The North Melbourne Kangaroos are reportedly bracing to miss out on another potential recruit after offering midfielder Andrew Gaff the world and waking to news this morning that he might be heading to Sydney instead. Over the last couple of years, the same set of circumstances have occurred with alarming regularity, angering both club insiders and fans.

Like the parents of an ugly daughter trying to build a worthwhile dowry, the Kangaroos have thrown huge sums of money at high profile players like Dustin Martin and Josh Kelly in recent times, yet been rejected pretty much every single time. While coach Brad Scott has previously admitted “short-term” disappointment at such failures, and claimed that each time they’ve missed it just further expands their mysterious “war chest”, club insiders claim that missing Gaff could spell the beginning of the end.

One insider, who requested strict anonymity, told The Watsonia Bugle, “Stress levels are very high at Arden Street this week, let me tell you. While we’ve tried to remain upbeat in the past, there’s only so many rejections you can take. Apparently JK Rowling was knocked back by 12 publishers before she finally got to create the Harry Potter series, so that story’s been told around the office a few times today. But nobody has pointed out that JK was getting rejected in a much more private way than we have been in the last few years.”