It’s the thought of going around again with an exciting, young and galvanised group that has prompted Aaron Hall to extend his contract with North Melbourne for another year.
The 30-year-old put pen-to-paper on a fresh one-year deal, which will see him at Arden St until at least the end of 2022.
“I love it, this group we’ve had this year has been my favourite group to play with in all of my 10 seasons,” Hall told North Media.
“I love the energy from the young boys, they really put a pep in your step when you get into the club.
“There are so many different personalities within our playing group and everyone is allowed to be themselves and come in and train hard and we’re all here for one thing.
“We’ve got a lot of talent in the group, and the boys apply themselves to the work as well so I think next year is going to be exciting. I can’t wait for it.”
Coming off a career-best season, Hall’s switch to the backline saw him play 20 games for the Kangaroos, averaging 27.9 disposals. He was also ranked no.1 in the AFL for metres gained, averaging 637m per game. Hall puts his form down to the support of his coaches and teammates.
“Nobes (coach David Noble) and Blakes [John Blakey], our defensive coach, they just always back you in. I probably haven’t had that from coaching staff in my whole 10 years of playing. Those two especially give me that great confidence to just play the game and use my strengths and my weapons and bring that every week. I suppose it’s just given me a lot of confidence,” Hall said.
“The second half of the year was really encouraging, we did have some injuries at the start of the year, but we were able to get some games into the young guys.
“It sometimes just takes time to gel. Nobes has brought into our group a growth mindset so just every day we can get better and the wins will take care of itself.
“We talk about the process all the time. We just go week to week and we’ve got goals we want to achieve and so right now it’s just making sure we’re mentally refreshing and getting our body in good nick so we’re ready to go come pre-season.”
Hall also said it was also the opportunity to work closely with some of the younger players that made him want to be a better player.
“I genuinely love seeing young fellas do well. I’ve worked with Atu [Bosenavulagi] and Bon [Aiden Bonar] and now working with young Flynn [Perez]. And obviously Tarryn [Thomas] lived with me for two years and we worked a lot on his football,” he said.
“Seeing Jy [Simpkin] have an unbelievable season this year and seeing him blossom like that genuinely gives me a boost and part of that drives me to play good footy.
“Benny McKay too, we’ve done a lot of work together, and he’s just got an attitude to get better and in turn it actually makes me get better and I absolutely love the group.”
North GM Football, Brady Rawlings, said Hall has had an impressive season in his new role.
“Hally has been a real asset to the team in the backline with the way we want to play the game,” Rawlings said.
“The coaches thought his attributes would be suited to a role off half-back and he’s taken the opportunity with both hands.
“His experience, along with his pace, penetrating kick, and run and carry is really important to our game plan and he has continued to work on the defensive side to his game this season.
“We’ve been extremely impressed with his development this season and his ability to not only bring his teammates into the game, but work with them to help develop their games.”
Hall has played 144 games, 41 of those in the royal blue and white stripes.
Hall’s commitment follows the recent extensions and re-signings of Aiden Bonar, Will Phillips, Tom Powell, Charlie Lazzaro and Ben McKay.