North Melbourne Football Club


North Melbourne Football Club
North Melbourne
North Melbourne Football Club logo
Names
Full name North Melbourne Football Club Ltd[1]
Nickname(s) Kangaroos, Shinboners
Motto Victoria Amat Curam
2011 season
Home and away season 9th
Pre-season Cup Round 1
Leading goalkicker Drew Petrie (48)
Best and fairest Daniel Wells
Andrew Swallow
Club details
Founded 1869
Colours      Royal Blue      White
Competition Australian Football League
Chairman James Brayshaw
Coach Brad Scott
Captain(s) Brent Harvey
Premierships VFA: 6 (1903, 1904, 1910, 1914, 1915, 1918)

AFL/VFL: 4 (1975, 1977, 1996, 1999)

Ground(s) Docklands Stadium (capacity: 56,347)
Arden Street Oval (Training) (capacity: 15,000)
Other information
Official website www.kangaroos.com.au
Guernsey:
North Melbourne Kangaroos Jumper.svg

The North Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Kangaroos, is the fourth oldest Australian rules football club in the Australian Football League (AFL) and is one of the oldest sporting clubs in Australia and the world. It is based at the Arden Street Oval in the inner Melbourne suburb of North Melbourne, but plays its home matches at the nearby Docklands Stadium.

The club is characterised by its inner-city location, its working class background, the doggedness of successive administrators and a iron-like vision to survive and eventually succeed, despite the odds. The club's mascot is a grey or red kangaroo, dating from the middle of the 20th century. The club is also unofficially known as "The Shinboners", a term which dates back to its 19th century abattoir-worker origins. The club's motto is Victoria Amat Curam, Latin for "Victory Demands Dedication".

Contents

Club history

In two aspects North Melbourne stands second to none. One is the loyalty of its supporters. The other is the determination to carry on, despite its disadvantages. In the face of adversity, which might well have broken the spirit of most men, we find that from the earliest days there were always enthusiasts to fight for North Melbourne.

—The Australasian 15 June 1940.

Formative years

James Henry Gardiner. Founding father of the NMFC.

The North Melbourne Football Club arose from lowly origins in 1869, purportedly established to satisfy the needs of local cricketers who were keen to keep themselves fit over the winter months. One view is that the club was connected to the St Mary’s Church of England Cricket Club, now the St Mary's Anglican Church North Melbourne, whose colours – blue and white – are reflected in the Club's colour's today.[2] The association between the St Mary's Church of England Cricket Club and the establishment of the North Melbourne Football Club is believed not to be formal, rather a general gathering to play some competitive sport. Information on the club’s first ever match is sketchy, but it is known that it took place in Royal Park (which served as the clubs home ground until 1882) and that the ball used in the match was purchased by a local resident called Tom Jacks, who sold some roofing iron to pay for it.

Today, the founder of the club is regarded as James Henry Gardiner who served the club diligently both on the field and off the field until his death in 1921.

In 1870, Victoria for the first time saw the introduction of regular premiership matches of Australian Football. North Melbourne was a part of this, but was classed as a “Junior Club” having not yet graduated to senior ranks. The Australasian noted them as being “one of the best of many Junior Clubs” during those early years.

The club continued to evolve, graduating to senior ranks in 1874 and acquitted themselves remarkably well, finishing 4th. Along with the promotion, the club adopted its first uniform of blue and white horizontal stripes.

By 1876 North had ceased to function due to troubles, but managed to secure an amalgamation with Albert Park to form “North Melbourne Cum Albert Park”. The football world assumed that the amalgamation was the death knell of the club, but they underestimated the spirit of the “founding fathers” and the local community who dug deep and came up with the funds to re-establish the club under the new name of “Hotham” in early 1877.

Association years

Chart showing the progress of North Melbourne F.C. through the VFA and V/AFL

Football took a giant step forward in 1877, with the formation of the first colonial football league, the VFA. Hotham were prime movers in establishing this league and were afforded a place in light of their previous contributions to Australian Football.

The 1880s marked the emergence of the modern identity we now associate with North today. In 1882, the club amalgamated with the Hotham Cricket Club and moved into the North Melbourne Recreation Reserve (Arden St Oval) which has remained as the home of the club up until this day. The joint venture was aimed at affecting improvements at the Hotham Cricket Ground, which was the name of the Reserve at the time. Four years later the club adopted the traditional uniform of blue and white vertical stripes at the insistence of the VFA, who wanted a visible contrast between Geelong and Hotham’s uniforms. The third significant development occurred in 1888 with the club returning to its original name of the North Melbourne Football Club. This followed the name of the local area reverting from Hotham to North Melbourne.

The 1880s saw the club develop a penchant for inter-colonial travel with trips to Tasmania (1881/1887) and South Australia (1889). Hotham also found itself well represented at the first ever inter-colonial game in 1879 with 4 players from the club gaining selection for the "Big V".

Disregarded by the VFL

The VFA became unwieldy by the 1890s having swelled to 15 Clubs. Led by Geelong, and fuelled by Essendon, the largest clubs of the VFA revolted and formed their own break away league, the Victorian Football League (VFL) in 1896. Despite finishing 6th North was rudely excluded from the competition, a fact not lost on their supporters today. The main reasons for being excluded are as follows:

  • North had not won a premiership yet, and thus was not considered a powerful club
    "The Inaugurals". The side that brought North premiership glory after 34 years of wait. To commemorate the achievement, club President G/M Prendergast presented the 26 players and head trainer with a gold medal at the club's general meeting that year.
  • The industrialisation of the locality had drained the club’s income streams
  • The club had a strong reputation for hooliganism from their fans
  • There was a lot of bad blood between Collingwood and North following a torrid engagement in the previous season
  • Essendon felt threatened by the close proximity of North Melbourne
  • A court case against the North Melbourne Cricket Club had damaged the Football Club’s status

Undaunted, North continued on in the depleted VFA emerging as a powerhouse finishing 2nd in both 1897, 98 and 99. In 1903 the Club’s ultimate aspirations were reached when they were crowned premiers against Richmond. It had taken 34 years of hardship, and adversity, but North finally tasted absolute triumph. The club went back to back premiers in 1904 after Richmond forfeited the final in what go down as one of the most controversial premierships in football history.

North caused a sensation in 1907 after announcing an amalgamation with fellow football club West Melbourne (which at the time had lost their home ground). The joint venture saw their chance of promotion and applied for admission to the prestigious VFL but their plan was scuttled by Richmond and University who were admitted to the VFL instead. As punishment, the West and North Melbourne clubs were banished from the VFA for their treachery.

This may have seemed like the end for North, but rising phoenix like from the ashes the local community re-established the North Melbourne Football Club as a brand new identity and the VFA re-admitted the new club to the Association for the 1908 season.

"The Invincibles"

Legendary ruck combo of Charlie Hardy, Syd Barker and George Rawle. Together these three would dominate the VFA for over a decade, leading North to premierships in 1910, 1914, 1915 & 1918 and through a record 58 game unbeaten streak.

The reformation of the Club necessitated a massive clean out of the team leaving only two players remaining from the previous season. The 1910 season was marked by one of the most sensational transfers in Victorian Football history, when Andy Curran masterminded the clearance of Carlton’s famed “Big Four” of ‘Mallee’ Johnson, Fred Jinks, Charlie Hammond and Frank ‘Silver’ Caine to North Melbourne. These signings secured the Northerners third premiership in 1910.

The 1912 finals series was one of the most amazing ever, with the Semi Final having to be replayed 3 times after North and Brunswick drew twice. North were eventually victorious and moved on to the final, but without the Big Four they lost the game by a mere four points with the last kick of the day.

The next few years were punctuated by “The Invincibles”. In the Northerners most illustrious period ever, the club went undefeated from 1914 to 1919, collecting premierships in 1914, 1915 and 1918. As well as this, the club won the championship in both 1915 and 1918 for finishing on top of the ladder, and accounted for VFL side St Kilda comfortably. During this period the club won 58 consecutive matches including 49 successive premiership matches, a record that has remained unmatched in Association or League History since.

