There were number of star performers in North Melbourne’s VFL win on the weekend, both AFL and VFL-listed alike.
Will Phillips was imperious with 33 disposals, Tristan Xerri was immense with 30 contested possessions and Josh Clayton was irresistible with 3 goals.
Eddie Ford was another to play a crucial role in the victory, with the young forward kicking an important goal to level the scores with just ten minutes remaining in the final term.
Finishing with 18 disposals and 2 goals, Ford consistently provided a threatening marking target in the forward 50, with his influence on the contest unable to be understated.
The game served as Ford’s first win in North colours, and he says tasting victory justifies all the hard work so far this year.
“We’ve done so well to come so far as a group … it’s all coming together pretty nicely,” Ford told North Media.
“It was great to get stuck into [the song] for the first time … [but] I didn’t really know the first part.
“It’s been a long road to get a win this year. We managed one in pre-season but it’s nice to be on the board in the actual season. It was a good feeling.”
When the game was hanging in the balance, Ford stepped up his game, keeping his composure to slot his goals late in the third and fourth quarters.
In a game full of lead changes, he says maintaining a strong work-rate was key to his telling contribution.
“I managed to get on the end of a couple and finish of some good work with a couple of snags which was nice,” Ford said.
“My work-rate lacked a bit in the first quarter but I managed to step it up … throughout the day it was good … I probably had a better second half but I was happy with my game.
“The fact the team won is all that matters, and if I contributed to it then that’s good.”
Ford’s ability to win the ball in the contest translates well to an inside-midfield role, with the forward spending some time at the coalface in the injury-riddled Round 4 loss to Southport.
He says while he sees his future as a forward, he’s happy to play wherever he’s needed.
“I played there a fair bit in my junior footy, so if ‘Patch’ (Leigh Adams) wants me to go there then I’m happy to … but I still have a lot of craft to work on” Ford said.
“It’s a big step up to VFL and then AFL again, and our midfield did really well on the weekend at winning the clearances and winning the footy.
“But I’m happy to go in there and put my head over the footy if the coaches need me to.”
With fixtures coming thick and fast, the VFL side is now firmly focused on securing a result in this weekend’s clash with Coburg.
Now both of North’s men’s teams are on the board with victories, Ford says the energy around the club has lifted.
“Like the AFL boys we had a couple of big losses, so to get that first win under the belt really lifts the spirits,” he said.
“Getting that win was really important for the boys … hopefully we can go into Coburg and the AFL boys can go into St Kilda and both sides can bring some really good energy.”