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North aren't the same without Majak

3 16 0

Ordinarily, the loss of a 28-year-old tall who had played only 50 games in nine complete seasons, who had never managed more than nine games until last year, would have a negligible impact upon the performance of an AFL club.

But, as we know, there's nothing ordinary about Majak Daw, whose journey - from birth in Khartoum, early years in Egypt, arrival in Melbourne and all the tribulations that followed as an AFL player and pioneer - is unlike any other footballer in the game's history.

Daw busted the mould simply by making the AFL as a Sudanese-Australian, and he has defied the conventional again in his physical recovery from the significant injuries he sustained after the personal episode that led him to be found at the foot of the Bolte Bridge last December.

Majak Daw.Credit:AAP

If he plays again, as he intends, that moment when he takes the field will be stirring and, like Daw's whole time in the AFL system, will be a story that reaches well beyond football's boundaries.

Everyone is barracking for him to make it back.

Within North Melbourne, there's no question that Majak, has left a sizeable hole in a disappointing team that has been well below its 2018 standards.

Daw's absence from a side that hasn't met expectations poses two questions. One is the pure football impact of not having an athletic key defender, albeit one who had only established himself in that position during 2018.

The second query is the impact his episode had on the morale or mindset at North Melbourne, which is far harder to........

© The Age