Hurting Roos to relish spotlight

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 25 Desember 2012 | 14.43

North Melbourne players after the 96-point elimination final loss to West Coast. Picture: Justin Benson-Cooper Source: PerthNow

NORTH Melbourne coach Brad Scott has urged his troops to step into the AFL spotlight with confidence next year, despite the lingering hurt of a savage finals loss.

The young Roos arrived as a future force last season, but were smashed by West Coast in a first-round finals thrashing at Patersons Stadium.

Scott said the 96-point elimination final loss was a "devastating" finish after powering into the finals by winning nine out of 10 games late in the year.

Showing they could play pulsating corridor football, the Roos were rewarded by the AFL with three primetime Friday night games next year -- their most since 2006.

While it comes with a nightmarishly tough draw, Scott said his team should relish the chance to shine on the big stage in 2013.

"If you want to be the best you have got to beat the best and I think if we are really competing well into September we certainly will have earned our spot," Scott told the Herald Sun.

"We won't shy away from that, and, the game is bigger than just the football side of things.

"As a club, I think it's great for us. Our fans are going to see us on at least three Friday nights and there is a chance we play Collingwood in the last round of the year (floating fixture) on a Friday night, too.

"If we get good exposure and it exposes our players to the best teams in the competition, that's got to be a good thing."

Once regarded as a dour, one-paced side, a young crop of outside runners led by linebreaking defender Shaun Atley added a slick edge to the Roos last season.

The club also bolstered its centre line with the addition two former first round draft picks, Port Adelaide's Ben Jacobs (No.16, 2010) and ex-Demon Jordan Gysberts (No.11, 2009).

The new recruits have helped the Roos move on from their first-round finals failure last season, as West Coast buried them under a 43-point quarter-time lead in sweltering heat.

Scott said his squad had the mental resilience to rebound from the finals lashing.

"It was a devastating result, particularly after going some ways to showing that we can compete against the good sides," he said.

"What gives me great heart is that we've had some of those horrible losses over the last three years, but we've responded to each one of them.

"We'll learn the lessons out of it and delve really deeply into why and then go about working really hard on fixing it."

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