Glen Jakovich has a simple motto for North Melbourne to live by in 2021: play the kids.
The Roos finished 17th on the ladder in 2020 and enter a new era with coach David Noble and a vastly different list.
“My motto for them is two parts – play the kids and make your club attractive for a big player to come in the following years,” Jakovich told Sportsday WA.
“Build your club around Will Phillips, pick three in last year’s draft, they’ve given him Brent Harvey’s number straight away.
“Jaidyn Stephenson comes in, we know what he can do, he kicks goals and he’s an A-grader.”
Jakovich remains a fan of North Melbourne’s older core, particular in the back half.
“I don’t think they’re going to finish out of the bottom four, but I like their defenders. Your backline is where you build your team going forward,” he said.
“Aidan Corr was a big signing in the off-season, Luke McDonald, Shaun Atley, Robbie Tarrant still going.
“If they can keep Ben Cunnington, Jack Ziebell, Jared Polec, Todd Goldstein was in All-Australian form last year, they’ve got to stay fit. If they keep their best players on the track, they’ll cause some problems for a few sides, but play the kids and make your club attractive in 2021 for future years to come.
“Say to guys like Jy Simpkin and Luke Davies-Uniacke, ‘you’re playing in our next premiership’, but they’ve got to make their brand exciting.
“Play the kids next year is the motto.”