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Todd's golden form

As an All-Australian and Syd Barker Medalist, it’s easy to take Todd Goldstein’s impact for granted.

12:44pm Jul 23, 2019

Optus Stadium open training

North Melbourne will hold an open training session for West Australian fans on Friday, July 26.

12:18pm Jul 23, 2019


Excerpts from The North Story, by Gerard Dowling

1880: Hotham had a reasonable season, finishing fifth out of the eight competing clubs with 10 wins and four losses, the remaining five matches being tied. By the end of the concluding match they had had 30 goals kicked for and 17 against them for the year.

1881: Hotham visited Tasmania this year, and the tour incurred a loss of six pounds. At Launceston they met and defeated a Northern Tasmania side and at Hobart they took care of a Southern Tasmanian team.

On the domestic scene it was Hotham's poorest season since the inception of the Victorian Football Association. At the conclusion of competition matches they occupied last place among the seven competing clubs. Out of 20 engagements, they could manage only six victories and there drawn games.

1882: The 1882 season was an historic one for the club. That year witnessed an amalgamation between the Hotham Cricket Club and the Hotham Football Club. The joint venture was aimed at effecting improvements to the Hotham Cricket Ground, their joint home from then on.

On Saturday, 29 April 1882, the first game of Australian Rules Football ever played at the ground was staged between Hotham and Royal Park; the spoils of victory went to the home side by the margin of 2.9 to 0.2.

1883: Settled in their new home, the club decided to make an admission charge. This was set at 6d, and operated for the first time on 12 May 1883. A further innovation for the new season was a row of seats that the club had erected around the ground for the spectators.

Of their 22 matches played during the 1883 season, Hotham chalked up a total of seven wins, seven losses and eight draws. An important individual achievement worth noting during that year was A. Todd's 78-yard drop kick which registered a goal in the match between Hotham and Carlton on 15 September.

1884: With a tally for the year of 64 goals for and 48 against, the club was able to win 12 and draw three of their 22 encounters. One of their outstanding players that year was long to be remembered; Joey Tankard's marking in his role as follower was an asset to his side.

The club's leading goalkicker for the year was H. Todd. He scored a total of 13.

1885: Hotham were successful in 15 and tied in five of all 26 matches played. Their total number of goals for the season was 105 for with 65 against. Only South Melbourne and Essendon did better.

The club toured South Australia during the season, being victorious in four matches played in Adelaide. In this year the club's reserve in Arden Street became permanently reserved to the Crown.

1886: When Hotham took the field in 1886 their uniform had been redesigned. Previously thin blue and white hoops had been worn, but the Association had been receiving a number of complaints from officials and umpires that confusion was being caused (with Geelong).

The VFA accordingly instructed the Hotham Football Club that from 1886 onwards their players must wear their colours in vertical stripes. This basic design has remained the club's traditional uniform ever since.

1887: The ranks of the Victorian Football Association had by this time swelled to 18 with the inclusion of three teams from the Ballarat district. The controlling body, however, ruled that only those teams playing 18 or more premiership games would be eligible for that season's premiership.

North's R. Houston turned in the best individual performance, but the collective performance was only mediocre. In all, the side had eight wins, 12 defeats and six drawn games.

By Order in Council on 22 August 1887, the Town of Hotham was proclaimed the Town of North Melbourne. As a result, at the club's next annual meeting, a move was initiated to bring the football body into line with this change. On the motion of Mr. Sutcliffe, it was unanimously decided "that the club be hence forth known as the North Melbourne Football Club".

Under the resumed banner, the team attained seventh position among the 16 clubs. They drew five games, lost seven and won eight for the year.

1889: North Melbourne travelled interstate once again, this time to Adelaide, where they won four games but went down to Norwood. Throughout the course of 20 games, North Melbourne won on 11 occasions, losing on eight and playing a draw on another.