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North outlines next steps

October 12, 2017 3:03 PM

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North Melbourne knows exactly what direction it wants to head in and it only takes a matter of seconds listening to General Manager of Football, Cam Joyce, explain it to be convinced.

After missing out on some high profile recruits in 2017, Joyce has opened up to the club’s website podcast NMFC On Air, about what’s next for the Kangaroos.

“Our aim through this year has been to target elite players and predominantly midfielders, obviously Dustin and Josh certainly fit into that category,” Joyce said.

“They were players that were going to make a significant difference to us so that was certainly what we were endeavouring to do.

“Our next step is going to the Draft heavily with [picks] 4 and 21, which will be 22 now. Having four to five picks in the Draft [and] backing in our 13 debutants from last year and keep developing our list.

“We want to be really targeted in terms of what we do. We don’t want to just get a player for the sake of having some money and having some picks, [just] to say we got a player through this period.

“We’ve got a clear three-year strategy now with Brad [Scott] signing on for an extra two [years] as well, that lines up with list management, our TTP (Total Player Payments) and where we want to get to with our list and we’ll be pretty steadfast to that.”

Joyce said missing out hasn’t deterred the club and it’s decision to be aggressive with its list management.

“You always think about, ‘What’s the alternative?’ If we do go after Kelly and Martin and miss out, well we’ve tried to improve out list,” Joyce said.

The club bemused by media reports painting North as the only club that hasn’t been able to land a big fish in recent times.

“Are we the only ones that missed out on them? I’d be staggered if we were the only ones interested in Dustin Martin and Josh Kelly,” Joyce stated.

“We were aggressive, we know what we’re looking for in terms of elite and midfielders … we’re vindicated in terms of the players we were going after – obviously bitterly disappointed that we haven’t been able to get one … but we’re happy if we don’t find what we need to take our Draft picks, bank our money and reload again.

“In twelve months’ time, or 18 months’ time, it might be our time that we reload and we save our pennies and we don’t spend them frivolously along the way, and we can out ourselves in a really good position to target some players in the future.”

Joyce conceded some North fans might be frustrated with a perceived lack of action during the Trade Period, but explained the club wouldn’t be going after any players or Free Agents that didn’t fit the bill perfectly and suggested age was a big factor in the decision making.

“There is a lot of guys that would play for us … the other thing we have to be mindful of is the date of birth in terms of the phase we’re in, that we don’t try and get too top heavy or too greedy too quickly and we try and find the balance a little bit.”

Joyce added that just because North wasn’t featuring much in the media in Trade Week, it didn’t mean there wasn’t anything happening behind the scenes.

“We’re desperate to improve our list … whilst we’re seen to be not doing a great deal, we’re actually doing a fair bit.”

For more trade news, visit the NAB AFL Trade Hub, brought to you by Anytime Fitness.