Incoherent rant ahead: Wrong Move North Melbourne

I’m rushed for time, but need to get this off my chest.

A few things have upset me today. Most importantly, our PM’s sickening attempt to score political points from the photo of the dead 3 year old boy on a beach in Turkey. Less importantly, North’s decision to rest half its team for tonight’s game against the Tigers.

Call it tanking, player management, playing the long game, whatever. North’s tactics are wrong.

Firstly, this move is disrespectful to fans and members (me included) who pay their money and turn up each week. What is the point in attending a game in which North isn’t giving itself the best chance of winning? Brad Scott is ‘insulted’ by media suggestions North aren’t playing to win. Actually Brad, its the members who are insulted.

And the game. North is disrespecting footy itself. The football Gods may punish down the track.

And Richmond. And the Crows. And the television audience.

As Paul Daffey’s text said this morning, North’s tactics may damage its culture. At at time when players and staff should be concentrating on winning every game, anytime, anywhere, against any opponent, this week’s approach will at least distract everyone from this course. Asking the players on Monday to reset for a finals campaign will be difficult and uncomfortable. If I were in the players’ boots, I would be distracted, embarrassed, more than a little bit sheepish, making finals preparation difficult.

Tanking is not part of North’s culture. Look what has happened to the culture of those clubs who have played to lose in the past. How are Melbourne and Carlton travelling?

Trying to avoid the Dogs and the Crows away in the finals sends a message North is scared. What if its tactics back fire and North does have to face one of these clubs next week? How can North’s players possibly prepare mentally for the game? And what about the ammunition they will have given the opposition?

Call me naïve, bit I’m not going tonight.

Don’t get me started on the PM.

(Sorry, incoherent rant, but had to get it off my chest.)


  1. Peter Flynn says


  2. Cheryl Critchley says

    Well said Andrew! We just put out an AFL Fans Association press release making some similar points. As a Richmond fan, urged by my club and thinking it may be a sell-out, I purchased four reserved seats to this game on the day they went on sale – two adult and two child. They are now worthless. I could easily rock up and pay my $25 but ended up paying double that on the promise of a big game that might sell out. I’m not worried about my money but the principle. If North loses tonight then beats us next week with their fresher legs, that will be an outrage. We were already dudded in 2013 after having to play Carlton when Essendon was banned from the finals, so such a situation would seriously disillusion many Richmond fans. Not to mention Adelaide fans almost certainly set to miss out on the chance of a home final. The whole thing stinks!

  3. Ben Footner says

    As an Adelaide fan I’m disappointed about the way this whole situation has panned out.

    On the other hand though, realistically I don’t think it’s done our chances in finals any harm, and in fact may be of an advantage to us. Playing finals at the MCG in September is what it’s all about after all, and 20 – 30k people will travel over the border to be there against the Dogs anyway.

    Also, as a fellow bottom half of the 8 competitor, if North Melbourne want to flirt with their form in such a manner, then all the better for us I think.

  4. Starks, my fellow Shinboner (oops, Brad doesn’t want that word used):
    I, too, am most disheartened by this entire episode.
    Just disappointed and flat.
    Feel for those like Cheryl C who pre-purchased tickets.

    (But could not care a jot for those who wagered money on the game)

  5. Agree with Peter, entirely coherent. A similar but different whack to Josh Pinn: . You are spot on in terms of the appearance of making a decision out of fear and the potential impact of that on players’ psyches. I think Boomer is an interesting case in point – presumably they asked him if he wanted the week off and he said something along the lines of ‘are you kidding? I want to play every game I can’. You would hope every other player is too.

  6. I saw Dal Santo the other week…better off listing as “dropped” than “rested”

  7. Neil Anderson says

    The culture and reputation of a Club is so important no matter where they sit on the ladder. This morning on ABC radio, Peter Gordon was defending articles still being written indicating his Club was still irrelevant despite the good year the Dogs have had. Thank God he had the forum and expertise to fire back at the naysayers. If he was defending his Club about not using nine of his best players like James Brayshaw awkwardly did last night,, it would have been embarrassing. The North players WILL be effected by decisions made this week as they prepare to play whoever next week knowing they aren’t even supported by the Clubs not playing in the finals.

  8. Andrew Starkie says

    Have just spoken with a Tiger mate who was going tonight but has decided to head home and put the feet up.

    Good point Cheryl. Didn’t consider those with reserved seats.

    This has cast a shadow over North’s campaign.

  9. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Well done,Andrew spot on a absolute farce and pathetic lack of leadership by the afl and the clubs
    Good luck to the roos people responsible for selling memberships in 2016.While I disagree with what the roos have done I blame the afl more ( interesting that the roos are so keen to play the tigers next week)
    The draft order should be done on premiership placings now not after this farcial round

  10. Drama becomes farce. What a billing – the play-off to see who could avoid playing The Pride of South Australia in the City of Churches. now it becomes a dead rubber. But never fear, it has the amprumatur of the Appalling Football League. “Based on all the circumstances and expected outcomes of matches there’s no incentive for North Melbourne to deliberately lose'” Those are the words of none other than the CEO of the governing body commenting on the situation. You have to ask where he drew that one from.

    But it does put in perspective the manner in which they handled the Essendon injection scandal.

  11. Interesting reading from a club member perspective.

    Agree with Smokie – Punters can suck it up. Caveat emptor. Find value in another game.

  12. Throwing games is morally reprehensible.

  13. I’ve got no problem with North.
    It’s the system.
    Anyone in B Scott’s job would do the same.

    They’re not throwing the game. They’ll try to win, while blooding second stringers. It makes perfect sense.
    The system is set up to reward winners of finals.
    What gives you the best chance to win a final?
    Rest your injured, tired bodies IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO.
    And the way it’s all unfolded, North can afford to.

    No problem.

  14. Well said Andrew. As Cheryl says, the whole thing stinks. The AFL seems to be going out of its way to alienate fans, players, viewers, punters, whole states (exhibit A Tassie)…in short everyone who loves the game. Couldn’t believe the mealy-mouthed words coming from the Grand Poobah at Head Office. This thing is so akin to tanking it doesn’t matter.

    Not happy Gillon.

    (Don’t get me started on the PM either.)

    Cheers, Burkie

  15. Hmmmm Burkie, I notice a symmetry with you and Andrew re don’t get me started on the PM. I’m curious re how we can get you both started, and where it leads. Fire at will !


  16. If you don’t want another team’s personnel decision to affect your fate, don’t put yourself in that position. Teams have the right to act in their own self-interest in the quest for premierships. Round 23 is no different from resting players in Round 16 or 18, which is done all the time. And though I understand the frustration, once the AFL allow Freo to rest players, they have to do the same with North or they’re tampering with relative fitness of teams heading into finals, which could affect the results.

  17. Malcolm Ashwood says

    North lose next week good luck trying to sign members up for next season dumb dumb dumb decision

  18. 2013 Freo did same thing and upset Geelong at Simmonds and got to GF. North wasn’t getting a home final and now they get to stay in Melbourne. I doubt next week’s result will matter much to membership. Beating Tigers rested would seem a better chance to me.

  19. Malcolm Ashwood says

    The fact that,Starks felt compelled to write this article and the back lash from many roo supporters and the footy world in general tells us there will be repercussions.Aussie life and sport is all about having a fair dinkum crack and there is no shame in losing provided you have tried your bestrode win in this case it did not occur it was tanking and the actual game was reminiscent of the Kreuzer cup

  20. Ok.
    Now let’s get started on the PM

  21. Any feedback re the Bulldogs resting three players and loosing ?


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