Jodie Newell Sydney, Australia
North Melbourne have opted for the “steady as she goes” approach with regards to its captain for the 2016 AFL season.It will the fifth year that Andrew Swallow will lead the Kangaroos. The appointment comes on the back of an outstanding 2015 season for North Melbourne. During their finals campaign they were impressive away winners over the Sydney Swans and gave a reasonable showing against eventual grand finalists in the West Coast Eagles in Perth.
Whilst Swallow remains captain, North have chosen to appoint Jack Ziebel as stand alone vice captain, with Shaun Higgins, Jamie Macmillan and Scott Thompson named as part of the 5 man leadership squad.The appointees are an excellent blend of youth and experience.
North Melbourne surprised many of the footballing pundits with their finals campaign of last year. They were not expected to beat Sydney, yet were able to turn the tables against the Swans who had previously humiliated them in a similar final at ANZ Stadium in 2014.
There must be a strong sense of optimism in the North Melbourne camp as the head into 2016. Coach Brad Scott has struggled over previous years to steady his team who on one day can look like premiership contenders and then the following week lose badly against a lower ranked side. Consistency is what he and his players will be seeking as they try to build on two positive seasons.
Their campaign begins in the Nab Challenge on February 20, 2016 against St-Kilda @ Norm Minns Oval Wangaratta (Saturday) , then face Collingwood @ Robertson Oval, Wagga Wagga on March 5, 2016 (Saturday) before closing their pre-season schedule @ Etihad Stadium against arch rivals Hawthorn on March 12 (Saturday)