williams, minus the defensive ability at the moment, with an ability to rack the ball up 20+ times a game. Not a great combination. His weight loss seems to have correlated with his footskills turning to complete shit. There's no way he'd be playing regular football at a top side at the moment. He gets regularly exposed defensively and is a turnover merchant with the ball....

Atley will play his 200th game in Rnd 3, last year was his first season with an average of 20+ disposals. He owes the club a few years of very good football. Again, I feel he's a guy that has had an extremely cruisey career to date, in a very good defensive unit, I doubt he's played even 70% of the games he's played for us so far.

McDonald is a wait and see. But I'm not very hopeful, like his mates down there, his footskills go to complete water under pressure. His football brain and decision making is terrible. I don't think it's necessarily athletic/skill/ability with Luke, just between the ears. He regularly tries ridiculous options, glory kicks and just plain bad decisions. Doesn't regularly get to the right spots, bombs away blindly just trying to roost the ball like it's an u/13's juniors match etc. Which is pretty damm disappointing considering by this stage of his career, he should be an absolute gun HBF. He seems like a larrikin off the field and certainly plays like a pretty immature player on it...




The med. defender situation needs to be seriously addressed in the FA market or the draft over the next couple of years as these guys should all be in their primes and are all decidedly average at the moment with the exception of Atley and Pittard on occasions.
ouch!!
 

Billy Not Really

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We have the worst batch of medium defenders in the league.

We as supporters have become accustom to them, become loyal to them etc.

However Williams, McDonald, MacMillan, Atley, Pittard as a group is ******* ordinary on a league level.

Most on this board make out like we have Pickett, King, Blakey, Archer and Pike down there.

I think Pittard is a pretty good player and certainly performed closer to his AA squad year last year than some previous ones. However, he's not exactly a top 4-5 medium defender in the league and even he stood out like dogs balls last year. I know he's a fan favorite, however, he's very much a wait and see for me, to ensure he backs up 2019, rather than reverting to his 2018 form for Port.


I've said it throughout pre-season, whilst Williams is a good, bordering great, 1-on-1 small/medium defender, you just can't afford to carry his footskills in a top 4 side. I've no doubt he would get fully exposed in a tight pressurized Prelim or GF. He just simply wouldn't get a game for a top 4 side at the moment. It's more an indictment on the defensive ability of the others in the area, rather than Marley, as I love his endeavor, effort and pace. If he was better with ball in hand he's probably be one of the best small defenders in the league. Turnovers are just death in the league at the moment.

MacMillan is basically Williams, minus the defensive ability at the moment, with an ability to rack the ball up 20+ times a game. Not a great combination. His weight loss seems to have correlated with his footskills turning to complete shit. There's no way he'd be playing regular football at a top side at the moment. He gets regularly exposed defensively and is a turnover merchant with the ball....

Atley will play his 200th game in Rnd 3, last year was his first season with an average of 20+ disposals. He owes the club a few years of very good football. Again, I feel he's a guy that has had an extremely cruisey career to date, in a very good defensive unit, I doubt he's played even 70% of the games he's played for us so far.

McDonald is a wait and see. But I'm not very hopeful, like his mates down there, his footskills go to complete water under pressure. His football brain and decision making is terrible. I don't think it's necessarily athletic/skill/ability with Luke, just between the ears. He regularly tries ridiculous options, glory kicks and just plain bad decisions. Doesn't regularly get to the right spots, bombs away blindly just trying to roost the ball like it's an u/13's juniors match etc. Which is pretty damm disappointing considering by this stage of his career, he should be an absolute gun HBF. He seems like a larrikin off the field and certainly plays like a pretty immature player on it...




The med. defender situation needs to be seriously addressed in the FA market or the draft over the next couple of years as these guys should all be in their primes and are all decidedly average at the moment with the exception of Atley and Pittard on occasions.
I'm finding it hard to disagree with this.
 

shintemaster

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Pretty tough... but I wouldn't necessarily disagree with heaps of it. There is, IMHO, way too much of the same down there.

Lmac is a very good lockdown defender with not a great deal of hurt on the rebound.

