Promising North Melbourne youngster, Will Phillips, has described his ‘instinctive passion’ for the club after signing a two-year contract extension.
The deal will see the No.29 at Arden St until at least the end of 2024.
“To kick my first goal in a game where it was pretty close and the grab of the jumper just represented my spirit and pride for the club,” Phillips told North Media.
“I didn’t really think about it, it just came to me and maybe that’s why I signed on, because I just had this instinctive passion for the club.
“I’m just really grateful to be where I am at this club and can definitely see a future here long term and I’m really happy to extend for two years.”
Phillips made his first AFL appearance in Round 3 after being selected with pick 3 in the draft, and said he’s excited about the direction of the Kangaroos.
“You can already see where this club is heading, it might not reflect out on the scoreboard but statistically we’re heading in the right direction with the amount of young players we have … as long as we stay together and continue to build on that connection,” he said.
“It seems like a really special culture to be a part of and hopefully we can all stick together over the next few years and build something special.
“Obviously the Shinboner history is pretty special as well, and they make a really big effort to help us to understand how special it is and what makes the Shinboner culture.”
Spending time playing between the club’s AFL and VFL teams, Phillips said it was an opportunity to develop.
“I mean it’s never nice getting dropped but I always look at the opportunity I can gain from those things,” he said.
“It probably gave me a chance to play a bit more in the midfield, which I didn’t get at AFL level for certain reasons.
“I went back to the VFL and was faced with the challenge the first week of getting tagged, so I learnt a lot from that experience.
“These are things that are going to happen in my career I just got to learn to pick myself up and keep going forward and hopefully I’m here for 200 games not 20 games.
“It’s about me taking my opportunity when I do get in the AFL side, but I’m in no rush - I see this as a learning year where I can just soak up as much as possible regardless of how many games I’ve played and hopefully that sets me up for a career at this club.”
North list manager, Glenn Luff, said Phillips’ professionalism and attention to detail makes him a standout.
“Will is a real competitor and we see him being an important part of where we are going as a club,” Luff said.
“His ball-winning ability, physical pressure and clean hands are really impressive for his age and will only get better with further development.
“He will play an important role in our midfield in the coming seasons and is a natural-born leader.
“Will is so passionate about our club and believes in where we are headed. It’s exciting to have him locked away and it enables us to move forward with a clear vision and pathway.”
Phillips’ contract extension comes a day after key defender, Ben McKay, agreed to a new two-year deal.