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2018 Review: Michael Close

With North’s 2018 season complete, North Media analyses the performance of each player by using statistics, a coach review and season highlights. Next up is VFL co-captain Michael Close.

Close’s season

A season-ending concussion derailed a promising start to the season for North Melbourne’s VFL co-captain Michael Close.

The 24-year-old began his season with a series of strong performances in the Roos’ forward six, with a four-goal bag against Frankston proving to be a highlight.

The former AFL-listed tall led from the front, offering an ability to take strong contested marks while playing a number of roles across the ground, including roles in both the ruck and forward line.

Close was pivotal in North’s upset win over reigning premiers Port Melbourne in Round 7, booting two goals and taking five marks.

Close suffered a serious concussion against Geelong in Round 10 and missed the remainder of the season.

Statistics

VFL
Games: 7
Goals: 10
Marks: 40 (avg. 5.8)

Season highlights

Round 3 v Frankston: 13 disposals, 7 marks, 4 goals
Round 7 v Port Melbourne: 9 disposals, 5 marks, 2 goals

What he said

On learning as a young side
“When you’re a young team, it’s hard to find that consistency with your performances. There’s been games where we’ve managed to find ways to get over the line, we’re still learning.

“Hopefully as we get more experience at this level, we can put a more consistent from a four-quarter point of view.

“They’re only little things that we need to improve, but in a game of footy these things turn out to be very big things. We’ve just got to stick together and keep working hard.”

What the coach said – David Loader

"He was outstanding and set the standard for us at the start of the year.

“Playing and for his off-field work, his leadership was key. He comes with a wealth of experience, even though he’s not an old player, which was just what we needed.

“It was super unfortunate that he had a season-ending injury, really tough for Michael to take and affected us greatly as a club as well.

“We look forward to him being back.”

In the news

“The North Melbourne VFL co-captain copped a heavy hit early in the game against Geelong on June 9 in a curtain raiser at GMHBA Stadium, and was taken from the field to be assessed by the medical team.” – Read more 

“Fellow leader Close has led from the front, offering versatility across a number of roles in both the ruck and forward line.” – Read more

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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs