Shaun Higgins was 26 years old and already had 129 games to his name when he left the Bulldogs, but it’s fair to say he’s taken his game to a whole new level since arriving at Arden Street.
Now preparing for his 100th appearance in the royal blue and white, Higgins’ numbers over the past six seasons illustrate just how much of an impact he’s had at his second club.
The number four has averaged an impressive 23.4 disposals a game, kicked 93 goals and even registered 51 Brownlow Medal votes, including a career-high 18 last year.
He's also taken home two Syd Barker Medals, in 2017 and 2018, and an All-Australian guernsey in '18.
“I came across on a four-year deal and just wanted to play a role for the side, and really had no idea where my career would end up then,” Higgins admitted.
“Now, I’m six years in and really loved my time, but also striving to get more success for the footy club.”
The 32-year-old has become a hugely-respected figure at North Melbourne, joining the club’s leadership group in just his second season, and promoted to the vice-captaincy in 2020.
And while Higgins’ focus is firmly on helping the Roos turn around their recent run of bad form, the 100-game club milestone comes with great pride.
“I remember chatting when I played my 200th that it was a great achievement, but really was looking forward to playing 100 games (for North),” he said.
“To get the name officially up on the locker and just to be able to represent the club for 100 games, after playing 129 at the Bulldogs. It’s significant.”
Higgins will be hoping to have a similar impact against the Crows to the teams’ last meeting, when he racked up 30 disposals, a goal and three Brownlow votes in Round 4, 2019.