Brad Scott backs Goldstein to stay North’s number one

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    Todd Goldstein isn’t in danger of losing his status as North Melbourne’s No.1 ruckman despite his faltering form this AFL season.

    Ahead of their clash with St Kilda on Friday night, Kangaroos coach Brad Scott says Goldstein is being pushed by rising star Braydon Preuss but remains their first choice.

    “I think Preuss is going to develop really strongly and we’ve seen only a glimpse of what he’s going to be capable of,” Scott said on Thursday at Arden St.

    “But Goldy at his best is as good as any ruckman in the competition, in my view, so Goldy’s got to get back to that and Preussy’s got a long way to go to bridge the gap to Goldy’s best.”

    Scott said the 28-year-old had been threatening to return to his 2015 All Australian and might just against the Saints.

    “You look at all the numbers and how he’s travelling and he’s not achieving the lofty heights he set for himself in the past but he’s still going pretty well,” Scott said.

    “I really get the feeling with Goldy that he’s right on the edge.

    “I thought he was really important for us against Melbourne and he did some really good things for us against Carlton so I think he’s right at the edge of a break-out game so we’re more than happy to persist with him.”

    Scott said a change to the Kangaroos’ playing style was behind Goldstein’s lack of marks, which was a feature of his game in 2015.

    “It’s a bit more how we’re playing,” he said.

    “We’ve played three pretty strong key forwards, so we haven’t been getting him to push as hard forward as we have in the past because we want to leave that space open for our other big guys.

    “He’s a versatile player who’s obviously very capable of marking the ball but he’s a great running player as well, so we don’t look at one part of his game in isolation.”

    Sitting 15th, Scott said every game was important as his team tried to climb the ladder.

    The Saints are also desperate to win after posting three heavy losses after a promising start to the year.

    Scott says they are wary of them returning to their best.

    “I know they’ve had a challenging month but the footy they played early in the year was really exciting, with a lot of bold ball movement and they were a real handful, so we’re expecting that version of St Kilda tomorrow night.”

    © AAP 2017

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