North’s Kids

The mass media have decided that tanking is today’s issue. Whatevs.

But props must go to Darren Crocker, who is clearly trying to recapture that winning feeling down at Arden St, even if it hasn’t quite worked yet. Tanking is not an option. Clearly, Crock is using the tail end of North’s season to get a good look at the list. And what sort of list is it? Time to have a look at how this season’s debutants are travelling:

Jack ‘Jay-Z’ Ziebell

  • Age: 18
  • Games: 10
  • Goals: 2
  • Season highlight: 23 disposals, 1 goal and the rising star nomination vs Port (Rd 7)

North’s highly touted youngster and only rising star nominee. Played consistently for 10 games before breaking a leg. Looks the goods as an inside midfielder, play-maker and future leader. Will benefit significantly from a solid pre-season.

Rating: (out of 3)

Levi Greenwood

  • Age: 20
  • Games: 4
  • Goals: –
  • Season highlight: Slugging it out in the wet against Hawthorn (Rd 15)

Strong bodied half-back known for his hardness at the ball. Yet to show his full wares on the big stage, but was a valuable contributor last week in difficult conditions. Decision-making and disposal need some work.

Rating:

Ben ‘Milky’ Warren

  • Age: 20
  • Games: 9
  • Goals: 11
  • Season highlight: 4 goals against Brisbane (Rd 10)

Dubbed the greatest albino to ever play the game (by me), Milky took a while to earn a call-up to the seniors after being drafted in 2006. But his form across the 9 games he’s played will ensure he slots straight into the starting 18 in 2010 after a broken leg ended his 2009 season. Known for his hard work and strong dukes across half-forward, Ben needs to improve his kicking for goal.

Rating:

Sam ‘Dale Thomas’ Wright

  • Age: 19
  • Games: 4
  • Goals: 2
  • Season highlight: Did something whenever he got near it against Freo (Rd 9)

Surprise debutant after being picked up in the ’08 draft as a development player. Known as a game-breaker prior to joining NMFC, has shown glimpses of real talent. Great hands (biggest in the draft apparently) and likely to get under the guard of opponents for a while. Needs to work on his fitness and body strength, but an exciting prospect.

Rating:

Cruize Garlett

  • Age: 20
  • Games: 3
  • Goals: 1
  • Season highlight: A cracking one-handed mark and goal from outside 50 against the Dogs (Rd 13)

Little Cruize earned a mid-season rookie elevation after consistently performing at VFL level. Hasn’t quite found his feet in the seniors yet, but works hard and has shown glimpses of brillance. With a bit of fitness in him, and some better positioning work (that only gametime can develop), Cruize could become a regular player.

Rating:

Nathan Grima

  • Age: 23
  • Games: 7
  • Goals: –
  • Season highlight: Great defensive work on Johnno and co. vs Dogs (Rd 13)

While getting on a bit in age, has repayed North’s faith after a knee injury prevented him playing a game last year. Great addition to the backline who’s decision making will improve with game time. Strong body, hard at it, can spoil.

Rating:

Liam ‘Hollywood’ Anthony

  • Age: 21
  • Games: 3
  • Goals: 1
  • Season highlight: North’s BOG against the Hawks (Rd 13)

A mature aged pick taken at 43, ‘LA’ could be the find of last year’s draft. A foot injury held back his debut until Rd 13, but has averaged just under 24 disposals a game since. Consistently finds space and hits the target. Looks all class. Potential club pin-up boy, given his striking blonde hair and jocular media form to-date.

Rating:

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