Despite being rejected from the VFL in both 1896 and 1907, North still persisted relentlessly to gain admission into what was the premier league of the land. On 30 June 1921, North dropped a bombshell mid-season and told its players it would disband and try to gain entry to the VFL by the ‘back-door’. Essendon League Football Club had lost its playing ground at East Melbourne and had decided to acquire the North Melbourne Recreation Reserve as a new playing ground. North accepted their proposal in the idea that the club’s would amalgamate. All of North’s players were urged to join the Essendon League Club to help facilitate the amalgamation. The amalgamation was foiled when some members of the Essendon Committee launched a successful legal challenge. As a result the Essendon League Club moved instead to the Essendon Oval kicking the original occupants Essendon Association out.

North was now without a playing team and the Essendon Association Club was now without a ground, so as a matter of convenience the two clubs amalgamated so they could compete in the 1922 season. With the same resilience it had displayed fifteen years earlier, North had once again rose Phoenix-like from the ashes to avert self-destruction.

Entering the VFL

North Melbourne and Arden St Oval after admission to the VFL. c. 1928

After 3 attempts, 29 years of waiting and numerous other applications to enter the VFL, finally North was rewarded for its relentless persistence with admittance to the League in 1925, along with Footscray and Hawthorn. Even then, the opportunity almost slipped out of the club’s grasp as the League delegates debated into the early hours of the morning on which clubs should be invited to join the intake. It was only after much deliberation that North Melbourne’s name was eventually substituted for Prahran's making North “the lucky side” of the invitees that included Footscray and Hawthorn.

Two main reasons for North being accepted over Prahran was that North had been the most popular choice in a recent poll conducted in a Melbourne newspaper on who should be promoted. The other reason was that the Club’s committee, in an unprecedented move, had visited every single League Club as well as the VFL Headquarters to make their case for why they should be included in the intake.

But two big conditions were attached to North’s entry. One was that the club had to change their uniform and another was that they had to give up their recruiting grounds to the Essendon Football Club.

North Melbourne were cellar dwellers for the first twenty-five years of VFL membership, but by the late 1940s had developed a strong list and significant supporter base. In 1949 North secured the VFL Minor Premiership, finishing top of the ladder at the end of the home-and-away season with 14 wins and 5 losses. They failed to make the Grand Final that year (eventually won by Essendon), but in 1950 they did reach the last Saturday in September, gallantly going down to defeat by a more efficient Essendon. It was in this year that the club adopted the "Kangaroos" mascot.[3]

The 1950s and 1960s were lean years for North Melbourne, though the club did secure two consecutive Night Premierships in 1965 and 1966. Allen Aylett was a brilliant player in the late 1950s and captain between 1961 and 1964, and Noel Teasdale who lost the Brownlow Medal on a countback in 1965 (he was later awarded a retrospective medal when the counting system was amended).

Golden era

Towards the end of the 1960s, and under the dynamic leadership of Allen Aylett, North Melbourne began its climb to supremacy. As part of a major recruitment drive North secured the services of several big name stars including Barry Davis from Essendon and Doug Wade (Geelong), John Rantall,(South Melbourne), Barry Cable (WA),and lesser known hero John Burns who would go on to play a pivotal role in securing the 1975 Premiership. In a major coup, the great Ron Barassi was appointed coach in 1973. Barrassi managed to reverse the club's fortunes, taking an unremarkable team that was once regarded as the traditional cellar dwellers of the competition, through a golden era of success that transformed North into one of the powerhouses of the VFL. Barassi's ruthless and inspiring coaching methods took North to a Grand Final (defeated by Richmond) in 1974 and brought success in his 1975 and 1977 seasons. North made five consecutive Grand Finals from 1974–1978)[4]:209 and defeated Norwood in the 1975 national championship to be declared Champions of Australia.

Also, in 1973 and 1974, North's wingman Keith Greig won consecutive Brownlow Medals. He was joined in 1978 by the mercurial forward Malcolm Blight, whose victory was known as the "worst kept secret in football". Doug Wade also secured the Coleman medal in 1974 with his 103 goals for the season.

Barassi continued as coach into 1980, but only a Night Premiership in that year was to result from his last years at Arden Street. North then entered another period of decline, though Malcolm Blight kicked 103 goals to take out the Coleman medal in 1982, and another Brownlow win came through the talented Ross Glendinning in 1983. In that year, North Melbourne won a third Minor Premiership (the second had come in 1978) with 16 wins and 6 losses for the season, but failed to make the Grand Final.

Team of the 1990s

The capable coaching of John Kennedy aside, the 1980s and early 1990s were lean years for the Kangaroos.However, the rebuilding of the club was taking place. The Krakouer brothers (Jim and Phil) brought a spark into the side and lifted many hopes for North supporters and the excitement to the general football public. The innovative idea of night games was instigated by the club and meeting the challenges, the club survived. One major highlight was the recruitment of the gun forward John Longmire in 1989, who topped the club goalkicking over five consecutive seasons (1990–1994) and won the Coleman medal in 1990 with 98 goals – just two short of the magic ton. At the beginning of the 1993 season, in a dramatic and controversial move, the board of the club sacked coach and long-time playing stalwart Wayne Schimmelbusch and appointed Denis Pagan in his place. Results were immediate, as North reached the finals for the first time in nearly a decade. Pagan was also instrumental in appointing the brilliant Wayne Carey as the club's youngest-ever captain. Carey had been recruited at the same time as Longmire, but taken longer to develop as a player. Carey's leadership over the next nine seasons was inspirational, and he came to be regarded as the standout player in the league, called 'the King' by media commentators and fellow footballers alike.

1996 AFL Grand Final G B Total
North Melbourne 19 17 131
Sydney Swans 13 10 88
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground Crowd: 93,102[4]:670

Narrow misses in 1994 and 1995 were finally avenged in 1996 when North defeated the Sydney Swans to take out the gold centenary AFL cup. Glenn Archer won the Norm Smith Medal . Late season injuries in 1997 North lost to St. Kilda in the Preliminary Final (during which key ruckman Corey McKernan dislocated his shoulder). 1998 seemed to all to be North's year, as the club won both the pre-season Ansett Cup and topped the ladder with 16 wins and 6 losses (narrowly tipping out the Western Bulldogs in the final home-and-away game of the season). However, poor kicking and a lack of discipline allowed the Adelaide Crows to win their second premiership in as many years.

1998 AFL Ansett Australia Cup Final G B Total
North Melbourne 14 13 97
St Kilda 12 11 83
Venue: Waverley Park Crowd: 63,898

In 1999, the Kangaroos finished in second position on the ladder, thanks to good form of the key members of the playing group ( Carey, McKernan, Archer, Stevens). Thus, the 1999 Grand Final was won easily by the Kangaroos [the first premiership won without the name 'North Melbourne' attached to the logo], with former Sydney midfielder Shannon Grant taking out the Norm Smith Medal.

Since its inception, the club has often had to contend with financial hardship and a fairly modest support base. The club has been subject to several merger attempts, including attempts at takeover by Essendon in the early 20th century and an almost-completed merger with Fitzroy during the uncertain 1990s.

1999 AFL Grand Final G B Total
North Melbourne 19 10 124
Carlton 12 17 89
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground Crowd: 94,228[4]:670

Seeking new markets and greater financial security in an increasingly corporatized AFL environment, the title "North Melbourne" was officially dropped from the logo in 1999, from which time the team played only as the "Kangaroos". During the successful 1999 season, North Melbourne played home games in Sydney with a view of becoming a second team in New South Wales. Perhaps partly because of North's victory over the Sydney Swans in the 1996 AFL Grand Final, the experiment was not successful, with crowds averaging only 12,000. Since the South Melbourne Football Club moved to the city and took many years to become accepted, most Sydney people had become aware and cynical of the concept of relocating Melbourne teams. The club maintains their home ground in Victoria at Arden Street Oval, North Melbourne, which from 2006 underwent the first stages of a $16 million upgrade of training and other facilities. These new facilities are considered state of the art and provide a good basis for the NMFC to remain in Melbourne and the centre will now provide the club with all the resources to compete with the bigger clubs in the competition.

