Will Walker looks to be closing back in on his best form, after being one of the few shining lights in North Melbourne’s 65-point VFL loss to Frankston.

With six senior matches under his belt, Walker has often struggled to get on the park due to injury, but looks to be stringing together some quality games of football.

He collected 23 disposals and kicked a smartly taken goal from 50 metres out, as he lit up the midfield and forward line.

VFL coach Leigh Adams gaining valuable game time has allowed Walker to improve every week. 

“He used the ball a lot better today and was able to have a bit of an impact for us,” Adams told North Media.

“He’s been doing pretty well and he took another step forward today … the next stage for him will be to keep building that match fitness.

“He’s got probably five or six games under his belt now, and I thought he was our best AFL-listed player today … he’s been improving week-on-week, but unfortunately he couldn’t bring a few of the younger blokes with him on this occasion.”

Tyler Roos was the pick of the VFL-listed players, as the midfielder impressed with his ability to constantly win the football and provide clean ball use out of the contest.

Roos finished with a game high 43-disposals, and Adams says the example he sets with his effort should be followed by his teammates.

“He’s just got a really high work-rate. He runs and we works hard to get in good positions to find the footy,” Adams said.

“He had a good day and was clearly our best player … our work-rate as a whole midfield group probably wasn’t up to standard today, which probably made him stand out even more.”

With the continued AFL status of his usual ruck partner Tom Campbell, Tristan Xerri resumed his post as the primary ruck and finished with 26 hitouts over his Frankston counterpart, Jeremy Goddard.

Xerri showed an incredible amount of mental fortitude to contribute for the whole game, according to Adams, who says the number-38 had to deal with an early knock for the entirety of the contest.

“The first centre bounce of the day his foot actually got stood on and it really blew up. It was pretty sore for him so he probably wasn’t able to get around the ground or have the leap and jump he would have liked today,” Adams said.

“The medical team was actually quite surprised he managed to battle though that today, so that shows a bit of mental capacity to work through adversity from him.

“He probably wasn’t as good as he has been, but there’s a very good reason for why his output might’ve been a little bit down today.”

With another tough loss in the books, North will now look forward to its Thursday night clash with Casey at Marvel Stadium, in what is the VFL’s primetime slot.

Adams says while he’s hoping for a more complete performance from his side next week, there are always positives and lessons to be taken from defeat.

“I thought in patches today our ball movement was really good, so hopefully next week we can take advantage of a nice quick deck at Marvel,” he said.

“The way we moved the footy in those patches was really impressive, but it was consistent skill errors throughout the chain that let us down a bit.

“If we can tighten those up a little bit we should start creating a lot more opportunities to score.”

North Melbourne: 5.9.39
Frankston Dolphins: 16.8.104

AFL-listed players
Will Walker (23 disposals, 11 marks, 1 goal)
Tristan Xerri (14 disposals, 26 hitouts)
Taylor Garner (10 disposals, 1 goal)
Phoenix Spicer (3 disposals - injured)
Bailey Scott (17 disposals)
Matt McGuinness (10 disposals)