North Melbourne Kangaroos chairman Ben Buckley writes letter to members


North Melbourne chairman Ben Buckley has released a long letter to members in a ploy to assure the struggling club is headed in the right direction.

In a letter in which Buckley says North Melbourne are “pulling out all stops” on and off the field and are “hell-bent” on winning every match, he pleads with members that their game plan under coach David Noble is undergoing invaluable recreation.

The letter also stresses that “things take time” when a new coaching panel and several new players are trying to gel, as well as pointing out the club’s two coups in last week’s mid-season draft.

“We are pulling out all stops to establish an elite football program under David Noble who has methodically stripped back our game plan and has instilled a new way of playing and competing,” Buckley’s letter reads.

“At times we acknowledge it’s been frustrating to watch, but we need to be patient, understanding and supportive. With an entirely new coaching line-up, new players who have not played together much, a new game style and systems in place, these things take time and a lot of hard work. However, we are comforted by the fact that this model has been used successfully before by successful teams, and that is obviously our goal.”

North Melbourne are anchored to the bottom of the ladder, having won just one game from 11 starts.

Among their 2021 defeats are a 128-point thumping at the hands of the Western Bulldogs and a 72-point belting in a clash with Essendon.

The Roos’ horrid start to the season has led to Noble welcoming AFL assistance, with the former Brisbane Lions general manager of football saying he’d “absolutely love” a priority draft pick.

MORE: Kangaroos great David King says he’d be ‘devastated’ by club asking for priority draft pick

After offloading spearhead Ben Brown (Melbourne) and veteran midfielder Shaun Higgins (Geelong) during the 2020 trade period, and locking up two top-20 picks in last year’s draft, it’s clear that North Melbourne’s rebuild is in full swing.

“I can assure you the benchmarks and standards that are being set are extremely high, and only those who buy in completely will be part of the success we will achieve,” Buckley’s letter reads.

“As David has said many times, success is not linear and we are hell-bent on winning every time we take the field – but there will be many ups and downs along the way, as must be expected from such a young bunch of players.

“Our challenge as members and fans is to stay the course, keep the faith and support the team as best we can.

“We continue to look at our high-performance areas for gains and competitive advantage, identifying and developing elite talent through the draft, trade and free agency.”

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