North Melbourne are having a nightmare season and they could see their biggest name leave the team soon too. However it could be a good outcome for both player and club.
The Kangaroos sit second-last on the AFL ladder with just two wins to their name this season. Their last game was a new low, thrashed 77-23 by Richmond.
“They’re in a pretty ordinary place,” Kane Cornes said on the AFL Sunday Footy Show.
“Their injury situation continues but they kicked two goals [against Richmond], they had one inside 50 in the first quarter, they didn’t score, and they could not cope with Richmond’s pressure who kicked eight goals off turnovers.
“I feel like Adelaide, Sydney and North Melbourne particularly, there’s not much left to get out of this season, that’s how ordinary it’s been so far this year. “
Scoring goals has clearly become a battle and some of the blame has been directed at their 27-year-old forward Ben Brown.
But as whispers begin to circulate that the Kangaroos might let him loose, it’s not all bad news for the parties involved.
“It’s not the worst thing for Ben Brown,” Essendon great Matthew Lloyd explained.
“I think he’s a bit of a one-trick pony at the moment, but I also think that his team is not helping him at all. I know there was probably $750,000 on the table in three years and now it’s probably being looked at by North with the salary cap situation coming down.
“It’s not a bad thing for Ben Brown to sit back and go, ‘Is this the place that I want to play my footy at too? Is there another club that I could be at that could help me?’
“It could be a win-win – North could pay less and he could think about his future to get to a stronger team. “
Former AFL star Nathan Brown defended the under-fire forward and agreed with Lloyd that he could be an attractive target for other clubs.
” I don’t think there’s a side that uses the ball as poorly as North Melbourne. But in the last three years, [Brown] kicked 60-plus goals every year,” he said.
“Ben Brown still presents at the footy, coming out like a steam train. The talks about trading him or dropping him I think are way off the mark .
“He’s a very good player… but if North Melbourne don’t give him what he needs I think a club like Collingwood are screaming out for a full forward at the moment.
“They need another tall option. Ben Reid is very injury prone, Mason Cox hasn’t hit the heights we thought he might hit.”