21st century

2000–2001

The 21st century did not begin well for the North Melbourne Football Club. Its decade-long onfield potency was in decline, questions were raised about its financial position and long-term sustainability and three of the pillars that had underpinned its 1990s dominance – coach Denis Pagan, captain Wayne Carey and chief executive Greg Miller – left the club under acrimonious circumstances. They went from finishing a reasonable 4th in 2000, before slumping to 13th position at the end of 2001.

2002

Revelations that emerged only a few weeks before the beginning of the 2002 season that champion captain Wayne Carey had been having an extramarital affair with the wife of teammate and vice-captain Anthony Stevens shook the club, and the football world in general. Carey resigned in disgrace. However, despite this turmoil on the eve of the season commencing, Denis Pagan against all odds guided the Kangaroos to the 2002 finals series. Melbourne proved too strong in the elimination final and defeated the club. This was also John Blakey's and Craig Scholl's (Scholl kicking a record equaling 7 goals in a final) last game.

The resignation of Pagan at the end of the 2002 season after being poached by Carlton president John Elliott further accelerated the process of decline, though North Melbourne remained competitive, and often a significant threat to the emerging powerhouses of Port Adelaide and Brisbane. Pagan was replaced by 1996 premiership player Dean Laidley. A talented player and wily coach, Laidley had previously been an Assistant Coach at Collingwood from 1999 until the end of season 2002.

2003–2004

The 2003 season was mostly uneventful, with one major exception – the emotional return of Jason McCartney from severe burns suffered in the 2002 Bali bombing on 6 June against Richmond. McCartney's statistics were modest, but he set up the winning goal with seconds remaining. He retired immediately after the game.

A Kangaroos quarter time team huddle at the MCG in 2006
If the world were consumed by a nuclear holocaust tomorrow, the North Melbourne Football Club and cockroaches would be the only two things left scurrying round the earth.

For the second week in a row, the Kangaroos showed why they are the hardest team to kill in the AFL.

—The Australian 8 August 2005.

2005–2006

In the 2005 season, the Kangaroos fought back from a mid-season slump finishing fifth on the ladder and in doing so helped to silence critics who had labelled the club and new coach as 'ineffective' and 'useless'. These critics returned when in the 1st Elimination Final, the Kangaroos lost by a shattering 87 points to reigning Premiers Port Adelaide.

2006 was anticipated as a major turning point for the Kangaroos. The club was consistent in its policy of swapping early draft picks for experienced players. There was a perception from outsiders that the club was facing an aging squad, with Daniel Wells shaping as the only young prospect for the Kangaroos. However, 2006 saw good performances from many of the other youngsters on North's list, including Daniel Harris, Hamish McIntosh, Corey Jones, Drew Petrie, David Hale and Andrew Swallow.

On 22 July 2006, the Kangaroos' training ground, Arden Street suffered minor damage in a fire, which occurred at 4:30 am, following the club's massive 72-point loss to Adelaide (whose captain Mark Ricciuto was celebrating his 300th game) at AAMI Stadium the night before (it is believed that the two events are not linked together). Arson was believed to be the cause of the fire, and it forced the Kangaroos to train at Etihad Stadium for the remainder of the 2006 AFL season.

Apart from highlights such as the victories over Port Adelaide, Hawthorn, Carlton and Essendon, as well as Nathan Thompson kicking 54 goals and 13 votes in the Brownlow medal count the 2006 season was largely a disappointment.

At the conclusion of the 2006 Premiership Season, the North Melbourne Football Club changed their logo, mainly due to strong supporter pressure. The design includes an image of stream-lined Kangaroo, backed by a blue and white shield, with 'Kangaroos' underneath. Under 'Kangaroos' is the wording 'North Melbourne Football Club', back on the logo, much to the delight of thousands of North Melbourne traditionalists.

Push to the Gold Coast

2007

Early 2007 saw the club in the media spotlight on a number of fronts. With the retirement of personally troubled key defender Jonathan Hay and season ending injuries to the club's top two goal kickers of 2006, Nathan Thompson and Leigh Harding, the club was overwhelmingly tipped to receive the wooden spoon at season's end. Conflict between members of the club's board, and speculation of a relocation of the club to the Gold Coast, also gave the North Melbourne Football Club unwanted media attention. Midseason, speculation about whether Dean Laidley would be re-signed as coach of the club despite its impressive performance thus far in 2007 was prominent in the media for a ten day period but then faded away.

In spite of negative media attention, the club has had a significant resurgence on field, with its performances being more than respectable. A semi-finals berth in the pre-season competition was a preview of what was to come. However, the Kangaroos didn't get the start they hoped for, losing their first 3 matches including a Round 1 defeat at the hands of Collingwood by 3 points with losses against Port Adelaide and Hawthorn following.

An example of the new running game of the Kangaroos was in Round 4 against the Lions in the Roos first Carrara home game, in which they won by 24 points, 12.15.87 to 8.15.63. Leigh Brown kicked 3 goals for the Roos, while Hamish McIntosh had his best game of his career to that point, with 20 possessions. Daniel Wells, Jess Sinclair, Glenn Archer and Shannon Grant also had stellar performances.

The Kangaroos won 6 games in a row from round 4 to round 9, including a shock win over eventual premiers Geelong at Skilled Stadium, before eventually losing to West Coast by a whopping 66 points at Subiaco in Round 10. Following this loss, the Roos bounced back to defeat St. Kilda by a margin of 22 points at Etihad Stadium. However, possibly due to inexperience, the Kangaroos have not always appeared to have the ability to close out a game until late in the fourth quarter, with the notable exception of the Round 9 game against the

The club was victorious between Rounds 13 to 17 after the loss to Adelaide in Round 12. One of these victories, perhaps one of the most important to the club this year, was the Round 13 game against the Western Bulldogs where North Melbourne champion and Shinboner of the Century Glenn Archer celebrated his milestone 300th game.

Round 15 saw the Kangaroos upset the Fremantle Dockers at Subiaco by 4 points in a nailbaiting contest the whole way through with less than 6 points the difference at each break. Round 16 had the Kangaroos demolish Melbourne by 64 points and another Kangaroos victory followed a week later, this time a comfortable 37 point upset win over a higher placed Hawthorn at Aurora Stadium. This victory lifted North Melbourne to outright second on the AFL ladder by the conclusion of Round 17, with many football observers reluctantly having to revisit their assessments of both the ability of the North Melbourne squad for 2007 and the likelihood of the team playing in the finals.

The 2007 campaign hit an obstacle late in the season when, at the beginning of a difficult run to the finals, the club was defeated by the Lions at the Gabba by 37 points in Round 18. While the Kangaroos retained their position of second on the AFL ladder following this defeat, they did so with a lower percentage and with one less game as a buffer.

Following the defeat by the Brisbane Lions, the Kangaroos lost against fellow top 2 contenders and reigning premiers West Coast by 17 points at Etihad Stadium in a tight hard fought contest for most of the game. A week later in Round 20 the Kangaroos challenged Geelong who had wrapped up the minor premiership the week before. The Kangaroos being the last team to beat Geelong went in hoping that they could do it again, however Geelong won by 27 points. This loss pushed the Kangaroos down to 5th with the double chance looking dim but when they beat Carlton by 82 points the following week they sealed their place in the finals and also saw a chance to steal 4th spot had results fallen their way in the final round.

In the final round of the 2007 home and away season, the 5th placed Kangaroos played the Western Bulldogs winning by an impressive 64 points. Not only was this loss disappointing for the Western Bulldogs but in the 2nd term they were held to their first scoreless quarter of football since they played West Coast at Subiaco Oval in Round 6 1999. This was also the first time this season that a team has been kept scoreless in a quarter of football. On the same day, the Sydney Swans recorded an upset 72 point win against Hawthorn at the SCG which allowed the Kangaroos to leapfrog the Hawks to claim 4th spot and win the double chance plus a spot against the minor Premiers Geelong in the 1st qualifying final.

