Drummond's Kangaroos backline hope to stop Gold Coast attack
HAVING seen them at close-range during his last couple of years of playing - and now as an opposition coach - Josh Drummond knows Gold Coast will be a clear and present danger for North Melbourne tomorrow.
The former rebounding defender who played 94 games with the Brisbane Lions is now the Kangaroos' backline coach, working closely with head coach and former teammate Brad Scott.
While North sits fifth on the ladder, the Suns are just one rung down, with the same 4-2 win-loss record, and so will not be taken lightly at Etihad Stadium.
"It's no surprise to anyone they are playing the way they are, the talent has been there for all to see," Drummond (pictured) said. "They are going to provide a real challenge for us."
The Suns kicked the biggest score of round six (138) against GWS last week, with Tom Lynch (five goals last week), Sam Day, and now Charlie Dixon, who returns from injury, looking ominous.
Fortunately for North, All-Australian fullback Scott Thompson is back from suspension to join fellow talls Nathan Grima and Lachie Hansen in defence.
"Gold Coast has shown they have enough offensive weapons to really hurt you if you are off," Drummond said.
And so the Kangaroos' focus has been about staying "switched on" - something they weren't able to do enough last season, costing them a spot in the finals, or even this year.
After being smashed by Essendon in round one, they recorded good wins over Port Adelaide and Sydney (away), but were then crushed by Collingwood, before rebounding with a brilliant win in the west over Fremantle.
"Hopefully the performances will continue and we don't get any ups and downs like we have over the first four or five weeks," Drummond said, adding the focus was on "doing what we did similar to last year but doing it for longer, having the ability to be consistent, whether that's quarter to quarter, minute to minute or week to week".
Drummond, originally from the Sunshine Coast, is enjoying being back at the coalface of AFL footy, after holding a development role with North in his first season after retiring from playing.
Before being hand-picked by Scott at the end of 2012, he studied sports science and coaching at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.
"Brad actually did the same course … that obviously helped," he said.