Great hopes for Scott: Kangaroos pre-draft

As part of a club-by-club series, we look at the new broom sweeping through Arden St wielded by Brad Scott.

North Melbourne Kangaroos Pre-Season Training Session

NORTH MELBOURNE
Live selections: 5, 21, 25, 37, 41, 53
Rookie promotion selections: 80 (Cruize Garlett)

Normally when a new coach comes in after a long-term failure like Brad Scott has in replacing Dean Laidley, you would expect the broom to be put through the list over the next couple of years. You only have to look at what Mark Harvey is doing at Fremantle for a recent example, or how Scott’s former teammate Michael Voss is turning the Lions list upside down. While it is true that an era has come to an end with the retirement of Adam Simpson, while in trade week the Kangaroos let Josh Gibson go to Hawthorn and may see Jesse W. Smith follow him for nothing, and perennially unpopular Daniel Harris has joined Sam Power and a few others out the door, there are still entire blocks of the North Melbourne depth charts that have not been touched as yet, and probably should be.

Primary among these is the tall forwards, where Aaron Edwards is a trier without the tools to make it big, whereas David Hale is tall enough but doesn’t do anything with his advantages. The kids Lachie Hansen and Josh Smith just haven’t shown enough promise to suggest that they can rise to the top of the depth chart. Then you look at the small forwards and find another set of underachievers and raw kids, with Corey Jones having well and truly lost the mojo he had a couple of years ago, and the tandem of Matt Campbell and Lindsay Thomas even more unreliable than small forwards have any right to be at AFL level. The likes of Sam Wright, Ben Warren and Garlett have also shown something but you’d think they’re going to struggle to rise into the top six of any finals-bound list.

While I think the Kangaroos defence is, despite multiple aforementioned losses of personnel in the offseason, pretty solid with decent depth, their midfield also needs a lot of work. No Harris or Simpson means a big hole at inside midfield, which is begging to be filled by Andrew Swallow a la Bernie Vince this year, with the likes of Jack Ziebell and Levi Greenwood providing support. On the outside there are still the star names of Brent Harvey and Daniel Wells, but 2009 fantasy superstar Liam Anthony will continue to shine here.

Draftees in the forward line and midfield should be given every opportunity in the new North Melbourne, exorcised as has been of the evil influence of the Fantasy Antichrist. Let us hope that Brad Scott continues to expunge the club of any and all influence of past horrors. And if one of his draftees gets a boo-boo in his footsy-wootsy a couple of days before the season kicks off, let’s hope he actually tells us.

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