In the first week of the 2007 AFL finals when the club was beaten by the Geelong Football Club by 106 points, the fifth highest losing margin in finals history.

The Roos then defeated Hawthorn Hawks by 33 points in the semi final. They qualified for a preliminary final against the Port Adelaide Power at AAMI Stadium. The Power won by 87 points, the same margin they defeated the Kangaroos by in the 2005 finals.

2008–2010

The conclusion of a disappointing 2009 season saw the departure of coach Dean Laidley, replaced by ex-Brisbane Lions premiership player and Collingwood Magpies Assistant coach Brad Scott. Due to injuries to key players, Laidley focussed on the development of younger players throughout 2009, highlighted by Andrew Swallow winning the club's Best and Fairest and emergence of a new leadership group.

With the completion of a 15 million dollar training facility, a new coach, growing membership and the building of a talented, but very young list, North Melbourne implemented the slogan "New game, new era" heading into the 2010 season and appears set to leave the "battlers" tag and financial woes of the past behind them.

North Melbourne had a terrible start to season 2010, losing three of their first four matches, including a 104-point annihilation from the previous year's runners-up St Kilda in which the Roos were held scoreless until just before halftime. However the Roos would bounce back with wins over 2006 premiers West Coast, 2008 premiers Hawthorn and Melbourne, however what was a 3–3 record after round six slipped into the red again with huge losses to eventual premiers Collingwood and Western Bulldogs by 66 and 70 points respectively with only a narrow 9-point win over Adelaide sandwiched in between (North Melbourne led by 54 points at three-quarter-time). The Roos fell to 4–6 following a 61-point thumping by Fremantle at Subiaco Oval however recovered the following week to record a famous 1-point victory over the Brisbane Lions at home. This was the start of a three-match winning stretch before it was ended with a 35-point loss to premiers Geelong at Skilled Stadium. Further losses to Sydney, Essendon and the Western Bulldogs followed but in between the Sydney and Essendon losses was a 50-point win over Richmond. The Kangaroos then kept their finals hopes alive with a 54-point win over Fremantle at home but all was extinguished the following week with another heavy loss to St Kilda, this time by 52 points. The following week, the last slim hope North Melbourne had left of playing in the finals was gone when Hawthorn thrashed Fremantle to close the door on the top eight for season 2010. Despite the fact they couldn't make the top 8, North Melbourne moved on to win their last two games of the season against eventual wooden spooners the West Coast Eagles and Melbourne. North Melbourne ended up missing out on the finals by percentage alone to Carlton whom North had defeated by 29 points early on in the season.

2011–present

2011 begun pretty average for North Melbourne despite training in Utah in the Off-Season. They began in the NAB Cup in Pool 6 at Skilled Stadium against Geelong and the Western Bulldogs both matches resulted in losses ending North Melbourne's NAB Cup campaign for 2011. They began their NAB Challenge matches with a 29 point loss to Hawthorn at Skilled Stadium, but then it became a great NAB Challenge series, with a 40 – 0 first quarter against GWS in the end it was 73 point win over GWS. Followed a week later by a nine goal final quarter against the Western Bulldogs to win at Eureka Stadium.

North Melbourne has now begun the 2011 season with the club hoping to make the finals for the first time since 2008. The season did not start well; with the club losing its first four matches, to be at the bottom of the ladder by the end of Round 5. The Kangaroos then went on to win two of their next three matches, against Port Adelaide and Melbourne before losing their next two matches, against the Brisbane Lions and Sydney by 14 and 1 point respectively. The loss to Sydney sparked a four-match winning streak, which put North Melbourne into a position to break into the top eight. But their entrance into the top eight was denied by St Kilda who ended North's four game winning streak and kept the Kangaroos outside of the top eight. In round 16 North Melbourne was thrashed by Collingwood by over 100 points, moving North to 11th on the ladder.

They missed the finals in the end due to the antagonising losses earlier in the year, but despite this there were positives to come out of the year. North's players developed at all levels. Senior Kangaroos Petrie and Wells returned to full fitness and had career-best seasons. Emerging players Goldstein and Ziebell (particularly in the second half of the season) stamped themselves as key players in North's midfield. The Kangaroos were also able to blood seven debutants, ranging from highly touted draft picks Atley and Harper to mature-age rookies Pedersen, Luke Delaney and Richardson. North also showed heart to fight back from a dismal start to the season to challenge strongly for a finals spot. The effort was there, but the finishing class was not. However, that should change if some of North's youngsters can develop as much as Goldstein and Ziebell did in 2011.

Club symbols and identity

Name and mascot

The club was widely known as the 'Shinboners' for much of their early history. The origins of this nickname are unknown but it may have had something to do with the club's reputation for targeting the shinbones of opposition players, or to do with local butchers who showed their support for North by dressing up beef leg-bones in the club colours. By 1926, the club was known as the 'Blue Birds' but this nickname did not last. It was Phonse Tobin, North president from 1953–56, who finally gave the club a proper mascot when he adopted the Kangaroos emblem in 1954. Tobin found the image of a Shinbone unsavoury and wanted the club to have a mascot it could show with pride. In selecting a new name, he wanted something characteristically Australian and got inspiration from a giant Kangaroo he saw on display outside a city store.

The official name of the club is North Melbourne, but the club has gone under several other aliases over the years. The club was originally founded as the 'North Melbourne Football Club', but changed to 'North Melbourne cum Albert Park' after merging with Albert park in 1876. Following the reformation of the club in 1877, it was known as the 'Hotham Football Club' but later retook the name 'North Melbourne' in 1888. In 1998 the club proposed changing its name to the 'Northern Kangaroos', but it was rejected by the AFL. Between 1999 and 2007, the club traded without much success as 'The Kangaroos' in a bid to increase its appeal nationally. At the end of 2007 this decision was officially rescinded, and the club has once again reverted back to the name 'North Melbourne'.

Logo
NMFC Monogram
Monogram logos were popular with cricket and football clubs during the 19th century and early 20th century.

This monogram design featured on official club publications prior to the 1960s.

NMFC Coat of Arms
This is the club's official coat of arms and was used alongside the monogram design during the early 20th century up to the 1960s.
1977–1982
In 1977 the VFL introduced official logos for the first time. Prior to 1977 logos were generally done by outside companies for sales of merchandise, but were in no way official. All the club's logos were printed on shields and had navy blue top halves to represent the VFL.
1983–1984
In 1983 the Kangaroo was reversed to face forwards instead of backwards to symbolise the direction the club was heading.
1984–2001
In 1984 the light blue was dropped and the actual club colours of royal blue were adopted on the stripes. This logo lasted till 2001 and was the last of the 'VFL shield' logos to be discontinued by any of the clubs in the AFL.
2002–2006
This was the club's secondary logo during the 1990s and by 2002 had been adopted as the official logo. The shield was dropped, the North Melbourne name was removed and more stripes were added. The change was made to coincide with the 'Kangaroos' rebranding of the club after 1998.
2007–present
In May 2005 the club invited fans to have their say on the current logo with a view to updating it. Three important elements for the fans were the retention of the stripes, kangaroo and North Melbourne name to reaffirm the club's commitment to its history. The logo was unveiled in 2007 with the chief executive, Geoff Walsh, describing it as "exciting and progressive, and keeps in line with the clubs core values and future direction."

Home grounds

Arden Street Oval has been traditionally associated with the Kangaroos and has been home to the club since 1882 (except for a brief period from 1965–1966 when the club relocated to the Coburg City Oval before moving back to Arden Street). In 1984 the club chose the Melbourne Cricket Ground as a playing venue and later Etihad Stadium. The Arden Street Oval is currently owned by the City of Melbourne and leased by the North Melbourne Football Club for social, administration and training facilities. The ground itself has been subject to rationalisation with the removal of grandstands since VFL/AFL matches are no longer played there.
Homegrounds Years
Royal Park 1869–1875
Albert Park 1876
Royal Park 1877–1882
Arden Street Oval 1882–1964
Coburg City Oval 1965
Arden Street Oval 1966–1985
Melbourne Cricket Ground 1985–2002
Docklands Stadium 2002 – present

Guernsey

North Melbourne is recognised throughout Australian football for its famous vertically striped royal blue and white guernsey. The design, first used in 1884, pre-dates any of the other vertically striped jumpers worn by other clubs in the Australian Football League. It has proven itself popular in Australian football having been adopted by hundreds of other clubs across the country.

