Will Phillips’ leadership traits played a key role in his selection as a North Melbourne player, National Recruiting Manager Mark Finnigan says.
The midfielder gained great recognition from his teammates and peers during his junior career, and arrives at Arden Street as a natural leader.
“The impressive thing for us was that not only his teammates, but opposition players we interviewed this year nominated Will as the most outstanding leader and competitive player that they’ve played with and against,” Finnigan told North Media.
“Will’s an outstanding leader.”
Phillips is held in such high regard, he was presented with the number 29 guernsey by none other than the games-record-holder himself, Brent Harvey.
“Obviously to bring number out again, it’s for a special player, and we feel Will will be that for us,” Finnigan said.
“Every level he’s played at, he’s excelled; whether that be All-Australian at under 16’s level, performing in the finals as a bottom-age player at NAB League last year … we felt if he’d played NAB League this year he would have had an outstanding season.
“He had that strong body as a kid and he’s just risen to every level; that body obviously helps that.
“His ability to win the ball at the contest (is an asset) … but he does get out and carry the footy and hits the scoreboard.”
Phillips joined the Roos’ first-to-fourth year players at training on Friday, with the club’s interstate draftees set to join their new teammates on Monday.