Fearless – Round 12: Can the Brayshaw knockers take a hike?

Glenn Archer said it best on Wednesday night’s Footy Show: people who don’t realise this need to know that without James Brayshaw, we (North Melbourne) would be on the Gold Coast. Pretty simple scenario really…

At the Dallas Brooks Hall back in November 2007, I saw James Brayshaw take the podium and basically give the club an alternative to being relocated to the Gold Coast – stay in Melbourne as North Melbourne. These were the two alternatives…end of story.

Having conducted a survey of every North supporter I know, the response was very simple: it would not have been the same club. Such great North names as Ross Oakley? would have been on the board. Great – Ross played for the Saints and ran the AFL. No real connection to North, apart from maybe driving past Arden Street a few times.

Fast forward to 2012 and the Brayshaw administration is ticking the boxes required by the AFL to comply with its requirements for sound administration and additional funding.

Personally I can’t understand why previous North administrators want to come out and tarnish what has been achieved since the members decided to stay in Melbourne. Aegis Park and the training centre is no longer the fire hazard thatn housed local deros who burnt the place down. The foundations appear more solid than ever before. Obviously secondary markets such as Ballarat and Hobart are part of the growth platform. They have to be, given attendances at Etihad.

Funnily enough, a look at the 2012 Gold Coast sporting landscape sees the Gold Coast United A-League team folded, dwindling crowds hijacked by the maverick mining billionaire Clive Palmer. Gold Coast Titans are financially struggling to the point of selling off its high performance centre and not drawing the crowds. A rugby team nonetheless, in a rugby area…this is ironically the reason why it will survive despite its current state. This is also why the AFL wanted into the area. Hard to say about the NRL, but the AFL is ready financially to support the Gold Coast Suns. A crowd of @10700 saw the Suns host North on Saturday Night. Metricon Stadium looks better than Carrara ever did. The young Suns will be a good side but society’s desire for immediate everything, success included, is rather unrealistic.

Interesting times ahead for the Roos but the off field stuff is in better shape than it has ever been. We’ve heard the knockers – they never disappear but they can politely take a hike.

Rd 12 – Bye week 2: What’s in an umpiring decision?

BYE: Essendon, Collingwood, Fremantle, Geelong, Melbourne, Sydney

A 50m penalty against Juddy highlights the adverse effect of umpiring can have on a game. In the Eagles forward half, some argy bargy and a free and 50m. This came midway thru the tense last qtr. Suddenly a 10pt lead becomes a 16pt lead and momentum changes. The Eagles are a very good team and got the job done but…

Sando’s Crows looked set to send the Saints packing early on Friday as Kurt Von Trappett got off to a flyer with 3 first qtr goals. Ably assisted by old rookie Callinan, Walker Taylor and the Porpoise, the Crows had the edge until the last change. Then the Saints got a life and bang! Rattled off 6.3 to nearly snatch it, going down by 4pts.

In front of a massive crowd of @7500 at the Rooty Hill RSL carpark, the General made his debut for the aptly-named Giants. The 2011 #1 draft pick, Jonathon Patton, is the same dimensions as Jonathon Brown from the Lions and yet he’s only 19 – potential!! GWS nearly beat the Tigers but Daniel Connors the hero with 2 late goals.

Intense media scrutiny followed Gold Coast throughout the footy world over the last 7 days. Were they failing on/off the field? Before @10000 at Metricon, the GC Suns played the NMFC!!! Led by Gazza jnr with 42 stats and 4 goals, the Suns nearly stole it. An inaccurate Roos held on to win by 7pts, led by evergreen Boomer with 4 goals.

Brisbane led Hawthorn at qtr time at a wet MCG on Sunday. Maybe the weight of premiership favouritism doesn’t sit well at Glenferrie-upon-Waverley! Maybe that speculative title should be held elsewhere…there have been 5 candidates so far in 2012. The Hawks soon got the swagger back and summarily gave a 65pt shellacking.

Bulldog great Charlie Sutton would’ve sat with Mr Football EJ Whitten and smiled as the Foxtel coverage broadcast up to the pearly gates. The Dogs did them both proud as Port represented a danger game, having been in good form over the last few weeks.

Roughead, Jones and Cordy seem to represent the Dogs forward future. Dogs by 38.


  1. Mmmm.
    For mine, the verdict is definitely out on J Brayshaw at the minute.

  2. Jeff Dowsing says

    I could empathize with the Brayshaws North or nothing platform but I’d be pretty worried about the future. The AFL is happy to give financial assistance now because it has to fulfill a lucrative contract, but when the GC & GWS money pits hit home and the next rights deal(s) approach, I can see North being expediated and having its bones picked over like Fitzroy.

    If Andrew D didn’t hate Tassie so much and offered that as the option I wonder if North might have taken it back then. Would have been preferable to GC.

    The old guard may have made mistakes but they tried just about everything. They knew the GC option would compel the AFL to give the club an ongoing guarantee and an end to rattling tins and crap stadium deals. Brayshaws instead are facing the same uphill battle and trying the same half in half out interstate initiatives as have ultimately failed before.

  3. Jeff Dowsing says

    Just on Brayshaw, to me he seems like a nice enough bloke and his heart is in the right place. Unfortunately he suffers for comparisons to Ed who is connected like you wouldn’t believe, right up to the Federal government. And he has the requisite c**t in him that gets things done.

    The other issue I see with Brayshaw is by taking the popular road with the members his efforts will always be validated, but the harsh reality requires a bit more pragmatism.

    I guess it goes to the dilemma of how much of your club’s identity can you accept losing to be assured of keeping something worthwhile & acceptable.

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