Best On Ground: Where will Ben Brown end up?

ROO BEAUTY: Ben Brown has given North Melbourne fans plenty to cheer about during his eight seasons at the club. Picture: Morgan Hancock
ROO BEAUTY: Ben Brown has given North Melbourne fans plenty to cheer about during his eight seasons at the club. Picture: Morgan Hancock

Who wants a key forward who has kicked 60-plus goals in three of the past four AFL seasons?

There is one on the market.

North Melbourne is prepared to entertain a trade for Ben Brown, the mature-age recruit out of Tasmania who has kicked 287 career goals in eight seasons at Arden Street.

Brown, 27, had a forgettable 2020 through injury and form lapses.

He managed just eight goals in nine matches. He looked bereft of confidence and it didn't help his teammates preferred to bomb the ball long rather than using his strength - marking on the lead.

But Brown has almost won the Coleman Medal - for the league's leading goal-kicker in the home and away season - three times (2017, '18 and '19).

He slotted 63 majors in 2017, just six shy of Sydney's Lance Franklin.

In 2018 he booted 61 to fall four short of Richmond's Jack Riewoldt.

Last season he kicked a career-best 64 to finish three adrift of GWS Giants' Jeremy Cameron.

IN NEED OF A NEW HOME: North Melbourne is considering trade options for Ben Brown. Picture: Morgan Hancock

IN NEED OF A NEW HOME: North Melbourne is considering trade options for Ben Brown. Picture: Morgan Hancock

He could be considered unlucky for not earning an All-Australian nod in that period too.

But after the Kangaroos' dismal 2020 campaign - they finished second bottom on percentage with three wins from 17 matches - Brown now finds himself on the outer.

The Roos, who have already culled 11 players, released a statement this week saying they are prepared to entertain trade offers for the 200-centimetre forward.

He is one of the few players on their list with currency. Sometimes you have to give something to get something in return.

"It's not a decision we've made lightly as Ben has been a tremendous part of our club since 2014," North Melbourne general manager of football Brady Rawlings said.

Rawlings said coach Rhyce Shaw had spoken to Brown about the club's direction.

"It was a very honest discussion," he said.

"Ben was very mature and understood our decision. We will work with Ben and his management to secure a mutually beneficial outcome."

Where will Brown end up?

Essendon will want a replacement for Joe Daniher should he leave, Collingwood needs someone to complement Brody Mihocek in its forward 50, Tom McDonald might be on the move at Melbourne and Adelaide knows Taylor Walker is coming to the end of his career.

Watch this space.

This week's edition of Best On Ground was written by Warrnambool Standard sports journalist Justine McCullagh-Beasy.

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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2

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This story Where will Ben Brown end up? first appeared on The Standard.