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VFL: Rippon it up

PRESS PLAY above to watch the Nick Rippon interview. Nick Rippon talks about his transition from the North Ballarat Roosters to the North Melbourne VFL team.

Despite his relatively young age, Nick Rippon is hoping to utilize his vast VFL experience as a part of North’s Leadership Group.

“I’m only 24, but I have had just under 100 games experience in the VFL, so I’m hoping that experience can help out the younger boys and really drive the standards and quality of where we want to be,” Rippon told North Media.

“Being a part of the leadership group is a great honour and something that I’m very proud of.

“I hope I can bring strong leadership to the group, and being more of a senior player in the VFL now, I hope I can help this young list that we have.”

The 2015 J.J Liston Medalist’s (best and fairest in the VFL) decision to cross over from the North Ballarat Roosters was made easier by the connection he has with North’s VFL Head Coach David Loader. 

“I’ve got a really good relationship with him,” Rippon said.

“I have known him since my TAC Cup days, so that’s made the transition easier as well. 

“He knows when to be serious and when to have a bit of fun, and I’m sure he’s going to do a great job for us here.” 

It’s not just the coach that Rippon recognizes.

“I had the pleasure of playing with a few of the guys when they (North) were aligned with the Roosters so I know a few faces which has definitely made the transition easier.” 

Mitch Rodd has joined Rippon in the move to North Melbourne, and the midfielder believes his former Roosters’ teammate will have an instant impact. 

“Mitch Rodd is an explosive type,” Rippon said.

“He’s a real utility, and can play probably anywhere on the oval.  He’s a good leader too and I’m sure he will bring that to the group.”

Being a part of an AFL-affiliated VFL team was too good an opportunity for Rippon to turn down, as he seeks to fulfil his ambition of making it to the highest level.

“I definitely see it as an opportunity to have another crack at the AFL, and that’s part of the reason I made the move to North Melbourne,” he said.

“Hopefully I can get under the eyes of the coaches in a different manner, and we will see what happens. 

“I’m hoping to feed off the coaching staff and the AFL players and hopefully make the most of the opportunity at hand. 

“It means the world for me to come here and play for such a proud club.”

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