Project Rebuild - NMFC 2023 and Beyond

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Johnny99

All Australian
Sep 15, 2011
831
1,160
In a house.
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I have a question for fellow NMFC supporters.

Majak Daw
Sam Durdin
Ed Vickers Willis
Ben Mckay

2 stay, 2 go.

Who are they?
Majak Daw - injury excuses. Had a cold and then tore a pec muscle in the gym. Imagine the injuries he'd get if he played a game !
Sam Durdin -reserve player
Ed Vickers Willis - injury prone. still recovering from a broken toe. How do you break a toe wearing footy boots, at training ?
Ben Mckay - reserve player.

Do we HAVE to keep 2 ????
 

Heaps of fun

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 13, 2013
18,896
41,928
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I just realised that our last bout of sustained success, 2012-16 where we played four finals series for two prelim finals, was really the last cough of the 90s team. Boomer was our last premiership player; he carried the flame of our 90s success. Wells came directly from the Carey trade. Players like Thompson, Petrie, Thomas and Firrito all had years playing alongside guys like Stevens, Archer, Simpson and Boomer of course. Individually successful players and leaders who had all conquered the league with a team.

The side was filled up with free agents but do Dal and Higgo come if not for Harvey and Wells? Probably not. We don't make finals in 2012, the season that was the springboard for an attack on the flag, without them that's for sure.

We still have Goldstein, Tarrant, Ziebell, Cunnington and Higgins who had exposure to some of that professionalism and North winning culture but the clock is ticking on them and it looks very unlikely they'll get to taste true success. It has been 21 years since 1999. 1996 came only 19 years after the '77 flag. If you've been following North since '75 or earlier you've never been this far from a premiership.

Whatever we build now is going to completely separate from the team of the 90s. The spoils of that era have been all but used up. It's not 2015 anymore. We'll have a couple of guys like Luke McDonald, Ben Brown and Shaun Atley that played alongside a North premiership winner but now more than ever it will be up to the people inside the club, players and staff, to find success in a brand new era with no inherited bounty.
 

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Passmore

Brownlow Medallist
May 22, 2001
12,477
29,154
The Gasometer Wing
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Norf
McKay and Majak.
For the record I think we keep all 4.

Majak - showed he is capable of being a very good backman.
Durdin - When he has played, he showed signs he has some potential. He played forward as a junior, so I wouldn't mind him trying that.
McKay - showed a bit on the weekend. Keep persisting.
Vicker-Willis - has potential but very injury prone. One more opportunity. I'd keep Vicker-Willis over Hayden. I think Vicker-Willis when fit has better upside with disposal than Hayden.
On that basis you might as well just keep everyone.

Year 6 for Durdin. fu** all games. Was immediately passed by Walker, now McKay. Out of contract. If that doesn't scream de-list, I'm not sure what does.

McKay is contracted so he stays.

Daw and EVW are probably on the edge, but there not really competing for the same spot. Hopefully both can get some footy before the year is out.

I'd expect Rawlings, Clayton, Luff, Shaw etc to be pretty brutal in their assessments at years end. They won't be crying about "how we always gets screwed" or "we never have any luck". Bring it on.
 

7577969923

Club Legend
Sep 20, 2018
2,546
6,247
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I just realised that our last bout of sustained success, 2012-16 where we played four finals series for two prelim finals, was really the last cough of the 90s team. Boomer was our last premiership player; he carried the flame of our 90s success. Wells came directly from the Carey trade. Players like Thompson, Petrie, Thomas and Firrito all had years playing alongside guys like Stevens, Archer, Simpson and Boomer of course. Individually successful players and leaders who had all conquered the league with a team.

The side was filled up with free agents but do Dal and Higgo come if not for Harvey and Wells? Probably not. We don't make finals in 2012, the season that was the springboard for an attack on the flag, without them that's for sure.

We still have Goldstein, Tarrant, Ziebell, Cunnington and Higgins who had exposure to some of that professionalism and North winning culture but the clock is ticking on them and it looks very unlikely they'll get to taste true success. It has been 21 years since 1999. 1996 came only 19 years after the '77 flag. If you've been following North since '75 or earlier you've never been this far from a premiership.

