New recruit Josh Walker says battle for selection is building healthy competition among the defenders. 

The retirement of Scott Thompson opens up a position in the back half, with the likes of Walker, Sam Durdin, Ben McKay and Majak Daw all waiting in line for an opportunity. 

“There’s a lot of competition for spots and everyone wants to play Round 1,” Walker told North Media. 

“You’ve got to be on your game and when you get your chance you’ve got to make the most of it.” 

The former Lion and Cat has had no trouble setting in at Arden Street. 

“The guys have been fantastic. It’s a pretty easy bunch of guys to get to know and fit in with,” Walker said. 

“It helps being down there (the backline) with some pretty experienced guys, and now that we are getting into more match practice stuff it’s working well. 

“The coaches have been really good as well, and it helps having one of my old Geelong teammates, Jared Rivers, as the defensive coach.” 

North Melbourne’s first Marsh Series game is just over a week away, with a clash against the Western Bulldogs. 

Before then, the Roos will take part in a final intra-club match on Friday.

“We’re excited (for games against opposition). We’re a bit sick of playing against each other,” Walker added. 

“It will be nice to test out how the stuff we’ve been working on is actually going to come out against opposition.”