Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has declared North Melbourne's community engagement 'second to none' during a visit to Aegis Park.
Joined by vice-captain Jack Ziebell to lay the final pieces of turf on the redeveloped oval, Doyle heaped praise on the Kangaroos and The Huddle.
"From our perspective at the city council, there isn't a club that is better integrated into their community or a greater support for the community.
"And great credit to the Kangaroos for the way that they work really hard at it," Doyle said.
"So the contribution the Kangaroos make to their own community is second to none and although this is an elite playing surface and $1.9 million worth of effort going into it to replicate Etihad, it's also a priceless community asset. And I think the Kangaroos deserve huge credit for the way that they go about being a community club as well as an elite sporting club."
The new training oval will be wider, longer and more durable giving the players and locals better access and room to move.
The redevelopment comes after the Federal Government and Simon Crean's office granted $1.9 million of funding.
The surface will be maintained by Melbourne Stadiums Limited.
''Compared to the old football oval we had here, the size is much bigger, it's of Etihad standards. I think it's going to allow us to run two kilometres more per session in main skills,'' Ziebell said.
''When you think about that, it's going to be huge in our fitness gains.''
The players will be allowed on the ground in February, once the new grass has settled. Until then, theyll continue to train in Cragieburn and Princes Park in Carlton.
''Going back last year, and a couple of years, with the old ground, we struggled a little bit to find space as midfielders coming out of defence and stuff like that,'' Ziebell added.
''Especially when you have 36 guys on the field, it's good to be able to find a bit of space that you would find on the MCG, and Etihad Stadium. To be able to use that day in, day out, is going to be great.''
New goal posts, lighting, benches, netting behind the goals and other features will be added in the new year.
"This is very unusual when you think about it. We're coming to the end of the preparation of an elite playing surface for an elite sporting club. But which will also have wonderful community use as well. And it's a wonderful facility, a $15 million facility, but you'll also find kids who've just arrived in Australia in there," Doyle commented.