Jaidyn Stephenson could be set for a more permanent midfield role at his new club, according to coach David Noble.
The 22-year-old has made his name as a forward so far in his AFL career, but his move to North Melbourne will be met with more minutes at the coalface.
Quizzed by Garry Lyon on SEN, “do you think he’ll be a midfielder?”, Noble backed Stephenson to step into a new role.
“Yeah, I do (think he’ll be a midfielder),” Noble said.
“The majority?,” Lyon said.
“At this stage, that’s what it’s looking like,” Noble responded.
“What’s convinced you of that? Because we haven’t actually seen him in that role to this point. He played under-18s in that role, is that right?,” Tim Watson asked.
“Yeah. I think the dynamic, if you have a look at the mix of our midfield, contested ball is really strong, we’ve been known for not having great balance around the ball at times,” Noble said.
“He adds that balance, poise, speed on the mix with (Ben) Cunnington, (Jed) Anderson, (Jy) Simpkin, so he creates a nice blend in there.”
Stephenson has lined up in through the midfield through much of the pre-season match simulation, impressing with his sharp skills and ability to get from contest to contest.
The combination of youth, in Luke Davies-Uniacke, Simpkin and Stephenson sure to provide plenty of excitement for North fans, alongside the more experienced tough nuts in Jed Anderson and Ben Cunnington.
Noble excited to see Cunnington back in action after an injury-interrupted 2020 campaign.
“He had a good break, his back has settled down,” he added.
“We’ve had some really good loads into him and at this stage we’re expecting him to play the full season.
“The high performance and coaching groups have done a fantastic job at our club in preparing him ready to play.”