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“Kangaroos fans have had enough”: King on North Melbourne’s woes and disappointing Hawthorn loss


North Melbourne great David King was incredibly disappointed by the Kangaroos’ efforts in their 68-113 loss to Hawthorn on Sunday at Marvel Stadium.

With both sides entering the clash at 0-5, many were expecting a tight battle as the two teams played to get off the mark in 2024. But that wasn’t what played out.

Instead, the Hawks dominated from the get-go and were already 37 points up at half-time.

Roos coach Alastair Clarkson said that the Hawks were simply tougher and harder in his post-match press conference, adding that his side has a lot of work to do as they go about changing their culture and on-field results.

While King understands that there is plenty of work still to do 18 months into Clarkson’s reign, he is incredibly disappointed that there aren’t even obvious positives for the club’s fans to cling onto and make them proud.

“I understand what Alastair is saying (that there’s work to do and they’re building) but that's been the same conversation for so long, for so long,” King said on SEN Mornings.

“The bottom line is that Alastair came as a high-priced acquisition to fix this and it's the second year now and we need to start seeing something that makes us proud.

“I'll be honest, it was a long way from making us proud yesterday, against a team that should be like for like, they should be in that game, but it was a smashing.

“You look at it and you say, ‘Ok, what do we really take away from that game?’. What do you get in the car and talk to the family or your mates about? What are the positives that you should be attaching yourself to or gripping onto … I don't know.

“I don’t know and I'm watching it as close as anyone.”

King thinks that North fans have had enough of being uncompetitive and he doesn’t think it’s simply a talent issue anymore as the Roos have loaded up at the draft in recent years.

He called on the club to make a statement at selection if it is senior players that are letting Clarkson down.

“The Kangaroos fans have had enough,” King said.

“They have, and it's probably unfair to come so quickly to this point with Alastair and with the club, but this has just been rolling on and rolling on for too long now.

“We don't want to hear that anymore. I don't want to hear that, ‘Hawthorn were better with the ball, Hawthorn were better without the ball, Hawthorn were better’.

“Why? Well, it's not a talent issue. There's enough talent in the Kangaroos to match it with Hawthorn. I can wear it with the others (losses to other teams).

“But again, they give up another big score and look like there's absolutely no understanding of what to do when the opposition has the ball.

“We could show vision after vision … and it's not always the young guys.

“If it is the older guys, stop playing them, make a statement as a club say, ‘We've been going with you and you're not the answer anymore, you're not actually helping us’.”

King wouldn’t even mind seeing some big names drop to the reserves if that’s what has to be done.

He also compared the side to West Coast, who are beginning to offer some hope after a couple of down years and pondered whether Clarkson really has the answers that many are certain he possesses.

“You have to deliver a 10 out of 10 application for a seven out of 10 performance every week. If you can't deliver on that, you go back to the reserves, and I don't care who's playing reserves,” King said.

“Kangaroo fans are sort of sick of the meandering and I'm always quick to defend them because it's a tough place to be when you're rock bottom. But I watched West Coast and it's nothing to do with the kid (Harley Reid).

“They're all going 100 miles an hour and even when they were getting beaten the last few weeks, we're still saying, ‘Hey, you can see their contest work improving. You can see this getting better’.

“I just think this too quickly to say, ‘Oh, well, he (Clarkson) knows the answers, he's got the answers’. I don’t know. I don’t see it.

“You need evidence, don’t you at some point?”

North Melbourne will be desperate to rebound when they face Adelaide in Hobart on Saturday afternoon.

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North Melbourne

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