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Going the extra mile

Marc McGowan  January 11, 2018 12:12 PM

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FOUR North Melbourne footballers couldn't wait until next week's official return to get reacquainted with Arden St.

The Kangaroos will on Monday be the last team to resume after Christmas, but senior players Ben Brown, Scott Thompson, Jamie Macmillan and Mason Wood had the Sherrins out on Wednesday. 

It wasn't the first time during their break, either, with Brown – fresh from finishing third in the Coleman Medal with 63 goals – spotted working hard in the days leading into the new year. 

Brown was a late starter to pre-season, originally holidaying in Iceland with his wife Hester before cutting their honeymoon short to represent Australia in the International Rules Series.

The 25-year-old, who emerged as North's undoubted focal point last year, also had minor post-season elbow surgery.

Macmillan (finger) and Wood (calf) were also eased into the pre-season, while 2013 All Australian defender Thompson postponed retirement when he re-signed for another year.

The Kangaroos' January 15 return date is due to strict AFL Players' Association guidelines on contact hours.

North's first-to-fourth-year players went on the club's annual high-altitude training camp to Utah on October 27, so the later start – most teams returned on Monday – makes up for that.

Kayne Turner, Luke McDonald, Trent Dumont and ex-Hawk Jed Anderson, who are all entering at least their fifth season in the AFL, also made the trip.

The Roos are expected to announce their leadership group for season 2018 on Monday, with Jack Ziebell tipped to retain the captaincy after replacing Andrew Swallow last year.