Kangaroo cull continues: former North skipper Andrew Swallow retires

By Michael Ramsey, Michael Ramsey is a Roar Guru

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33 Have your say

    Former North Melbourne captain Andrew Swallow has retired with a year left on his AFL contract after failing to secure a move to Gold Coast.

    The 30-year-old had hoped to join younger brother David at the Suns and had the Kangaroos’ blessing to explore his options.

    But the expansion club opted not to take him on ahead of Thursday’s second list lodgement deadline.

    Swallow’s decision to hang up the boots follows what he has described as one of the most challenging years of his career.

    The 224-game veteran was twice dropped to the VFL by the rebuilding Kangaroos and managed just 16 senior games.

    “It was a very tough decision to make and it’s with a heavy heart that I’ve chosen to end my AFL career today,” Swallow said.

    “I’ve been fortunate to have had a 12-year career with North and I owe a lot to the club for investing in me not only as a player, but also as a person.”

    A three-time club best and fairest, Swallow won a reputation as a tough and valued inside midfielder during his best years.

    The Perth native increasingly struggled with the speed of the game and was ineffective last season when moved forward.

    Kangaroos coach Brad Scott praised Swallow’s leadership after taking over from Brent Harvey in 2012 as captain – a position he held until last year when Jack Ziebell took over.

    “There have been few players as brave and determined as Andrew,” Scott said.

    “He was an inspirational and dedicated leader that led by example with his tenacity, uncompromising attack on the ball and man, and his professionalism both on and off the field.”

    With small forward Lindsay Thomas delisted earlier this month, North will field one of the AFL’s youngest lists next season.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (33)

    • Roar Guru

      November 10th 2017 @ 9:55am
      Paul D said | November 10th 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

      When both the Suns and the Roos don’t want you anymore you know it’s time to retire

    • November 10th 2017 @ 10:05am
      Harsh Truth Harry said | November 10th 2017 @ 10:05am | ! Report

      Poor North….prelim finalists recently then…..plummeted…. failed to land any of their targets….hardly any supporters….don’t know what the future holds for North but it doesn’t look rosy…..ultimately Harry’s Harsh Truth says they will end up losing their licence I’m afraid unless they perhaps merge with Carlton as the Carlton Kangaroos?

      • November 10th 2017 @ 2:23pm
        Stephen said | November 10th 2017 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

        What’s the Harsh Truth Harry on North Melbourne moving to the Gold Coast? As per the original AFL plan 10 years ago.

        • November 10th 2017 @ 3:17pm
          Mattyb said | November 10th 2017 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

          I think it’s easy to single out North for a merger or relocation but the harsh truth is there’s multiple clubs in a similar position.
          10 VFL clubs in an 18 team AFL comp simply doesn’t go without the clubs from the other parts of Australia supporting them financially.

          • November 10th 2017 @ 4:58pm
            Stephen said | November 10th 2017 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

            Point taken Mattyb. And the game/AFL have grown to the point where its affordable to ensure financially struggling clubs are given the appropriate level of support. So that debate is becoming less relevant I think.

            To your point re the 10 Victorian clubs – I guess it then becomes a proactive, strategic, financial and emotional decision by the board and members. Do we remain in Melbourne and continue to maximize local support? Or are alternate options worthy of consideration? One thing I learnt from the Hawthorn/Melbourne and Footscray/Fitzroy merger attempts – is that emotional attachments are enormous. Perhaps what Hawthorn and NM are doing now in Tasmania – provides a good balance between maintaining home-base, coupled with the additional income streams available from interstate games.

            • Roar Guru

              November 10th 2017 @ 5:04pm
              Paul D said | November 10th 2017 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

              I don’t think there’s many people still crying about Fitzroy. The Lions belong to Brisbane now.

              If you want to watch Fitzroy they’re playing in the VAFA

              • November 13th 2017 @ 1:10pm
                Kangajets said | November 13th 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report


                Yet no one in Queensland cares a hoot abt Afl. So the Lions could be scrapped from the league within 5 years .

              • Roar Guru

                November 13th 2017 @ 1:16pm
                Paul D said | November 13th 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

                You seem to have a fascination with me! Given you’ve been ardently following me you should know what I’m about to say, as it’s the same response every time someone decides to play the man rather than the ball and attack my team – Brisbane are the only team in Brisbane, North are one of 9 teams servicing Melbourne.

