Round 11, 2023 v Collingwood: Phases of play May 29, 2023
When comparing top sides with ones on the lower rungs, some differences are obvious.
Round 10, 2023 v Sydney: 76th Interchange May 22, 2023
Next year my Supercoach side will be named 76th Interchange.
Round 9, 2023 v Port Adelaide: Unblocked exits May 14, 2023
Explaining a key difference between good sides and … not so good sides: how to block exits.
Round 8, 2023 v St Kilda: Small steps May 8, 2023
That wasn’t exactly one for the scrapbook.
Round 7, 2023 v Melbourne: Time for stage two April 30, 2023
Really, how much can you say about a game like that?
Round 6, 2023 v Gold Coast: A flat milestone April 24, 2023
Right from the outset, it looked like a flat North Melbourne outfit on the Gold Coast.
Round 5, 2023 v Brisbane: Domino effect April 18, 2023
Sometimes these match analysis pieces jump around from topic to topic, and sometimes they go in-depth on multiple topics.
Learning from the first month of the Alastair Clarkson era April 12, 2023
At the moment, every North Melbourne game feels like information overload.
From The Notebook, Round 4: Trends from the first month April 10, 2023
A month into the season feels like enough time for some trends to be established.
Round 4, 2023 v Carlton: Zoning April 8, 2023
For the second year in a row, North Melbourne went into a game against Carlton missing their best two key defenders.
Round 3, 2023 v Hawthorn: Caught Out April 2, 2023
Unfortunately it might be time to reconsider those Grand Final tickets.
Round 2, 2023 v Fremantle: Symbolism March 26, 2023
It was the corresponding match last year when I first started thinking things were beyond repair.
North Melbourne Player Focus: Round 1 v West Coast March 21, 2023
When there’s a North Melbourne win like Saturday’s against West Coast, there tends to be plenty left on the cutting room floor.
Round 1, 2023 v West Coast: Plans and communication March 19, 2023
Isn’t it funny how two early season wins against West Coast can bring such contrasting reactions?
2023 AFL Team Tiers March 15, 2023
While everyone is making ladder predictions, I’m taking the easy way out and grouping teams into tiers.
North Melbourne’s 2023 season checklist March 14, 2023
Here are my five things I’m looking for from North Melbourne in 2023, with the usual disclaimer this goes beyond wins and losses.
Predicting over/unders for every AFL team’s 2023 win total March 8, 2023
Welcome to one of my favourite things to do every year, with this edition exclusive to $10 Patrons.
Preseason v Western Bulldogs: Collecting intel March 5, 2023
The final step of North Melbourne’s preseason meant one more chance to collect intel ahead of a winnable season opener.
The 2023 AFL Continuity Rankings March 2, 2023
Welcome to the second annual AFL continuity rankings; figuring out which teams carry over the most (and least) minutes from their 2022 side into 2023.
From The Notebook: 2023 Match Simulation February 28, 2023
Today’s topics: competence from North Melbourne, Tom Mitchell at Collingwood, figuring out Brisbane’s back seven, and a handful of mini points.
2022 Trade Period Analysis: Griffin Logue & Darcy Tucker, North Melbourne October 5, 2022
North Melbourne’s draft assistance has been used, returning Fremantle’s Griffin Logue and Darcy Tucker.
North Melbourne’s end of season list analysis August 26, 2022
The actual season has finished for North Melbourne, and now it’s time for the silly season. Before that begins though…
Round 22 v Adelaide: The Return August 14, 2022
On Saturday at Adelaide Oval, football felt both unimportant and extremely important, all at the same time.
Round 21 v Sydney: Evidence of a wasted season August 9, 2022
Coming out of North Melbourne’s loss, the mainstream talking point was Jaidyn Stephenson turning his back on the football – twice.
What To Watch For: Round 21 August 4, 2022
Today’s extra focus can only be on one match: the Friday night blockbuster to kick off the round at the MCG.
Round 20 v Essendon: Development, environment, and roles August 2, 2022
Originally this was going to be a relatively straight-forward review piece, until it started taking a different path down the road of development.
What To Watch For: Round 20 July 29, 2022
Somehow we’re about to start the final month of the home and away season.
From The Notebook, Bonus Edition: Stats & Trends July 28, 2022
Every so often over the course of a season, it gets to the point where I have a bunch of stats and trends which don’t fit into a piece.