The current clash guernsey, adopted in 2009, has sky blue and white vertical stripes. It is nicknamed the "Argentina stripes" because it resembles the uniform of the Argentina national soccer team.

Guernsey details
Season Manufacturer Guernsey sponsor(s) Short sponsor
1975–1978 Courage
1979–1984 Budget
1985–1992 Qantas
1993–1995 NZI Insurance
1996 Nike Hypertec PCs NZI Insurance
1997 Hewlett-Packard SmokeFree
1998
1999 Mazda, SmokeFree Wentworth
2000
2001 Russell Athletic iPrimus
2002 Mazda
2003
2004 Bont Mazda, Primus Primus
2005
2006 Reebok
2007
2008 Mazda, Vodafone Blackwoods
2009 Blades Mazda 3
2010
2011 Mazda BT-50

Club song

"Join in the Chorus" is the official anthem of the North Melbourne Football Club. It is sung to the tune of a Scottish folk song "A wee Deoch and Doris", from around 1911.[5]

The famed song is generally sung, in accordance to common football tradition, after a victory. It is also played before every match.

"Join in the Chorus" is believed to be the oldest club anthem of any AFL club, and has been associated with North from its early VFA days. The preamble of the song originates from a score of a Theatre Musical called 'Australia: Heart to Heart and Hand to Hand" written by Toso Taylor in the 1890s in pre-federation Australia.[6] It is traditionally sung (or shouted) in great spirit by players and fans alike. The second verse is unknown in origin and was presumably added later by members of the North Melbourne Football Club when the song was chosen as the club theme. The chorus was appropriated from a song written and performed by Scottish musician Harry Lauder. The recording currently used by the club was performed by the Fable Singers in 1972 and only includes the choruses.[7]

The song has a strong Victorian heritage, and has been traditionally song by the Victorian State Football and Victorian Cricket teams respectively.

Lyrics
1st Verse
Hearts to hearts and hands to hands
Beneath the blue and white we stand
We shout God bless our native land
North Melbourne, North Melbourne!
2nd Verse
Out we come, out we come, out we come, to play
Just for recreations sake to pass the time away
Lots of fun, heaps of fun, enjoy yourselves today
North Melbourne boys are hard to beat when they come out to play!
Chorus
So join in the chorus, and sing it one and all
Join in the chorus, North Melbourne's on the ball
Good old North Melbourne, they're champions you'll agree
North Melbourne will be premiers, just you wait and see!

During the 90s, the last line was sung as North Melbourne will be premiers in 1993, and changed according to what year it was. The last line has also been sung as North Melbourne is the team and place to win for you and me or North Melbourne is the team that plays to win for you and me. The 2nd line in the 2nd verse was originally sung as We train so hard, we play the game, we must win every day.

A more gritty opening verse exists that goes as;

Shovels to shovels and picks to picks
On the North Melbourne ground you stick like shit
Get up you dirty mug or we'll hit you with a brick

Between 2000 and 2004 the club song was updated to keep it inline with 'Kangaroos' rebranding. The song went as follows;

1st Verse
Hearts to hearts and hands to hands
The length and breadth of this great land
A Club deep in tradition held high in esteem
From North Melbourne a national team
2nd Verse
Out we come, out we come, out we come to play
To take on all those other teams
And blow them all away
Lots of strain, with heaps to gain
Is the way we play
The Kangaroos will beat any team
On any given day
Chorus
So join in the chorus, and sing it one and all
Join in the chorus, the Roos are on the ball
Good old Kangas, they're champions you'll agree
The Kangaroos will be premiers
Just you wait and see.

Shinboner spirit

At clubs with bigger memberships, their supporters only touch their colours, but at North we have the Shinboner spirit. North people can touch that spirit – they are the real Shinboners, they are the club.

—Ron Joseph

The origin of North Melbourne's 'Shinboner' nickname and the so called 'Shinboner Spirit' remains one of footy's great mysteries. Several theories exist as to how the club came to be known as the Shinboners. The general belief is that it became associated with North because so many of its players worked in the nearby meatworks. The players wore shorts whilst working at the abattoirs and would attend the evening training sessions with blood splashed over their legs, which gave rise to the nickname 'Shinboners'.

Likewise, local butchers on Abottsford St, used to proudly hang shinbones decorated in blue and white streamers from their veranda. It all started from the early North sides being so close knit that it reminded the butchers of blowflies on a shin of beef, and so the nickname was born. The hanging of shinbones decorated in blue and white became a tradition of the area, before health inspectors put an end to the practice.

Other theories exist that it started as a result of the Irish immigrants who played hurling on the North Melbourne Recreational Reserve during the 1930s who had a tendency to whack their opponents on the shinbones with their sticks. With other more derogatory theories coming from opposing teams that North Melbourne players were used to kicking people in the shins.

Whatever the answer, the Shinboner Spirit refers to the camaraderie and gutsy determination that was shown by the club in those early days. Nowadays it is a phrase attributed to the Kangaroos' ability to fight back against overwhelming odds with their backs against the wall.

This fighting spirit was forged by the club in its relentless persistence to gain admissions to the VFL. Despite folding 3 times in those early years, the community rallied together to re-establish the club like a phoenix from the ashes.

Former player and coach Denis Pagan is arguably responsible for rejuvenating the nickname when he began coaching the club's under 19's squad in 1982. Running the team off the smell of an oily rag, Pagan coached the squad to nine consecutive Grand Finals, before becoming senior coach in 1993 where he led the poorest club in the league to another 2 Premierships in a decade of dominance.

During those years the team gained a legendary reputation for mateship that transcended the football field which is what kept the team so successful. The 1996 season was the epitome of the Shinboner Spirit when it became obvious that the club would not exist beyond the season unless it merged with Fitzroy. Despite all of the turmoil off the field, the club went on to win the 1996 centenary premiership and avert self-destruction.

After the drama of the Carey and Pagan walkouts in 2002, when North lost the two biggest faces of the club, the football world forecasted doom for club. Again, the club punched above its weight putting in competitive showings year after year, going against the doom and gloom predicted by the pundits.

2004 produced a memorable performance of Shinboner Spirit when the team rallied from a 40 point deficit at three-quarter-time to record a win in favourite son Glenn Archer's 250th game. Other evident performances were seen in the 2005 and 2007 seasons, where the club recorded a number of record comeback wins that earnt them the tag of being the team that can't be killed.

In 2005, to celebrate the club's 80th anniversary of senior competition in the VFL and the thirtieth anniversary of the first VFL premiership, the Kangaroos held a massive "Shinboner Spirit" gala event, attended by almost the entire surviving playing list. In the awards ceremony, the key "Shinboners" of the past eighty years were acknowledged, with Glenn Archer being named the "Shinboner of the Century" to almost unanimous acclaim.

Evidently what once a derogatory term, is now a badge of honour.

Corporate

Ownership

The North Melbourne Football Club is a non-profit organisation limited by guarantee. Members of the club serve as the guarantees of capital, and have full voting rights at AGMs to elect directors to the club’s board.

The club’s board compromises nine directors with each director serving a 3 year term before their position is put up for re-election at an AGM. Only one-third of the board is contested at each AGM due to the rolling structure of the terms of the directors. This structure safeguards the entire board from being ousted at a single AGM, and has made North Melbourne immune to a lot of the in house fighting witnessed at other AFL football clubs. The board governs the club as well as selecting a Chairman to head the club through a majority vote of directors.