Whatever we build now is going to completely separate from the team of the 90s. The spoils of that era have been all but used up. It's not 2015 anymore. We'll have a couple of guys like Luke McDonald, Ben Brown and Shaun Atley that played alongside a North premiership winner but now more than ever it will be up to the people inside the club, players and staff, to find success in a brand new era with no inherited bounty.
Perhaps trying to hold on to the 90's for too long was part of the problem. Shinboner spirit can't replace talent, strategy, professionalism etc
 

Heaps of fun

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 13, 2013
18,896
41,928
AFL Club
North Melbourne
This is looking pretty spot on. We probably have 20-25 players we'll either want to or need to turn over in the next three or so seasons. Very little talent on the list and the best of it is split by a 10-15 year age gap.
 

DesertRoo

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 11, 2013
7,206
14,007
AFL Club
North Melbourne
This is looking pretty spot on. We probably have 20-25 players we'll either want to or need to turn over in the next three or so seasons. Very little talent on the list and the best of it is split by a 10-15 year age gap.
McKay coming on, pretty much saves our arse, our spine is looking ok which will help any rebuild a lot more then people think.
But completely agree, we will have pretty much half our list turned over in the next few years.
 

Psicosis

Premiership Player
May 7, 2012
3,684
6,056
Bird Rock
AFL Club
North Melbourne
There is a lot made of Brad Scott being sacked after he went to the board requesting a rebuild. There is absolutely no question that he should have been sacked, as he and Joyce had until that point neglected youth and development, prioritising bandaid quick fixes.

What I would like to know is, was he sacked because (1) he had spent the 3 seasons previous neglecting to rebuild properly and had essentially wasted multiple years... or (2) the board genuinely believed that we didn’t need to rebuild.

If it’s the latter, the board need to be lined up and taken out one by one, they are just as much to blame. This delusional thought process of we are closer then we appear needs to f*** right off and that can start from the top.
 

Mixed Results

Club Legend
Nov 17, 2011
1,607
3,848
AFL Club
North Melbourne
This is what our 2024 best 22 is looking like:

FB: Hayden, McKay, EVW
HB: Perez, ???, McDonald,
C: Scott, Anderson, Dumont
HF: Thomas, Comben, Walker,
FF: Zurhaar, Larkey, Mahony
R: Xerri, Simpkin, LDU

That's six proven players if I'm being generous and a whole bunch of speculative talent. After three more seasons, at least eight of those players could easily have been delisted. We also can't be betting on Davies-Uniacke, Thomas, Scott and McKay all fulfilling their potential.

If I'm running this club, goal number one needs to be developing this squad. A failed finals push over the next three years and then missing again in 2024 would put us in Melbourne/Carlton territory with potentially no easy path out.
 

Swallow_Wood

Team Captain
Jun 11, 2015
373
1,131
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.
Nice of Brady to post his plans here in advance.
 

The Dingrel

Club Legend
Jun 25, 2013
2,538
3,496
Brisbane
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Brisbane Bandits
Refer to Mckay, EVW, Durdin, Neilsen draft history. It's a mistake.
Defenders were always the kids not good enough to play forward or in the centre/wing at junior level. Draft is a bit of a lottery but based on nothing but stats alone I reckon drafting junior defenders is doomed to fail.
 

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Rooboy 96

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 3, 2000
18,223
9,683
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
This is what our 2024 best 22 is looking like:

FB: Hayden, McKay, EVW
HB: Perez, ???, McDonald,
C: Scott, Anderson, Dumont
HF: Thomas, Comben, Walker,
FF: Zurhaar, Larkey, Mahony
R: Xerri, Simpkin, LDU

That's six proven players if I'm being generous and a whole bunch of speculative talent. After three more seasons, at least eight of those players could easily have been delisted. We also can't be betting on Davies-Uniacke, Thomas, Scott and McKay all fulfilling their potential.

If I'm running this club, goal number one needs to be developing this squad. A failed finals push over the next three years and then missing again in 2024 would put us in Melbourne/Carlton territory with potentially no easy path out.
To be in Melbourne territory would mean to not win a flag until 2055 ;)


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