It’s taken No.1 mid-season draftee, Jacob Edwards, next to no time to make an impact at his new club. So much so, North Melbourne has moved to sign the promising ruck/forward for a further two years - until at least the end of 2023.
“[I’ve] only been there [at the club] for a couple of weeks in the school holidays, but I’m very lucky I got that extra two years and can’t wait to get started,” Edwards told North Media.
“It’s really exciting for me … I have another two year opportunity to show what I have and obviously [I’m] just hopeful to play a game of AFL next year, but even if I have the opportunity in the VFL next year, it’s obviously still a good opportunity.
“I’m always going to show confidence in myself … I don’t really want to shy away from any opportunity I get.”
At 202 centimetres, Edwards says working with fellow talls in Nick Larkey, Tristan Xerri and Charlie Comben is a great opportunity to develop his skills.
“Being at training with AFL stars that you didn’t really think you’d be with, like Jack Ziebell or Ben Cunnington, they’re just great players to be around and learn off,” he said.
“Those three [Larkey, Xerri, Comben] are just good for developing me as a player and giving me the correct techniques to play, and body work, and just to hopefully reach that AFL standard.
“The group is constantly checking up on me, always sending me messages, especially all the first-year boys … we’re pretty close.”
North list manager, Glenn Luff, said the club always had a long-term approach with Edwards.
“He came into the AFL program while he was still at school so the priority was always going to be for him to focus on completing his schooling,” Luff said.
“The club has worked closely with him since being drafted despite him not being in the AFL program full-time and we look forward to seeing him develop over the years to come.
“With his skills and attributes and under the right guidance we can see him being an important player for us in the future.
“Our list strategy is really starting to take shape and we’re excited about where we’re headed as a club.”
Edwards joins the likes of Ben McKay, Aiden Bonar, Will Phillips, Charlie Lazzaro and Tom Powell, who have all recently signed contract extensions.