Players were put to the test as North Melbourne’s VFL side returned to Arden Street to kick-off its pre-season preparations.

A host of familiar faces were joined by some new hopefuls on Monday night, hoping to make the final squad ahead of the 2019 season.

“There’s a lot of excitement around,” head coach David Loader told North Media.

“We’ve got a big list of new players, it’s really exciting for those guys coming in, good to see the faces that were here last year.

“Everyone’s pretty much up and about at the minute.”

With a variety of tests on the cards, North’s coaching staff, including newcomer Brendan Whitecross, spread out across multiple stations to get a closer look.

With only a handful of spots available, Loader concedes the recruiting process will take time.

“There’s a range of things that we need to look at,” he explained.

“Obviously, there’s a few guys that are already on the list, who signed two-year contracts last year. There’s a range of players that are here trying their hand for the first time at VFL level.

“We’re going through all the normal stuff, seeing how they kick the ball, how their running is - a myriad of things.

“Tonight’s just the first night, we’ll get a lot of testing stuff done and we’ll work on from here.”