Karl marks down Roos to end his Eagles’ year

TALL EAGLES: Jack Darling (left) and Josh Kennedy will be vital to West Coast tonight.
TALL EAGLES: Jack Darling (left) and Josh Kennedy will be vital to West Coast tonight.

HE'S a West Coast premiership player, but Karl Langdon still has a soft spot for the team he barracked for as a kid ... North Melbourne.

"Bloody oath," he told APN. "I always like to see North Melbourne do well."

And that includes in tonight's preliminary final between the Eagles and the Kangaroos at Perth's Domain Stadium, where he will be calling the action for radio station 6PR.

"The Eagles were never around when I was a supporter," he said.

"As a young bloke I was a pre-draft selection to West Coast. I didn't have a choice of where I wanted to play

"I could still enjoy what WA has to offer, which is better than the rest of Australia, in my humble opinion."

Langdon, 47, cheered on as the Kangaroos won VFL flags in 1975 and 1977, before he became an integral member of the Eagles' first AFL premiership-winning side in 1992.

His allegiance understandably is split, but admits the "sentimental side" of him would welcome the Kangaroos progressing to next week's grand final due to the fact they've had to wait longer since claiming their last flag - 16 years - while the Eagles were successful nine years ago.

And he believes the Roos can.

"North Melbourne are in this game up to their eyeballs," he said. "If they play their best footy I've got no doubt they can win."

One of the key battles will be in ruck where Todd Goldstein will take on Nic Naitanui and Callum Sinclair.

Langdon is a big fan of the big Roo, who last week became the first player to notch 1000 hit-outs in a season.

"Goldstein has been magnificent for North Melbourne, pretty much week to week on his own," Langdon said.

"He's demonstrated he's very capable of taking on two ruckmen. He's done it all year. In fact he's done it for years."

Comparing him to Eagles great Dean Cox, Langdon said Goldstein had the ability to contribute around the ground. He averages four marks a game.

Naitanui, on the other hand, "rarely takes a mark".


A flamboyant centre half-forward in the mould of former Hawk Dermott Brereton, Langdon played 100 games and kicked 107 goals, lining up with 100-goal-a-season spearhead Peter Sumich and highly skilled flankers Chris Lewis and Brett Heady.

The current Eagles attack, including key talls Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling, and small Mark LeCras, Jamie Cripps and Josh Hill aren't quite in that category, but Langdon said it has "some real talent".

"Josh Kennedy is arguably the best centre-half-forward ... well, I'd be a moron if I didn't say he wasn't the best centre half-forward that has played at the footy club.

"There were a few of us who tried with limited success over time."



At Domain Stadium, 7.50pm

Topics:  north melbourne kangaroos west coast eagles

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