Prior to the season began, North installed a new on-field leadership team. Boomer took over the captaincy with Petrie, Rawlings and Pratt the new deputies. A second tier of ‘unit leaders’ were also put in place, as voted by the players: Wells, Harding, Jones, Firrito, Hale and Power.
In looking back after 8 rounds of footy, you have to question their worth as leaders. Harvey, Wells and Pratt have all been hampered by injury, but in the games they have played their form has been patchy. Jones has been dropped indefinitely and Power is looking down a similar barrel. Petrie and Hale are yet to inspire, and Firrito has not imposed himself in the midfield as hoped. It’s fair to say that of the leadership team, only Harding and Rawlings have delivered. Both have played with intent, courage and leadership.
Interestingly enough, Simmo relinquished captaincy and is now probably leading the club’s best and fairest.
On the weekend, Dean Laidley seemed genuinely happy with how the younger players contributed, despite the 70 point loss. He made a point of saying how ‘coachable’ they are. Veiled criticism of the leadership group? Maybe.
So did the players choose the wrong people? Is it just a matter of form? Or have injuries settled the team?
I reckon it’s a combination of the three.