Goldstein says Kangaroos in the AFL mix - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Goldstein says Kangaroos in the AFL mix

Greg Buckle 22/06/2011 04:27:15 PM Comments (0)

Todd Goldstein doesn't know much about playing in finals but he's confident North Melbourne are on the right track to get there.

The Kangaroos finished outside the top eight in 2009 and 2010 and started this season along similar lines, failing to win a game until round six against Port Adelaide.

But a victory over Port at AAMI Stadium on Sunday would give the 11th-placed Kangaroos four consecutive wins for the first time since 2008, when Dean Laidley coached North to an elimination-final loss against Sydney.

"We're starting to play the footy that's going to get us enough wins to put ourselves in the mix," Goldstein said on Wednesday.

"I've never played finals so it's hard to really know how well or what you need to be doing there.

"But we've given ourselves a chance to at least have a crack at it.

"We're not really worrying about how long this streak can go for, it's just trying to play the right sort of footy for as long as possible."

Significantly, North's run of injuries is easing.

Nathan Grima (finger) returned last week, fellow defender Daniel Pratt (thumb) is in line for a recall and ruckman Hamish McIntosh (Achilles) is tipped to make a comeback for Werribee this weekend.

"It is good to get a couple of wins in a row and get our season started," said Goldstein, whose average of 33.6 hit-outs per game is second only to Fremantle's Aaron Sandilands (38.2) this season.

"It's important for everyone if we are to go to the finals or just to have a successful end of the year, we need to have everyone back.

"The more footy you play together, the better the side's going to be.

"It's good to be in the mix finally."

Asked about the danger of looking too far ahead, Goldstein said: "There's always that.

"Inside the club we're not really too worried about what's happening at the end of the year," said Goldstein, 22.

"We just want to keep it alive and keep winning games, because if we don't keep winning games then it doesn't really matter."

McIntosh's on-field absence meant Goldstein had to play on last week against Essendon despite an ankle injury.

"It's still a bit sore. Playing three-and-a-half quarters on it probably wasn't the greatest," Goldstein said.

"But with the ruck stocks we've got at the moment, it's what the team needed.

"I didn't train with the boys today but hopefully I'll be alright tomorrow."

Goldstein said it had been tough without McIntosh.

"I can't wait for him to come back," Goldstein said.

Goldstein said Drew Petrie, who kicked three vital goals against the Bombers, was a big factor in North's revival.

"We really missed him last year," Goldstein said of Petrie, who was restricted to two games in 2010 because of foot injuries.

"With him up and firing, he's one of our best players so he makes a massive difference to us."

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