Project Rebuild - NMFC 2023 and Beyond

Remove this Banner Ad

GarnerSmash

They tried to make me go to rehab
Jun 2, 2009
26,836
52,070
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Let’s do a bit of an experiment, using data that we have on hand.


What will the NMFC list look like in three years, at this point in 2023? Who will be gone and who will remain? In doing this it exposed to me the biggest strengths and weaknesses in our list, and perhaps will point to what our recruitment strategy will look like over the coming years.

Firstly, who will be gone? This is a list of those who I speculate will either retire or be cut in the coming seasons:
Higgins, Goldstein, Hall, Tarrant, Ziebell, Campbell, Jacobs, Daw, Macmillan, Pittard, Tyson, Williams, Wood, Garner, Durdin, Ahern, Hosie, Murphy, Crocker, McGuinness

So 20 players gone from the list in over the next three off seasons and of those 20 only three will be sorely missed from a playing perspective. Wow.



That leaves us with a list comprising of 25 guys currently playing, all of whom are listed below by type. Also listed is if they are somewhat speculative, ie. if they have not solidified their position in the 22 or have only shown glimpses of AFL talent and have been injured, or as senior players who may also be delisted or might retire. Also included is their age at this point 2023, giving us an indication as to how soon those players may too need to be replaced.


KPP:

Walker (KPD/KPF) 30y
Brown (KPF) 30y
McKay (KPD) 25y - Speculative
Larkey (KPF) 25y
Comben (KPF) 21y - Speculative


Our stocks are bare in this regard, with much resting now on the development of McKay and Comben, the improvement of Larkey and the return to form of Brown. It is clear that this area requires focus, with both Brown and Walker much closer to the end than the beginning by 2023. As we currently have Tarrant for at least the next 12 months we have time to plan for recruitment in this line, with a possible FA already in the wings.


Rucks:
Xerri 24y - Speculative

We need another prospective ruck to strengthen this area. A quality ruck is a real benefit and Goldy will be gone pretty soon. Xerri could be a nice roughhouse ruck, but that’s it.

Small/Medium Defenders:
Atley (BP/HB) 30y
McDonald (Midfield/Defender) 28y
Vickers-Willis (Defender) 27y - Speculative
Bonar (Midfield/Defender) 24y - Speculative
Hayden (Midfield/Defender) 24y - Speculative
Perez (Midfield/Defender) 21y
- Speculative

Its pretty scary to look at this list and see how weak this area actually is for us. Gone will be Macmillan, Pittard and Williams, leaving us exposed and relying on injury prone or speculative players to fill the void. We desperately need to recruit both run and skill off the half back line, as well as lock down ability, with much depending on the development of Hayden and Perez.


Midfielders:
Cunnington 32y - Speculative
Polec 30y
Anderson 29y
Dumont 28y
Simpkin 25y
Davies-Uniacke 24y - Speculative
Scott 23y - Speculative

Definitely an area of focus. Cunners might be gone. Polec is flaky. Anderson is, well, competitive. As is Dumont. Simpkin is a gun. LDU and Scott have shown signs to varying degrees. We need the lot in here.


Small/Medium Forwards:
Turner 27y - Speculative
Zurhaar 25y
Walker 24y - Speculative
Thomas 23y
Taylor 23y
Mahoney 21y - Speculative

An area where we seem pretty well stocked for the future. Potential midfield rotation also in Taylor, Thomas, Walker and Zurhaar could take pressure of recruitment in that area.

To summarise, we need in order (IMO)

  • Priority 1 - Midfield: Just a gaping hole in quality outside Simpkin, and potentially LDU come 2023. Some decent foot soldiers, but fu** me, they need help. That 2023 midfield is slow and poorly skilled, and lacks talent overall, especially if Cunners pulls the pin.
  • Priority 2 - Small/Medium Defenders: A very close second. It is such a spud farm down there when it comes to ball use and the replacements currently on the list are very speculative. We need to carry the current guys for another year or so as protection to allow the others to develop, then reassess.
  • Prioroty 3: KPP’s, specifically KPD options. Possibly get a FA this year, then revisit post 2021 to see how Tarrant is travelling, and how McKay and Comben have progressed.
  • Priority 4: Ruck. Xerri just isn’t enough. We may role with an average ruck for a few years just to compete as it might not be a priority. That said, look what having a gun ruck can do for a team.
  • Priority 5: Small to medium forwards seem good to go. Another pacey version of Mahoney would be a good addition.

There is speculation that lists spaces will be cut to 40, meaning we have to add 15 players to the team over the next 3 off seasons. I would propose the following recruitment approach:


Recruit via Free Agency
1 x FA KPP, 1x FA medium defender, 1x FA midfielder

Recruit via National Draft
4x mids, 4x medium defenders, 2 x KPP, 1x ruck, 1 small forward

In total, 5 mids, 5 small/medium defenders, 3 KPP, 1 ruck, 1 small forward.

