Ben Jacobs has been jumping out of his skin since joining full training and has been doing so pain free for the first time in a long time.
Years of ankle trouble and injury are now behind the former Port Adelaide defender.
"When I saw the surgeon he was pretty amazed how I could still run and even get through games at all," Jacobs told the Herald Sun’s Jay Clark.
"There was so much scar tissue which was blocking the tendons from moving freely, so there was no range of motion.
"I was literally running without any flexion in the ankle, which meant I couldn't sprint. After I strung six games together, just even trying to jump was a task."
After a total of four operations on his ankles, Jacobs sought change at the end of the 2012 season.
The 21-year-old was on the search for a club that could offer a high level of medical support and a home closer to his family.
North Melbourne and Aegis Park leapt out at him as the right fit.
"It was a long process and I got along so well with the people at Port Adelaide that for it to be extended and as long as it was -- it wasn't ideal," Jacobs said.
"I was certain it (my new home) was going to be North, but I think a few clubs tried to play a few mind games and throw off North.
The Roos missed out on Jacobs in the Trade period, but snagged him with pick No.37 in the Draft.
"I got late mail that I was going somewhere else (Essendon). But I think anyone other than North would have been stupid to take me because North was the only club I wanted to come to.
"So I'm loving it and very happy to be back.
"… I just never felt myself (at Port), so it's hard to play like yourself," Jacobs said.
"For me, personally, to get my body back on track and actually play consistent quality AFL footy I needed to be back home and around family and get the resources I could around here.
"I was obviously struggling a bit there physically, needing to get my body right and to fast-track that being home, I think for everyone it was the best option."
North coach Brad Scott has high hopes for the 26-gamer up the field.
"We were really looking to build the versatility of our midfield and Ben shows a lot of flexibility on mostly wing/back," Scott said.
"But we think he can play forward as well as an inside midfielder.
"Once we sat down and talked to him about what we could provide, he was really keen to come here.
"I think it is a great step for North Melbourne that a player who has pretty much got a choice as to where he can go, decides that 'I'm going to North Melbourne'.
"We had a lot of data on him from the (Draft) Combine because he went only one pick before Shaun Atley and we had him in the mix for our first pick (No.17) then."
"He is just a really driven guy, bordering on almost too serious," Scott said.
"We have a lot of players who drive the culture of the club, but we've also got a lot who do their job -- they don't necessarily want to drive the direction, they just want to be part of it.
"But Ben will be a player who will drive the future direction of the club."
For Jacobs, getting his kicking up to scratch has become a priority.
"I think that has got to be a weapon for me to play good footy and make a mark in the AFL," Jacobs said.
"I've got to be kicking well and that's something I still want to be a big weapon for me."