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Who to look out for

Rob Burton  February 17, 2017 11:36 AM

Sam Durdin has been excelling in defence during the pre-season.

Sam Durdin has been excelling in defence during the pre-season.

With six recruits and a further seven players yet to debut in North’s 29-man squad, a new-look lineup will take on the Swans on Sunday.

Need to get to know the new players? We’ve got you covered.

Here’s our guide to North’s newest additions.

Fresh starts

Marley Williams - #2
The former Magpie has been a standout on the training track during the pre-season. Enjoying his first full pre-season, he hasn’t missed a session.

Look for Williams to be playing on one of the Swans’ best small-forwards in a lock-down role, and rebounding off half-back with his penetrating left foot.


Marley Williams. 

Nathan Hrovat - #8
After 30 games at the Bulldogs in four seasons, Hrovat has settled in nicely at Arden Street.

Four goals in a practice match against Werribee a fortnight ago means North fans have quickly become familiar with the small-forward.

While he’s small in stature at 175 centimetres, Hrovat is strong in the contest and handy around the goals.


Nathan Hrovat. 

New recruits

Declan Watson - #35
The key-defender was taken with pick 34 in the 2016 National Draft.

Recruited from Aspley in Queensland, Watson is strong in the air and at 191 centimetres, plays in a key post in the back half.

Has also been able to find the footy and create from defence during the Roos’ practice matches.


Declan Watson. 

Nick Larkey - #40
Perhaps originally considered a longer-term prospect as a lightly-framed key-position player, Larkey was one of the stand-outs at first year camp, and then in match simulation sessions.

With injuries to several of North’s key forwards, Larkey could get an early chance to impress.

Can also play through the ruck and as a tall wingman.


Nick Larkey. 

Cameron Zurhaar - #44 – rookie
The strongly-built youngster was North’s first pick in the 2016 Rookie Draft.

Has bobbed up with several goals during match practice, putting his body on the line at every opportunity.


Cameron Zurhaar. 

Matt Taylor - #46 – rookie
With great skills by foot, Taylor has looked a cool head in defence in match practice over the past few weeks.

North’s final pick in the rookie draft, Taylor has impressed with his maturity since arriving at the club.


Matt Taylor. 

Yet to debut

Will Fordham - #37 – rookie
One of the Roos’ best runners, Fordham is an accumulator through the midfield with his willingness to get from contest to contest.

Played in last year’s NAB Challenge game against St Kilda and is in his third year on the rookie list.


Will Fordham.

Mitch Hibberd - #39
Another who excels with his endurance, Hibberd had an injury-interrupted 2016 campaign, but has returned fitter and stronger with a full pre-season under his belt.

Look for the number 39 roaming the wing at Coffs Harbour. Played in last year’s NAB Challenge against Collingwood.


Mitch Hibberd. 

Declan Mountford - #42
Took all before him in 2016, finishing second in Werribee’s best and fairest.

The midfielder can play a tagging role, but also finds his own ball.


Declan Mountford. 

Ben McKay - #23
North fans have yet to see McKay at senior level, but if his pre-season form is anything to go by, a debut may not be far away.

The 199-centimetre key-forward booted three goals against Werribee and casts a big shadow as an imposing figure in attack. Brother Harry plays for Carlton.


Ben McKay. 

Sam Durdin - #24
Injuries restricted Durdin in his first year, 2015, but the key-position prospect made steady progress in 2016 at both ends of the ground.

Settling into defence during the pre-season, he’s enjoyed playing on some of the Roos’ best forwards, including Mason Wood and Jarrad Waite.

With Todd Goldstein out, he may see some time in the ruck.


Sam Durdin. 

Braydon Preuss - #31
The big man made headlines for his tackle on Andrew Swallow last week, but has also been turning heads around Arden Street with his strong performances in the ruck.

A man-mountain at 206 centimetres and 107 kilograms, Preuss played in last year’s NAB Challenge against St Kilda before another promising season at Werribee.


Braydon Preuss. 

Ed Vickers-Willis - #33
Like Durdin, Vickers-Willis is from the 2015 Draft class and has had a tough run with injury in his first two years.

Shoulder issues kept him sidelined for much of 2015 and early 2016, before he had a consistent run with Werribee at the end of the season.

Strong defensively, he can also provide drive from the back half.


Ed Vickers-Willis.