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North Melbourne 2017 Season Preview - Can Kangaroos defy critics and make finals?

Adam Cusworth 21 Feb 2017
  • North Melbourne lost over 1500 games of experience with the departures of retiring veterans at end of 2016
  • Jack Ziebell installed as new skipper
  • Can Todd Goldstein regain his All Australian form from two years ago?

It was a tail of two halves for North Melbourne in 2016 after setting the pace early on before crashing out in spectacular fashion at the back end of the year. 

Many are predicting the Roos to battle but can the perennial underdogs prove the experts wrong? Here is our preview of their chances in 2017. 

2016 position: 8th

2017 Difficulty Rating: 4/10

Off season movements: 

ARRIVALS:Jy Simpkin, Declan Watson, Josh Williams, Nick Larkey, Paul Ahern (GWS), Nathan Hrovat (Western Bulldogs), Marley Williams (Collingwood)
DEPARTURES: Farren Ray, Nick Dal Santo, Michael Firrito, Brent Harvey, Brad McKenzie, Robin Nahas, Drew Petrie, Joel Tippett, Aaron Black (Geelong), Daniel Wells (Collingwood)


North Melbourne lost over 1500 games of experience with the departures of Brent Harvey, Nick Dal Santo, Michael Firrito, Drew Petrie and Daniel Wells and are expected to endure a bit of a transition year, pumping games into younger players. 

CrownBet have them at odds of $81 to win the 2017 Premiership and they are relatively friendless at $3.80 in betting for the top eight. 

Before completing writing off the Kangas, there are a few things to consider and one of those is that they endured a wretched run of injuries last season, including hamstring injuries to Sam Wright and Ben Jacobs as well as a hip that just wouldn't go away for Jarryd Waite, who was absoutely flying earlier on in the season. 

Todd Goldstein carried niggles and was nowhere near his All-Australian form, while former Hawk player, Jed Anderson, never really got going. Mason Wood was another that went down. The exciting prospect suffered a premature end to his season but is flying on the track at the moment and is set for a big year. 

Nathan Hrovat and Marley Williams loom as handy additions and a fit and firing squad will be a big bonus for North, as will be their draw, which looks to be kind for a side that did play in the finals last year. 

They play just one top six side on two occasions and only have four six-day breaks to negotiate this season. A downside is that they open up with a very difficult first four weeks with games against West Coast, Geelong, GWS and the Western Bulldogs. 

If the boys from Arden Street can at least break even in the first month, they can set themselves up for another competitive year. 

For the majority that think life will be difficult in 2017 for the shinboners, odds of $9 are available for them to claim the wooden spoon, with only Brisbane, Carlton and Gold Coast at shorter odds in this market. 

In other betting, new skipper Jack Ziebell is a $151 chance to win the Brownlow, while the flashy ball-winner, Ryan Clarke, is a $9 chance to win the Rising Star.

Key betting odds

Premiership: $81 CrownBet
Top 8: $3.80 CrownBet
To Miss Top 8: $1.20 at CrownBet
Wooden Spoon: $9 sportsbet
Rising Star: Ryan Clarke $9 CrownBet
Brownlow: Jack Ziebell $151 William Hill


The markets have it spot on here and the $1.20 for the Roos is better than bank interest but a tad skinny for us. We doubt that they will sink as low as the wooden spoon. The play may be to have a nibble at Ryan Clarke to claim the Rising Star. He has been turning heads on the training track and knows how to find the football. 

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