Pittard is similar.

Williams is similar.

Atley is a solid journeyman that lacks any elite football qualities (as opposed to his physical qualities - ie. speed) - or at least he or the team do not seem capable of using those qualities reliably. He's a good player in a good team... he's rarely been a good player in a poor team though.

Jmac may turn it around but I'm worried that he has completely lost any real hurt factor for us. His disposal last year was, in my honest opinion, an absolute liability most of the time. It's a pity that his ability to rack up ridiculous numbers has come about at the same time his disposal appears to have completely deserted him. Granted you need options upfield but even Pittard was capable of delivering the odd attacking kick last year. Jmac was 90%+ plus nothing disposal, not bad, just not... anything most of the time. Not a strong defender so without elite disposal he is on thin ice very quickly. Knowing where to stand and run gets you only so far in my book - end of the day you have to win contests that you're getting to or have some elite attacking attributes. I don't like writing any North player off but at the moment I'd be lying if I felt confident that he improved our team with a best 26 available.

There's a reasonable argument that we only need a couple of those guys - maybe 3 tops - in the defensive setup and any more is not a great balance of attributes.
 
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GunSchwatta

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It's a pity that his ability to rack up ridiculous numbers has come about at the same time his disposal appears to have deserted him. Not a strong defender
If I was an opposition coach i'd also let JMac play spare on rebound to get those numbers.

He is not earning those touches on ability, he is rather a link in our set up that other coaches have deliberately exploited.
 

Fish Sticks

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We have the worst batch of medium defenders in the league.

We as supporters have become accustom to them, become loyal to them etc.

However Williams, McDonald, MacMillan, Atley, Pittard as a group is ******* ordinary on a league level.

Most on this board make out like we have Pickett, King, Blakey, Archer and Pike down there.

I think Pittard is a pretty good player and certainly performed closer to his AA squad year last year than some previous ones. However, he's not exactly a top 4-5 medium defender in the league and even he stood out like dogs balls last year. I know he's a fan favorite, however, he's very much a wait and see for me, to ensure he backs up 2019, rather than reverting to his 2018 form for Port.


I've said it throughout pre-season, whilst Williams is a good, bordering great, 1-on-1 small/medium defender, you just can't afford to carry his footskills in a top 4 side. I've no doubt he would get fully exposed in a tight pressurized Prelim or GF. He just simply wouldn't get a game for a top 4 side at the moment. It's more an indictment on the defensive ability of the others in the area, rather than Marley, as I love his endeavor, effort and pace. If he was better with ball in hand he's probably be one of the best small defenders in the league. Turnovers are just death in the league at the moment.

MacMillan is basically Williams, minus the defensive ability at the moment, with an ability to rack the ball up 20+ times a game. Not a great combination. His weight loss seems to have correlated with his footskills turning to complete shit. There's no way he'd be playing regular football at a top side at the moment. He gets regularly exposed defensively and is a turnover merchant with the ball....

Atley will play his 200th game in Rnd 3, last year was his first season with an average of 20+ disposals. He owes the club a few years of very good football. Again, I feel he's a guy that has had an extremely cruisey career to date, in a very good defensive unit, I doubt he's played even 70% of the games he's played for us so far.

McDonald is a wait and see. But I'm not very hopeful, like his mates down there, his footskills go to complete water under pressure. His football brain and decision making is terrible. I don't think it's necessarily athletic/skill/ability with Luke, just between the ears. He regularly tries ridiculous options, glory kicks and just plain bad decisions. Doesn't regularly get to the right spots, bombs away blindly just trying to roost the ball like it's an u/13's juniors match etc. Which is pretty damm disappointing considering by this stage of his career, he should be an absolute gun HBF. He seems like a larrikin off the field and certainly plays like a pretty immature player on it...




The med. defender situation needs to be seriously addressed in the FA market or the draft over the next couple of years as these guys should all be in their primes and are all decidedly average at the moment with the exception of Atley and Pittard on occasions.
Not sure how you can say most on this board make out like we have Pickett, King, Blakey, Archer and Pike down there!?
I don’t reckon anybody thinks this...
McMillan, McDonald & Atley are consistently maligned on this board.
I think most of us are aware of our decencies in this area.
We should be throwing the kitchen sink at Zac Williams.
 
