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Farren's ray of hope

Rob Burton  November 27, 2015 5:02 PM

PRESS PLAY above to watch the Farren Ray interview.

New North recruit Farren Ray says a couple of closer former teammates had a big influence in his decision to continue his career at Arden Street.

The 29-year-old played with Shaun Higgins at the Bulldogs (2006-2008) and Nick Dal Santo at St Kilda (2009-2013), and said they shared their experiences at North with him.

“I’ve been speaking to them quite regularly behind the scenes,” Ray told NMFC.com.au on Friday.

“Shaun’s over in Utah now and I’m obviously great mates with him, and I’ve played a lot of footy with Nick and great mates with him as well.

“They really helped me to make the decision. They speak really highly of the North Melbourne Footy Club.

“They’ve made transitions in the past, so that made the decision a lot easier.”

A meeting with Brad Scott and the club’s list management team also played a bit part in Ray’s decision.

“I was really impressed with Brad,” he said.

“The first time I properly met him I came to the club a couple of weeks ago and sat down with the powers-that-be.

“I think he liked what he saw in me … thought I had a bit to offer in terms of on-field and off-field.”

North GM Football Operations and List Management Cameron Joyce believes Ray will provide valuable experience and leadership.

“We sat down with Farren and had some great dialogue about where he was at and felt he was a great fit for North Melbourne.

“Farren will add some more depth, experience and leadership to our list.

“He is an elite runner and with the trading of Ryan Bastinac to the Lions, we felt he would give us more options and coverage in a wing role.”

Ray boasts more than 200 games and played in three Grand Finals with the Saints.

“I’m an experienced player and I’ve been around for 12 years, so I feel like I’ve still got heaps to offer.”

Ray said injury and a change of direction at St Kilda ultimately cost the pacey midfielder more opportunity in 2015.

“2014 I had a pretty solid year and then this year played the eight games. I was out with injury missing about eight or nine games, and I’ve had a really good run with injury, so that sort of came out of nowhere.

“Just the direction the club took I was in and out of the team a couple of times and that’s what happens, that’s the direction the Saints took, but they’ve been fantastic for me and I can see why they did that.”

Handed the number 44 guernsey, Ray can’t wait to make himself at home alongside fellow running machine Sam Gibson in the locker-room.

“(It is) very similar to when I moved from the Bulldogs to the Saints; (North has) played in the last two prelims and really stand for something … a real team with a lot of direction and a lot of excitement,” he added.

“There’s a lot of similarities between the two teams and when I’ve moved.

“I made the transition back in 2008 to the St Kilda Football Club and that was the best move I made back then, and I’m sure this will be one of the best moves I’ve made.”