SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES - JUNE 25: Joshua Kelly of the Giants celebrates a goal during the round 14 AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Carlton Blues at Spotless Stadium on June 25, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Why the Roos are right to throw the kitchen sink at Josh Kelly

North Melbourne has long been a club battling to stay relevant and battling for success both on and off the field.

The Kangaroos have only won four premierships in their history and more recently have struggled to get the job done in finals.

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Since 2007, North has reached three preliminary finals and made several finals appearances, with a more than handy list.

However, they have lost every preliminary final and been obliterated in two of them. The club has also played in the last three finals series.

But the Roos have failed to attract big man players to the club in that period of time.

North Melbourne has attempted to lure several high profile players to the club in recent years, including Adam Treloar, Dan Hannebery, Dustin Martin, Isaac Heeney, Travis Boak, James Aish, Michael Hurley, Josh Caddy and Brad Crouch.

It became clear during the past few seasons that the Roos desperately needed that x-factor and genuine star in the side to help propel them one step further to a grand final.

Their two preliminary final appearances came with a team boasting some very talented midfielders and several recycled players at the latter stages of their careers.

These older, experienced players, plus the talent already at their disposal, was good enough to get them to consecutive preliminary finals. However, they were a clear step below the top sides. That extra top class, out and out genuine gun player was one of the most obvious things missing from the side.

The Kangaroos as a football club do not have a rich history or a large supporter base, or the ability to play in front of big crowds at the MCG week in, week out, like a Collingwood, Hawthorn or Richmond.

So how do they attract a big name player who they can build a team around?

Cash. And lots of it.

North will have plenty of room in the salary cap, particularity given the departure of four veterans last season, to throw money at a star player who will lift teammates around him and help the club not only on the field, but also off it.

The club’s reported $9 million offer over nine years for GWS young gun, Josh Kelly, may seem like overs, however, it is what it needs to do to attract players of that magnitude.

In football these days, and in sport in general, money talks and it is very hard for a young player to turn down an opportunity to set up his life and continue to play the game he loves.

Footy is a fickle game. One innocuous incident or injury can derail an entire career.

A nine-year contract can alleviate such worries for a player.

North Melbourne is also reportedly chasing out-of-contract Richmond star, Dustin Martin and is prepare to offer him around $1 million per season.

While both Kelly and Martin may choose to re-sign with their current clubs, it is the right approach from the Roos.

Kelly in particular may choose to stay for team success, but the money is certainly sure to be too good to refuse for others.

North Melbourne needs a star onballer to compliment the likes of Todd Goldstein, Jack Ziebell, Andrew Swallow and Ben Cunnington, who are all good players, but arguably not at the level to help push the side back into the top four on their own.

Another key forward is also a must.

If the money is available for clubs lower on the table, then why not throw everything at a star player.

Not every club can compete off the field in terms of facilities and memberships, but the salary cap is equal for every club. If a side lower on the ladder can manage its list properly, then it should be prepared to produce a Tom Boyd or Lance Franklin type deal.

Both Franklin and Boyd’s long term deals were frowned at when they were signed due to the risk involved. But as we know, high risk can also equal high reward. Both deals have so far been a success and we will likely see more and more of them.

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