                Brisbane isn’t getting wound up or scrapped, ever.

              • November 13th 2017 @ 2:48pm
                Kangajets said | November 13th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report


                We just have differing opinions

                As for fascinations, if Brisbane ain’t floating your boat using an avatar as a Melbourne demon fan isn’t much of a step up.

                All the best to your footy team whichever it may be

                I have no wish to see any team relocate , it’s just off season blog dribble .

              • Roar Guru

                November 13th 2017 @ 3:02pm
                Paul D said | November 13th 2017 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

                It sure is, and therefore you shouldn’t be concerned how I choose to waste my time. It is mine to waste, after all. Thanks for reading.

        • Roar Guru

          November 10th 2017 @ 3:37pm
          Cat said | November 10th 2017 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

          The actual truth is it will never happen.

          • November 10th 2017 @ 4:07pm
            Stephen said | November 10th 2017 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

            I thought you subscribe to the ‘never say never’ principle?

            • November 10th 2017 @ 4:37pm
              Mattyb said | November 10th 2017 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

              Stephen,your obviously correct,using the word never on an opinion website is outrageously short sighted.
              The possibility that the clubs from around Australia will have to support the VFL clubs is large going forward. If North go you still have St.Kilda,Melbourne,WB and Carlton needing to be supported,arguably Hawthorn if they face a rough patch.
              In a business sense GC and GWS are possibly worth investing in,VFL clubs outside Collingwood,Essendon and Richmond face a slippery slope with their chances of growth hindered by to many clubs in one area of the country.

              • November 11th 2017 @ 8:50pm
                Stephen said | November 11th 2017 @ 8:50pm | ! Report

                Agree Mattyb. I guess it gets back to the AFL Equalisation system. Which broadly involves the more ‘popular’ clubs being awarded prime-time viewing slots and blockbuster games. Therefore maximizing gate receipts and television rights. The AFL then acknowledge this by compensating the ‘non-blockbuster’ clubs with cash from an ever-growing revenue base.

                The argument against this system – is the ‘non-blockbuster’ clubs will be forever dependant on AFL handouts. Same argument for any welfare system I guess.

                So-far this has been the solution to club liquidity and financial survival. And the AFL – in their defence and to their credit – have made it clear, the governing body is committed to and can afford to support all 18 clubs.

                If I was a director of one of the clubs you list above – I would be looking internally for a more sustainable solution. Life changes. And who can guarantee the AFL Commission won’t wake up one day and change the rules around club compensation?

                In this age of sustainability. Is the current system workable long-term? Only yes I suspect – if the current system remains in place. And for that – there are no personal guarantees.

              • Roar Guru

                November 11th 2017 @ 10:17pm
                Cat said | November 11th 2017 @ 10:17pm | ! Report

                And who do you think supported Port Adelaide, who was broke and needing emergency funding just a couple years ago? Who is funding Brisbane, Gold Coast and GWS? It sure isn’t ‘only non-vic’ clubs.
                Its far too simplistic to say Vic teams are supported by non-vic teams. The truth is there are strong teams in and out of Vic and there are weak teams in and out of Vic.
                Once again you have failed to show any logical reasoning why 10 teams in Vic is too many other than the usual straw man ‘national competition’ nonsense.
                You talk a big game but you never actually come up with anything approaching useful solutions.

              • November 11th 2017 @ 10:59pm
                Stephen said | November 11th 2017 @ 10:59pm | ! Report

                Hang-on Cat. AFL Equalisation is open to all those in need at the time. The system currently straddles all 18 clubs. I didn’t intend in my commentary to limit the beneficiaries to the 10 Victorian clubs only. That wasn’t the intent. Philosophically, I share the AFL’s commitment to ensuring the survival of all 18 clubs. Period. The point I was trying to make – if responsible for a club that is dependant on AFL support – I would be searching within for a more sustainable solution. Further to your point – that solution would involves a range of efforts to find new and creative ways of:

                – broadening club membership
                – strategic alliances with sponsors. Hawthorn/Tasmania
                – reviewing home venues for better commercial outcomes
                – monetising fan engagement via websites etc. etc.
                – working more closely with the governing body on improved commercial outcomes like Shanghai

                I am interested in the big picture. Not much point of club membership – if my team has no one to play against.

