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Parkin backs North's Scott

Roger Vaughan 07/07/2011 07:43:11 PM Comments (0)

AFL coaching great David Parkin has backed North Melbourne's Brad Scott in the wake of the criticism levelled at the Kangaroos in the past few days.

Parkin spent a day with North on Thursday as part of the club's coaching development program.

His visit came four days after the Kangaroos held St Kilda scoreless in the final term, but still lost by nine points.

That prompted media criticism of Scott's coaching, particularly their forward set-up.

North and Parkin stressed that his visit had been planned months ago and was not a reaction to Sunday's loss.

"I saw a bit of that game and can understand where the criticism is coming from," Parkin said.

"He is very definite about where they're going and how they're going to get there.

"These things along the way are going to be learning or teaching tools, rather than handicaps to carry.

"It's been a bit of a breath of fresh air in seeing that approach - it's very hard to hold your line when the expectation probably of North Melbourne this year, particularly in the first half of the year, far exceeded their capacity to produce against it."

Parkin, the Hawthorn and Carlton premiership coach, stood out at North training as he stood on the sidelines, wearing a Kangaroos' tracksuit top.

Now the president of the AFL Coaches Association, Parkin lectured Scott when the North coach was studying at university as an 18-year-old.

Parkin is impressed with Scott's ability to delegate to his assistant coaches and to cope with the intense pressure which comes with the job.

"When you're a young coach, it's very hard to hold your line on those things when the criticism comes from not too far away - your own supporters and people around the place, as well as the media," Parkin said.

"The difference from the game I used to be a part of is the scrutiny and, if you're not strong, if your character isn't able to cope with that, it's not going to survive in this world."

Before Thursday's training, Scott spoke of his "great relationship" with Parkin and also responded to the criticism which had followed the St Kilda loss.

North will play Collingwood on Sunday at Etihad Stadium after the Magpies thrashed them by 87 points in round two.

"Not only do I think they're entitled to their opinion, I welcome it - it's a great part of our game," Scott said of the critics.

"With that quite often comes criticism, which you don't take any notice of, and sometimes with that comes plaudits, to which you probably also don't take any notice of.

"What you do take notice of is what you're doing internally and how you review your own performance ... that's something I think we do really well."

Scott added his players are ready to do better against Collingwood this time.

"There is a quiet confidence that we'll be more competitive," he said.

"There was genuine disappointment last week that we did enough to win the game and we just didn't quite have the polish to get the result."

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