For most players making their way into the AFL, football is everything. Making it to the top level is both the culmination and the beginning of a life-long dream.
Once players become established in the system and grow outside of the game though, they often gain the perspective that football isn’t the be all, end all of life. Often it even improves their game.
Jack Ziebell is in the midst of a career-best season in the back line, and the North Melbourne skipper welcomed a baby daughter into the world just mere weeks ago.
He says becoming a father hasn’t just changed his outlook on football, but also on life.
“Perspective is key in football, and it probably takes you quite a while to figure out how to get proper balance in your life, especially early on in your career,” Ziebell said on the recent Member Q&A, presented by AIA Vitality.
“It takes you a little while to realise that the sun does come up the next day if you get beaten or play a bad game as an individual, and there’s time to improve on it.
“We were fortunate enough to welcome our daughter into the world just over five weeks ago. She’s been unbelievable for us. I’ve never wanted to get home so much.
“Being able to get back and see her after games really puts your job into perspective … it’s really important.”
The mastermind behind Ziebell’s move into the back half of the ground is David Noble, with the first-year coach successfully beginning to rebuild North from the ground up.
Having been heavily involved in the successful growth of both Brisbane and Adelaide over recent years, Noble has taken the reigns of the Roos’ young side, with great success so far in 2021.
Ziebell says the whole club is backing Noble and his philosophies to take the club back where it belongs.
“Because he’s been at a club like Brisbane that were in a similar position to use before they were successful … and we know they’re a very good side at the moment, we understand the path and process we’re on,” he said.
“It’s going to be very hard work, it’s going to take a lot of work, but we’re all making the commitment and doing the work right now to get the job done.
“It’s going to be a journey that’s going to take a bit of time … [but] we’re going to turn up and get the job down, and hopefully our fans can enjoy the process along the way.”
To hear Ziebell discuss Aaron Hall’s resurgence, the journey of North’s young players and how the players are driving a new standard of training, tune into the latest Member Q&A.