Player name: Aaron Black
Current club: North Melbourne
Potential club: Black is a West Australian lad, so there’s a chance that Fremantle could be interested. Few suitors have emerged at this stage, but he’s not exactly a high-value acquisiton target. Realistically, he should be willing to go wherever will pay his wage and can offer him regular games.
The original price: Aaron Black was selected by North Melbourne at pick 25 in the 2009 AFL National Draft.
The Good: Black is a mobile tall forward option with solid hands. Physically he’s in his prime at 25 years of age, and also in that sweet spot where if he pulls it all together, he could still have a successful AFL career. When given regular opportunities at the Kangaroos he showed promise, booting 33 goals (from 18 games) and 26 goals (from 25 games) in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Arguably his career has been stalled by North Melbourne’s list management decisions (recruiting Jarrad Waite, Ben Brown, retaining Drew Petrie) until now, rather than any real fault of his own.
The Bad: It might be easy to blame Black’s lack of success on the limited opportunities he’s received, but the facts are damning: in 7 seasons at the Kangaroos he’s played just 50 games, including 3 last year and none at all this year. While there has been competition for senior spots, Black was hardly in the conversation over the past two seasons, and he wasn’t exactly dominant at VFL level either, kicking just 43 goals from 26 games since Waite landed at Arden Street. Perhaps he’s just not cut out for AFL.
What his club wants: North Melbourne and Black have mutually agreed a move would be in the best interests of both parties. It should now just be a case of Black finding a new club and a deal being done.
What he’s worth: Despite a horror two year stretch, value-wise, Black could yet prove to be an Ace (or at the very least, a Jack) in the hole for a club that’s able to harness his abilities and provide him with regular senior opportunities. He showed enough talent in the early part of his career that indicated he was worth sticking with, and there’s still time left for his to turn it all around. We’d happily pay a mid-late round pick as a flyer, in the chance that he turns out to be a solid contributor. Key forwards, however sparsely used, aren’t that easy to come by.
What we’d pay: A mid-third round selection
Possible trade scenarios:
- Brisbane trade Pick 47 to North Melbourne for Aaron Black
- Fremantle trade their 2017 third-round selection to North Melbourne for Aaron Black
The Verdict: Aaron Black may not be done with yet, and there would have to be suitors in the league looking for a reasonably talented, mobile, mid-20s key forward who’s desperate to make something of his career. A mid-third-round draft selection may seem overs, but key forwards are rare commodities and this is a gamble that might just pay off.
Star rating: 2.5/5