North Melbourne has an exciting future ahead with up and comers Charlie Lazzaro and Will Phillips both committing to the club until 2024, while defender Ben McKay has signed on until 2023.
Coach David Noble is excited by the fact that the trio have backed the clubs processes internally.
“I think our fans can see where we are going and the journey we are on,” Noble said.
“We’re really keen to get into the back end of the season and continue to learn.
“To have the backing of those young guys coming through and they’re confident with where we’re going, that’s the pleasing thing; they’ve given us the tick of approval internally. They’re really comfortable with what we’re doing, they understand what we’re doing and they feel like they’re getting better.
“Particularly Ben’s (McKay) year has been fantastic, he’s taken some big options for us and had some really good wins throughout the year.
“To have those young guys show those signs of confidence in the football club is extremely exciting.”
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Another exciting prospect for North Melbournes future is new draftee Jacob Edwards.
Although due to his schooling commitments and Melbourne’s COVID restrictions he’s yet to meet his teammates, Noble is hoping to bring him into the fold during the school holiday break.
“We haven’t actually had him in with the group at the moment because he’s at school and the restrictions from COVID unfortunately means he has to come in when we’re not here,” Noble said.
“We’ve coordinated some training for him on site when there’s nobody here and a little bit offsite, we’ve got a couple of guys working with him externally.
“Once we get to school holidays and we’ve got a bit more clarity around the COVID restrictions in the next few days from an AFL perspective, we’re looking forward getting him into the club throughout that holiday period and finally getting to meeting him face to face.”
Coming towards the halfway mark of his first season at the helm of the Kangaroos, Noble is looking at converting all the hard work done behind the scenes into wins.
“I think the key thing is to make sure they [the playing group] have clarity on where we’re going.
“I would hope that if you’d ask any of our players they have a key understanding of what’s required, the standards that we’re pushing internally, they aren’t going to deviate one bit.
“We’ve always said that we’re chasing success, certainly from a wins perspective we’ve got a range of marginal gains internally that we’re tracking really closely. We feel like we’re doing a good job on moving our group towards having more wins in the second half of the season.
“We may get a few guys that may return in the back half of the year, what that allows us to do is to have selection pressure that’s the thing that we haven’t had in the front half of the year is that pressure from underneath to drive standards and performance a bit better.”
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