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Mirroring Jack

If there’s one player in the league who gives everything for his team, it’s Jack Ziebell.

So Roos’ fans would be delighted to know an emerging youngster is looking to mould his game on North’s courageous skipper.

“Jack loves to throw his body around, and that’s what I like to see as a strength in my game,” first-year player Kyron Hayden told North media.  

While he’s still on the comeback trail from surgery to his AC joint, Hayden has already impressed in his time at Arden Street.

With a build comparable to a seasoned AFL player, the 62nd selection at last year’s NAB AFL Draft looks physically well beyond his years.

North’s medical staff opted to repair his shoulder soon after his arrival at Arden St.

“I subluxed it a couple of times last year, probably like ten times, so it was pretty painful,” Hayden said.

“I managed to play through it and play every single game, so I didn’t think it was too serious.

“I went through a couple of assessments, chatted to the doctors and had a couple of scans, (and) the decision was made that it was probably for the best to get the shoulder done now so I can get a good season in. 

“It’s not an ideal way to start your AFL career, but hopefully it will set me up for the long run. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, it’s all part of the game.”

Six weeks on from the procedure, Hayden is back on the track and laying the foundations to ensure he returns to his best as soon as possible.

“At the moment I’ve just started running,” he said.  

“I just need to build up my conditioning base and check off the little things like that so I can get back to training.

“It’ll probably be another six weeks until I join in with the main sessions.”

Despite spending much of the pre-season watching on from the sidelines, the West-Australian native has had no trouble fitting in with his new teammates.

“It’s a good bunch of boys, they’re all pretty young,” Hayden added.

“Everyone can relate to each other, we all play Xbox and stuff like that so that helps.

“It’s pretty unreal how you watch these guys play on TV and then you’re out here training with them.”

The midfielder caught the eye of North recruiters last year because of his tough and relentless attack on the ball, traits he refuses to surrender, despite his injuries.

“I’m pretty strong and sturdy for my age, so I try and use that to the best of my ability by staying at the contest, winning the ball and dishing it out to the outside players,” Hayden said.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs