In the wake of their dismal 2020 season, North Melbourne has taken a sledge hammer to their list with 11 players told they are being delisted. Jamie Macmillan, Majak Daw, Jasper Pittard, Ben Jacobs, Paul Ahern, Mason Wood, Sam Durdin, Marley Williams, Joel Crocker, Lachie Hosie and Tom Murphy are out of the club.
Macmillan, 28, played 167 games for the Kangaroos, after being drafted in 2009. He was awarded life membership to the club in 2019. He missed the rest of the season after Round One due to his departure from the Queensland hub to return home for the birth of his first child. Macmillan said, “I want to thank the club for giving a skinny 18-year-old kid a shot ... It’s been an unbelievable ride over 11 years and this club holds a special place in my heart. While I’m disappointed ... I understand the decisions are in the best interests of the club, and wish everyone involved nothing but success.” He was awarded life membership to the club in 2019.
Coach Rhyce Shaw said, “Jamie has been a reliable defender ... for the best part of the last decade. His reliability and flexibility to play on talls and smalls was a real asset ... his leadership and team-first attitude was always his biggest strength ... ".
Majak Daw was drafted as a rookie in 2009 and became the first Sudanese-born AFL player when he debuted in 2013. He missed all of 2019 after suffering severe hip and pelvic injuries due to a fall from a bridge in Melbourne. He made his comeback against Adelaide in Round Nine this year. He also had setbacks with a hamstring injury and pectoral injury. Daw said, “It’s obviously pretty disappointing ... It’s [my career] had its highs and lows ... I played 54 games in 11 years, so it’s quite a humble career, but I’d just like to thank this footy club for giving me an opportunity to be the first African to play in the AFL. It’s something I will always hold close to my heart. I’ve made some really good mates ... I’ll miss the locker room banter … The last few years obviously haven’t been easy for me, and I can’t thank this footy club enough for what they’ve done for me.”
Shaw, “I don’t think we can underestimate the impact Majak’s had not only on our club, but the game in general ... When we look back at what he’s achieved and the battles he’s overcome to not only play football, but to give a voice to those in his community who are treated differently or unfairly, it’s just phenomenal ... He’s been a trailblazer on and off the field ... What he’s done for young African people and his community, combined with what he’s done for those suffering mental health has been extraordinary.”
Ben Jacobs, 28, was drafted in 2010 by Port Adelaide and played 90 games before requesting a trade in 2012 to return home. By 2018, he was regarded as one of the best taggers in the game, but has not played since Round 16 of that year. A "whiplash" injury has caused him ongoing health problems - severe face and neck pain, headaches, blocked ears and pressure in his head ever since. He said, "I had none of these symptoms before I hit my head, so since then it has been a combination of things. I have had a neck injury ... I have just had my head knocked on the ground ... whether that has flared up the jaw, the nerves in the head, the neck ... it is the perfect storm type of thing.” He and the club's medical team have looked at a number of options and treatments to alleviate his symptoms according to General Manager Brady Rawlings, “We’ve left no stone unturned ... It’s been a long and painstaking journey with an unfortunate premature ending to Ben’s football career, but our focus has always been on his long-term health and ensuring he could lead a normal life symptom free. While Ben still has a way to go ... he’s definitely on the right track and we’ll continue to support him with his health and wellbeing ...".
Shaw, “Ben was someone opposition teams had to plan for, and I know that first-hand being at Sydney when he was taking scalp after scalp. Although he's been out of the game for a while, he’s remained a great teammate and club person, which is a real credit to him.”
Jaspar Pittard, 29, was drafted by Port Adelaide in 2009 and played 126 games before being traded at the end of 2018. He played 32 games for a total of 158. Shaw said, “Jasper has been a talented defender highlighted by his All-Australian squad selection in 2016. He worked really hard to turn his career around when he arrived, and managed to play every game for us in 2019 which was a great effort and real credit to his resilience and determination. He was a valuable addition to the leadership group this season.”
Mason Wood, 27, was drafted in 2012 and played 65 games and kicked 76 goals.
Shaw, “At his best, Mason was able to have a real impact on games with his ability to take strong marks (catch of the ball), and his elite running and endurance allowing him to cover a lot of ground. "
Paul Ahern, 24, was originally drafted by GWS in 2014, but played no games for the Giants. Traded to North in 2016 and played just seven games.
Sam Durdin, 24, was drafted in 2014 and played 21 games.
Marley Williams, 27, was originally drafted by Collingwood in 2012 as a rookie and then elevated to the senior list. He played 68 games before being traded to North at the end of 2016. He played 57 games with the Kangaroos.
Joel Crocker, 20, is the son of premiership player Darren and was a father-son selection in 2018. He played just two games in 2019.
Lachie Hosie, 23, was drafted as a rookie in 2019 and played five games. Tom Murphy, 22, was drafted in 2018 are out of the club. An ankle injury restricted him to just four games in 2019. He played a further five games this year.
Source: afl.com.au, AFL Record Season Guides
Article last changed on Friday, January 15, 2021 - 12:08 AM EST