Round 19 v Hawthorn: Wind & Adjustments July 24, 2022
Defending at Blundstone Arena is a unique challenge – especially when it’s windy.
What To Watch For: Round 19 July 22, 2022
It’s an important weekend for both ends of the top eight.
Round 18 v Richmond: Uncharted ground July 17, 2022
According to the AFL rule book, ‘the winner of a Match of Australian Football is the Team which has scored, in accordance with these Laws, the greater number of points at the conclusion of the Match’.
What To Watch For: Round 18 July 14, 2022
We’re back to the regular Friday-Sunday schedule, which means normal service resumes in What To Watch For.
Farewell, David Noble July 12, 2022
It’s a horrible feeling when you’re in a job you value, and you feel like it’s about to end badly.
Round 17 v Collingwood: A complete 180 July 10, 2022
Saturday provided the complete opposite of what we’ve seen from North Melbourne all year.
What To Watch For: Round 17 July 8, 2022
As teams start to play each other for the second time in 2022, it provides the perfect opportunity to see how they’ve grown during the year.
What total minutes played by age says about a team’s list profile July 6, 2022
Long-term readers will remember this concept from last year, and today we’re going to dig deeper into team-by-team comparisons.
Round 16 v Geelong: Where to from here? July 3, 2022
Well … where do we begin?
What To Watch For: Round 16 July 1, 2022
After a predictable match to open proceedings, focus turns to the remaining eight games of Round 16.
Round 15 v Adelaide: Theory v Process June 27, 2022
A theory can – and often does – sound great on paper.
What To Watch For: Round 15 June 23, 2022
Allow me to be the 10,000th person to excitedly proclaim how much I’m looking forward to this round.
From The Notebook: Round 14, Byes Part 3 June 19, 2022
The third and final part of the bye period Notebook has arrived.
Round 13 v GWS: Effort v system June 13, 2022
Considering the final margin was 49 points, it feels strange to start by commending North Melbourne’s effort.
Round 12 v Gold Coast: Brief glimpses, then more of the same June 5, 2022
The afternoon started with so much promise.
What To Watch For: Round 12 June 2, 2022
For the next three rounds, there are no overlapping games. For better or worse, everything has the AFL world’s undivided attention.
Round 11 v St Kilda: Unconventional defending May 30, 2022
In recent weeks, posts have usually focused on big-picture takeaways and items to build on in the future. Today’s a little bit different because it’s purely about single-game decisions.
What To Watch For: Round 11 May 27, 2022
At the end of this weekend we’ll be halfway through the home and away season. Unbelievable.
The inaugural North Melbourne mailbag May 26, 2022
There’s a first time for everything, and today is The Shinboner’s inaugural North Melbourne mailbag.
Round 10 v Melbourne: Grading on a curve May 22, 2022
Two weeks ago, I delved deep into my worries with North Melbourne’s ball movement. Against Melbourne, there appeared to be a few adjustments and the results looked much better to the eye.
What To Watch For: Round 10 May 20, 2022
There are some tantalising matchups this weekend.
Round 9 v Port Adelaide: Spinning the wheel May 15, 2022
In the absence of Jy Simpkin, Jason Horne-Francis, and Hugh Greenwood, it was a different looking North Melbourne midfield on Saturday.
What To Watch For: Round 9 May 12, 2022
We’re back for another round, and the stat packs are here to stay.
North Melbourne’s offensive woes explained, and how to start fixing them May 10, 2022
What if I told you North Melbourne are on pace to become the worst offensive team in the 21st century?
Round 8 v Fremantle: Looking back, thinking ahead May 7, 2022
As a teenager, I spent plenty of winter Saturday afternoons at Vermont Reserve, watching the Eagles kick goal after goal and notch win after win.
What To Watch For: Round 8 May 6, 2022
It’s something a little different in this week’s What To Watch For.
Round 7 v Carlton: Positives, negatives, and impossible judgments May 1, 2022
What a difficult game to form a conclusive opinion on.
Round 6 v Geelong: Revisiting April 25, 2022
North Melbourne’s 60-point loss to Geelong brought a number of talking points, but today’s post is going to be streamlined.