North Melbourne is unique in its structure, because from 1986 to 2006 the club was privately owned and limited by shares. The club was floated in 1986 through a membership vote led by then Chairman Bob Ansett. At the meeting, members were encouraged to buy into the club by purchasing shares. The float ended up raising over $3 million and helped to keep the club solvent through the next decade.

In 1991, the John Elliott-led Carlton Football Club attempted a hostile take over North Melbourne by purchasing a large parcel of shares formerly owned by Bob Ansett. The Blues acquired 20 per cent of the capital but that stake was eventually bought back by John Magowan, the former head of Merrill Lynch Australia, in 2001. The resulting melodrama saw the formation of B-Class shareholders who had the effective power of veto over any attempt to merge or relocate the club.

Further takeover attempts were made in the first decade of the 21st century by the Southport Sharks. Then Chairman Allan Aylett knocked back a proposal from the Sharks that would have seen them gain a majority stake in the club in exchange for an injection of capital. In early 2006, another proposal from Sharks to underwrite Kangaroos games on the Gold Coast, in exchange for a slice of the shareholder structure at the club was knocked back after AFL intervention.

Due to an Australian Tax Office ruling in 2006, the club proposed a shareholder restructure that would have seen the B Class shareholders power reduced significantly and some voting rights returned to members. This was done to avoid extraordinary taxes being placed on the club, but the move was blocked in December by Bob Ansett and his proxies who feared that the restructure would make the club vulnerable to further takeover bids.

On 28 February 2007, another meeting was called to resolve the shareholder issue, and a motion was passed that would return see some voting rights return to members and stop any future tax increments.

In April 2007 it was revealed the AFL was attempting to buy out the shareholders of the club in a bid to gain full ownership, and force a relocation of the club to the Gold Coast.

During October 2007, a group called We Are North Melbourne emerged and launched a public campaign, calling for ordinary members to be given the final say on the relocation issue. While the group became synonymous with the push to keep the Club in Melbourne, its first priority was to see the Club's shareholder structure wound-up and control returned to ordinary members.

North Melbourne reverted back to public company in November 2008. A moratorium was passed at an Extraordinary General Meeting that will allow James Brayshaw’s board to serve unopposed until 2010, so as to allow his ticket the maximum time to enact their policies to make the North Melbourne Football Club financially viable.

Membership base

North Melbourne has one of the most passionate and loyal supporter bases in the league. The club enjoys the 2nd highest supporter to member conversion rate[clarification needed], behind only the Fremantle Dockers[citation needed]. Despite this, the club still had the 2nd lowest membership base in the AFL.[citation needed]

In 2007, research conducted by Roy Morgan estimated that 228,000 people Australia-wide followed the club[citation needed]. This is 2nd only to the Melbourne Demons as the smallest supporter base in the league[citation needed]. Decisions to play more games interstate and to change the club's name, have alienated their Melbourne based supporters[citation needed], and this is reflected in Roy Morgan's research which suggests that North has lost 14% of its supporter base since their golden era ended in 2000[citation needed].

Season Members Change from previous season Finishing position Average Attendance Total Attendance
1984 6,374 11th 17,675 388,856
1985 6,520 increase 146 (+2.29%) 4th 24,042 577,019
1986 5,318 decrease 1202 (−18.44%) 7th 21,592 475,032
1987 3,430 decrease 1888 (−35.50%) 5th 21,108 485,491
1988 4,415 increase 985 (+28.72%) 11th 15,662 344,558
1989 3,411 decrease 1004 (−22.74%) 9th 17,759 390,693
1990 5,201 increase 1790 (+52.48%) 6th 19,526 429,565
1991 6,683 increase 1482 (+28.49%) 8th 20,574 452,617
1992 6,083 decrease 600 (−8.98%) 12th 19,652 432,350
1993 6,851 increase 768 (+12.63%) 5th 27,213 571,481
1994 10,296 increase 3445 (+50.28%) 3rd 33,177 796,254
1995 14,027 increase 3731 (+36.24%) 3rd 35,379 884,477
1996 14,438 increase 411 (+2.93%) 1st 37,827 945,678
1997 19,368 increase 4930 (+34.15%) 4th 36,873 921,829
1998 20,196 increase 828 (+4.26%) 2nd 38,336 958,394
1999 22,080 increase 1884 (+9.33%) 1st 34 814 870,349
2000 22,156 increase 76 (+0.34%) 4th 33,471 836,765
2001 21,409 decrease 747 (−3.37%) 13th 30,209 664,601
2002 20,831 decrease 578 (−2.70%) 7th 26,879 618,211
2003 21,403 increase 572 (+2.76%) 10th 29,812 655,854
2004 23,420 increase 2017 (+9.42%) 10th 28,300 622,580
2005 24,154 increase 734 (+3.13%) 7th 31,511 724,757
2006 24,700 increase 546 (+2.26%) 14th 28,849 634,686
2007 22,372 decrease 2328 (−9.43%) 3rd 33,458 836,445
2008 34,342 increase 11970 (+53.50%) 8th 29,569 680,095
2009 30,613[8] decrease 3729 (−10.86%) 13th 27,028 594,606
2010 29,272 decrease 1341 (−4.38%) 9th 27,435 603,586
2011 30,362 increase 1090 (+3.97%) 9th 25,734 617,625

Reputation

Football pioneers

One of the pervading reasons as to why North continues to survive today is its enterprising sense of initiative. Since 1869, the club has gained a repuatutation as the footy pioneers of Australian Football, for the amount of initiatives the club has formulated.

Apart from co-founding the first ever football league in Victoria – the VFA, and being the first club to install seats at their home ground, they were also the first club to introduce:

  • Club memberships
  • Jumper sponsorships
  • League fixtures
  • Club songs
  • Separate pre-season jumpers
  • Clash jumpers
  • Corporate Entertainment
  • Pre-match entertainment
  • Coterie Memberships
  • Social Clubs
  • Mid-week discos
  • Grand Final Breakfasts
  • Doubleheader Football
  • Friday Night Football
  • Footy flags
  • Cheersquads

All of these ideas were quickly copied by other footy clubs across the country.

North has never been afraid to try out new ideas. In the early 1970s North were the first club to try and convert an athlete from another country and sport, when they recruited 'Wee Willie' Anderson, who was a professional African American basketballer. He never played a senior game.

In 1977, North became the first team to be televised in colour, live across Australia, in the 1977 Grand Final. Eight years later, North became the first club of the modern era to move away from their local suburban suburban ground, in favour of better facilities at the centrally located MCG. The resulting move kicked off ground rationalisation in the VFL and saw clubs abandon their home grounds for larger stadiums at the MCG, Waverley and Etihad Stadium. In 1986, North became the first privatised club in the league, which was followed by Sydney and Fitzroy.

Other minor achievements are that they were the first club to play games interstate when in 1998 they trialled a home game in Canberra, which has now been copied by Carlton, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs. North also were the first club to introduce headbands which became popular in the 90s, with the inspired "Operation Kangaroo" headbands in 1990.

Even today North continues to innovate, with the Orange sponsored Kangaroo jumper in 2001, and the introduction of an Argentine inspired soccer jumper in 2009.

Night and wet weather specialists

North Melbourne has the special reputation of being the night and wet weather specialists of the AFL.

In 1985, North Melbourne introduced the world first concept of playing football on a Friday Night. Since then, North Melbourne has played the most Friday Night games of any AFL club. North Melbourne's Friday Night dominance peaked during the 90s when they were almost invincible on the night stage. Their exploits in Friday and Saturday Night games became the stuff of legend. Led by superstars like Wayne Carey, John Longmire and Wayne Schwass, North swept aside almost all opposition it faced. Their strong performances under lights have continued to this day.

Similarly, North has the same reputation of dominance in wet weather games. The history of North and wet weather football extends back to the days when the team played at the water logged Arden St. Their strength in wet weather football culminated in the 1997 Qualifying Final where an injury depleted, 7th placed North Melbourne side defeated 2nd placed Geelong in torrential rain at the MCG.

