Tag Archives: Kangaroos

A Crisis in Leadership?

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.

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Easter Sunday

Easter was a Flinders Island holiday with Lady Shinboner’s family this year, but I’d been looking forward to the footy all week,  particularly after all the off-field distractions. Nothing like a good win over the reigning premiers to kill the sensationalised headlines, I thought.  A ripper day and the stunning view of the beach from the holiday house wasn’t going to stop me enjoy it; satellite television was the only feature of the place that interested me.

North came out angry and held their own early. Hamish had the ruck covered. Simpson and Swallow consistently worked his taps forward. Gibbo was back on Buddy and proving his worth again. A few missed chances, but I was upbeat and relaxed. North weren’t going to let this one slip.

The second quarter tempo seemed to double at about the 5 minute mark. All of a sudden it was a game of run and carry, and no-one was afraid to take ’em on. The Hawks looked more polished. Hodge out of defence and Roughead up front. Mitchell was everywhere. Hansen took a screamer, but the Roos’ forward line couldn’t convert. Then Simmo winded the stuffing out of Hodge and I knew that North were still in it. Lady Shinboner asked if I wanted to go kayaking: “Not today.” 5 goals down at half-time.

Third quarter started with a couple of quick North goals. From marks, which was a nice change. I strapped myself in for a thriller; the boys were gonna make me proud again, win, lose or draw. But then the Hawks run came back and threatened to blow out the margin. North’s disposal was poor, the forward line cluttered and dysfunctional. Rebounds were punished. How’d the Hawks manage to find a paddock up forward? The 6 goal mental barrier was broken – time to visit the fridge.

Last quarter starts. There’s still a chance, I tell myself. Hawks kick the first couple – no chance now.

Then I see something I haven’t seen before. First Pratty, then Thomas and Wells, all lose their shit. Angry muttering, umpire abuse, stupid free kicks. And then Boomer?! This isn’t the team I’ve watched for so long, I thought. It really must have been an extraordinary week. Return trip to the fridge.

Lady Shinboner returns: “How they going?” I should have gone kayaking.

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