As David Noble addresses the North Melbourne players on Wednesday morning, a quick glance at the faces in front of him highlights just how much the list has changed.

In all, 11 new players stand before the recently appointed coach, while fellow new faces Heath Younie, John Blakey and Jordan Russell flank the group in coaching gear.

It's just the second full group session of 2021, and the fans scattered along the boundary enjoy what, after the past year, is a rare opportunity to see the players up close. 

Brent Harvey, Leigh Adams and Gavin Brown bring some familiarity in their respective roles, while the likes of Todd Goldstein, Jack Ziebell and Ben Cunnington boast over a decade’s experience at the Roos’ traditional home.

There’s a feeling of energy among the group … of opportunity. After so much change, North’s best 22 is a long way from being decided, and everyone is keen to prove they are worthy of spot. 

Whether it be Will Phillips, who works tirelessly kicking on his opposite foot before the session even gets underway. Or Eddie Ford, who is already settling right in to Arden Street with his bubbly personality and dance moves capturing the attention of the group.

A pick-up at full pace and spearing delivery inside 50 shows that little bit of x-factor the recruiters had clearly seen in Ford. 

Former Bulldog Lachie Young is showing his talent too; precise ball-use out of the back half a feature, as the mercury hits 30 degrees.

Likewise Aidan Corr, who’s reaping the benefits of an early return to training and looks as fit as any player on the list.

The heat doesn't stop the strength and conditioning team having the players run, time and time again, with Charlie Lazzaro and Patrick Walker at the front of the draftees.

Jaidyn Stephenson is catching the eye too, leading out his group and dishing out encouragement and high-fives to his new teammates.

Pre-season is the time to gain an edge on the competition, and everyone is eager to shine. 

Only Charlie Comben faces an extended time on the sidelines; he's working hard in the gym and keen to still make some valuable gains. 

Among those back from injury, Tarryn Thomas looks sharp in the drills, the ankle surgery which saw him miss the bulk of the season not hindering him at all.

Kyron Hayden is back out there too ... he’s fit and firing upon his return from knee soreness which kept him out for the back half of last year. 

And it’s hard not to be impressed by Jy Simpkin; the reigning Syd Barker Medal runner-up adding noticeable bulk to his frame as he looks to become dominant in the contest.

It’s only early days, but with a raft of new additions, and some exciting, returning youngsters, there’s plenty to look forward to in 2021.

Currently, picking a side for the season-opener against Port Adelaide looks a mighty task. A handful of locks aside, like Ben Cunnington, who looks as ready as ever, the battle for the remaining spots is sure to heat up in the coming weeks.