James Brayshaw. Please. Stand. Up.
The North Melbourne Kangaroos Football Club is a massively in crisis. The now former-CEO Eugene Arocca quit the club on Tuesday, just days after the clubs 115-point loss to Hawthorn.
What is happening at Arden Street?
Let me start at the top. Brayshaw. This is a man who is clearly in the spotlight and evidently under pressure. Is he taken seriously outside of the clubroom doors? Is he capable of leading a club in turmoil while juggling his media commitments? Is his own position as Chairman heading down the same path as Arocca’s? Brayshaw has avoided much of the attention due to his ‘buddies’ in the media including Gary Lyon and Craig ‘Hutchy’ Hutchison. On Monday night during the show Footy Classified, Caroline Wilson asked several questions of the Kangaroos CEO however those were quickly shut down.
What about the coach? Out of the 18 AFL head coaches, Brad Scott sits twelfth in terms of win percentage. Those at the helm with worser records than the former two-time premiership winning Brisbane Lions player include Brendan McCartney, Michael Voss, Damien Hardwick, Matthew Primus, Mark Neeld and Guy McKenna. Calls for Scott’s head have been made but in no way would I support the Kangaroos board ending his contract early. Scott must however start to lead the change that the club is in much need for. When the Kangaroos lose, they have a great ability to lose big. Scott then fronts the waiting media, challenge his players, his club, yet similar performances are then again and again provided by the 22 that take to the playing arena. Enough talk – it’s time to deliver.
The change required leads me to the players. Where is the list? Who are they? Lack of on-field spirit and leadership seems apparent. For several years, the Kangaroos have struggled to rival the upper echelon teams. Compared to Essendon and Richmond, North hasn’t taken that vital next step which the aforementioned have.
This article has not been written to put the blame on any one person within the inner sanctum at North Melbourne. I appreciate they have a young list but it’s a list that was and in some circles still is expected to make the finals. Where’s the pizzazz? Who is the heavyweight? Brayshaw certainly isn’t. JB’s focus is on getting his melon on the screen and going overboard on the abysmal Thursday night Footy Show. As Carro said on Monday night, we don’t want to see another Eddie McGuire or ‘Sticks’ Kernahan, but a backbone is needed.
As a football supporter, I truly hope North bounce back – I’m sure they will. Clubs go through these periods and come out well on the other side. To get there though, someone or a group of people must stand up, take the club by the scruff of the neck, look them in the eyes and say, “follow me.”