North Melbourne’s building blocks in the VFL April 20, 2022
If you know what to look for and what translates to AFL football, the VFL is an excellent place to fast track knowledge and identify trends before most.
Round 5 v Western Bulldogs: Groundhog Day April 16, 2022
Today’s post is going to focus on a common theme in this matchup, but so rarely do we get two complete opposite quarters to illustrate several key points.
A curtain, a banner, and why Friday is so important for North Melbourne April 14, 2022
The point of this story is to illustrate how important free-to-air games are for North Melbourne…
Round 4 v Sydney: Responding April 10, 2022
There is a hell of a lot to talk about today, thankfully much more positive than last week.
Round 3 v Brisbane: Rock Bottom April 2, 2022
The general tone for the first two-thirds of this post may not match the mood in the outer, so let’s start with an explanation for why.
Round 2 v West Coast: Expectations March 28, 2022
Walking into Marvel Stadium on Sunday, I had flashbacks to Round 10, 2016 v Essendon.
What To Watch For: Round 2, 2022 March 25, 2022
Round 2’s ‘What To Watch For’, exclusive for $7.50 & $10 Patrons.
Round 1 v Hawthorn: Small picture, big picture March 21, 2022
Just a little bit to cover off today…
2022 Team Tiers March 15, 2022
Why sort teams into tiers and not a ladder like normal people? Well, two reasons…
North Melbourne’s 2022 checklist March 14, 2022
Before the first bounce on Sunday it’s important to set a bar for what I’ll be expecting from 2022.
AAMI Series, 2022 v Sydney: Tuning up March 7, 2022
The pre-season has been a valuable learning tool to hit Round 1 v Hawthorn running.
The 2022 AFL Continuity Rankings February 23, 2022
At this time of the year, with season previews popping up left, right and centre, there tends to be a few trusty cliches involved.
2021 Club By Club List Management Tools September 16, 2021
For a while I’ve been trying to figure out how to create as many impartial, simple-to-understand tools when attempting to analyse an AFL list. Things that you can look at and instantly glean unbiased knowledge from.
Round 23 v Adelaide: The next steps as a year of discovery ends August 23, 2021
In pre-season, it was termed as a year of discovery. Now we’re at the end of it – from an on-field perspective at least – what have North Melbourne come away with?
Round 22 v Sydney: A wooden spoon locked in, future pieces come together August 15, 2021
So, North Melbourne have a wooden spoon for the first time since 1972. And everyone will react differently, but mine is a world apart from 2017 and 2020 where finishing bottom was a live possibility at the start of the last round.
Why Josh Kelly staying at GWS is good for North Melbourne August 10, 2021
When Josh Kelly’s eight-year extension at GWS was announced on Tuesday evening, my instinctive reaction was ‘happy with that’. That was immediately followed by something along the lines of, ‘am I insane being happy with Josh Kelly not at North Melbourne?’
Round 18 v Essendon: Improving in the sun July 18, 2021
A fortnight ago the match post was comparing this year’s games against the Bulldogs, and today’s will be much the same with Essendon with a near-exclusive focus on the first half.
Round 17 v West Coast: Small ticks graduate to a big tick July 13, 2021
For North Melbourne to go to Perth with a clear plan, withstand a barrage, execute down to a tee and earn the four points is an enormous tick in a year which had a lot of small tickets up until this point.
Round 16 v Western Bulldogs: A look back in the process forward July 5, 2021
Sunday evening marked the first time North had played an opponent twice at the same venue under David Noble, making it another important step in the process of learning about the team.
Round 15 v Gold Coast: A deserved win and reward for effort June 27, 2021
A much deserved win is just reward for the constant improvement we’re seeing from North Melbourne week on week.
Round 14 v Brisbane: Luke McDonald, a winger’s role, and flexibility June 20, 2021
Luke McDonald’s return to action was interestingly marked by a new role on the wing. David Noble’s post-match comments on it revealed some fascinating possibilities.
Round 13 v GWS: Steps forward, points lost June 14, 2021
A largely uneventful afternoon at Hobart, only featuring North Melbourne jumping out to a five-goal lead at three quarter time, getting reeled back in, plenty of notable talking points from siren to siren and it all ending with North’s first draw since Round 16, 2009 … actually, maybe there’s a fair bit to talk about.
