"After missing out on (Josh) Kelly's prized signature a year ago, North (Melbourne) will ... try to tempt the slick left-foot midfielder to Arden St once again with one of the game's richest long-term deals. The Kangaroos are desperate to land a big-name midfield recruit after missing out of Richmond's Dustin Martin, Collingwood's Adam Treloar and Jordan De Goey, and Sydney's Isaac Heeney." (Jay Clark, Herald Sun)Tuesday: North declares North is a winner because no other team got them:
"Losing out on Andrew Gaff was not a 'kick in the guts' for North Melbourne, according to chairman Ben Buckley. ... 'I don't buy they rejected North, they just chose to stay in an environment which was very dear to them ... if they had chosen to go, they would've chosen to come to us and that's a very positive thing.' " (Mark Robinson, Herald Sun)Keep trying to buy a flag, Roos - like 1975. That's the Shinboner spirit.
My late grandfather, Tom O'Brien, was North's longest-serving continual member, stumping up membership fees up every year from the 1920s until the day he died in 2003. Through the middle decades of the twentieth century he witnessed some of the toughest home-grown players never to win a flag. Many of them worked at the Newmarket saleyards and abattoir, hence the Shinboner name. When North finally grabbed a flag in 1975 he was happy but ambivalent. North had bought their way to the top after luring Barry Davis, Doug Wade, John Rantall, Brent Croswell and Malcolm Blight from other clubs with offers they couldn't refuse.
"At last we've got a premiership flag flying over Arden Street," he said. "A shame it wasn't won by North Melbourne."
"Yes," I said. "Can we have our captain back now?"
I was an Essendon fan as a kid. Seeing Barry Davis in pale blue and white just looked wrong.