Arguably North Melbourne’s most improved player in 2020, Luke McDonald had an individual season to remember.
A broken ankle in 2019 was the catalyst for McDonald’s career-best season, and he is expected to challenge for Syd Barker Medal honours.
The number 11 began the season in a shutdown role, performing a number of impressive jobs on some of the most dangerous players in the game, such as Toby Greene, Marcus Bontempelli and Dylan Shiel.
His second half of the season was especially impressive, when he took to a rebounding role out of defence, notching up three 30-plus disposal outings from Round 9 onwards, with two more over 25 touches.
McDonald also impressed with his on-field leadership, and at 25 years old, he looks to be a critical player for the Roos for the foreseeable future.
By the numbers
From Round 9 on, McDonald averaged 25.6 disposals from the backline, putting him up alongside the elite players in the competition.
His ability to start attacks was critical for the Roos, and he recorded the sixth-most rebound 50s in the AFL, and the 11th most effective kicks.
While McDonald’s efficiency has been a knock on his game in recent years, this wasn’t the case in 2020, with his 77% kick efficiency rating higher than the likes of Adam Saad, Lachie Whitfield, Jake Lloyd and Sam Docherty.
The big moment
McDonald had a day to remember in Round 9 against the Crows, collecting a career-high 35 disposals (25 kicks), 10 rebound 50s and 8 marks.
A precise kick out to find Aaron Hall in the final term saw the Roos go coast-to-coast in three kicks.
Watch all 1?9? of our goals from Saturday, as we put up the biggest score of the AFL season so far.— North Melbourne (@NMFCOfficial) August 3, 2020
What social said
Another seriously rough day for North Melbourne BUT Luke McDonald continues to put himself in contention for this year’s Syd Barker Medal. Might trail Goldstein early, but has *arguably* been more consistent.— Marc McGowan ??????????? (@ByMarcMcGowan) September 12, 2020