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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

1890: North Melbourne won nine and drew four of their 19 games played. During the 1880's and 1890's the post of club captain was never held by any one person for more than two years consecutively. This was in marked contrast to the club's first decade when Harry Fuhrhop had held undisputed leadership. In season 1890 the leadership was accorded to R. Houston, a very successful member of North's lineup at the time.

1891: North ended eighth out of the 15 clubs involved. The side won only three games, drew eight and lost nine. They had 86 goals kicked against them and only 55 for, finishing with the meager percentage of 30.8.

The VFA decided to appoint a sub-committee to draw up fixtures in future seasons instead of matches being arranged by club secretaries, as had been the case in the past. North's W.R. Mullens was the driving force behind these new arrangements.

1892: When the season concluded, the North Club looked back on a very disappointing year. It was in 11th position with only Collingwood and Williamstown below it. Due to the fact that only 55 goals were scored for them while 114 were scored against, North's percentage amounted to a mere 21.

1893: One of North Melbourne's greatest administrators took up duties as secretary. Alf J. Woodham was to render exceptional service to both his own club and the Association.

In his first year North again had little success. Twenty games were played, of which three were won and 15 lost. North Melbourne's goal tally for the season was 47, while their opponents amassed 116 against them. Of the 13 clubs it came an ignominious last.

1894: North rose to sixth position with eight wins, six draws and four defeats, and had a total of 72 goals for and 67 against. The season's achievement is even more praiseworthy when one keeps in mind that North Melbourne, as one of the clubs in an industrial area, was finding it difficult to continue.

1895: T.C Wilson led North in 1895 to seven wins and one draw from their 18 engagements. The club ended the season in eighth place among the 13 competing sides. A club player, Sicily, was nominated by the local football commentators as one of the Association's best ruckmen during the year.

1896: North Melbourne concluded the season in sixth place out of 13 teams with eight wins, nine losses and a draw, yet the big news of the season was a breakaway by the Victorian Football League (VFL). Despite their promising finish, North Melbourne were passed over for admittance into the VFL, and there were a few main reasons.

To begin with, North was not one of the powerful clubs. They had never won a premiership in their 20 years of VFA competition. They were also financially weak, as their locality was becoming increasingly industralised. There was also alleged hooliganism among a section of their supporters, and ill will towards the club on the part of the Collingwood Club following a recent torrid engagement.

One final element, which probably helped seal North's fate, was related to Essendon, one of the two clubs most involved with the breakaway movement. If the Northerners were to be included, Essendon stood to lose some of their valuable recruiting ground in Kensington and Flemington.

1897: North Melbourne had a very good season in the VFA in 1897, winning 14 of their 20 games. Eventually, North came in second behind Port Melbourne, who actually took off the premiership that year. This had been the closest they had ever come to being the premier Association team.

1898: North Melbourne were unable to regain their home ground until late in July. Its scheduled reopening had to be postponed a week, due to the state of the surface, and this allowed Port Melbourne to claim a walkover. During the year, the club suffered the death in office of their president, Cr D. Wadick. He had only been appointed a few months earlier.

1899: This season the Association celebrated an enlargement of its ranks to eight with the admission of Prahran and West Melbourne. This meant that it now had an equivalent number of teams to that of the League.

Footscray took off the premiership ahead of North Melbourne, which turned in the creditable performance of winning 17 of its 21 engagements.