North Melbourne says there are positives to take from its failed attempt at signing free agent Andrew Gaff, who turned down its approaches and re-signed with West Coast on Sunday.
Gaff's decision to remain with the Eagles marks another missed opportunity for the Kangaroos, who were also narrowly edged out of the race for fellow uncontracted stars Dustin Martin and Josh Kelly last year.
However, North Melbourne footy boss Cameron Joyce reiterated the club would not give up on attempting to lure a big fish to Arden Street, saying it can take a lot from again being one of the last teams standing in the race for Gaff's signature.
"Something that gets missed in all of this is that a lot of clubs would have liked Andrew Gaff too," Joyce said.
"A lot probably disappeared halfway through and we were there at the end. I think we were the only ones who actually spoke to him, so that's a positive – knowing that we got so close.
"But we're also disappointed that we didn't get him over the line. Hopefully we'll be able to knock over a couple of ones that want to come in Jared Polec and Aaron Hall."
Gaff had kept both West Coast and North Melbourne guessing right until the last moment, with the midfielder believed to be genuinely undecided on his future up until Sunday.
That was the message reinforced by Joyce as he arrived at Marvel Stadium ahead of the first day of the NAB AFL Trade Period on Monday morning.
"He was very much undecided all the way through," Joyce said.
"There was no indication either way that he was going to stay or go through that period.
"It was very much, up until yesterday, he didn't know himself. That's probably the nature of it, obviously going all the way up until the day before the trade period starts."