Kanga Kings : North Melbourne’s Best 22 (1997-2014)

I’ve been following North Melbourne for 18 years since the sad demise of my original team Fitzroy at the end of 1996.

Below is my best combined side of those 18 years of Kanga glory. There is obviously some controversial inclusions and omissions here.

Martin Pike, Nathan Thompson, John Longmire, Ben Cunnington and Jack Ziebell were all unlucky to miss the top 22.

Longmire was past his best by 1997 whilst Pike only played four seasons for North – albeit including a premiership in that time.

Thompson was very good at North, but only played three seasons (not including missing all of 2007 with a knee injury) and I didn’t really consider Wayne Schwass, given he only played one season in my time before switching to the Swans in 1998.

Abraham was unlucky to miss given his first three seasons were very good, but only played 72 games compared to 153 for Lindsay Thomas.

Capuano played in a premiership side, but was arguably never as good a tap ruckman as Goldstein has become. Colbert was solid in his 104 games at North, but arguably played his best footy at Geelong.

Craig Sholl just shaded Corey Jones in the starting 18, given his four seasons included the 1999 premiership and seven goals in his final game – the 2000 Preliminary Final.


Backs:                   Scott Thompson   Mick Martyn    Brady Rawlings

Half Backs:           Byron Pickett    Glenn Archer    John Blakey

Centres:                David King    Adam Simpson    Daniel Wells

Half Forwards:     Shannon Grant    Wayne Carey    Craig Sholl

Forwards:              Corey McKernan    Drew Petrie    Lindsay Thomas

Rucks:                     Todd Goldstein    Anthony Stevens    Brent Harvey

Int:                           Matthew Capuano, Corey Jones, Peter Bell, Andrew Swallow

Emerg:                    Winston Abraham, Leigh Colbert, Ben Cunnington



About Philip Mendes

Philip Mendes is an academic who follows AFL, soccer, tennis and cricket. He supported Fitzroy Football Club from 1970-1996, and on their death he adopted the North Melbourne Kangaroos as his new team. In his spare time, he occasionally writes about his current and past football teams.


  1. How about Leigh Colbert to CHB Phil? Archer to the bag pocket. Thommo onto the bench with Corey Jones an emergency?

    And swap Horse for Drew Peterie? Never break a winning combination, eh?

  2. Philip Mendes says

    The Wrap – all arguable points. But, although Colbert played a few good years at North he never really reached the heights of his Geelong form, and that could mean leaving out Scott Thompson who has been excellent. Corey Jones played lots of outstanding games for North particularly from 2005-2008 whilst Thommo was only really dominant in 2006. Couldn’t leave Drew out who has been one of the best marking forwards in the AFL from 2011 onwards.

  3. G’day Phil. Was Brett Allison not an option ?


  4. G’day Philip,
    An interesting exercise you have conducted here…
    You will never please everyone with something like this, but for what it’s worth:
    there is no way I could have Matthew Capuano in this team; I reckon Spud Firrito (230 games) is stiff to not even get into the emergency list; Winston Abraham? no no no!
    I would be interested to see what fellow Almanac Roos such as Andrew Starkie, Josh Barnstable, Rob Chanter, Matt Watson etc think…..

  5. Philip Mendes says

    Glen – you are right. I genuinely forgot about Allison. Will never forget that game he dominated against Carlton on a cold day at Princes Park in late 1997 when Carey was just finding form after his shoulder injury. I think Allison kicked five out of our miserable six goals to three quarter time, and then Carey went bang in the last to seal the deal. So he should at least be an emergency even though he only played till 2000, but who would I leave out? Same issue with Spud Smokie, good player but other good ones ahead of him.

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