YEARS of wasted drafts are starting to bite North Melbourne.
The Kangaroos slumped to arguably their worst defeat under Rhyce Shaw on Sunday, suffering a 57-point loss to Melbourne at Adelaide Oval.
The cold, hard reality is that a big rebuild is needed at Arden Street. Good decisions must be made at the draft table otherwise years of mediocrity loom large.
North can't afford for this to happen. It needs to be a well-governed, well-led club who makes good decisions as it doesn't have the membership base and financial prowess to bail itself out if things turn sour financially.
But list management is where North's issues rest. Between 2010 and 2019, North Melbourne selected 51 players via the national draft.
Just 25 of these players, over a 10-year period, remain at the club. Several of these - the likes of Sam Durdin, Ed Vickers-Willis, Taylor Garner and Mason Wood - could realistically be on the chopping block come the off-season.
All four have battled injury but just haven't quite evolved into the star talents North Melbourne was hoping they would become.
Drafting in recent seasons is showing more promise. Luke Davies-Uniacke (2017), Jy Simpkin (2016), Tarryn Thomas (2018) and Curtis Taylor (2018) could yet become A grade players after showing flashes of brilliance this season.
But with the club languishing in 17th on the ladder and with finals all but impossible, the missed opportunities between 2010 and 2014 are starting to sting.
North Melbourne coach Rhyce Shaw conceded the club would "find out a lot about our players and list" as individuals fight to retain their spot amid what is tipped to be a full-scale rebuild.
This might be where the problem sits. When the Kangaroos delisted veterans Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Michael Firrito and Nick Dal Santo at the end of 2016 most thought a rebuild was on the horizon. But it never quite came.
North cannot top up with players like Jasper Pittard, Aaron Hall and Jared Polec again. It's time to make some hard calls.
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