North Melbourne defender Connor Menadue is doing everything in his power to make the most of his second chance at AFL level.
After 39 games with Richmond, Menadue was delisted at the end of the 2019 season, picking up a job at Rebel Sport.
But in a whirlwind three months, he was selected by the Roos at the Rookie Draft, and quickly made his presence felt, making his club debut in round one.
“I was always hoping I’d get another AFL opportunity, but there were obviously no certainties,” Menadue told North Media.
“I was working at Rebel and hoping to get on a list, but it might not have happened and the AFL dream would have gone by.
“To get another crack and get that first game in round one was a massive achievement for myself … I was so grateful to be back out there in front of a crowd.”
With Menadue being just one of a host of new faces amongst the playing and coaching staff, he says it’s going to take time for everyone to gel.
“I didn’t know anyone coming in. Usually you might know a couple of players, but I don’t think there’s anyone else from my draft here,” he said.
“I came in and started building those relationships with everyone … that’s going to take a bit of time with the new game plan and a lot of new players playing together.
“Right now I think we’ve just got to stick to the process, play how we want to play and stay competitive.”
On Richmond’s list from 2015-2019, Menadue was part of one of the most successful dynasties in modern football.
Despite coach David Noble being at the start of his coaching career, the 24-year-old believes there are comparisons to be drawn between the new Roos' coach and former mentor Damien Hardwick.
“'Dimma' (Hardwick) obviously built the list up and won those premierships … he’s pretty calm and good with the players,” Menadue said.
“With 'Nobes' (Noble) you’d actually think that was also the case. He’s come in really calm and clear with how he wants us to play.
“He’s very clear in all the reviews about how we can grow and get better … they’ve both got really good relationships with their players. It’s been good how Nobes has come in.”