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AFLW: CBA offers pay rises, longer seasons

AFLW players will receive a pay rise and the season will be extended if the proposed CBA is signed off by players.

10:21am Sep 16, 2019

Adams re-joins the family

Leigh Adams will return to Arden St after accepting the role of Development Coach for 2020 and beyond.

10:24am Sep 13, 2019


Excerpts from The North Story, by Gerard Dowling

Record: 14-7-1, 123.8%
Ladder Position: 4th
Finals: Defeated in the Elimination Final
Syd Barker Medal: Keith Greig
Leading Goalkicker: Arnold Briedis (53)

1980 brought to a close the marvellous eight-year, 200-game partnership between the North Melbourne Football Club and Ronald Dale Barassi. It had begun with a signature on a serviette, it had been studded with tremendous success - and now, sadly, the time had come for him to move on.

Barassi's farewell remarks to the press following his departure captured in a superb manner the special spirit that had pervaded Arden Street in the Sensational Seventies:

"The coach always feels lonely after a loss, but yes, there is a special sadness. When you understand it is your last game after eight years - a long time. People don't realise coaches love their players a lot more than it appears. North has been wonderful to me. I am a better person, a better coach."

Record: 10-12, 104.1%
Ladder Position: 8th
Syd Barker Medal: David Dench
Leading Goalkicker: Malcolm Blight (70)

Season 1981 ushered in many changes to North's public face. First there was the experiment of promoting Malcolm Blight to the position of senior coach while still playing, and allowing Wayne Schimmelbusch to continue as captain. There were also a crop of new players; among them Peter Spencer, Andrew Demetriou and Dean & Glen Dugdale; the sons of John Dugdale.

Barry Cable took over as coach halfway through the season, and at the end of the season North Melbourne occupied eighth place on the table.

Record: 14-8, 109.6%
Ladder Position: 5th
Finals: Defeated in the Semi Final
Syd Barker Medal: Ross Glendinning
Leading Goalkicker: Malcolm Blight (103)

1982 was North Melbourne's first sightings of the Krakouer brothers; Phil and Jim were destined to leave their mark on the football club over the coming years. At the conclusion of the home and away matches, North Melbourne had bounced back into the final five, with 14 wins and eight losses.

Despite elimination in the semi final, one special source of rejoicing for the season was that Malcolm Blight joined Doug Wade as a League's leading goalkicker by booting 94 goals during the home and away matches. That earned him the club's first Coleman Medal, and he then went on to lift his tally to 103 in the finals series.

Record: 16-6, 127.8%
Ladder Position: 1st
Finals: Defeated in the Preliminary Final
Syd Barker Medal: Ross Glendinning
Leading Goalkicker: Jim & Phil Krakouer (44)

North Melbourne took out the minor premiership, heading the League ladder at the end of the home and away fixture for only the third time in their history. This success was not confined to the seniors; North Melbourne were also winners of the Dr McClelland Trophy as Club Champions for the first time since 1978.

However, North Melbourne were eliminated in straight sets in the finals series by the eventual Grand Finalists; Hawthorn and then Essendon.

1984 - The Move to the MCG
Record: 5-17, 81.7%
Ladder Position: 11th
Syd Barker Medal: Kym Hodgeman
Leading Goalkicker: Donald McDonald (38)

A major development during this season was the decision to seek approval from the VFL and the MCC to switch some home games to the MCG. The aim was to extend this to a co-tenancy of that great stadium while retaining Arden Street as administrative and training headquarters.

Needless to say the decision to move was made only after an exhaustive exploration of the possible redevelopment of the North Melbourne Recreation Reserve.

Approvals for the move were forthcoming, and the North Melbourne Football Club played their historic first home game at their new venue on Saturday 28 April. Their opponents were Melbourne, the original users of that ground, and the Kangaroos triumphed over the Demons. They went on to play a further three home games there during the season.

Record: 13-8-1, 97.9%
Ladder Position: 5th
Finals: Defeated in the Semi Final
Syd Barker Medal: Matthew Larkin
Leading Goalkicker: Phil Krakouer (35)

An innovative feature of 1985 was the club's pioneering of Friday night football, utilising to the full effect the newly created floodlights at the MCG. Before 65,628 people, they played their opening encounter under those conditions against Collingwood.

After 13 wins for the season, North Melbourne finished in fifth place and earning another finals berth. In the elimination final against Carlton, North rallied from a 31 point half time deficit to win by 19 - a 14 goal second half the catalyst. Unfortunately Footscray would defeat North Melbourne the following week in the semi final.

Record: 12-10, 98.6%
Ladder Position: 7th
Syd Barker Medal: Jim Krakouer
Leading Goalkicker: Jim Krakouer (32)

It is not often that the activity over the fence actually outshines that on the field, but in 1986 that is precisely what happened in the annals of the North Melbourne Football Club. North Melbourne had to resolve some of the most basic questions that any organisation can face: Was it to survive in its own right? Was it to stay in Melbourne? How was it to survive financially?

Decisions were arrived at: North Melbourne would continue to be based in the city of its origin, it would survive in its own right, and it would provide itself with a sound financial base by launching itself on the stock market with a public share issue of three million shares. These were to be packaged in such a way that no one person could obtain outright control of the company.

Record: 13-8-1, 99.4%
Ladder Position: 4th
Finals: Defeated in the Elimination Final
Syd Barker Medal: Matthew Larkin
Leading Goalkicker: Phil Krakouer (43)

North Melbourne listed themselves to fourth place with 13 wins, eight losses and one draw when the home and away matches had ended. During that fixture, they had played the two new teams in the League, West Coast and Brisbane; the national competition had truly arrived.

Wayne Schimmelbusch broke Keith Greig's game record and stretched it to 306. That landmark was achieved on the SCG in Round 10, when he was so seriously injured that his courageous career had been brought to an unexpected end. Earlier that year he had captained Victoria.

Record: 7-14-1, 89.5%
Ladder Position: 11th
Syd Barker Medal: Matthew Larkin
Leading Goalkicker: Jim Krakouer (35)

It was an extremely difficult time for North, but Bob Ansett and his fellow board members were resolute in their efforts to survive and eventually to prosper despite the atmosphere of gloom hanging over not just North but all the Melbourne-based clubs.

The policy was to bring fresh aspirants through the under-19's, and that was one of the brighter aspects for Kangaroo supporters. New life had been breathed into the players' ranks with the emergence of John Longmire, Michael Martyn, Anthony Rock and Wayne Schwass, who would all make their mark in future seasons.

Record: 9-13, 89.6%
Ladder Position: 9th
Syd Barker Medal: Michael Martyn
Leading Goalkicker: Ian Fairley (28)

One historic highlight during 1989 was the retrospective Brownlow Medal conferred on Noel Teasdale, who had drawn with Ian Stewart back in 1965 but had lost on a countback. It was an important moment for the club as well as for Noel and his wife, Dawn.

This season proved to be the last that Ron Joseph would serve with the North Melbourne Football Club, which had virtually become his whole life since he joined it back in 1964 when he was 18 years of age. He had become completely identified with the fortunes of the club, in the process becoming the confidant of countless players and of many others around the club.