North Melbourne has locked away two of its exciting prospects in Jack Mahony and Charlie Comben, with the duo signing two-year contract extensions.
The deals will see them remain at Arden St until at least the end of 2023.
Products of the 2019 draft class, Comben was selected with pick 31, while Mahony was taken with pick 34.
Mahony played 10 games this year, after debuting in Round 4 against Hawthorn. He suffered a shoulder injury in Round 13 which saw him sidelined for the remainder of the season.
“I never expected to play early on but that was always the goal to get a game as soon as possible,” Mahony said.
“With a few injuries to Kayne [Turner] and a couple of the small forwards I tried to take my opportunity, which I was pretty happy with to play 10 games in a row.
“All in all I was pretty happy with my year just to get 10 games of AFL experience. I kind of know what to expect now and I just have to transition to next year and work on a few things to try and become a real part of the best 22.”
Mahony said he is looking forward to playing his part in the club’s future.
“It’s very exciting. We’ve got about seven or eight new draftees and a whole heap of guys under 22, so it’s just exciting. Everyone’s just super keen to get into next year and there’s just a great vibe a the club at the moment,” he added.
“For me it’s about getting fitter and stronger as a younger player, specifically as a small-forward I just want to be more damaging with my agility and pace and try to get on the scoreboard a bit more next year.”
Comben echoed Mahony’s sentiments.
“I’m pretty stoked to sign for an extra two years,” he said.
“I’m really enjoying my time here so far and really excited to be a part of something big with a young, talented group.”
Despite injury affecting his 2020 campaign, Comben said he had found a new energy to push for a debut.
“It’s been pretty challenging, seeing Jack Mahony and Flynn Perez debut really set a fire in me to play,” he said.
“I’ve done a lot of work with Kayne Tuner in rehab; he’s a real professional and everything he does has a really high standard.
“I’m trying to grow off Kayne and include that into my own training I just think the way he trains follows through to the way he plays, he’s really hard at it.”
Comben said he is looking forward to playing a key role in the front half.
“I just find it really exciting, it’s a forward line I want to be part of,” he said.
“I want to be at the helm with Nick Larkey, who is a real solid player already and still growing into an exciting talent.
“I feel like I can add to that forward line with my athletic mark and jump and I can’t wait to be part of that.
“It’s a really exciting young group up forward … I don’t think there’s a player over 26-years-old in the forward line so definitely something I want to be part of and grow and hopefully challenge for finals in a few years.”
North GM football Brady Rawlings said it was vital the club retained its emerging talent.
“Jack had a really impressive debut year and showed he has what it takes at AFL. He was improving game-by-game which is all you can ask from a first-year player,” Rawlings said.
“Charlie is yet to debut but we see him being an important part of our future. He has a strong, athletic build and we see him as a key part of our forward line going forward.
“Jack and Charlie join a host of young talent who have re-signed recently including Curtis Taylor, Bailey Scott, Tristan Xerri and Kyron Hayden, balanced out with the mature-age players we have at the club.
“We’re excited about what we’re building here at Arden St and are looking forward to further developing our next crop of talent.”