Record: 3-14, 71.2%
Ladder Position: 17th
Syd Barker Medal: Luke McDonald
Leading Goalkicker: Cameron Zurhaar (18)
North Melbourne's 2020 season started brightly, recording a hard-fought comeback win over St Kilda in Round 1, before the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Upon the league's resumption, North secured a brilliant win away to GWS, and sat second on the ladder after two rounds with a 2-0 start.
Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for the Roos, who won just one of their remaining 15 matches, most of which were played in the Queensland hub.
Injuries to key figures such as Ben Cunnington, Jack Ziebell and Ben Brown took their toll on the field, but these absences afforded opportunity for the club's next generation.
Luke McDonald enjoyed a stellar year at half-back, capped off with a first Syd Barker Medal. In the midfield, Jy Simpkin emerged as a future leader, while Luke Davies-Uniacke excelled late in the season.
22-year-old's Cam Zurhaar and Nick Larkey led the way in forward line, with the former leading North's goal tally.
Head coach Rhyce Shaw and the club mutually parted ways at the end of the season, with David Noble taking over the reins for 2021.
Record: 4-17-1, 70.3%
Ladder Position: 18th
Syd Barker Medal: Jy Simpkin
Leading Goalkicker: Nick Larkey (42)
North Melbourne’s 2021 season was one of development, with the introduction of new senior coach David Noble seeing immense improvement over the course of the campaign.
The club brought in 11 new players, including high-profile recruit Jaidyn Stephenson from Collingwood, and number three draft pick Will Phillips.
After missing most of the 2020 campaign, Ben Cunnington was made to wait for his return to the side, with a concussion suffered in pre-season delaying his comeback until Round 3.
The defence was in a state of flux early in the year, with injuries and unavailability of Robbie Tarrant, Aidan Corr and Luke McDonald seeing an inexperienced backline very much learn on the job.
Jack Ziebell, Kayne Turner, Aaron Hall and Aidan Bonar were all thrown into the defence to great effect, with Ziebell finishing the season with a third-placed finish in the Syd Barker Medal.
North’s young crop of first-year midfielders all excelled at different points in the season, with Tom Powell impressing enough to win the club’s young player of the year, however his season was ended early due to injury. Will Phillips and Charlie Lazzaro gained valuable AFL experience, while also excelling at VFL level.
Nick Larkey and Cam Zurhaar both stepped up to lead a young forward line, with the pair combining for 73 goals over the year and becoming one of the most lethal forward partnerships in the AFL in the back half of the campaign
North had to wait until Round 9 for its first win of the season, a hard-fought seven point victory over Hawthorn. Midfield trio Ben Cunnington, Jy Simpkin and Luke Davies-Uniacke ran the show in the middle of the ground, combining for 99 disposals and 38 clearances.
A draw with GWS followed in Round 13, before the club once again tasted victory in Round 15, this time over Gold Coast.
Round 17’s win over West Coast was arguably the game of the season, with North holding on by ten points to register an epic triumph in Perth. Jaidyn Stephenson starred with 38 disposals and a goal, while Jy Simpkin had 32 touches of his own.
The Round 19 victory over Carlton was a coming of age win for the side, as North dismantled the Blues to the tune of 39 points. Nick Larkey was immense, kicking 7 goals and finishing with 20 disposals, while Tarryn Thomas kicked four of his own.
The removal of a tumour rendered star midfielder Ben Cunnington unavailable for the final four games of the season, and while the Kangaroos failed to register a win after Round 19, there were countless positive signs for the future.