North Melbourne plans to unleash a brand new key ahead pairing on the competitors in 2023, with new co-captain Luke McDonald buoyant about his facet’s prospects.
McDonald mentioned the Kangaroos’ 2019 second spherical choice, Charlie Comben, is about for a breakout yr after “lastly getting some luck together with his physique”.
The 21-year-old tall was stricken by stress fractures in his again and leg in 2020 and 2021, whereas different points – together with a knee downside – restricted him to 9 VFL video games final season.
Comben impressed with 19 targets in these appearances and broke again into the facet for his second senior recreation in Spherical 23.
McDonald mentioned an uninterrupted pre-season had Comben poised to type a robust partnership with younger star Nick Larkey.
“He’s been within the system for just a few years now; he’s lastly getting some luck together with his physique,” McDonald mentioned.
“If we are able to get him into the facet and creating a very robust rapport with Nick Larkey, it should take a variety of stress off (Larkey) and Cam Zurhaar.”
Talking from the Kangaroos’ group camp in Rochester, Larkey additionally praised the pre-season performances of his 199cm potential ahead associate.
“It’s been a very good pre-season, however significantly up ahead has been good … Charlie Comben and Callum Coleman-Jones have been actually good within the air for us down there,” Larkey mentioned.
McDonald and Larkey spoke glowingly of number-three decide Harry Sheezel’s early impressions on the membership, whereas McDonald mentioned he additionally hoped to see spring-heeled defender Josh Goater have an effect at AFL stage early this season.
“He debuted within the final recreation final yr and he’s come on in leaps and bounds this pre-season; he’s actually one which involves thoughts,” McDonald mentioned.
A lifelong North Melbourne supporter, McDonald mentioned he was honoured to have begun his new position as co-captain alongside Jy Simpkin and that the optimistic the younger facet was prepared to enhance on the sphere.
“It’s one thing I’m actually, actually pleased with and I can’t wait to enter the video games,” he mentioned.
“It’s all the time an ambition once you first get to the membership … the number-one factor I needed to get proper was getting my footy so as and enjoying some constant soccer.
“There’s actually no cap on what we are able to obtain … clearly we’re studying a brand new recreation plan, so I’m not going to be placing a quantity on how we’re going to go, however I’m actually actually excited.”