Fun fact: one of the origin stories (probably apocryphal) for the nickname “shinboner” for the North Melbourne Football Club derives from the dire early Hotham/North Melbourne sides and Irish lads playing hurling in the same area. The story goes that some spectator shouted that the “shinboners” (a colloquial name for hurlers) would do better out there than the footy players.
Aiden Bonar does not hurl.
Bonar has shown some real flashes at AFL level, but his ultimate position at senior level has very much yet to be determined. GWS saw him as a linking forward, while others (including the player himself) pictured Bonar featuring at the coal face.
The real answer is somewhere in the middle – as a linking mid who hits the second layer of stoppages, but doesn’t often start in the centre square. Bonar is young, and time will tell.
One thing is for sure – he is too good to be running around in the NEAFL.
PAPLEY rates Bonar as having little value – but like Butler it’s not much of a knock not being able to get into a side that makes the grand final. Given his size and skill set, Bonar’s potential (at least subjectively) shines through.
But on the numbers, his value is low.
The trade sees him roughly worth the difference between a mid third and a very early fourth round selection. That is almost nothing.
If Bonar lives up to his potential, then North have a very good deal on their hands. In the meantime, the Giants free themselves of another salary to keep their best 22-25 at the club.
Verdict: A fair trade.