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Masked Avenger

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We have the worst batch of medium defenders in the league.

We as supporters have become accustom to them, become loyal to them etc.

However Williams, McDonald, MacMillan, Atley, Pittard as a group is ******* ordinary on a league level.

Most on this board make out like we have Pickett, King, Blakey, Archer and Pike down there.

I think Pittard is a pretty good player and certainly performed closer to his AA squad year last year than some previous ones. However, he's not exactly a top 4-5 medium defender in the league and even he stood out like dogs balls last year. I know he's a fan favorite, however, he's very much a wait and see for me, to ensure he backs up 2019, rather than reverting to his 2018 form for Port.


I've said it throughout pre-season, whilst Williams is a good, bordering great, 1-on-1 small/medium defender, you just can't afford to carry his footskills in a top 4 side. I've no doubt he would get fully exposed in a tight pressurized Prelim or GF. He just simply wouldn't get a game for a top 4 side at the moment. It's more an indictment on the defensive ability of the others in the area, rather than Marley, as I love his endeavor, effort and pace. If he was better with ball in hand he's probably be one of the best small defenders in the league. Turnovers are just death in the league at the moment.

MacMillan is basically Williams, minus the defensive ability at the moment, with an ability to rack the ball up 20+ times a game. Not a great combination. His weight loss seems to have correlated with his footskills turning to complete shit. There's no way he'd be playing regular football at a top side at the moment. He gets regularly exposed defensively and is a turnover merchant with the ball....

Atley will play his 200th game in Rnd 3, last year was his first season with an average of 20+ disposals. He owes the club a few years of very good football. Again, I feel he's a guy that has had an extremely cruisey career to date, in a very good defensive unit, I doubt he's played even 70% of the games he's played for us so far.

McDonald is a wait and see. But I'm not very hopeful, like his mates down there, his footskills go to complete water under pressure. His football brain and decision making is terrible. I don't think it's necessarily athletic/skill/ability with Luke, just between the ears. He regularly tries ridiculous options, glory kicks and just plain bad decisions. Doesn't regularly get to the right spots, bombs away blindly just trying to roost the ball like it's an u/13's juniors match etc. Which is pretty damm disappointing considering by this stage of his career, he should be an absolute gun HBF. He seems like a larrikin off the field and certainly plays like a pretty immature player on it...




The med. defender situation needs to be seriously addressed in the FA market or the draft over the next couple of years as these guys should all be in their primes and are all decidedly average at the moment with the exception of Atley and Pittard on occasions.
My immediate reaction upon reading your post was that you're a touch harsh on Williams and Pittard. I think those two by league standards are above the average for medium defenders. Their positive attributes significantly outweigh their weaknesses. The problem lies in the fact the other three are imo below average and any positive attributes are lost in their weaknesses. As a unit, they're miles off as you point out. Change is the only solution. Maybe we need to push budding midfielders back there.
 

LuvtheKangas

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My immediate reaction upon reading your post was that you're a touch harsh on Williams and Pittard. I think those two by league standards are above the average for medium defenders. Their positive attributes significantly outweigh their weaknesses. The problem lies in the fact the other three are imo below average and any positive attributes are lost in their weaknesses. As a unit, they're miles off as you point out. Change is the only solution. Maybe we need to push budding midfielders back there.
I would have thought that more often than not, we'll go with three talls down back anyway. Tarrant, of course, and Walker seems to be an adequate Thompson replacement but it's too early to lock him in. Daw and Durdin will get games (especially Daw) and we still have McKay. This leaves three back six spots and I agree that Jasper and Marley are two locks. Hoping EVW gets back to be the other one. In the meantime, Ahern? Even Murphy?

Not sure where it leaves the other three (Jmac, LMac and Atley), because Pykie's analysis of them is close to the mark. At their best, each of them is best 22, but only Atley has been in best 22 form in the past couple of seasons (and not for the whole time, either).
 

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