I would also entertain the idea of trading Brown for a top 10 pick to give us more currency in which to draft the best players available to fit our needs. If we need to roll with Walker, Ziebell and Zurhaar as our other KPF option with Larkey for a year or so, then so be it. If we could get 2 mids and a KPP in this years first 10 picks then we can strategically focus on the rest of our needs from round 2 this year through to the end of 2022 draft.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

The acurate one

Club Legend
Jan 23, 2019
2,902
12,418
AFL Club
North Melbourne
The issue will be bringing in decent FA's, that don't tend to swarm towards struggling clubs.

The OP is on the money, and we're about to pay the piper. Our model has been to beat up on sh*t sides & replace good footballers with average ones. And that clearly was never going to work. We're lucky Goldy is so durable, the rucks in waiting will never be remotely as effective as him.

I agree and think it's time we looked at trading Brown, as long as we got a decent offer of course. Larkey/Comben would have to be it. Both are mobile enough at least, that's important in today's game- apparently 🙄

Most supporters get by on hope and we're about 12 months of having absolutely none. Assuming there's youngsters we rate and who would be around about our picks. Seeing young classy footballers with speed will warm the hearts of our supporters. and replenish our "hopes".



Who's our Higgo replacement ? Cunners? Goldy? Tarrant? FMD people!

Youngsters currently on our list suited to modern footy...

* Taylor
* Zurhaar
* Thomas
* Larkey
* Comben
* Perez
* Bonar
* LDU
* W.Walker
* Murphy
* Simpkin
* EVW
* Throw in Garner he's not young but has hardly played. Also not saying those guys will all make it, I just see why we drafted them. They are the start of a change of direction for us, which has been well overdue.

I noticed the Bullies debuted a small fwd 177cm 73kg's! I'm not interested in whether he played well. Just the mindset he went pick #15 in the draft. He's got some speed about him.

We draft a small forward Mahony who's slower than Dumont. Pick #34 in the draft.

Anyway it will be interesting watching what the club does.
 

winalotroos

Club Legend
May 24, 2011
1,392
1,122
Richmond
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Very nicely put together and I don’t disagree with most of it, the problem North have is it will take years with no guarantee that we would be in a better place.

we do need a clean out of a number of list cloggers, but how patient do you think anyone on this board would be when we are losing games each week for 2-3 years before we can see improvement on the gound.

i would like to see how we look after we get back 6-7 of our better players.

i think Shaw and his team will work though our list over the next year.
 

Mr north man

Club Legend
Mar 12, 2016
1,348
834
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Very nicely put together and I don’t disagree with most of it, the problem North have is it will take years with no guarantee that we would be in a better place.

we do need a clean out of a number of list cloggers, but how patient do you think anyone on this board would be when we are losing games each week for 2-3 years before we can see improvement on the gound.

i would like to see how we look after we get back 6-7 of our better players.

i think Shaw and his team will work though our list over the next year.
Are rebuilding starts now play everyone put In your Retirement/Trade/Delisting games into guys that won’t be there next year.
Don’t trade our 1st -2 draft picks
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

7577969923

Club Legend
Sep 20, 2018
2,546
6,235
AFL Club
North Melbourne
The issue will be bringing in decent FA's, that don't tend to swarm towards struggling clubs.

The OP is on the money, and we're about to pay the piper. Our model has been to beat up on sh*t sides & replace good footballers with average ones. And that clearly was never going to work. We're lucky Goldy is so durable, the rucks in waiting will never be remotely as effective as him.

I agree and think it's time we looked at trading Brown, as long as we got a decent offer of course. Larkey/Comben would have to be it. Both are mobile enough at least, that's important in today's game- apparently 🙄

Most supporters get by on hope and we're about 12 months of having absolutely none. Assuming there's youngsters we rate and who would be around about our picks. Seeing young classy footballers with speed will warm the hearts of our supporters. and replenish our "hopes".



Who's our Higgo replacement ? Cunners? Goldy? Tarrant? FMD people!

Youngsters currently on our list suited to modern footy...

* Taylor
* Zurhaar
* Thomas
* Larkey
* Comben
* Perez
* Bonar
* LDU
* W.Walker
* Murphy
* Simpkin
* EVW
* Throw in Garner he's not young but has hardly played. Also not saying those guys will all make it, I just see why we drafted them. They are the start of a change of direction for us, which has been well overdue.

I noticed the Bullies debuted a small fwd 177cm 73kg's! I'm not interested in whether he played well. Just the mindset he went pick #15 in the draft. He's got some speed about him.

We draft a small forward Mahony who's slower than Dumont. Pick #34 in the draft.

