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Brad Scott in AFL hot seat

By Kim Hagdorn
21 February 2013 12:37PM EST

NORTH Melbourne confidence in coach Brad Scott with a new contract injects him into one of the AFL's hottest seats.

Roos management confirmed Scott's four-year extension through until the end of 2016 on Thursday.

With that assurance of tenure on the back of a short and ultimately disastrous finals campaign last year when dumped from the premiership race with a 16-goal humilation against West Coast, Scott and his emerging Roos hit a potentially horror start to 2013.

The Kangas confront four powerhouse units and distinct top-end finals prospects for this year with Collingwood in Round 1 and Geelong a week later, both at Etihad Stadium, before hosting reigning champions Sydney in Hobart.

The Roos then tackle Brisbane at the MCG in Round 4 and wind-up April engagements against premiership favourites Hawthorn at the "G" on the last Sunday of the opening month.

Scott's Roos have another ppotential doomsday trip to Perth for a Round 8 shootout with West Coast on the imposing Friday night footy stage, after confronting expected strugglers Port Adelaide in Hobart in Round 6 and then Western Bulldogs back at Etihad a week later.

The Kangas have drawn to play gun units Collingwood, Hawthorn and Geelong twice, as well as Adelaide and Brisbane a second time.

Even the Kanga's late season run toward the finals and any possible September engagements looms as extremely confronting.

The last five appointments for the Roos is Geelong, the Crows in Adelaide, Essendon, Hawks and Collingwood to conclude their 2013 home-and-away roster.

Unless North, on the back of such supreme confidence expressed in such a lengthy extension for Scott, can manufacture some vital wins over anticipated gun units a finals repeat this season could be beyond reach even ahead of their Round 12 bye. 

Wins over other genuine flag and finals candidates will have significant bearing early on whether the Roos can make a run at a healthy spot inside the top eight. 

Even champion key forward Drew Petrie hit front-on the pressing issue of needs for crucial early wins.

At a Roos season launch ahead of entry into the NAB Cup summer series, Petrie assessed that AFL history in the top-eight finals system the crucial needs to be in the top half by mid-season.

Historically, only around one change takes place from inside the top eight from about the hal-way mark of a season, Petrie analysed.

Even straight out of their mid-season bye break, the Roos have another torrid assignment with a trip back to Perth for a clash with Fremantle.

Scott's extension is ahead of a 2013 fixture roster which is clearly one of the game's toughest draws for the new premiership race.

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