North started the year well winning the first two games of the year then the season went downhill in a big way. The only saving grace was that the Club avoided the “wooden spoon” by percentage from Adelaide.
What went wrong?
This was the worst season North has had since the TV was in Black and White and you couldn’t tell if it was North or Collingwood playing. It was a tough season for everyone this year having to cut back on staff. North also struggled with form and injuries, having up to 17 on the injury list. They pride themselves on winning the clearance ball and putting pressure on the opposition but this was well down from previous years.
I for one didn’t see the game plan Shaw was trying to achieve.
What went right?
Even though a lot went wrong for North this season there were a few shining lights that offered a glimpse of a promising future. Bailey Scott showed that he has what it takes to make it at this level, as well as Luke Davies-Uniacke and Jye Simpkin, number 4 in the 2017 Draft and pick pick 12 in the 2016 Draft respectively.
With Cunnington and Ziebel injured they both took a major leap in their careers and showed what the future could look like. Luke McDonald also had a standout year.
It says something about the 16 rounds that followed when North’s best win came in the first round against St Kilda. Coming back from 31 points in the third quarter they won in a nail biter by 2 points.
During this game North were ravaged by injuries to Ziebell, Paul Ahern and sickening clash to Josh Walker had just one player on the interchange bench. Having kicked just 2.2 in the first half they came out after the long break a different team and kicked five goals in the second to run out narrow winners.
Todd Goldstein was one Kangaroo who brough his best consistently throughout season 2020. He averaged 14.9 Disposals, 9.6 Contested Possessions, 5.2 Clearances, 45.1 Hit outs and 3.9 Score Involvements.
I shudder at how worse off North would have been if he wasn’t playing.
Not much went right for so they didn’t deserve much higher. This has been a dismal year for North. I can only hope next season they learn from it and hopefully finish in a higher position on the ladder.