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Shaw expects team-first focus

Rhyce Shaw doesn't want his players targeting Ben Brown at the expense of better options against Melbourne.

4:22pm Aug 23, 2019

Gallery: Round 23 open training

Check out the best photos from Friday afternoon's best open training session at Blundstone Arena.

4:12pm Aug 23, 2019


Excerpts from The North Story, by Gerard Dowling

1900: North Melbourne failed to maintain their high standard of the preceding three seasons. After winning eight games and also losing eight, they had to be content with fifth place on the ladder.

1901: The first year of the 20th century found the North Melbourne Football Club unable to break through for a premiership. Out of a fixture of 16 matches, they won 11 and drew one to put them in third place at the end of the season.

1902: Once again, North Melbourne finished third. Out of their 16 matches, they won 10 and drew one. At the conclusion of the season, North had an aggregate of 683 points scored for them, and 546 scored against them.

A man who later rose to become Premier of Victoria, Cr George Michael Prendergast, became the president of the club in 1902. He retained the post till 1911, and during his term North won three Association pennants.

1903: The VFA decided to stage a final series for the first time. After 18 home and away matches, North Melbourne, having won 15 and drawn one, lay second to Richmond, with Footscray and West Melbourne making up the top four. North Melbourne would play Richmond in the 1903 Grand Final.

Throughout the season there had been very little between the two clubs, and so, when they met on this occasion, it was difficult to predict the outcome. However, North's overall team work and better use of their chances ensured them ultimate victory by 21 points, 7.6 (48) to 3.9 (27).

1904: A most extraordinary situation developed in 1904, involving the Richmond Football Club and an umpire named Allen. In mid-season, Richmond visited North Melbourne, with North winning the encounter by 10 points. Allen was the umpire, and came in for much criticism from Richmond players and officials.

On 10 September in a semi final, North Melbourne defeated Richmond by two points. Allen was the central umpire, and was once again the butt of Richmond criticism. North Melbourne would then be scheduled to play Richmond in the Grand Final. Allen was appointed as umpire again, and Richmond announced they would not take part with him as umpire.

The Association refused to be dictated to by an individual club, and they warned Richmond that they would have to forfeit the game. As a result of this stalemate, the grand final did not take place and the Association awarded the premiership for 1904 to the North Melbourne Football Club.

1905: North Melbourne replaced Richmond as minor premiers in 1905 with 15 wins from 18 engagements. Unfortunately for North, victory deserted them in the finals. They lost the preliminary and grand finals to Richmond on successive Saturdays.

1906: 1906 saw the opening of the wooden grandstand which stood facing the north west pocket of the Arden Street ground until the 1970's. It was erected for an estimated 850 pounds, and for a couple of decades it was the main grandstand at the Reserve.

North Melbourne was again a finalist on-field. However, they went down to West Melbourne - the eventual premiers - in their semi final.

1907: At the conclusion of a forgettable season, North caused a sensation by amalgamating with the West Melbourne Football Club with a view to seeking admission to the (VFL) League. However, the attempt proved abortive; Richmond and University were admitted instead; all that North and West got for their troubles was expulsion from the Association.

At a special meeting of the VFA, held on 22 November 1907, after some discussion there was a motion moved and seconded that "the North Melbourne and West Melbourne Football Clubs, having applied for admission to the Victorian Football League, they be excluded from the Victorian Football Association."

The motion was carried by 10 votes to one; the North Melbourne and West Melbourne delegates not voting.

1908: Early in 1908 a meeting was held in the Friendly Societies' Hall in Queensberry Street to discuss the re-forming of a football club for the area. A provisional committee was appointed to make formal application to join the Association.

At the next meeting of the Association, it was moved that the new North Melbourne Club (under new management) be admitted to the Victorian Football Association. None of the old executive were eligible for the new committee. The motion was passed unanimously, and North Melbourne were accepted back into the VFA.

Considering this upheaval, it was not surprising that the team's performance during the season was poor. Out of a total of 18 matches they managed to win only four, and suffered 10 consecutive defeats.

1909: All but two of the 1908 side were dismissed; those remaining being Charlie Hardy and Perc Speakman. The chief architect of the renaissance within the club was the dynamic Andy Curran, North's newly appointed secretary. He was ably supported by the committee in his efforts to revitalise the club, and to improve their performance on the field.

For the last home and away match of 1909, North Melbourne met the top side, Footscray. North had managed only four wins for the season, and was given no chance of success. However, the season was capped off with an upset victory, to make it the seventh out of the 10 participating teams.