After a fascinating pre-season for North Melbourne Football Club, Rev. Shinboner picks his best 22.
FB: McMahon Thompson Rawlings
HB: Firrito Grima Hansen
C: Wells Ziebell Anthony
HF: Warren Smith Harvey
F: Campbell Petrie Thomas
Foll: McIntosh Greenwood Swallow
Int: Goldstein Wright Harding Adams
E: Lower Urquhart Jones
Stiff: Daniel Pratt, David Hale, Gavin Urquhart, Cruize Garlett, Ed Lower, Ben Ross, Corey Jones, Aaron Edwards, Robbie Tarrant, Ryan Bastinac and Ben Cunnington. The striking thing one discovers in doing the exercise (made easier by the AFL’s team selection tool here) is the depth of the North Melbourne list – something which has been decidedly thin in previous years. I found it impossible to fit in all the players that I think deserve senior selection.
Line ball: While Petrie remains North’s key go-to forward, and Warren’s white-hot pre-season form ensures his place on the half-forward line, there remains room for one more power forward. This will be fought out by Edwards, Smith, Jones, Hale and Tarrant, with the possibility of Aaron Black and Nathan O’Keefe slipping into the mix later in the season. A live audition for the role will take place over the first two rounds with Petrie out suspended. At this point, Josh Smith gets the nod from me.
Midfield rotations: Injuries and fitness will no doubt play a significant role in the midfield mix, with Brad Scott’s game plan demanding high intensive and hard running like never before. Given the depth of midfield options, I wouldn’t be surprised to see players rested throughout the season to ensure the team goes the distance. This should also enable Scott to blood a couple of newbies when the opportunity arises.
Let me know where I got it wrong!