Unlike most of Dustin Martin’s on-field opponents, North Melbourne are adamant they won’t be stopped in their tracks by the superstar’s contract fend-off.
The Kangaroos went hard in their bid to lure the powerful midfielder with a mammoth seven-year deal reportedly worth about $11 million.
North coach Brad Scott and members of the club’s leadership group even met with Martin as part of their audacious bid to sign him.
Their season-long serenade ended in heartbreak on Thursday night when Martin stuck with the Tigers on a seven-year deal worth about $2 million less.
But the Roos aren’t crying over what might have been.
“(Fans) should know that we are leaving no stone unturned to aggressively improve our list,” North football boss Cameron Joyce said.
“We want to add elite talent … and we will look at Plan B and C, if we need to get to that.
“We are very prepared. We are not going to just go and try and get any player … we targeted the elite to add to our group and we will continue to do that if we can this year, otherwise it might be next year.”
Greater Western Sydney star Josh Kelly has also been strongly linked with a move to Arden St with the lure of an even longer contract than the one offered to Martin.
With Dusty now a Tiger for life it follows that some of the money they had earmarked for him can be used to make their offer to Kelly even more difficult to resist.
Kelly is understood to be leaning towards staying with the Giants, but continued to play his cards close to his chest when he received his first All-Australian nod on Wednesday.
“(There’s) no timeline but I’m not even considering it at the moment,” he said of his contract status.
“I’m fully focused on the finals and excited by that.”
Despite Martin’s decision to stay at Punt Road, Joyce is adamant Arden St remains a desirable address for potential high-profile recruits.
“We went right down to the wire on this one,” Joyce told the Herald Sun.
“We are talking about a potential Brownlow medallist, a multiple All-Australian, best-and-fairest winner and a superstar of the competition who was seriously considering coming to North Melbourne.
“That is the huge positive in this.”