Scott Thompson says he 'would love' Daniel Wells to make a shock return for Sunday's match.
2:29pm Sep 10, 2015
Star midfielder Daniel Wells could be a shock inclusion for North Melbourne's elimination final.
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Junior club: Kwinana (WA)
Recruited from: Peel Thunder (WA)
Draft: #2, 2002 National
Debut: Round 1, 2003 v St Kilda
- Line-breaking skills
- Excellent finisher
- Julie Harris
- Luca Construct Pty Ltd
Wells grew up in Western Australia, moving from his birth place of Port Lincoln when he was 11 years old.
He attracted the attention of AFL scouts with a blistering year in 2002. At only 17 years old, he finished second in the WAFL Sandover Medal, despite playing just 14 games.
Playing for the Peel Thunder, Wells’ ability to break a game open with his speed and disposal made him one of the top prospects in his draft year.
North Melbourne selected him with pick two, making Wells the highest ever draft selection in the club’s history.
Coming off a Syd Barker Medal in 2013, Daniel Wells looked to be rounding into a similar vein of form after the first month of 2014.
A solid 20-disposal game in Round 3 was followed by a superb 24-disposal, 3-goal game against Sydney at the SCG in a 43-point victory.
However at training during the following week, Drew Petrie inadvertently stood on Wells’ foot, causing what was eventually diagnosed as a Lisfranc injury.
The setback cost the midfielder most of the regular season, his return not coming until Round 21 against the Western Bulldogs. Then, on his return, Wells was suspended for two incidents with a man that would become one of his newest teammates in the off-season – Shaun Higgins.
However the number eight was fit and firing leading into the finals series and repaid the faith with a superb game against Essendon. 28 disposals and four goal assists were crucial in the 12-point victory in front of more than 78,000 people at the MCG.
Mid-season, from Darren Crocker
“Wellsy had an interrupted pre-season with his achilles, but considering that he’s been performing quite well. Perhaps he hasn’t been as consistent as he would have liked but from our perspective even when Wellsy hasn’t been as good as he would have liked, it’s still at a really strong standard.
“The biggest thing for Wellsy is staying involved, up on his toes. When he’s doing that, staying alert and staying involved he’s as good as anyone else in the game in being able to pressure the opposition."
End of season review
Wells' spectacular end to the year saw him awarded with selection in the 40-man All-Australian squad.
With 15 goals in his last six matches, he became almost impossible for taggers to shut down. A prime example was the season finale against Collingwood. Marked by Brent Macaffer all day, Wells had 21 possessions and snuck forward for two crucial goals.
Despite a limited pre-season, Wells walked into the senior side for Round 1 and turned in a stellar performance.
Much like the team, Wells’ form slipped before a superb burst of football against Adelaide and St Kilda. Back-to-back best on ground performances played a large part in North's revival. On the three occasions, Wells passed 30 possessions and North was victorious.
A calf/achilles injury in Round 20 against Essendon almost ended his season. Although he battled back to take part in the Elimination Final, he was well below 100 per cent and down on his normal output.
Wells used his strong finish to 2010 and turned it into arguably a career best year in 2011. He demonstrated a new found consistency and took his game to another level.
He set career highs in kicks, handballs (equalling 2006), disposals, goals and tackles to be crowned the 2011 Syd Barker Medalist alongside Andrew Swallow.
A quiet end to the season almost turned deadly. Following routine post-season shoulder surgery, it was revealed he was suffering from large blood clots in both lungs.
Wells had a career low seven games in 2009 and set about rectifying that by missing only three games in 2010.
Rounds 4 through 7 were the first time Wells had kicked multiple goals in consecutive games and he did it while still finding enough of the ball to damage oppositions through the middle of the ground.
His last month of football for the season was superb, averaging almost 26 possessions and finishing with an equal career high of nine Brownlow votes for the year.
- Disposals: 11
- Inside 50's: 4
- One percenters: 3
- Time on Ground: 65%
- Disposals: 32
- Rebound 50's: 7
- Inside 50's: 5
- Time on Ground: 90%
- Disposals: 17
- Tackles: 3
- Marks: 3
- Time on Ground: 84%
- Disposals: 19
- Inside 50's: 7
- Marks: 5
- Time on Ground: 78%
- Disposals: 24
- Clearances: 6
- Inside 50's: 5
- Time on Ground: 79%
Round 1, 2003 v St Kilda
North Melbourne: 4.3.27, 7.7.49, 10.8.68, 14.12.96
St Kilda: 6.3.39, 7.6.48, 10.9.69, 10.10.70
Round 10, 2005 v Brisbane
North Melbourne: 6.1.37, 7.5.47, 12.7.79, 17.10.112
Brisbane: 2.6.18, 5.9.39, 8.11.59, 13.15.93
Qualifying Final, 2007 v Geelong
North Melbourne: 3.0.18, 4.1.25, 6.1.37, 8.2.50
Geelong: 3.5.23, 10.10.70, 16.16.112, 23.18.156
Round 1, 2011 v West Coast
Venue: Patersons Stadium
North Melbourne: 4.3.27, 6.5.41, 10.8.68, 13.10.88
West Coast: 3.7.25, 6.10.46, 9.12.66, 13.14.92
Round 10, 2013 v St Kilda
Venue: Etihad Stadium
North Melbourne: 9.7.61, 13.10.88, 17.14.116, 19.19.133
St Kilda: 1.0.6, 4.3.27, 9.3.57, 10.5.65