Together, these efforts have earnt North the tag of being the Night and Wet Weather Specialists respectively.

Indigenous pride

Throughout the history of Australian Football Aboriginal footballers have thrilled crowds with their skill and flare, but have had to overcome great racial prejudices in order to compete at the highest level.

Despite being a traditionally catholic club, North Melbourne has a strong history of supporting Aboriginal footballers and fostering Aboriginal talent in the VFL and AFL. The first indigenous footballer to play for the club was Percy Johnson in the 1950s, and was ably followed by other fan favorites like Bertie Johnson, Barry Cable and the Krakouer brothers in the following decades. Despite the attitudes of some other fans and clubs to indigenous footballers, North Melbourne has always been inclusive of Aboriginal talent.[9]

The following is a list of Indigenous footballers to have played senior football at the club:

  • Percy Johnson (1951–1955)
  • Bertie Johnson (1965–1968)
  • Barry Cable (1970, 1974–1977)
  • Craig Holden (1982–1983)
  • Jim Krakouer (1982–1989)
  • Phil Krakouer (1982–1989)
  • Derek Kickett (1989)
  • Andrew Krakouer (1989–1990)
  • Adrian McAdam (1993–1995)
  • Warren Campbell (1994–1995)
  • Winston Abraham (1998–2001)
  • Byron Pickett (1997–2002)
  • Gary Dhurrkay (1999–2000)
  • Shannon Motlop (1999–2003)
  • Daniel Motlop (2001–2005)
  • Daniel Wells (2003–present)
  • Eddie Sansbury (2004–2008)
  • Djaran Whyman (2007)
  • Matt Campbell (2007–present)
  • Lindsay Thomas (2007–present)
  • Cruize Garlett (2009–present)

Other Aboriginal footballers who did not play senior football:

  • Warren Benjamin
  • Robert Cockatoo
  • Rodney Cockatoo
  • David Ross
  • Christian Woodley

Lest We Forget

Like most other AFL clubs, North Melbourne suffered its share of fatalities during the World Wars. The following is a list of footballers who played for North Melbourne, but were killed in action.

World War I

  • Peter Martin

World War II

Rivalries

Major

EssendonDesign.svg Essendon – North and Essendon have a chequered history that dates back to the late 19th century. Firstly in 1896, Essendon had North excluded from the VFL, because both clubs drew supporters from the same area. Later on in 1922, Essendon stole the cream of North's squad after the two clubs went through a failed merger. To add insult to the rivalry, when North was accepted to the VFL in 1925, North were forced to cede all of their neighbouring recruiting territory to Essendon.[citation needed]

North supporters have long been bitter with Essendon for excluding them from the VFL, and have blamed that for their small supporter base in comparison to Essendon's. North's first VFL Grand Final was against Essendon in 1950.[citation needed]

The rivalry was reignited in the 90s, and in 1998 some North fans decided to inform Essendon of their softness by throwing marshmallows at coach Kevin Sheedy.[citation needed]

HawksDesign.svg Hawthorn – North and Hawthorn have a fierce rivalry that dates back to the 1970s when they played off against each other in three Grand Finals in the space of four years. From 1974 to 1978 the two clubs played against each other in ten finals, and took each other on for the Australian Championship in Adelaide in 1976. During the '80s Hawthorn dominated North, and during the 90s the results were reversed with North dominating Hawthorn. The rivalry with the Hawks has been getting more fierce in the past few years, due to some questionable trading between the two clubs.[citation needed]

Minor

CollingwoodDesign.svg Collingwood – North and Collingwood have a small kind of rivalry between them. As they drew in the 1977 Grand Final, which North went on to win to the replay by 27 points[citation needed].

CarltonDesign.png Carlton – North Melbourne was once listed on the stock market[when?] and Carlton tried to buy out North and take their top players[when?]. Later[when?] there was talk of a merger, or more specifically, Carlton increasing its shareholdings[citation needed]. North fans didn't think kindly of either option[citation needed] which made defeating Carlton in the 1999 Grand Final that much more special[citation needed].

Sydney/South Melbourne – North verse South sounds like an obvious bitter rivalry but it was never as strong as the Essendon and later Hawthorn rivalries although it undoubtedly existed. However it is based on recent events that the rivalry has intensified. It is more a one sided rivalry as Sydney have few 'true' arch enemies and North have plenty. In the 1996 Grand Final, Sydney lost to North Melbourne denying the Swans the chance to end the then longest premiership drought. The rivalry was further extended in 2000 when North Melbourne considered playing a game in Sydney to further promote the game of Australian rules football; the Swans interpreted this as North trying to invade Sydney's "territory". A cumulation of close games, including a goal after the siren win by Daryn Cresswell in 2002, and immense and 100+ point winning margins, ensured the Swans' rivalry was maintained with the Kangaroos in recent years.[citation needed]

Port Adelaide – Despite being the second newest club in the competition, Port Adelaide and North Melbourne have always shared a strong rivalry. Port Adelaide did not manage to defeat North Melbourne until 2003, after being in the competition for six seasons, and having defeated every other club. Critical matches have also been between these two clubs, such as the 2005 Elimination Final, where eighth placed Port Adelaide defeated fifth placed North Melbourne by 87 points in an upset win. However, in 2007, both clubs were fighting out for a berth in the 2007 AFL Grand Final, and the heavily favoured Port Adelaide won in their home state, again by 87 points. That was Glenn Archer's final ever AFL match played. The rivalry came to a head in 2008, when North Melbourne needed to defeat non-finalists Port Adelaide in the last round of the season to ensure a spot in the top four and finals double chance. However, they went down by 77 points in a shock loss, leaving them in seventh place (rightfully should have been sixth since Sydney finished sixth with the same amount of points as North Melbourne.), and bowed out of the finals series the next week against Sydney. However, in recent times, North Melbourne has managed to claw its way back against Port Adelaide, with the most recent encounter being a 60 point victory (a match where North had kicked 25 behinds) at Etihad Stadium in Round 6 of the 2011 AFL season.[citation needed]

Club honour board

Honour roll

Year W: L: D Position Chairman CEO Coach Captain Vice-Captain Best and Fairest Leading Goalkicker
2000 15:10:0 4th R. P. Casey/A. Carter G. Miller D. Pagan W. Carey A. Stevens P. Bell W. Carey 69
2001 9:13:0 13th A. Carter/A. Aylett G. Miller/M. Easy D. Pagan W. Carey A. Stevens S. Grant S. Rocca 48
2002 12:11:0 7th A. Aylett M. Easy/G. Walsh D. Pagan A. Stevens G. Archer A. Simpson S. Rocca 50
2003 11:10:1 10th A. Aylett G. Walsh D. Laidley A. Stevens G. Archer B. Harvey L. Harding 33
2004 10:12:0 10th A. Aylett G. Walsh D. Laidley A. Simpson B. Harvey B. Rawlings S. Rocca 49
2005 13:10:0 7th A. Aylett/G. Duff G. Walsh D. Laidley A. Simpson B. Harvey B. Harvey N. Thompson 52
2006 7:15:0 14th G. Duff G. Walsh/R. Aylett D. Laidley A. Simpson B. Harvey B. Rawlings N. Thompson 54
2007 15:10:0 3rd G. Duff/J. Magowan/J. Brayshaw R. Aylett D. Laidley A. Simpson B. Harvey B. Harvey C. Jones 43
2008 12:10:1 7th J. Brayshaw E. Arocca D. Laidley A. Simpson B. Harvey B. Harvey D. Hale 37
2009 7:14:1 13th J. Brayshaw E. Arocca D. Laidley/D. Crocker B. Harvey D. Petrie A. Swallow D. Petrie 27
2010 11:11:0 9th J. Brayshaw E. Arocca B. Scott B. Harvey D. Petrie B. Harvey, B. Rawlings L. Thomas 29
2011 10:12:0 9th J. Brayshaw E. Arocca B. Scott B. Harvey D. Petrie A. Swallow, D. Wells D. Petrie 48

Finishing positions (1869–2011)

