North Melbourne Kangaroos | 2012 Pre-Season
IN: Will Sierakowski, Tom Curran, Brad McKenzie, Sam Gibson, Malcolm Lynch, Brad Mangan, Max Warren
OUT: Brady Rawlings, Ed Lower, Brayden Norris, Daniel Pratt, Ben Ross, Matthew Scott, Marcus White
Tom Curran is on the Long Term Injury list but is on track to be available in the early part of the season.
Nathan Grima is still recovering from a high grade medial ligament strain but is a chance to be available for round 1.
BYE: Round 11
North Melbourne play both Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney twice, and face Geelong, Collingwood, Hawthorn and Carlton only once. With two home games in Hobart, the Kangaroos will do a lot of travelling – flying interstate eight times.
Sam Gibson, $94,700, is a 25 year old mature-aged rookie ball-magnet. Formerly listed on Hawthorn’s rookie list back in ’07, ’08, Gibson was never promoted and was delisted without having made his AFL debut. Staying on with Hawthorn’s affiliate – the Box Hill Hawks, where he was originally recruited from, Gibson captained the VFL team last year and won their B&F. Possessing elite endurance, Gibson is good both in and under and at spreading from the contest, although his kicking would probably be rated below par at AFL level. Gibson averaged 28.2 disposals in the VFL last season; with an AFL-ready body, he is a decent chance to break into the North Melbourne side. Should Gibson earn senior promotion and make his AFL debut – jump on. He is one of the highest scoring potential rookies available this year, think Curnow (a fellow Box Hill Hawk). Gibson played half the game against the Swans in round 2 of the NAB Cup, collecting 8 disposals for 28DT.
Hamish McIntosh, $364,300, has had a near flawless pre-season in his return from an injury ravaged 2011 (he played only the one game). The chief concern with selecting McIntosh is Todd Goldstein, who last year broke out in McIntosh’s absence. One would assume that both players will have their scoring compromised in 2012. Having previously average 92SC in 2009, McIntosh does present good value and is certainly worth considering for your team. McIntosh was close to best on ground against the Swans in round 2 of the NAB Cup, he registered 23 disposals, 8 marks, 14 hit-outs and 3 tackles for 128SC. In round 3 though, McIntosh took the backseat to Goldstein against the Bulldogs. He sat in the goal square for 3 disposals, a goal and 24DT.
Jack Ziebell, $428,500, appears primed for a big 2012 as North Melbourne’s new vice-captain. Criticised by the media for his lack of endurance early in the season, Ziebell ramped up his fitness and endurance training and dominated in the finish, averaging 120SC over his last five games (discounting R23 – he was subbed off coughing blood). A certainty to improve in 2011, the only thing detracting from Ziebell’s fantasy prospects is the risk attached to a mid-priced midfielder.
Andrew Swallow, $606,700, won North Melbourne’s B&F last year. This year, he runs out as captain of the football club. Though some in the fantasy community feel Swallow is close to his score ceiling, having averaged 112SC last year, inconsistency was still a foible of his game. Taking his game to the next level is simply about consistency, we already know what he is capable of. Should Swallow reduce the number of quiet games he has, Swallow failed to reach the ton in nine games last season, his SuperCoach average will only go up.
Todd Goldstein, $613,600, shone in McIntosh’s absence, averaging 113SC last year. As with Hamish Mcintosh, the chief concern with selecting Goldstein is McIntosh, one would assume that both players will have their scoring compromised in 2012. Strong tap work, good at ground level, a big tank and sticky hands; Goldstein has it all – your true modern-day ruckman. Goldstein averaged 35 hit-outs, 14 disposals, 3.5 marks and 4.4 tackles last year, scoring below 92SC only once. Another positive tick for Goldstein – his durability. Only turning 24 in July, it is unlikely he will need “managing” throughout the season, which seems to be the hot-button word amongst coaches this pre-season when talking ‘the extreme physical demands of modern-day ruckmen’. Although Goldstein is certain to dominate the AFL landscape for years to come, I wouldn’t be risking such a large chunk of change on his selection in 2012. The McIntosh factor is, as of yet, too much of an unknown quantity.
Brent Harvey, $548,000, is still in fantasy considerations despite turning 34 in May – amazing. I’m not particularly inclined to select Harvey this year, age obviously being his main detraction. However, the two most compelling reasons for Harvey’s selection would probably be: 1.North Melbourne’s ‘fantasy-friendly’ draw 2.the captaincy has been passed on, enabling him to focus on his footy in his twilight years.
Taking a punt on the smokey? Liking the bargain? Locking in the superstar? Discuss the North Melbourne Kangaroos’ fantasy prospects in the comments below!