North Melbourne key-position player Josh Walker is primed for a strong 2021 season, regardless of where he plays on the ground.
The 28-year-old was recruited from Brisbane as a key-defender, but started his career as a key-forward target with a strong contested mark.
He finished seventh in the Roos' best and fairest award in 2020, playing predominantly in the back half, but after three goals in last week’s AAMI Community Series clash against Hawthorn, Walker is ready for any role.
“It’s definitely a big strength of mine that I can go to either end and contribute,” Walker told North Media.
“I’ll be training with the forwards and then two weeks later I’ll be with the backs … I’ll play where I’m needed most.
“If I’m down forward and 'Goldy' (Todd Goldstein) goes off for a spell, even playing in the ruck could be on the cards this year … I don’t mind doing a bit of rucking around the ground.”
At 28-years-old, Walker is one of the veterans of the team, and has used his experience to get the most out of this pre-season campaign.
With the training block being shortened, Walker said it was imperative that every player stayed on top of their training programs during the off-season.
“We had to come back in good shape so we could get as full a pre-season as possible,” he said.
“I’ve found throughout my years in the AFL that if you have some continuity and consistency then it sets you up really well for the year.
“I don’t think I’ve missed a session … I’m really pleased and I think I’ve got myself in a good spot ready to go.”
The performances of Luke Davies-Uniacke will be key to unlocking opposition defences this season, according to Walker.
“He’s got a really nice step on him and he’s extremely difficult to grab,” Walker said.
“If he can get his hands on it and get the ball moving forward for us it’ll be really good for the team, and me as well if I’m down forward.”