              • Roar Guru

                November 12th 2017 @ 8:46am
                Cat said | November 12th 2017 @ 8:46am | ! Report

                Sorry Stephen, I should have been clear, my reply was in response to mattyb, not you.
                There will always be clubs weak for periods of time. It’s true in every sports league in the world. What the AFL need to do is ensure the ‘down periods’ are cyclical and short lived.

                There will always be a club that over-estimates their list, or a club that appoints a bad board or fails to change with the times. It is up to the AFL to provide the tools for clubs to be able to dig themselves out. It’s then up to clubs to help themselves.

                Certainly clubs and the AFL have gotten better at this. The most vulnerable clubs today are still much better off than the vulnerable clubs were 30 years ago. AFL house itself is also in a much stronger position to not allow any club to get ‘too bad’. I will say the AFL have been way too slow in helping Brisbane though. They should never have been allowed to go this long without elite training facilities.

              • November 13th 2017 @ 1:10pm
                Stephen said | November 13th 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

                Agree with all that Cat – for what’s its worth.

    • November 10th 2017 @ 10:37am
      Stephen said | November 10th 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

      What’s the Harsh Truth on North Melbourne relocating to the Gold Coast Harry? As was the original AFL plan 10 years ago.

    • Roar Rookie

      November 10th 2017 @ 11:53am
      WCE said | November 10th 2017 @ 11:53am | ! Report

      the only way this club has any future is to remove the coach and start with a revitalised refreshing coach who knows the game . Scott like his brother at the cats has been there far to long

      • November 10th 2017 @ 12:03pm
        Stephen said | November 10th 2017 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

        Agree WCE. Brad Scott found it appropriate to indirectly inform journalists he was being pursued by the GC Suns – at the same time his NM contract extension was being negotiated. He is one of few in our great game – I would not choose to work at the my club. One day he will out-smart himself – if he hasn’t already.

      • November 11th 2017 @ 12:40pm
        beepee said | November 11th 2017 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

        Yes. in fact, all the culling and drama at North has ultimately been to cover up Scott’s inadequate performances as coach. Careers have been sacrificed to save his position, and all for what? Continuing the downward spiral, dwindling supporter base, and a long road ahead to rebuild. No, Scott’s time was up a long time ago, and too much damage has been done.

        • November 11th 2017 @ 9:21pm
          Stephen said | November 11th 2017 @ 9:21pm | ! Report

          Yes beepee! That could have been me making your post. The whole Bradley Scott rebuild commentary – has just become code for – ‘take the pressure off me while we’re less competitive’. If he was serious about rebuilding – would he still have the oldest player in the comp (Waite) on a fresh contract? And what about Majak Daw? He’s been taking a spot on the list for eight years (Rookie draft 2010). Eight years! And we still don’t know if he can play or not. The Goldstein contract – $800k a year. Hard to believe and possibly not the fault of the coach. And these crazy – Ron Joseph 1970’s style offers for Martin and Kelly. Not very strategic. And must leave the rest of the players at NM scratching their heads.

          Our game needs NM in good shape. It doesn’t help – and I respect his opinion – when Terry Wallace comes out yesterday, claiming North’s list is by far the weakest in the comp. Doesn’t help the push for members and sponsors over the off-season. All this from a club that sat on top of the ladder after Round 10 – 2016. I hope things turn around – and they can quickly – there’s always hope. But with the slippery B. Scott at the helm – I have my doubts.

          • November 12th 2017 @ 9:24am
            Don Freo said | November 12th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

            So many people love to hate James Brayshaw.

            None of these issues existed under his leadership.

            • November 13th 2017 @ 1:18pm
              Stephen said | November 13th 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

              Agree Don. Brayshaw’s absence has been under-rated.

    • November 10th 2017 @ 12:04pm
      Birdman said | November 10th 2017 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

      I’m guessing Brad told him he had little chance of playing seniors in 2018 so has honourably retired. Probably the right move for all parties.

    • November 10th 2017 @ 12:28pm
      Pope Paul VII said | November 10th 2017 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

      Tough as teak.

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