We need a SERIOUS injection of PACE

Remove this Banner Ad

the Ziebull

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 14, 2010
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I wish we were in the mix for Brad Hill
His speed and endurance combo is right up there

Jack Martin would have been good too

Riley Knight or Lewis Taylor are potential cheap pick ups to add pace

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Rad Roo

Club Legend
Aug 2, 2017
AFL Club
North Melbourne
to be specific we need pace at the center square meaning out 'in and under' type players need to be the pacey ones. Under scott, it's a tradition of having your physically strong players as your in and under type who happens to be the main ball getter. Unfortunately in today's game, your ball getter need to be the prime disposal type players who are your best burst players. Let's just freeze the shots a bit and look at the specific things happening in a center square ball up. If you win ball, you want to be able to burst out a quick 15 to 20 meters to get a kick forward. You could also do something daft with the ball to put it to the advantage of your team mate. Or else you have excellent lateral skills to be able to dodge and weave past 2 opponents to get the quick handball out and have that player burst away for a quick 15m to get a kick out. Perhaps the opposition gets the ball, you need to be able to constantly harass, chase and tackle them to pressure. If we look at the skills and attributes need for a modern day center clearance player, only higgins fit the bill and he is 32..............if we are still relying on him then we are in much bigger trouble than we realize.

Ziebell and cunnington are anything from what we require of centermen. However we do have quite a few players who have such skills just that they are not mid and under brad, he did not have the vision to morph players into what they could be. The ace in the hole is atley who is a no brainer to be a center man for a visionary coach, LDU and Thomas are natural candidate but the likes of Garner and Zurhaar should be rotated through there as they have such qualities. In all of a sudden if change the roles of ziebell and cunnington and let go Higgin, we open the door to transformation of our midfield to the needs to the current time.

(Log in to remove this ad.)


Premium Platinum
Jul 24, 2015
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Chance "pace" to "skill". You could be Usain Bolt with butterfingers and that'll do bug all for us.
If its true that we weren't doing skills training under Scotts and Shaws has reinstated it then I think our skill issues might need to be reexamined after the pre season. It might simply be poor training that made us look inept.


Premium Gold
Dec 23, 2002
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
There can be only one...
Pace is good, but Atley is fast in a straight line and we rarely see him chase down opponents, he lacks the agility, he has the turning circle of an ocean liner at speed and so his pace isn't as valuable where there are zones or congestion or playing on someone who can change direction at speed.

Boomer and Wells weren't super fast in a straight line but they had cat-like agility, Usain Bolt in his prime wouldn't be able to catch Boomer or Wells in their prime if they are zig zagging. I would target agile players and develop them on acceleration off the mark and hone their ability to get off the mark and change direction quickly, in footy it is the ability to get separation which is critical.

Too much is made of our lack of speed, you don't need to be super quick to move the football quickly. Port are a quick side and we made them look slow because we used the corridor and we made the effort to move the ball quickly rather than fart arse around with the ball. Sides that look quick tend to have an aggressive game plan.

I'd love if we had Willie Rioli, Liam Ryan and Lewis Jetta in our side, they are very agile players, they aren't slow either but more importantly they have extremely good skills. They are light of frame though and they generally do not accumulate a lot of the footy, they can do damage without getting a lot of the ball but you need to have the right players around them as well. When we had Boomer running with Wells, Campbell and Harper we were one of the highest scoring sides in the competition but we lacked balance and these players weren't raised on defensive mantras and executing zones, presses, etc so when we didn't win enough of the ball we often lost, and sometimes lost badly.

Since then we have been gun shy about recruiting smaller frame, faster/agile players. I think the majority of our rookie spots should be used on indigenous players, bring back some of our retired indigenous players, put them on the payroll and setup an indigenous program here which helps players who struggle when moving to Melbourne by having the support structure here in place to help them. I'd love to see LT back at the club in a leadership role, he is a great guy and would be a wonderful role model. I think indigenous players naturally have the kind of traits we are lacking as a club and it isn't a surprise as we have moved away from recruiting as many indigenous players as we used to that it has become a problem for us now.

Top Bottom