Halfway through ‘Season 1’, what have North Melbourne learned June 4, 2021
At the halfway point of North Melbourne’s season, it feels like a natural time to reset and reflect on what we’ve learned so far.
Round 11 v St Kilda: The halfway point May 30, 2021
For the game which marked the halfway point of 2021, a focus on three topics – Bailey Scott’s role, Tom Campbell v Tristan Xerri, and what the forward setup could (or should) look like down the road.
Round 10 v Essendon: Defend fast May 24, 2021
How do you defend against fast play? That was the task which confronted North Melbourne on Sunday, and one they ultimately failed on route to a 72-point loss against Essendon.
Round 9 v Hawthorn: Problem solving May 16, 2021
Forgive me if I’m a little bit rusty today, I looked up the manual on how to write about a North Melbourne win and it had been so long all the ink had faded out.
Round 8 v Collingwood: A monthly player check-in May 9, 2021
After the first player progress report a few weeks ago proved to be popular, and given the requests for individuals since, it’s now going to become a monthly thing for the rest of the season.
Round 7 v Melbourne: A clear sign of progress May 3, 2021
Although wind in Hobart makes for an exponentially funnier game, from a long-term development perspective it was great for it to take a rare Sunday off.
Round 6 v Fremantle: Spread and defend April 25, 2021
Today’s post is all about midfield structure; unfortunately one which broke down far too often for North Melbourne against Fremantle around stoppages and contests.
Round 5 v Geelong: Focusing on individuals April 19, 2021
A change of pace today, with the Round 5 post focusing on a handful of individuals and their progress…
Round 4 v Adelaide: Building a midfield April 12, 2021
It’s fair to say coach David Noble is firmly in experimental mode, and will be for some time yet. On Sunday we saw the newest lever pulled.
Round 3 v Western Bulldogs: The anatomy of a 128-point loss April 3, 2021
Where to start? The short version is all the negative parts of the first two weeks coalesced into an unstoppable snowball. The long version … well. Here we go.
Round 2 v Gold Coast: The effect of an incomplete forward system March 28, 2021
Let’s step away from the football field for a moment. Every day, whether it be at work, social circles, spare time, or anything in between, we’re all aiming to achieve something.
Round 1 v Port Adelaide: The different ways to lose March 22, 2021
Given North Melbourne’s current status, it’s too simplistic to look at weekends as win = good, loss = bad.
In a year of discovery, what will North Melbourne look for March 10, 2021
It’s hardly revealing a state secret in saying North Melbourne won’t be playing deep into September this year, which makes it the perfect time to throw things at the wall to see what sticks.
North Melbourne’s 2020 off-season, and what comes next December 10, 2020
Just a little bit has happened since the end of North Melbourne’s 2020 campaign. Coach change, significant list changes, essentially a whole remodel.
The next steps for North Melbourne after 11 delistings September 19, 2020
With a remarkable 11 delistings, a quarter of North’s list disappeared in one fell swoop. To cut this deep, this early appears to mean plenty more wheeling and dealing to come.
Line By Line: North Melbourne’s midfield September 14, 2020
It’s time for week three of the line-by-line look at North Melbourne. First it was the forwards, then the defenders, and finally a look at the midfield.
Round 16 v Port Adelaide: Summing up North Melbourne’s defence September 6, 2020
Over the final month of the season, I’ll be using each game to look at a separate line of the field. Round 14 was all about the forwards, Round 16 is all about the defenders.
Round 14 v Gold Coast: The importance of forward pressure August 31, 2020
Considering North Melbourne just lost by 63 points with only seven fewer inside 50s, it seems an opportune time to focus on just what happens when there’s minimal forward pressure
Round 13 v Collingwood: Individual player focus August 25, 2020
Of the 22 North Melbourne players who ran out onto the Gabba on Monday night, 10 are out of contract at the end of this season.
Round 12 v Brisbane: Setting a standard August 16, 2020
First things first, an apology for no post last week. Thankfully there’s a post this week with plenty to discuss both from a team and individual perspective.
Round 10 v Geelong: Caught on their heels August 6, 2020
As we hit rotation season, with games being played nine times a week and broadcast for 37 hours a day, individual performances become tough to judge.
Round 9 v Adelaide: Releasing the pressure August 2, 2020
It turns out when your opposition is extremely poor, there’s plenty of insight for what the optimum version of your own side looks like.