Finishing Position Year (Finals in Bold) Tally
1st 1903, 1904, 1910, 1914, 1915, 1918, 1975, 1977, 1996, 1999 10
2nd 1897, 1898, 1899, 1905, 1913, 1919, 1950, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1998 11
3rd 1876, 1877, 1884, 1901, 1902, 1911, 1912, 1920, 1922, 1949, 1979, 1983, 1994, 1995, 2007 15
4th 1874, 1875, 1878, 1879, 1906, 1945, 1954, 1958, 1982, 1985, 1997, 2000 12
5th 1880, 1882, 1885, 1890, 1900, 1924, 1980, 1987, 1993 9
6th 1883, 1886, 1889, 1894, 1896, 1923, 1944, 1959, 1973, 1990 10
7th 1881, 1888, 1909, 1921, 1952, 1953, 1963, 1966, 1986, 2002, 2005, 2008 12
8th 1887, 1891, 1895, 1932, 1933, 1948, 1957, 1964, 1967, 1969, 1981, 1991 12
9th 1907, 1908, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1951, 1965, 1971, 1989, 2010, 2011 14
10th 1925, 1947, 2003, 2004 4
11th 1892, 1927, 1928, 1936, 1955, 1960, 1962, 1984, 1988 9
12th 1926, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1940, 1956, 1961, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1992 14
13th 1893, 2001, 2009 3
14th 2006 1
15th nil 0
16th nil 0
17th nil 0

North Melbourne Team of the Century

At a special function in August 2001 the North Melbourne Team of the Century was announced. There was no minimum number of games set for selection. Wayne Carey was named as captain and Denis Pagan as coach. The selection panel was Geoff Poulter (journalist), Father Gerard Dowling (club historian), Keith McKenzie (former coach), Lloyd Holyoak (former president), Max Ritchie (former player and chairman of selectors) and Greg Miller (chief executive).

David King, John Blakey, Wayne Schwass and Gary Dempsey were selected as emergencies.

North Melbourne Team of the Century
B: Glenn Archer David Dench Mick Martyn
HB: John Rantall Ross Glendinning Ted Jarrard
C: Keith Greig Les Foote Laurie Dwyer
HF: Malcolm Blight Wayne Carey (c) Wayne Schimmelbusch
F: John Dugdale Jock Spencer Allen Aylett
Foll: Noel Teasdale Anthony Stevens Barry Cable
Int: Brent Crosswell Barry Davis Peter Steward
Sam Kekovich Jim Krakouer Brent Harvey
Coach: Denis Pagan


Shinboner of the Century

On 18 March 2005, the North Melbourne football club held a special gala dinner entitled the "North Story" to celebrate the 80th anniversary of North's admission to the VFL, and the 30th anniversary of the club's first VFL premiership. Over 3500 people attended the historic event held at the prestigious Royal Exhibition Building, including almost all surviving North Melbourne players. Glenn Archer was voted the Shinboner of the Century by his peers as the player who most represents the 'Shinboner Spirit'. The following players were voted 'Shinboners' of their era:

Achievements

VFA

  • Champions (undefeated premiers) 1915, 1918
  • Premiers 1903, 1904, 19061, 1910, 19112, 19122, 1914
  • Runners Up 1905, 19071, 1913, 1919
  • Minor Premiers 1905, 1910, 1914, 1915, 1918, 1919
  • Second Twenty Premiers 1886

VFL

  • VFL Premiers 1975, 1977
  • VFL Runners Up 1950, 1974, 1976,1978
  • VFL Minor Premiers 1949, 1978, 1983
  • VFL Seconds Premiers 1947, 1957
  • VFL Seconds Runners Up 1950
  • VFL Reserves Premiers 1967, 1978, 1979
  • VFL Reserves Runners Up 1976, 1988
  • VFL Thirds Premiers 1946
  • VFL Thirds Runners Up 1947
  • VFL Under 19s Premiers 1976, 1984, 1987, 1988
  • VFL Under 19s Runners Up 1972, 1983, 1985, 1989

AFL

  • AFL Premiers 1996, 1999
  • AFL Runners Up 1998
  • AFL Minor Premiers 1998
  • AFL Reserves Premiers 1995, 1996
  • AFL Reserves Grand Finalists 1993, 1994
  • AFL Under 19s Premiers 1990, 1991

Other

  • Champions of Australia 1975
  • NFL Championship Grand Finalists 1976
  • McClelland Trophy 1976, 1978, 1983, 1998
  • Night Series Premiers 1965, 1966, 1980
  • Night Series Runners Up 1961, 1968, 1978, 1982
  • NMFL Under 17s Premiers 1979
  • Pre-season Premiers 1995, 1998
  • Pre-season Runners Up 1990, 1991, 2000
  • VFL Affiliate Premiers North Ballarat, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • VFL Affiliate Runners Up Port Melbourne, 2004


1 Won by West Melbourne before merger
2 Won by Essendon Association before merger

Individual honours

Premiership results

Best and Fairest

Current squad

North Melbourne Football Clubview · talk · edit
Senior list Rookie List Coaching staff
  • 33 Matt Campbell
  • 34 Jamie Macmillan
  • 35 Aaron Black
  • 36 Ayden Kennedy Cruz Roja.svg
  • 37
  • 39 Cameron Pedersen
  • 40 Ben Mabon
  • 42 Scott McMahon
  • 45 Luke Delaney
  • 46 Ben Speight Cruz Roja.svg

Head coach

  • Brad Scott

Assistant coaches

  • Darren Crocker (midfield/ruck)
  • Shane Watson (backline)
  • Brett Allison (forwardline)
  • Jon Haines (development)
  • Jason Lappin (development)
  • John Lamont (development)

Legend:
  • (c) Captain
  • (vc) Vice captain
  • Cruz Roja.svg Long-term injury list
  • Arrow-up.gif Upgraded rookie(s)
  • (ret) Retired

Updated: 11 August 2011
Source(s): Playing list, Coaching staff


Current coaching staff

  • Senior Coach: Brad Scott
  • Assistant Coaches:
  • Player Development Manager: Jon Haines
  • Development Coach – North Ballarat Jason Lappin
  • Development Coach – Werribee John Lamont

See also


References

  1. ^ "NORTH MELBOURNE FOOTBALL CLUB LIMITED". ASIC. http://www.search.asic.gov.au/cgi-bin/gns030c?acn=006_468_962&juris=9&hdtext=ACN&srchsrc=1. 
  2. ^ Rickard, John, An assemblage of decent men and women : a history of the Anglican parish of St Mary's North Melbourne 1853–2000. / John Rickard St Mary's Anglican Church North Melbourne, North Melbourne, Vic. : 2008
  3. ^ Gerard Dowling, "North Melbourne Football Club", in Andrew Brown-May and Shurlee Swain, The Encyclopedia of Melbourne, Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2005, p.511.
  4. ^ a b c Lovett, Michael (Chief editor) (2010). AFL Record Season Guide. Geoff Slattery Media Group. ISBN 978-0-9806274-5-9. 
  5. ^ Wee deoch-an-doris [Historic American Sheet Music]
  6. ^ "Australia or Heart to heart and hand to hand". http://nla.gov.au/nla.mus-an4784438. 
  7. ^ AFL Tunes to Remember – The Melbourne Age, 23 July 2010
  8. ^ "Official Membership 2009". http://kangaroos.com.au/. 
  9. ^ North's Indigenous pride – Official AFL Website of the North Melbourne Football Club

External links

Preceded by
Richmond
Hawthorn
Carlton
Adelaide
VFL/AFL Premiers
1975
1977
1996
1999
Succeeded by
Hawthorn
Hawthorn
Adelaide
Essendon
Preceded by
Essendon
Collingwood
Richmond
St Kilda
AFL Minor Premiers
1949
1978
1983
1998
Succeeded by
Essendon
Carlton
Essendon
Essendon
Preceded by
Essendon
Carlton
AFL Pre-season Cup Winners
1995
1998
Succeeded by
St Kilda
Hawthorn

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