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Report: Round 10

North Melbourne has produced a gutsy performance to defeat the Western Bulldogs.

5:19pm May 25, 2019

Stronger together

Tom McKenzie, a North rookie, and his sister Ellie grew up playing footy together.

5:44pm May 24, 2019

1990's

Excerpts of 1990-1996 from The North Story, by Gerard Dowling

1990
Record: 12-10, 114%
Ladder Position: 6th
Syd Barker Medal: John Longmire
Leading Goalkicker: John Longmire (98)

In many ways, 1990 was John Longmire's year. He won the Coleman Medal as the leading goalkicker for the season with 98 goals. Nerves got the better of him during the last game of the year, and while he had ample opportunities to make it a century he just couldn't put through those last two necessary to bring up the ton.

Moreover, he became an All-Australian player, kicked North's record for one match - 14 goals equalling thereby the record for the MCG, and then went on to win the club championship as well. However, North Melbourne just missed the finals, finishing in 6th position.

1991
Record: 12-10, 91.2%
Ladder Position: 8th
Syd Barker Medal: Craig Sholl
Leading Goalkicker: John Longmire (91)

Carlton Football Club representatives made a daring and desperate bid to buy a controlling interest in the shares of the North Melbourne Football Club by purchasing a large parcel of shares formally owned by Bob Ansett. Their strategy was to take over North and to acquire their quality players.

However they hadn't realised that North's float had been so structured that no one person could ever gain full control of a majority of the shares. When the cloak-and-dagger melodrama was over, and the dust had settled, North had survived in their own right, and had avoided a take over bid or a merger with another club.

1992

Record: 7-15, 89.5%
Ladder Position: 12th
Syd Barker Medal: Wayne Carey
Leading Goalkicker: John Longmire (64)

At the administrative level, Bob Ansett decided that the time had come to step down, after his long and truly committed service as chairman/president during which he orchestrated tremendous changes within the club that saved it from extinction and ensured its stability.

Before the year closed, the board made the decision to appoint coach Wayne Schimmelbusch for a further two years. Obviously, they believed that he was the man for the job; sadly, developments early the following year placed a large question mark over that decision.

1993
Record:
13-7, 120.8%
Ladder Position: 3rd
Finals: Defeated in the Elimination Final
Syd Barker Medal: Wayne Carey
Leading Goalkicker: John Longmire (75)

Due to a 147 point loss to Adelaide in the first game of the night series on 24 February, Wayne Schimmelbusch resigned as coach of the North Melbourne Football Club on 3 March. The board chose Denis Pagan, whose success with North's under-19's had been unprecedented, and who had just coached Essendon's reserve side to a premiership the previous year.

After a third place finish and an elimination final loss to West Coast, Wayne Carey became only the seventh player in the history of the club to win successive Club Champion awards. There was also a campaign started to increase the club's membership, with special emphasis placed on it.

1994
Record:
13-9, 129%
Ladder Position: 3rd
Finals: Defeated in the Preliminary Final
Syd Barker Medal: Wayne Schwass
Leading Goalkicker: John Longmire (78)

In 1994, North Melbourne celebrated the 125th anniversary foundation of its foundation; it really needed a top season performance to commemorate the occasion fittingly and it certainly was not disappointed.

After celebrating its 125th anniversary with a victory against Collingwood, North Melbourne finished in third position with a record of 13 wins and nine losses. They entered a qualifying final against Hawthorn as favourites, yet needed extra time to get past them. The preliminary final resulted in a heartbreaking six point loss to Geelong.

For the 1994 Syd Barker Medal, the board decided to strike up a medal for each player that had won the club champion award before 1970 due to no medal being produced before then.

1995
Record:
14-8, 114.8%
Ladder Position: 6th
Finals: Defeated in the Preliminary Final
Syd Barker Medal: Wayne Schwass
Leading Goalkicker: Wayne Carey (65)

Once again North Melbourne progressed deep into the finals series, backing up their night series win in the pre-season. Wins in the qualifying final against Richmond and semi final against West Coast led to a showdown against Carlton in the preliminary final, where the result was a 62 point win to Carlton.

At the Syd Barker Medal presentation evening on 27 October, at the Carlton Radisson Ballroom, there was a special commemoration of the 20th anniversary of North Melbourne's first League pennant won in 1975. It was a happy and nostalgic evening addressed by Ron Barassi, the coach, Barry Davis, the captain, and Allen Aylett, the president.

1996
Record:
16-6, 127.4%
Ladder Position: 2nd
Finals: Premiers
Syd Barker Medal: Wayne Carey
Leading Goalkicker: Wayne Carey (82)

The North players had set themselves two principal objectives for the season. The first was to make the top two, and the second was not to lose back to back matches. By the conclusion of round 22, they had attained both of these objectives.

After finishing second at the conclusion of the home and away season, North Melbourne progressed to the grand final against Sydney by virtue of wins against Geelong (qualifying final) and Brisbane (preliminary final).

An 11 goal second half was the catalyst for a 43 point win, earning North Melbourne their third premiership after successes in 1975 and 1977. For everyone associated with the club it had truly been a golden year. The Kangaroos had triumphed in the Centenary Season of the AFL, proving beyond question that they were the best in the land.
 


1997
Record:
12-10, 111.8%
Ladder Position: 7th
Finals: Defeated in the Preliminary Final
Syd Barker Medal: Anthony Stevens
Leading Goalkicker: Brett Allison (43)

The premiership defence commenced in the worst possible way, as Wayne Carey suffered a shoulder injury in the season opener against Melbourne that sidelined him until Round 13. With his absence throwing the team into chaos, North Melbourne stuttered through the regular season to finish 7th with a record of 12 wins and 10 losses.

September brought out the best in North Melbourne, as they disposed of second placed Geelong in a cut throat qualifying final thanks to seven goals from Carey. They then defeated West Coast in the semi final, before another serious shoulder injury - this time to Corey McKernan - halted their unlikely push for a premiership to eventual runners up, St Kilda.

1998

Record: 16-6, 117.4%
Ladder Position: 1st
Finals: Defeated in the Grand Final
Syd Barker Medal: Wayne Carey
Leading Goalkicker: Wayne Carey (80)

Coming off an ultimately disappointing 1997, 1998 brought renewed focus to the North Melbourne Football Club. Wayne Carey, fit once more, wreaked havoc on the competition; his 80 goals good enough to earn yet another Syd Barker Medal.

An 11 game winning streak rode North Melbourne into Grand Final day against Adelaide as warm favourites, yet their domination of the second quarter resulting in only two goals and 11 behinds proved fatal for their chances. Adelaide stormed home with 11 goals to two in the second half to leave North Melbourne heartbroken on the MCG to conclude the 1998 season.
 


1999

Record: 17-5, 115.7%
Ladder Position: 2nd
Finals: Premiers
Syd Barker Medal: Anthony Stevens
Leading Goalkicker: Wayne Carey (76)

After only one win in their first four matches to start the 1999 season, it seemed that North Melbourne were unable to shake off their shattering loss in the 1998 Grand Final. However, from that point on their fortunes drastically changed.

North Melbourne only lost two more games for the rest of the season, and similar to 1998, they carried a seven game winning streak into the last Saturday of September. Thankfully, history did not repeat itself and North Melbourne comfortably defeated Carlton to the tune of 35 points - Shannon Grant winning the Norm Smith Medal.