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Hartung takes out Yo-Yo

Jennifer Phelan - AFL.com.au  December 4, 2017 12:24 PM

PRESS PLAY above to see Jack Ziebell mic'd up at the Yo-Yo test.

North Melbourne recruit Billy Hartung's second chance at an AFL career is on the right track, with the former Hawthorn midfielder taking out Monday's Yo-Yo test at Arden Street.

Hartung was the standout in the endurance assessment, going two levels beyond second place-getter Mitch Hibberd. 

The ex-Hawk's performance was up there in the club's best results since they started using the test six years ago, and rivalled that of former Kangaroos' hard runner Sam Gibson. 

Incidentally, while Hartung impressed his new teammates with his running prowess, Gibson was over in Adelaide taking out the 2km time trial in his new life as a Crow. 

Hartung was dumped by the Hawks in October after four years and 63 games, mainly because of concerns about his tackling and contested game.

The elite runner said he'd appreciated candid talks about his deficiencies with Kangaroos coach Brad Scott in the lead up to his recruitment, and pledged to use his delisting as motivation to become a more rounded player.

"It was pretty emotional [after the draft], considering the last couple of months have been pretty hard, not knowing where I was going to be," Hartung said on Monday.

"It's pretty hard being delisted only four years into your career.

"I was talking to the club for the last two or three weeks before I got drafted and we had some pretty honest chats.

"I've been really happy with the chats we've had, which is why I'm so looking forward to being here."

Hartung was taken with the Roos' fifth and final pick in last month's NAB AFL Draft at No.77 overall.

After failing to find a new home via trade or delisted player free agency, the 22-year-old didn't spend draft night glued to the television like other young hopefuls.

"I was out in the city with a few friends for dinner and I was checking on the phone," he said.

"It got to pick 60-plus and I thought I wouldn't watch it anymore, I might go in the rookie draft instead … but then I got a few texts and thought I may have been picked up.

"To finally get my name called out – again – was pretty exciting."

He leaves Hawthorn having been on the cusp of premiership glory in 2015, after he was famously dropped for the Grand Final against West Coast.

While he feels he'll fill a similar position to the outside running wingman-type role he played there, he said he knew his contested work was part of the main reason he found himself on the outer.

"No hard feelings with Hawthorn, I think it's better for me to come to a different club and get some more opportunities," he said.

"I think there were a number of factors … obviously the inside stuff. I think they're going in a different direction to what I'm going in.

"Coming here, I feel like there's a lot of opportunity here, it's a pretty young and exciting list, and I'm really excited about the future being here."

Young Roos defender Ed Vickers-Willis, who along with Hibberd missed a large portion of the second half of this season with injury, came third in Monday's Yo-Yo test.

The session was held in intermittent rain and greasy conditions after Melbourne's soggy weekend, and included the majority of the list in what was their second official training session as a full squad. 

Veterans Shaun Higgins and Todd Goldstein also impressed and finished in the top seven.

Captain Jack Ziebell, Jarrad Waite, Marley Williams, Majak Daw and Ben Brown were among those to skip the test, as part of their managed loads. 

The Roos' prized draftee Luke Davies-Uniacke, who was taken with pick No.4 overall at last month's draft, also didn't run as he continues to recover from a turf toe issue that flared late in the season.