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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


Record: 11-11, 87.41%
Ladder Position: 9th
Syd Barker Medal: Brent Harvey, Brady Rawlings
Leading Goalkicker: Lindsay Thomas (29)

Brad Scott’s first season as North Melbourne coach resulted in a big improvement on 2009’s 13th placed finish, as the Roos’ missed finals by percentage only.   

Although North finished the season strongly, crushing defeats against St Kilda (104 points) and eventual premiers Collingwood left it a full 21 per cent short of finals.

2010 also saw current day stars Ben Cunnington and Jamie Macmillan break into the side, with the former playing an impressive 18 games in his debut year.

Record: 10-12, 101.15%
Ladder Position: 9th
Syd Barker Medal: Daniel Wells, Andrew Swallow
Leading Goalkicker: Drew Petrie (48)

Another ninth placed finish meant the Roos’ agonisingly missed out on finals footy once again.

North’s season didn’t get off to a good start, narrowly losing at West Coast in round 1. After a devastating one-point loss to Sydney in Round 10, the Roos found themselves with an unenviable 2-7 record (North had a bye in round 3.) 

However, the club rallied from this point, going on to win its next four games, and eight of its remaining 13 (North had a second bye in round 21) to make a late charge towards the finals.

In this run, Brent Harvey played his 312th game for the club, eclipsing Glenn Archer’s club record.

Record: 14-8, 112.49%
Ladder Position: 8th
Finals: Defeated in the Elimination Final
Syd Barker Medal: Andrew Swallow
Leading Goalkicker: Drew Petrie (58)

In 2012, finals footy finally returned to Arden St for the first time since 2008.

Round 2 saw North record its largest winning margin since 1996, as it defeated GWS by 129 points in the first ever AFL game at Blundstone Arena. This was the start of a strong partnership between North Melbourne and Tasmania, with the club playing games in the Apple Isle since.

Led by inspirational captain Andrew Swallow, who led the entire league for tackles, North held onto eighth position, before being knocked out by West Coast in the first week of the finals.

Record: 10-12, 119.43%
Ladder Position: 10th
Syd Barker Medal: Daniel Wells, Scott Thompson
Leading Goalkicker:  Lindsay Thomas (53)

North was unfortunately unable to build on its stronger 2012, as the club dropped back to 10th by season’s end. 

One of the most memorable games of the season was at the MCG in round 18, when a 16 goal to one second half led the Roos’ to a 122-point win over Melbourne, continuing the recent success over the Demons. 

In round 10, Brent Harvey played his 350th AFL game, becoming the first North player to hit the milestone. 

Scott Thompson earned his first All-Australian nod at full-back, and while they didn’t make the final cut, Todd Goldstein, Lindsay Thomas and Daniel Wells all made the initial squad. 

Record: 14-8, 117.04%
Ladder Position: 6th
Finals: Defeated in the Preliminary Final
Syd Barker Medal: Ben Cunnington
Leading Goalkicker:  Drew Petrie (50)

2014 was North Melbourne’s most exciting year so far under Brad Scott.

After finishing sixth, North defied the odds through the finals, beating Essendon in the Elimination Final, before upsetting Geelong at the MCG in the semi-final, setting up a Preliminary Final clash against Sydney.

Despite beating the Swans’ in Sydney in Round 4, the Roos’ couldn’t repeat the effort and missed out on the Grand Final. 

Record: 13-9, 106.45%
Ladder Position: 8th
Finals: Defeated in the Preliminary Final
Syd Barker Medal: Todd Goldstein
Leading Goalkicker:  Drew Petrie, Jarrad Waite (42)

Despite a lower ladder finish than in 2014, the Roos again defied the odds as they reached back-to-back preliminary finals.

Todd Goldstein’s dominance was on display throughout 2015, as the ruckman set new benchmarks for his craft.

Goldstein set a new AFL record for hit-outs in a season, with a whopping 80 of these coming against GWS in Round 12. The ruckman was duly awarded a selection in the All-Australian final squad, and his first Syd Barker medal. 

In Round 17, Brent Harvey played his 400th AFL game, becoming only the fourth VFL/AFL player to reach the milestone, as he approached Michael Tuck’s games record of 426. 

The Roos got their revenge for 2014’s prelim as they knocked Sydney out on their own turf in the Semi Final, but once again the Preliminary Final proved a step to far, as they succumbed to West Coast.

Record: 12-10, 106.45%
Ladder Position: 8th
Finals: Defeated in Elimination Final.
Syd Barker Medal: Robbie Tarrant
Leading Goalkicker: Ben Brown (41)

2016 got off to the best possible start, with the Roos winning their first nine games for the first time in the club’s history. The fairytale start wasn’t to last however, as North finished with a 12-10 record and only just held onto eighth position, before being knocked out in week one of the finals. 

In round 19, all eyes were on one man. Brent ‘Boomer’ Harvey became the all-time VFL/AFL games record holder, as he notched up his 427th game at the highest level, surpassing Michael Tuck. Fittingly, the Roos’ celebrated with a 23-point victory over St Kilda.

Veterans Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Nick Dal Santo and Michael Firrito all retired or departed the club at the end of the season.

With Andrew Swallow coming towards the end of his career, Jack Ziebell was announced as his successor as captain, starting from the 2017 season.

Record: 6-16, 87.59%
Ladder Position: 15th
Syd Barker Medal: Shaun Higgins
Leading Goalkicker:  Ben Brown (63)

The focus for 2017 and beyond was a fresh approach through youth, and the club had a massive 11 first-gamers debut throughout the season. 

On-field, North was right in the game in several matches early in the season, and was able to showcase its emerging youth, but ultimately finished the season 6-16 and in 15th position.  

The highlight of the season was no doubt the crushing 59-point win against eventual minor premiers and Grand Finalists Adelaide at Blundstone Arena. 

Close but not close enough was the theme of the season, with North losing five games by under a goal.

Another pair of wins against Melbourne extended the Roos’ streak against the Dees to 18, the longest in the AFL.

Despite the struggles on-field, off the field there was plenty of cause for celebration, with the club announcing it will field a standalone VFL team in 2018, an AFLW team in 2019, and the redevelopment of the Arden St precinct.

Record: 12-10, 108.9%
Ladder Position: 9th
Syd Barker Medal: Shaun Higgins
Leading Goalkicker:  Ben Brown (61)

After finishing 15th in 2017, and missing out on some high-profile free agents, external expectations were set low for North Melbourne, with many pundits predicting the Roos would finish towards the bottom of the ladder.

These expectations were soon cast away, with the Kangaroos starting the season in brilliant fashion, recording some impressive wins over the likes of Hawthorn, Fremantle and GWS to be placed well and truly in the top 8 with a 7-4 record after 11 rounds.

Injuries to key players such as Jarrad Waite and Ben Jacobs curtailed the Roos form however, with the club eventually missing finals by a single win, finishing 9th. 

Individually there were also many positives, with Ben Brown finishing second in the Coleman Medal, and Shaun Higgins becoming North's first All Australian selection since Todd Goldstein in 2015.