Outgoing North Albury co-coach Clint Gilson says the club needs four more top-liners to play finals.
The Hoppers bowed out of contention following the 10-goal loss to Lavington.
“I reckon we need four and that’s without losing anyone,” he said.
I reckon we need four and that’s without losing anyone. If we lost two, then we need six.Clint Gilson
“If we lost two, then we need six.”
However, North has battled to stay under the points limit all season, so it’s highly unlikely the club could afford to snare a stack of four-plus point players.
North has doubled last year’s output of three wins, but it’s only come close to one top five outfit, falling to Yarrawonga by five points in round 10.
“We lost to them all by around 10 goals in the first half of the year,” Gilson said.
“We lost to Albury by 20 goals the second time and ‘Yarra’ by a goal, so our average losing margin has been 10 goals.
“I think those turnovers killed us, as they have during the season.”
It leads to the debate of how much those players can actually improve or whether it will be only the addition of a handful of stars which could see the Hoppers return quickly to finals.
In the last 10 seasons, North has won just one final when ex-AFL player Damian Cupido kicked 10 against Wodonga Raiders in the first semi-final in 2010.
The club’s star signing – co-coach Chris Schmidt – has played 11 games and featured in the best four times, but, interestingly, only twice since round two.
“We probably haven’t seen the best of him, but we started to against (Wangaratta) Rovers and Albury in the first couple of games,” Gilson said.
“We had Shaun Mannagh and Dan Leslie playing those games, but Shaun’s only played one game since Anzac Day, while Dan injured his knee in that game against Albury.
“Teams were then double-teaming ‘Schmidty’ in the middle and guys weren’t protecting him basically and he was just getting smashed from pillar to post.”
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