Forward Mason Wood hopes to provide a real point of difference in attack to give himself every opportunity of playing at the elite level.
The 21-year-old, who made his AFL debut in round 23 against Melbourne last season, aims to don the North guernsey regularly this year.
In order to do so, Wood said he will continue to broaden his game to include both attacking and defensive elements.
“I can see myself playing a bit further up the ground (and) a little bit more mobile in the position that is in between key forward and mid/small forward,” Wood told NMFC.com.au on Tuesday.
“If I can play that sort of role, I can be real handy, using my work rate and getting up and down the ground a lot more.”
The 192cm forward understands just how competitive it will be to consolidate a position in the Roos’ new-look forward line, with the likes of Jarrad Waite, Drew Petrie, Ben Brown, Majak Daw, Robbie Tarrant and Aaron Black all vying for spots.
“A team that made a preliminary final is always going to be a hard team to crack into so you’ve always got to stay positive,” he said.
Wood said he is also working towards fulfilling a role on the wing to complement his forward duties.
“A bit of both is what we’re after and finding the balance because if you lock yourself down in the one position, it makes it that much harder to get a game," he said.
“If I’m going to be a consistent player, there’s not really one player – unless you’re a key position player which I’m not going to be exactly – that can’t play another position.
“You’ve just got to find a way to make yourself more valuable to the team.”
Wood’s pre-season was interrupted by a minor setback last Monday, experiencing hamstring tightness during the first session of the year.
But the number 32 said he is on the way back to full fitness and remains confident of resuming game sense training drills early next week.
“I had another bout of tightness after Utah (pre-season camp) which cleared up in a few days, so I’m just going to be taking it cautiously again and make sure we get it right,” he said.
After a stand-out pre-season, Wood is being monitored closely as he completes his highest ever training loads.
“They (the medical staff) are going to manage my loads for probably two weeks and then (I’ll be back) into it. There are just a few elements of training that I need to tick off first," he said.
“Now we’re about where we need to be and know where it’s at.”