North Melbourne Kangaroos

2015 Mid-Season Review Part Three
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By Lachlan Hellyer reporting for AFANA from Toronto

(Ed: note: Our newest contributor, Lachlan Hellyer, will be reviewing the Aussie rules season thus far in a three part series over the "bye rounds" of 11, 12, and 13. He will take a look at the progress each team has made to the midway point of the season. This week, part three, with six more teams: Geelong, Greater Western Sydney, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Port Adelaide, and West Coast Eagles have this week off. This is their season so far.)


Geelong
Win/Loss record: 6-6

Dockers Obliterate North Melbourne
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

North Melbourne was put to the sword in a one-sided contest against the Fremantle Dockers in their Round 8 clash in Perth. The visiting Kangaroos were never a threat and showed the same inconsistency that has haunted them over the past few seasons. Just when fans think that North might be a contender, the players fall and stumble at the hurdles that teams like Fremantle throw up at them. It is hard to predict which Kangaroos' side is going to take the paddock from week to week and for this game the wrong side turned up. North Melbourne was belted from pillar to post and looked second rate against a more skilled and disciplined Fremantle unit.

Adelaide Secures Coaches
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Adelaide has appointed Port Adelaide midfield coach Phil Walsh as its new senior coach for the next three years. Walsh, a highly regarded tactician, joined Port in 2014, after five seasons with the West Coast Eagles as Strategy and Innovations Coach. He was also midfield coach for Port in 2004. Walsh, who played 122 games for Collingwood, Richmond and Brisbane, started his coaching journey overseeing strength and conditioning at Geelong in the 1990s. Club chairman Rob Chapman said Walsh would be a perfect fit for the club and could lead it to success.

Club Awards
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Sydney midfielder Luke Parker has won his first Bob Skilton medal as the Swans' best and fairest. Parker polled in all but three games to finish on 758 votes, ahead of Josh Kennedy (709) and Lance Franklin (688). Parker, 21, is the youngest winner since Michael O'Loughlin in 1998. He also won the Paul Kelly Players’ Player Award, which is voted on by the playing group. Parker led the club in 2014 for tackles, averaging six per game, and was among the leaders for the season in disposals, contested possessions and goals. Coach Longmire praised Parker as a great competitor, saying the win - after just 82 games - was a great achievement. “When you look at the players behind him - Kennedy and Franklin - you quickly get an understanding of how good a season he has had, and how highly we think of him as a player. Luke was taken as quite a late draft pick, but he really is testament to where hard work can get you, and we value that really highly."

Roo Resurgence Eliminates Bombers
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Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Melbourne, Victoria

In a no holds barred Second Elimination Final in front of 78559 fans, Essendon lined up against North Melbourne for the right to advance further into the Finals series. The Bombers had much to prove after two tumultuous seasons marred by the ASADA investigation into the use of prohibited substances at the club in 2012. Banned from the 2013 Finals series as a result, finally they had a chance to play on the big stage and give their fans something to celebrate. For North Melbourne it was “make or break’ type pressure hanging over their heads with the absence of team “barometer” Brent (Boomer) Harvey (through suspension) a definite disadvantage.

SANFL Hall Of Fame
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The SANFL recently held the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Among the inductees were Port players Matthew Primus and Chad Cornes and Adelaide stars Tony Modra and Tyson Edwards. Primus and Cornes join former teammates Warren Tredrea and Josh Francou as Hall of Fame members.

Crows Find Form
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Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from Adelaide Oval, Australia

Adelaide players have referred to their season thus far as "a roller coaster" with the last five rounds alternating between wins and losses. Players have stated publicly that their aim is to find some consistency and start stringing the wins together or risk playing themselves out of Finals' contention. North Melbourne on the other hand is currently in the Top Eight but is a team still fighting for consistency as players try to live up to big preseason expectations.

Kangaroos Break Drought
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Rick Browner reporting from Patersons Stadium, Perth for AFANA

It has been a long time coming but on ANZAC Day in Round Six North Melbourne finally won its first game since 2007 against Fremantle at Patersons Stadium. The Kangaroos were behind in the early stages of the game after the Dockers burst out of the gates to forge ahead by 26 points but managed to fight their way back into the contest with class and skill.

Lou Richards Honored
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Just as Round Five was about to get underway, Magpie legend and media personality Lou Richards received two honors from his beloved Collingwood and the AFL. Collingwood president Eddie McGuire, CEO Gary Pert and AFL Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick were on hand for the unveiling of a statue of Richards. Richards, 91, was in attendance with family and friends.

AFL Life Membership Awards
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The AFL will hold its AGM in March, at which time nine new life members (honored for their services to the game) will be announced. The newest inductees will be: recently retired triple premiership Geelong midfielder Joel Corey, former Brisbane Lions’ dual premiership player and current Geelong coach Chris Scott, North Melbourne premiership player and current Sydney Swans coach John Longmire, St Kilda’s Norm Smith Medalist Lenny Hayes, six-time Grand Final umpire Brett Rosebury and Sydney Swans’ dual premiership player Ryan O’Keefe. All qualified automatically during the 2013 season by reaching 300 games as a player, umpire or player and coach.

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