Almanac Footy: I hope Browny kicks a heap of goals – A fan’s lament


I hope Browny goes to a decent club and kicks a heap of goals.


A bloody heap.


I hope he kicks a heap against North.


And wins the Coleman.


The Brownlow.


A flag.


Norm Smith.


I hope that big, beautiful smile of his is never off his face.


I hope he’s a cult hero who kids flock to when he gets out of his car.


And the football public forget he was ever at North.


And when he retires he lives a quiet, happy life with his family, and counts his money.


At his new club, I hope he gets a decent coach.


A coach who supports him.


A coach with a game plan that involves moving the ball quickly, with the least amount of possessions, and kicking to a leading forward or top of the goal square.


Not a plan that sees the team stuck in the back pocket for a full quarter. Or a plan that requires teammates to hold onto the ball at CHF, ignore leads, allow the opposition to crowd the forward area and finally kick at right angles to the boundary line.


A coach who realises through full-forward is still the best avenue to goal.


A coach who respects Browny’s talent and work rate and doesn’t scapegoat him when the team loses.


Who doesn’t drop him to ‘make a statement’.


I hope he’s on a list of players who can hit a leading target. Who carry their weight.


I hope the club he goes to gets to play at the ‘G’ more than once a year. On Friday and Saturday nights in front of big crowds. As opposed to the Dungeon, late Sunday afternoon, in front of myself and few other desparados.


I hope the club Browny goes to is professional, has vision, long-term plans, and the balls to make tough decisions that bring success.


I hope this club goes to the trouble of interviewing coaching candidates.


I hope the club isn’t run by former players.


Browny has been treated appallingly by North Melbourne. I hope it was he who told the club to get stuffed, not the other way around.


Prior to this season, he had kicked 60 plus goals three years in a row. Halfway through this year, he’s dropped.


And now he’s on the table. North finished equal last and have put their best goal-kicker on the table. Why?


Go back and watch – if you can bear it – the Essendon game. All night, Browny was double and triple-manned and delivery was shocking. Where were the Essendon defenders’ opponents?


Or, against Richmond, when North were boxed in the back-pocket for the first term and no one, no one, thought to switch to the far side to open up the play. They just went back up the line, as coached.


Or, the second quarter against Port when Jack took a mark at CHF, waited, allowed Port to flood, and kicked short and wide.


Why would Browny want to stay?


All the best, Browny.


God help North.


I am a rusted on, all-weather supporter. I back North in, no matter what. But the decision to off-load Browny is wrong.


How am I going to tell Eloise?  


Read more of Andrew Starkie’s Almanac contributions by clicking HERE.


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  1. Boneheaded decision, he’s such an asset to your club on and off the field. I also hope he goes on to win a flag elsewhere & I’m sure plenty of others would too.

  2. Colin Ritchie says

    Hard decision to understand! I reckon he could kick a few goals at Essendon!

  3. I think the problem started, as you imply, when Rhyce Shaw took over and won 3 or 4 games and suddenly he was SuperCoach and better credentialed options were not considered.

  4. I have no problem with last week’s de-listings, nearly all were predictable in my view (except maybe Murphy and Hosie). I supported that swift and decisive action. North had no other option but to start over again.

    But it is interesting…60-goal full-forwards don’t grow on trees, despite what people may think about Brown’s limitations. And cult heroes? We are not exactly brimming with them at North. Who is the face of the club now? Atley?

    What has disturbed me the most is the very public manner in which this is all playing out. The Higgins scenario is curious also: he has been excellent since coming to North, and at first glance is being treated appallingly.

    I just hope the f*#k Brady Rawlings knows what he is doing.

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Staggering decision. I would absolutely love to have him at Collingwood.

  6. Andrew Starkie says

    North are historically a ‘good, solid’ club – look at how they decisively they handled the Carey situation back in 2001. However, I struggle to have any faith these days. I can’t see a plan or vision. I don’t like knocking the club or coach, but the footy they produced this season was regularly below league standard.

  7. There was always going to be a pretty significant culling after North’s very ordinary year, also partly due to the reduction in numbers on playing lists for all AFL clubs next year. But to toss aside their best forward may be a decision they might regret. His form dropped off, but a lot of this was due to the playing style & delivery into the forward line. It made it easy for opposition to crowd up & defend. He’ll thrive in a team that delivers quickly into an open forward line, I am sure he’ll be recruited by another AFL club. Not sure the current North coach will though…..

  8. Knee jerk reaction by the club. This is where they should be sticking fat with him. If they can land and/or develop another tall forward option to play alongside him, that would take heaps of pressure of him and make the team more potent. You can’t be too predictable these days. Opposition defences will work you out.

  9. Phillip Hill says

    North have little chance of playing finals for three years and they had a list full of cloggers so I support the clean out. Unfortunately I doubt North will get value for any Brown trade.

    Shaw has done the hard thing and taken a plunge. It would have been easier for him to have backed down but there is only one way forward for North. The list has to be turned over and hard decisions are being made.

  10. Kevin Densley says

    I can see Browny looking excellent in the blue and white hoops!

  11. 2020 has been challenging for all clubs but it’s been an absolute disaster for North. When Shaw took over as coach in May last year, North marked his appointment by smashing the Tigers. Brown didn’t star that night but he looked so much a part of the structure of a really solid team. You couldn’t have contemplated what’s happening now. But in a season and a bit, that whole structure has fallen apart and the call on Brown indicates the desperation of the decision making. And that’s not even considering the financial impacts of this locked down season on a club like North where money’s always tight. I hate to sound like a prophet of doom but you’ve got to wonder if mergers and relocations might soon be back on the agenda?

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