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McKinley's point to prove

New North recruit Ben McKinley says he’s hoping to show his former club what he’s made of when North Melbourne takes on West Coast in Perth in round one.  

McKinley knows there a lot of water to go under the bridge before the clash, but isn’t leaving any doubt about his desire to face his former team mates.

“I would love to play over in Perth and show West Coast that I have improved. I just want to show them what I’m really made of,” McKinley told

“Working on my fitness and adjusting to all the intricacies of a new game plan are the things I need to improve on at the moment. I want to keep stepping up and improve on these things.”

A Yarrambat local, McKinley says he was thrilled to be picked up by the Roos during trade week.

“It’s good to be back home. I’ve had a lot of support from my family and the people of Yarrambat. My parents travelled to all my games in Perth so they’re definitely happy to see me play games in Melbourne.”

Family aside, McKinley discovered he has a new group of supporters during the club’s Christmas Family Day at Arden Street.

“It was a fantastic day…different to other family days I have experienced. I was getting shown up by all the kids on the golf putting station. It was a great way to meet and interact with the fans so early on.”

The 23 year-old says the transition from West Coast to North Melbourne was made easier with the pre-season training camp in Utah.

“We went away to Utah in my first week and that was a fantastic experience. There’s no better way of meeting people than living with them for three weeks.

“Fitness is one thing for me that’s never been sensational so if the Utah trip can help even a couple of percent, it should help my footy a great deal.”

Predominately played as a forward, North coach Brad Scott has hinted at a possible change of role at Arden Street with a position in the midfield a possibility.

“When I first got drafted I was pigeon holed as a forward but in my WAFL side I got to move around and play in the midfield. I’d like to be a versatile player who can adapt and play wherever I’m needed.

“Brad’s been really supportive, all the assistants have. I have been really impressed with their vision for the club. With such a good young list, enthusiast coach and great assistants it should hold us in good stead for the coming years.”