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Roos chair defends club rebuild

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23rd July, 2020
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North Melbourne chairman Ben Buckley has moved to reassure Kangaroos members the AFL club has a rosy future despite a run of diabolical performances.

After two impressive wins to open the season, North have slumped to five consecutive losses and been hit by serious injuries to key players.

The Roos kicked just two goals in last week’s 54-point thrashing at the hands of Richmond, creating more headaches for rookie coach Rhyce Shaw.

Sensing growing frustration among North’s supporters, Buckley has sent an open letter to club members.

“Clearly our performances have been nothing but disappointing,” he wrote.

“While we have been severely impacted by injury and we are fielding a team missing many of our best and most important players, we are a club that demands competitiveness and success. 

“Regardless of which players are on the park, there’s a level of endeavour and a North Melbourne brand of football we’ve come to expect and are committed to.

“I can assure you each player and staff member is doing everything in their power to resurrect the season. 

“As someone with a long history in this game, I know our team of people will be more critical of themselves than anyone can be of them.”

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Buckley believes the club’s extensive review in 2019 will reap long-term rewards.

Brad Scott departed as coach last year after almost ten seasons in charge and was replaced by Shaw.

“The changes that were made following that review were designed to set the club on a new path and to lay the foundations for a new era,” Buckley wrote.

“These changes were difficult to make, but we are highly confident they were the right ones and expect the results to be realised in due course.

“However, it’s important to note it is only the beginning and those that have been entrusted with the task of turning our club’s fortunes around and securing our fifth flag, need time as it will not happen overnight.

“While it’s okay to get angry and frustrated at where we currently sit, let’s stick together and ride the bumps.”

North’s medical staff have also come under fire, with key midfielders Ben Cunnington and Jack Ziebell recently breaking down after entering games under an injury-cloud.

Ziebell, North’s captain, insists he was not rushed back into the team to face the Tigers last week despite going on to re-injure the same hamstring which caused him to miss three weeks. 

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