A positional change is nothing new for Jack Ziebell. The skipper’s well publicised move to the backline could have been considered a risk given his contributions in the forward half of the ground and midfield, but he is definitely swimming, not sinking.

After picking up 25 disposals at 80 per cent efficiency against Adelaide in Round 4, Ziebell says he is relishing his new role.

“I’ve really enjoyed the change, it’s been really refreshing and exciting to be able to learn a new role at this stage of my career,” Ziebell told North Media.

“I think having the ball ahead of me is a great thing for my on-field leadership … I can be more vocal and it’s helped me fast-track my own development in the position.

“Being able to take that on while learning my position has been good, but obviously there’s still more learning to do.”

With the likes of Robbie Tarrant, Luke McDonald and Aidan Corr all offering advice, Ziebell was in no way short of help.

He says their influence is tangible even when they’re unavailable for selection.

“Those guys were awesome with me throughout pre-season … They’re really good with my positioning and going through vision with me throughout the week,” he said.

“Luke McDonald especially is someone who plays that role really well and someone I look to get a lot of advice from, so it’s really good of him to help me out like that.

“Ideally, we’d love to have them all back and playing right now, but the flip-side is it gives opportunities to some other guys … Ben McKay has been fantastic for us, while Lachie Young and Kyron Hayden have been doing really well.”

After a much-improved team performance against the Crows, Ziebell believes North isn’t far away from a win.

He says the next step for this young team is to start putting together full games.

“I think we saw on the weekend that we played three and a-bit-quarters of really solid footy. The next stage of our development to crack the egg and get that first win is to continue that for four quarters,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter who you play against, it’s always quality opposition. You really have to work and fight to win and that takes four quarters of consistent footy.

“I’ve got plenty more to learn in my new position as a defender and plenty of improvement to make in my game, and so does the team. Right now it’s about driving that progress each week.”