North Melbourne chairman Ben Buckley says a year of significant change has come out of an anxious desire to turn around the fortunes of the club.
During 2019, the Kangaroos replaced long-serving coach Brad Scott with Rhyce Shaw while bringing Brady Rawlings back to the club as general manager of football and installing Ben Amarfio as CEO.
A premiership drought that has ticked over to 20 seasons and no finals in the past three years is the main catalyst for the shift of personnel which Buckley hopes brings about success.
“This has been an incredible year of change at our football club,” Buckley said at a press conference on Thursday.
“It was borne out of frustration and impatience to be successful on and off the field.
“We’ve done a fantastic job in the last five to 10 years of building a sustainable operational platform but ultimately we exist to play in premierships. We haven’t played in a premiership since 1999.
“As a board we’re ambitious, we’re impatient, we want to be successful and we think with a new line-up to support Rhyce in his first year as a full-time coach and to (support) Jack Ziebell. We’ve got an outstanding leadership group.”
The Roos finished 12th in 2019 with a 10-12 record but managed to knock off eventual premiers Richmond as well as finals sides Collingwood and Western Bulldogs along the way.
That sort of form doubled with an improving list has Buckley optimistic for what is ahead.
“I think we proved this year that we can be competitive with the best teams in the competition,” he added.
“We beat a few of those and if we can produce that form consistently then I’ve got no doubt we can put ourselves in the frame in the next couple of years.
“A lot of it is about having confidence in the players you have and I think we’ve got some outstanding players.
“We’ve got some youngsters coming through and some young group that performed extremely well for a lot of the second half of the season.
“We had four Rising Star nominations (Bailey Scott, Cameron Zurhaar, Tarryn Thomas and Nick Larkey) so if we continue to see develop from that group, along with our older more experienced group, I think we can be super competitive.
“And I expect to be.”