Welcome to the 2022 Free Agency & Trade Period analysis series. Over the next fortnight, the plan is to look at every player heading to a new club. It’s not going to be a ‘who won the trade’ series, but rather a look at how players fit into existing setups, or what changes they may force.
North Melbourne’s draft assistance package has been used, sending their bonus 2023 second and third round selections to Fremantle in exchange for Griffin Logue and Darcy Tucker.
The entire deal:
North Melbourne: Logue, Tucker, Fremantle’s 2023 third round pick
Fremantle: 2023 second, third and fourth round pick
While Tucker will be a solid addition to the rotation and get his chance for more senior minutes, the centrepiece is undoubtedly Logue and what he brings to North’s defensive unit.
Alongside Ben McKay, North now have their two key defenders set for the foreseeable future, enabling Aidan Corr to slide into a tweener/third tall role where he’s best suited.
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By this point it’s no secret I’m an enormous fan of Logue:
As a defender, he’s strong one-on-one, only losing three of 31 contests this year…
…and also mobile, able to play on the versatile forwards.
While McKay takes the biggest forward, Logue complements that by matching up with the more mobile option. A look around the league instantly makes it easy to see how it works. Just to name a few:
Geelong: Hawkins-McKay, Cameron-Logue
Carlton: McKay-McKay (can one person play against himself?), Curnow-Logue
Brisbane: Daniher-McKay, Hipwood-Logue
Richmond: Lynch-McKay, Riewoldt-Logue
The domino effect is it allows Corr to slide down a notch to where he’s best suited as a third tall. One of my main questions in pre-season was how he’d fare as the second banana. While it wasn’t disappointing, by any means, it was clear he’d be better value to North as a third.
Now, with Kallan Dawson also in a similar role – and assuming Josh Walker is kept around for another year as the big-bodied backup – North have numbers in a position they were glaringly short in through 2022.
Logue is a slam dunk acquisition for North in a vital position of need.
If you’ve missed any of the Free Agency & Trade Analysis posts, here’s where to catch up:
Karl Amon, Hawthorn
Darcy Tucker’s arrival is where no (official) coach makes it hard to pinpoint an exact role.
At 25 years old and 108 games into his career, Tucker is a handy, ready-to-go addition. He can play a little bit off half-back, also on a wing, potentially some spot minutes on-ball, or even at half-forward.
That makes for a lot of ‘ifs’, and not as many plans. If Tucker’s fit he’ll start the year in the 22 somewhere – but where?
Here’s a mock North depth chart as it currently stands. I’ve deliberately left Tucker off as a thought exercise – where does he slot in? There are a handful of options.
If it was up to me I’d start Tucker on a wing. While a handful of Roos had promising moments in the position during 2022, Tucker would be an improvement on them all in the short-term.
In the AFL landscape, I’m a subscriber to the theory that the best way to build a team is through upgrading your weakest area (as opposed to, say, the NBA).
Tucker to a wing ticks that box, especially given the plethora of half forwards and on-ballers at North’s disposal.
The wildcard is whether Alastair Clarkson (assuming he’ll end up coaching) had a different plan altogether, and sees Tucker in a revamped role.
That part we’ll have to wait for, but until then North have put their draft compensation package to good use, acquiring two ready-to-go players, one of which is a vital, long-term cog of their future.
In case you missed it, the Look Back/Look Ahead series recently wrapped.
Every team’s list was analysed in depth, with a key question picked out for 2023. In some ways the posts work hand-in-hand with these individual analyses, understanding needs and priorities.
Here are all the links to catch up on:
|North Melbourne||Read||West Coast||Read|
|Gold Coast||Read||Port Adelaide||Read|