Jed Anderson says he's made it a focus to improve his running ability in 2017, and his efforts are already on show.
Anderson said his last month of football, playing with VFL affiliate Werribee, had allowed him to put in a number of consistent performances. Importantly he's now running out games well.
“That’s what we were working really hard on over the pre-season, and it’s building now,” Anderson told NMFC.com.au.
“It’s about working session after session, getting my top end speed up. Hitting in, getting around the ball and then pushing hard forward and getting onto it.”
The 23-year-old has been able to see his progression week-by-week, enthused by what he’s been able to produce.
“I was a bit too eager in that first game back and used all my petrol tickets early,” Anderson joked.
“Now it’s progressing and building over four quarters. The last two weeks have been really good four quarter efforts and the GPS numbers are really showing that.”
Having those numbers to look at allows Anderson to focus on several areas of improvement.
“It’s about top end distance and my max speed running at that distance,” he explained.
“Then you’re looking at the metres per minute and how well you’re moving across the ground in the game which is another big thing.”
It’s been a period of adjustment for Anderson, getting used to his new role.
His first season at North was played almost exclusively as a forward. He had cemented his spot in the side by playing the last nine games of 2016.
On return from a pre-season shoulder injury, he was able to start in the different position.
“I’ve been playing a bit more midfield, getting around the ball and up the ground a fair bit.
“Then I’m resting forward, but also doing my job there with pressure and being aggressive when I am there.
“It’s been about 80 per cent midfield and 20 per cent forward.”
In addition to learning the ins and outs of the midfield at North, Anderson also has to familiarise himself with a Werribee line-up which has undergone its own significant changes.
“There’s been a fair few numbers around the midfield at Werribee. We’re adapting pretty well at the moment,” Anderson said.
“We’re working really well together, building each week as we get to know each other in the positions.”
After being named in the emergencies for North’s clash against Fremantle, it appears an AFL return is looming sooner rather than later for Anderson.
And whether it’s in the midfield or forward, Anderson is keen for another opportunity.
“I’ve got a few games under my belt and hopefully in the next few weeks I can come into the senior side and show my form there.
“I’m happy to play both; happy to be around the ball or whatever Scotty and the coaches ask of me. I want to do my job for the team.”