After struggling to get a look-in at star-studded Hawthorn, speedster Jed Anderson will start the second chapter of his AFL journey for North Melbourne in Saturday’s NAB Challenge encounter against St Kilda in Wangaratta.
With the likes of All-Australians Cyril Rioli and Luke Breust blocking his path at the Hawks, limiting him to 10 senior games in three years, Anderson sought a trade in the off-season to the Kangaroos.
“He’s been very impressive,” North Melbourne coach Brad Scott said of the 22-year-old Anderson.
“He’s come out of a terrific system at Hawthorn and probably only been kept out of the side by a couple of All-Australians at half-forward and through the midfield.
“He’s going to get a really good opportunity with us.
“He’s fitted in really well both on and off field.
“His teammates speak really highly of him and that’s always a good litmus test.”
Key defender Robbie Tarrant is also a likely starter against the Saints despite sitting out last week’s intraclub match due to a sore back.
Star midfielder Daniel Wells is raring to go, having been limited to just two games last season with a serious Achilles problem.
Ryan Clarke and Corey Wagner are among the youngsters pushing hard for a spot in the North Melbourne squad to take on the Saints.
“We’ve got some really good availability at the moment, so while we’d like to expose some young guys to some game-time, our priority is to work on our system and the way we want to play,” Scott said on Wednesday.
“We’ve got to strike that balance between exposing the young guys and having the more senior players playing together.”