Someone will make AFL history by winning the premiership from outside the top four and North Melbourne have decided they are up for the challenge.
The talk coming out of the North camp continues to be vastly different to their underdogs status for Saturday night’s preliminary final against West Coast in Perth.
After resting a large group of players before the finals, the Kangaroos have beaten Richmond and Sydney.
No team has made it this far in the current finals system, which started in 2000, after finishing eighth following the regular season.
Unlike last year, North are also going into their preliminary final with confidence – not just hope.
“We planned to go all the way anyway – it didn’t matter where we finished,” said boom North recruit Shaun Higgins.
“We’ve already spoken about (how), at some stage, a team is going to do it from outside the top four.
“So it may as well be us this year.
“We’ve planned for that; we’ve prepared for that; we feel like we’re playing footy as good as the top four sides.”
North flew to Perth early on Friday afternoon after more than 1000 fans attended their Arden St training session in the morning.
Key position players Robbie Tarrant (groin) and Drew Petrie (knee) appeared to have no discomfort.
But Majak Daw, another tall player, has joined emergencies Ryan Bastinac, Luke McDonald and Robbie Nahas in travelling with the team.
Higgins has dismissed the suggestion the ‘Roos have nothing to lose, given West Coast are favourites.
“We have a lot of pressure on ourselves to get the job done,” he said.
“We planned to play off in a grand final – not to play off in a prelim.
“We have just as much to lose as they do.”
The former Western Bulldogs player also said they were unfazed at the Eagles’ widespread favouritism.
“That’s okay – not many rated us a month ago and we got ourselves to a prelim,” he said.
“We’re not fussed about that.
“We’ve had confidence in the way we’ve gone about it, we have confidence in the way we’ve prepared and the way we’ll play tomorrow night.
“So it’s not an issue with us.”