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Goldstein could be a 'scary prospect' in 2016, says coach

Nick Bowen  February 26, 2016 12:18 PM

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TODD Goldstein could be a "scary prospect" for opposition ruckmen in 2016 with the cut in interchange rotations likely to make the hard-running Roo even harder to counter, North Melbourne coach Brad Scott says.

Goldstein has been one of the AFL's best ruckmen for several seasons now, but he took his game to a new level last year, breaking Gary Dempsey's 1982 record for the most hit-outs in season with 1058 at an average of 44.1 a game.

The 27-year-old also influenced games around the ground like never before, averaging a career-high 14.7 possessions and 1.3 contested marks a game as he won All Australian selection and North's best and fairest award, each for the first time.

One of Goldstein's greatest strengths is his endurance. Despite being listed at 201cm and 103kg, he gets to more ruck contests than any other big man and plays nearly all four quarters on the ball.

Scott said on Friday that the rule change reducing the interchange rotation cap from 120 to 90 this season would likely play into Goldstein's hands.

"Interchange is going to be reduced so that will make it harder for opposition ruckmen to counter what 'Goldy' is able to do. He's able to play really high minutes and he plays his best football that way," Scott said from North's community camp in Hobart.

"And opposition teams may not be able to rotate on him like they've done in the past, so we'll probably play Goldy in a similar fashion."

Asked whether this meant Goldstein could enjoy an even better year in 2016, Scott said the ruckman was "excited" ahead of the upcoming season.

"We're really confident that his best footy is ahead of him and there are still lots of parts of his game that he can improve," Scott said.

"He's going to be a scary prospect if he does that."