New recruit Callum Coleman-Jones says the opportunity to be the club’s number one ruckman in the coming years was a key driver in his move to North Melbourne.
The 22-year-old joined the Roos during the trade period and says he can’t wait to learn from one of the game’s all-time greats, Todd Goldstein.
“I’ve always thought my best footy going forward is in that ruck role where I can then spit forward and use my work-rate around the ground,” Coleman-Jones told North Media.
“That was a big part of the decision for me. ‘Goldy’ is a great player and I’m looking forward to learning my craft off him.
“‘Goldy’ is one of the best rucks of all-time, so to be able to pick his brain and learn from everything he’s learned over his career will be massive.”
The former Tiger impressed predominantly in a forward role this year, booting 11 goals in eight games.
While he’s set to start training at Arden Street next month, Coleman-Jones says he’s already had some great conversations with coach David Noble and the club’s list management team.
“It probably got towards the end of the year and I was looking at my options, had a few discussions with my manager, and decided to look around a bit for further opportunity to play more senior footy,” he revealed.
“I had a Zoom call with ‘Nobes’, ‘Luffy’ (list manager Glenn Luff) and Brady (Rawlings), and got a feeling of the direction of the club, the playing list, where they see me fitting in.
“‘Nobes’ was great. We had some one-on-one chats on the phone too, which gave me a great understanding of what he’s like as a coach, and I’ve heard only good things about him from outside sources … people telling me good things about him.
“He gave me a feel for the game style we’re trying to play, and the systems and processes we’re implementing. It gave me a great feeling the club is on the right path and it’s something I definitely want to be a part of.”
Part and parcel of moving clubs is integrating yourself into the playing group, and with so many unfamiliar faces set to surround him, there will undoubtedly be some initial nerves for North’s newest recruit.
“I think the news came out [on] Friday … I had heaps of the boys reach out to me … it made me feel welcome and I’m thankful for that,” Coleman-Jones said.
“I spent two years back in 2016/17 in the AFL Academy with [Luke Davies-Uniacke and Jaidyn Stephenson] … it’s good to have some people at the club I’ve spent a bit of time with before, and I’m sure they’ll make me feel a bit more comfortable when I step into the door on day one.
“North has a proud fanbase and I can’t wait to play in front of them … I can’t wait to get stuck in and get into the club and meet all the boys and the coaches.”
“I’ve just got to pick a number and get that out of the way, that’s exciting for me too … to try on the [royal] blue and white.”
Coleman-Jones has signed with North for the next four seasons.