An extended stay in a Gold Coast hub looms as another challenge in an already unprecedented season, but GM Football Brady Rawlings says North Melbourne will continue to do everything it can for the good of the game.
The AFL announced on Wednesday that all Victorian clubs would be located in Queensland for the remainder of the home and away season.
North has had its full playing list, staff and some players' families based at the hub over the past week and a half, but an initial 32-day stay will now be extended to around ten weeks.
“We’ve got a lot of staff up here with families back in Melbourne ... majority of our staff do have families. My goal over the next day and a half is to sit down with each individual and get a good understanding of where their head's at," Rawlings said on SEN.
“As a club we want to make sure that we’re fully committed to getting this season played out and performing as well as we can, so we want to be able to keep everyone up here.”
Rawlings said the club was firmly focused on ensuring North's people were in a positive mindset, despite the clear challenges time away from home presents.
“We’ll just work with our players and staff to make sure they’re all informed and hopefully we can move on to winning some games of footy,” he said.
“Ideally we’ve got our players and coaches focusing on performance as much as possible; this season is different than any other but our goal as an admin team and an off-field development team is to get all this work done.
“We’re the resources for people for information, we try and organise the schedule as best as we can so our players and coaches can focus on their game, and obviously we haven’t been performing the way we’d like.
“We’re focusing really hard on it from an educational point-of-view and a training point-of-view. Obviously there’s some restrictions in the way we train, but we deal with it the best we can.”
Rawlings said North was desperate to turn its form around, after four straight defeats.
“14 points (loss) against the Bombers, four points against the Hawks, we got a bit of a touch-up from the Dogs ... we think we’re playing quarters here and there that are good enough, but not for four quarters and we’d like to see a change this week.
“Whether it’d be in the contest, whether it’d be the way we move the ball or the way we defend, we just feel like we’re a little bit off in a couple of areas.
“We don’t think anything we’re speaking about at the moment is anything new, we’re not flipping anything on its head. It’s just heightened awareness in parts of our game plan that we think we can tinker with and improve.
“Our focus is to get our intent and effort back into our game which we lacked against the Dogs, and probably thought we had it for the majority of the Bombers' game, but they were just a bit too sharp for us on the night with their touch and ball movement.”