Whether it’s with pick one or pick 100, there’s something special about a new father/son prospect finding his way onto your club’s list.
With his selection at pick No.59 in the 2021 NAB AFL Draft, Jackson Archer becomes the latest father/son addition to North Melbourne’s list, but he’s earned his spot through far more than his surname alone.
Here are five things you need to know about our newest player.
1. He’s a team player with a knack for winning contests
A 187cm defensive prospect, Archer is a tenacious and competitive half-back flanker.
An effective decision-maker by foot, it’s Archer’s intangible attributes that truly stand out in his game. His ability to display courage and assertiveness in the contest sees him often single-handedly lift his team through sheer hard graft, while the team-first attitude he possesses will stand him in good stead at Arden St.
At just 70kg, he’ll need to add some size and strength to be able to truly show his ability in the senior men’s game, but in his junior football he has already demonstrated a knack for winning contests he seemingly has no right to win.
On top of his mental attributes, Archer is a talented player with ball in hand. A wiry and athletic defender, his speed and agility complements his medium-sized frame, while his fearlessness in the contest is matched only by his ability to release the ball into space quickly by hand.
2. He follows in famous footsteps
The name Archer is royalty at North Melbourne. Jackson’s father Glenn played 311 games for the Kangaroos including the 1996 and ‘99 premierships, etching his name into club folklore as one of North’s greatest ever players. Much like his son, Glenn was a half-back flanker who possessed massive amounts of courage and determination, but their playing styles are vastly different, with Glenn’s shorter, stockier stature allowing him to more easily impose his strength and physicality on opposition players.
A Norm Smith Medallist and Shinboner of the Century, Glenn Archer left a nearly incomparable legacy at Arden Street, but Jackson will now look to forge his own path in the famous colours.
3. He’s played for North Melbourne before
As an aligned NAB League player, Archer was allowed to turn out for North’s VFL side in the 2021 season, playing in a pre-season clash with Port Melbourne, and in the Round 4 clash with Southport.
While injuries saw North finish the Southport game with just 16 players on the field, Archer impressed in the backline, displaying some of his trademark courage against bigger, stronger opponents, backing into packs and offering a measured, composed influence with the ball in hand.
With the likes of Tristan Xerri and Eddie Ford also playing in the fixture, along with experienced former AFL-listed player Ben Speight, Archer’s taste of playing in a high-level, open-age competition will hold him in good stead.
4. His stats as a junior are impressive
Recruited from the Northern Knights NAB League program, Archer played his junior football for Park Orchards Sharks in the eastern suburbs.
He played nine NAB League games for the Knights in 2021, averaging 9.9 disposals, 2.6 tackles and 3.3 marks per contest.
5. He’s the third father/son player on North’s list
Archer joins Luke McDonald and Bailey Scott as father/son selections on North Melbourne’s list.
Glenn Archer and Robert Scott were teammates in the 1996 premiership side, with Scott senior playing 113 games for the club after crossing from Geelong.
Luke McDonald’s father Donald McDonald spent a decade at Arden Street, pulling on the jumper 155 times before his retirement at the end of the 1992 season, also being named as the club’s leading goal kicker in 1984.