North Melbourne have axed 11 gamers ( such as Majak Daw, since the Kangaroos go about reinvigorating their AFL list following a terror season.
The club has wasted no time placing a challenging campaign behind them, which may nevertheless lead to the wooden spoon, by delisting a pile of hot clubmen.
Daw, whose AFL comeback following a life threatening collapse was one of the very inspirational of the entire season, is linked to the outer Jasper Pittard and Jamie Macmillan.
The experienced duo have been in North’s leadership team this year, together with Macmillian playing with 167 matches to its Kangaroos after being drafted in 2009.
Macmillan played seven finals matches and has been awarded life membership this past year.
Pittard combined the Kangaroos at 2019 after enjoying 126 matches for Port Adelaide.
But it’s Daw’s delisting which will strike many North fans the toughest with the guardian’s rollercoaster 11-year stint in Arden St ending later 54 games.
“I’ve made some really good mates at this place. I’ll miss the locker room banter … it just didn’t work out the way I wanted it to this year, there’s been challenges I’ve gone through,” Daw said.
“The last few years obviously haven’t been easy for me, and I can’t thank this footy club enough for what they’ve done for me.”
Daw became the very first Sudanese-born player to debut in the AFL after exploding onto the scene in 2013, nearly four decades later he was drafted.
North Melbourne trainer Rhyce Shaw labelled Daw’s attempt to recoup from substantial hip and rectal injuries suffered in a collapse in the Bolte Bridge in 2018 as “superhuman”.
“How Majak was able to physically recover and mentally get himself back to playing elite level football will be the stuff of legend in the years to come. It’s one of the more remarkable things I’ve seen in my time,” Shaw said.
“What he’s done for young African people and his community, combined with what he’s done for those suffering mental health has been extraordinary.”
Ben Jacobs, Paul Ahern, Mason Wood, Sam Durdin, Marley Williams, Joel Crocker, Lachie Hosie and Tom Murphy would be another North players not to get another contract.
Shaw talked about the looming cuts following the Kangaroos’ season ended with a 15-point reduction to finals-bound West Coast on Thursday night.
“It’s just part of the evolution of the club and where it’s going and where it needs to go,” he told reporters.
“It’s going to be a hard time for a lot of people, but it’s also going to be an exciting time for the club going forward.”