Anyway, it will be interesting watching what the club does.
I think that's a decent dozen to build around but we will need to be patient. It can turn around though. GC won 5 or 6 games over two seasons and now they look like they have a list that could be contending in two or three years. It will be harder for us though as we won't have the base of early picks they received from May, Lynch, O'Meara etc all leaving the club and I don't think the AFL will gift us a priority pick the way they did with GC.

We are going to need to snare some talented youngsters on the fringes at other clubs by promising them more game time and double pay packets. If we are going to genuinely rebuild I think it is time to be ruthless with our list of nearly men - those middle-age bracket players that stopped us being sh*te but were never really any good. So we delist the following players understanding it will be one step back for two forward:
JMac
Attley
Williams
Wood
Garner
Jacobs
Tyson
One of McKurdin
Turner

By making these calls we force ourselves to give the benefit of the doubt to youth.

We take the view that over the next two years another half dozen or so older players will move on and some of the younger guys won't make it. So over 2 to 3 seasons, we will move on up to 20 players.

With two top ten picks this year and the prospect of at least two more over 21 and 22. Those three or four picks have to bring in absolute guns.

The pressure really goes on Rawlings and the recruitment team to bring in more guys like Curtis Taylor who was drafted in the 40's but would probably be a top 20 pick in retrospect.

We arrive in 2023 with a young midfield led by Simpkin and LDU with Thomas, Walker, Scott, Taylor, and Perez all playing a key role and Cunners still a bull in the contest, Higgins seemingly ageless with creativity and execution off the half-back line, Jack Mahoney bringing back the notion of the old school rover with his footy smarts, fast hands and good decision making, Comben having established himself as the most athletic and dynamic CHB in the comp, and Larkey and Zurhaar as two of the hardest forward match-ups going around. To top it all off a rejuvenated 30 year BBB revels in the service provided him by the young mids and has an 80 goals season.
 

Passmore

Brownlow Medallist
May 22, 2001
12,476
29,151
The Gasometer Wing
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Norf
It's pretty ******* ugly alright. But you have to start somewhere I guess. Hopefully with midfield types who can run and use the ball.

Forward line looks ok. Larkey, Taylor, Zurhaar, Walker (hopefully) Comben (hopefully)

Midfield - Simpkin. LDU, Cunners has a few left in him, I'm sure Goldy and Higgins can play until they're 40. No? Ok, that's no good then. Polec is quite good when the game is played his way. Hopefully there is a couple of suitable types where we are drafting as a start.

Backline - Bleh. Lucky Taz is only 25. What's that? 31? fu**. I'm hitching my wagon to the Perez Porsche. Maybe Thomas could join him across hb. We could do with clean hands and footskills there. It'd be handy if we can patch Vickers up. And convince Ben McKay that's David Dench. Maybe we could get a look at Murphy again. Yeah I throwing darts, but there's just no dartboard.
 

Psicosis

Premiership Player
May 7, 2012
3,682
6,044
Bird Rock
AFL Club
North Melbourne
3 Years of Top 4 Picks is what we need.

It's gonna hurt, but it will be worth it.

Think the club has to come out and acknowledge that this is the path we are going to go down, and the media roastings will be less. Albeit, as long as you are picking talented kids over stale campaigners every week, which we aren't current doing...
 

3051

Debutant
Sep 20, 2015
97
258
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Wow such a contrast to the posts in this thread, made just 5 weeks ago: https://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/best-young-group-in-30-years.1241096/

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with what's been said in this thread - my view was probably one of the more pessimistic in the thread I just linked to, and 5 weeks in footy is a long time, but at the same time it really isn't. So what's really changed?
 

Shermanator

Didn't get Luke Jackson NMFC :(
Mar 23, 2001
9,568
23,901
Inside Ben Brown’s hair
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Wildcats/Pacers/Chelsea/Scorchers
* Taylor
* Zurhaar
* Thomas
* Larkey
* Comben
* Perez
* Bonar
* LDU
* W.Walker
* Murphy
* Simpkin
* EVW
* Cunners
* BBB
* Higgins
* Frog
* Gun midfielder from 2020 draft
* Gun midfielder from 2021 draft
* Gun CHB from 2020 draft
* Rory Laird FA 2020
* Josh Kelly FA 2021

We could turn it around faster than we think.. or it could go pear-shaped and we suck for another decade..
 

Psicosis

Premiership Player
May 7, 2012
3,682
6,044
Bird Rock
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Personally I struggle with the half ass rebuild thing. Like if you come out address it and say “we are going to rebuild: play kids, hit the draft, give us 3 years”, supporters will understand, there is clear direction.

At the moment we are getting pumped by the media because there is no clear direction. Are we rebuilding? Are we still trying to make finals? Are we picking the best available team every week? Are we investing games into kids for long term benefit?

I honestly do not know.
 

Top Bottom