North Melbourne will receive three extra first-round draft picks across two years in a bid by the AFL to help lift the club off the bottom of the ladder.
The Kangaroos won only three games in 2023 and have failed to finish higher than 17th in the past four seasons, including wooden spoons in 2021 and 2022.
They have won just 12 times in the past four seasons.
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The AFL Commission decided on Monday that the club would receive one extra first-round draft pick in 2023 and two in 2024, as well as the continuation of two additional rookie list spots for the 2024 season.
North Melbourne now holds three first-round selections this year – picks 2, 14 and 19 – and three 2024 first-round selections.
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They are also expected to land pick No.3 as compensation for losing free agent Ben McKay.
All of the additional picks come at the end of the first round of the drafts.
But the additional 2024 selections will be subject to review by the AFL should the Kangaroos dramatically improve their on-field performance under coach Alastair Clarkson.
Alastair Clarkson needs a win over Gold Coast for North to avoid a third consecutive wooden spoon. (Linda Higginson/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP
Having worked with the AFL over the past weeks to build the assistance package, North Melbourne chief Jennifer Watt welcomed the announcement.
“We put a strong case forward given our recent results and the steps we’ve taken to improve on and off the field,” she said on Monday.
“We’re looking at every way to improve our list – whether that’s bringing in more high-end draft talent or players with proven AFL experience.
“These selections will give the club flexibility to achieve those aims at the trade and draft table this year and next.”
Incoming AFL CEO Andrew Dillon said the two-year support package would not only strengthen North Melbourne but also the competition at large.
“The AFL and football fans want a strong competition,” he said on Monday.
“Ensuring North Melbourne is competitive on the field and can build strength across its organisation, in the short term and in a sustainable way, is important for both the club and the broader competition.”
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