After 6 rounds and a couple of bad losses, The Hun’s Iron Mike Sheahan has decided it’s game over for North Melbourne Football Club. Not only has he written off North’s finals chances in 2009, he reckons they should have gone to the Gold Coast.
I reckon it’s a bit rich.
While I disagree with Mike’s on-field assessment (“there is just one course open to the Roos: heavy list pruning and rebuilding”), after the last two rounds it’s fair game. But he suggests that North simply cannot afford to bottom out. Not now, not ever.
The reality is, North’s off-field position is solid. Membership is just under 29,000 – roughly the same as St Kilda and the Bulldogs, both of whom have premiership aspirations. Sponsorship income is the highest in the club’s history, despite the financial crisis. But critically, North’s bold new administration are little more than a year into a 10-year master plan – a plan to reposition North Melbourne Footy Club at the heart of the local community. To write it off already is irresponsible.
But then again, it’s nothing new. Being sold out by ‘experts’ is part of North’s history; defying it is part of North’s character.