While strong and consistent performances may have come in fits and spurts of the first half of the season, the talent on North Melbourne’s list is obvious, according to Jack Ziebell.
With North coming off the bye this week to take on GWS, the team’s young bodies have received a week of much welcome rest ahead of gearing up for the second half of the campaign.
While consistent performances are still the aim, Ziebell says the Roos’ improvement over both the long and short term will come from existing personnel.
“What we’re really striving for at the moment as a group is four quarters of consistent football. Even in our only win of the year against Hawthorn I think we only played three quarters that day,” Ziebell told SEN.
“We’ve got great faith in our talent across our age groups at the footy club at the moment, especially in that younger bracket. We’ve got some elite talent coming into the football club.
“There’s young guys across all lines. I think our young core of talented young players coming through is going to be where our improvement comes from. Those guys are working bloody hard to find that consistency in their game, which is going to be great for our fans to see and watch unfold.”
An experienced head in a back line filled with young bodies, Ziebell’s performances have been improving on a week-to-week basis, with the North skipper catapulting himself into All-Australian contention thanks to his elite ball usage.
Traditionally used in the midfield or forward lines, he says his switch to the back half of the ground has enabled him to help his side like never before.
“Right now, I think my best football is down back. I’ve only been down there for half a season in my career and I’ve really enjoyed my move into defence this year,” Ziebell said.
“I think I’ve been able to help the team a lot more than I have in the past as well. Hopefully we can get some more troops back in the second half of the year as well … we can bolster our stocks all over the ground and really start building that synergy.
“I’m looking forward to the second half of the year, because I’ve learnt a hell of a lot in the first half. Hopefully I can put that into a bit more practice and keep improving.”
With North being given the green light to head to Tasmania for its clash with GWS this weekend, the travelling party will be under strict Covid protocols to allow the game to proceed.
Ziebell says he’s just happy his side get to run out at Blundstone Arena once again.
“It’s really important for us to be back in front of our home away from home crowd in Hobart, we’re really excited to get down there,” he said.
“We’ve got some pretty strict measure that surround our exemption, but we have to thank the Tasmanian government for allowing that.”