Main content

Brown just 'scratching the surface' of his talent

Scott: Brown's 'scratching the surface' North Melbourne coach Brad Scott says full-forward Ben Brown will only improve next season
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 26:  Ben Brown of the Kangaroos warms up before the round 23 AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at The Gabba on August 26, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images/AFL Media)
Brad Scott believes Ben Brown is only scratching the surface of his talent

HIGH-FLYING forward Ben Brown made a late charge for the Coleman Medal, kicking a career-high seven goals in North Melbourne's 51-point win over Brisbane Lions.

While Brown ultimately fell one goal short of leader Josh Kennedy's tally (with the Eagle still to play), Kangaroos coach Brad Scott believes the spearhead is only "scratching the surface" of his potential.

Full match coverage and stats

"Such an accurate set shot, we might have to do a bit of work on his kicking on the run," Scott said with a wry grin.

"He's always had capability, marking at full stretch and all those things, but he had some deficiencies he had to work on.

"It just gives me great hope for Ben that he's scratching the surface on how good he can be, because the things we've given him to work on and been coaching him on, he's dramatically improved."

Five talking points: Brisbane Lions v North Melbourne

Brown had two shots late in the match, attempting to overtake Kennedy, but uncharacteristically missed both. He finished the season with 63 goals, his first as the main key forward following the delisting of Drew Petrie.

"With Drew Petrie finishing up with us last year, we thought gee, it would be a challenge for him, because he was going to get the best key defender each week," Scott said.

"Sure enough that's happened, but he's beaten them the majority of the time. His improvement from last year has been significant and we think he can improve even more."

WATCH: Brad Scott's full post-match media conference

North Melbourne's win – just its second from its past 12 matches – meant it avoided the wooden spoon. The Roos could even finish as high as 15th, if both Carlton and Gold Coast lose their respective matches.

Scott said the last game of the season provided a good opportunity to plan for the following year.

"I thought the endeavour, effort and pressure was really good. It certainly gives us a really good look at what we're capable of.

"It's always difficult when, theoretically, there's nothing to play for, there's no carrot at the end for winning, but like I've said all along, the platform that we're trying to build for the future is really important for us.

"We really feel the way we go about it was going to be really critical in the last four-to-six weeks, really pleased with the effort."

It was a debut from hell for Ben McKay, the defender ending up in hospital after accidently clashing heads with teammate Sam Durdin.

McKay, North's 11th debutant for the season, will remain in hospital overnight for observation, but Scott said he will be okay.

"[McKay] showed us enough to suggest that he's going to be an AFL player. Sam Durdin, we've thrown him everywhere, back, forward, ruck, we thought he was really lively in attack today.

"That's 11 debutants, [recruits] Marley Williams and Nathan Hrovat make 13, so it's a fair chunk of our team that looks different to last year.

"The injury toll this year hasn't been ideal, but the silver lining is we've had a really good look at a number of players we wouldn't have seen otherwise."