NORTH Melbourne's hopes to fast-track its rebuild via high-end draft talent and also attracting more mature players has been central to the club's push for AFL assistance and priority picks. reported this week the Roos' hierarchy had met with the AFL on Monday to begin formalising their application for a priority pick.

The Kangaroos' approach to the League has been built on a number of key factors as it stares down the possibility of a second consecutive wooden spoon, having last week split with coach David Noble after a 14-game losing streak. It broke that run with a thrilling four-point win over Richmond on Saturday under interim coach Leigh Adams. 

Interim coach Leigh Adams celebrates North Melbourne's win over Richmond in R18, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

It is understood the club's pitch for priority pick and AFL assistance has focused on the more recent lowly results as well as a longer-term look at its absence from the Grand Final stage since 1999.

Over the past three seasons, the Roos have won nine games and have the poorest percentage of any club in that timeframe (64.8 per cent compared to next lowest Adelaide at 77.86 per cent). 

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The club has also put forward to the League that its three-year performance since the end of 2019 is behind the last three priority pick recipients (Brisbane in 2017, Carlton in 2018 and Gold Coast in 2018-19) when compared to the three seasons prior to them being awarded AFL support, seeing the Roos push for the same or even stronger assistance packages than them. 

The extent of the Roos' heavy defeats are also likely to be considered – they have had 19 games of 50+ point losses in their previous 56 games, equalling nearly 34 per cent of their games – while the club sees its lack of elite players in the 25-30 age bracket as a key factor in its lack of competitiveness in games. 

North Melbourne players walk off after the R15 game against Adelaide on June 26, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

The Kangaroos made severe list cuts at the end of 2020, delisting 11 players shortly after the season ended, but the club presents that the number of players axed was fewer than other clubs who had been given AFL assistance over a two-year period. 

Twenty-seven players departed Carlton in the two years (2016-17) before it got priority assistance, 23 left Brisbane between across 2014-15, 28 left Gold Coast between 2017-18 and 24 left North between 2020-21. 

Gold Coast was the last club to receive draft assistance as a result of poor performance in 2019, securing picks No.1 and 20 in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft, then pick No.11 in the 2020 draft and pick No.19 in the 2021 draft. The club also gained pre-access to Academy talents without having to match bids for them. 

Carlton received an AFL assistance package giving it the ability to pre-list two state league players in 2018, having won just eight games in two years and having gone five seasons without finals football, with the Suns also given access to state league players.

Brisbane received a priority pick at selection No.19 in 2016 after winning seven games in the two seasons prior and having gone seven consecutive seasons without finals action.