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Clarke backs up

Young midfielder-turned defender Ryan Clarke is relishing his new role, and reaping the benefits as one of the early season stars in North Melbourne’s good run of form.

Clarke is averaging 19.8 disposals across the first nine games of the season, and has gone under the radar somewhat with his performances off half-back. 

“I’m really enjoying my role down back. The leaders down there have been really good to me, which has made my transition really easy,” Clarke told North Media.

“I’m trying to work on my defensive game first, getting to my man and go from there, and try to get used and involved.” 

North’s number 13 was again impressive defensively in the win against the Giants, tallying 19 disposals and taking 5 marks.

“That was a great win to be a part of,” Clarke said.

“We came down here with a purpose, and to play the way we did and execute the way we did and get the four points is really pleasing.”

The young defender said that while the Giants got on top in the second period, he was happy with the response from the Roos.

“We went into half-time and said that we need to get back to playing our brand of footy, which we did which was really pleasing.” 

Clarke had a perfect viewpoint for the Ben Brown show in the third term, with North’s number 50 booting 5 goals. 

“Browny is unbelievable,” he said. 

“You almost take him for granted when he’s playing with you.

“To his credit he does the work every week at training, and it’s great for us and for him that it’s paying off.” 

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