Here’s the year that was for Northern’s No. 55, Jonathan O’Rourke. (PHOTO CREDIT: Rose Zarucky)
With the home-and-away season now over, we’re going through every player who featured for the Northern Blues in 2019.
Here’s the year that was for Northern’s No. 55, Jonathan O’Rourke.
KEY VFL STATISTICS (averages in brackets):
Disposals: 224 (14.9) Marks: 42 (2.8) Contested Possessions: 81 (5.4) Tackles: 41 (2.7) Clearances: 40 (2.6)
In his first season, Jonathan O’Rourke’s first season gave Northern some much-needed VFL premiership experience through the midfield with his outside class and run.
O’Rourke was one of three AFL recruits injected into the Northern Blues side for 2019, after coming from Hawthorn and featuring in Box Hill’s 2018 VFL premiership.
Arriving at the Club late in pre-season, O’Rourke overturned an interrupted introduction to play 15 games for the year after missing the opening two weeks of the campaign.
Finishing the year with an average of 15 disposals per game, O’Rourke’s performances as the season progressed.
The Round 10 clash against Coburg at Preston City Oval saw O’Rourke display his ability to be an accumulator of the football.
Finishing the game with a season-high 24 disposals, O’Rourke was central in Northern coming away with an 18-point victory wearing Preston red.
O’Rourke set the tone from the middle, covering the ground with his class and poise around the contest while also contributing five tackles to pressure the Coburg midfielders.
Named amongst the best for Northern in the victory, O’Rourke displayed why he was brought into the Club.
Northern’s most dominant performance for the season came in Round 17 clash against North Melbourne, where the Blues proved to be victorious by 75 points.
It was this clash that saw O’Rourke combine with his midfield counterparts, winning clearances alongside Frank Anderson and Sam Fisher as Northern’s midfield gave their forwards first-use.
Finishing with 12 handball receives among his 22 disposals, O’Rourke’s gut-running set the benchmark for the rest of Northern’s midfielders in the team’s most complete four-quarter performance of the season.