There are ups and downs at every club, but just five rounds into 2015, North Melbourne has already seen its fair share of drama.
From indifferent form to injuries to key players, the Kangaroos will have to overcome a number of hurdles in their quest for the club’s fifth premiership.
In the second part of a five-part series, the cameras from Channel Seven’s Saturday Night Footy team take a look inside the inner sanctum at North Melbourne between Rounds 3 and 4.
Tall forward Drew Petrie spoke of the key forwards’ role in the modern game and the need to evolve in order to stay competitive.
“You’ve probably got to reinvent yourself a little bit as a footballer each year,” Petrie said.
“Playing as a forward, the position has evolved a lot and the demands and requirements of a key forward aren’t just to take marks and kick goals these days. You also need to make sure your body is capable of running up and down the ground all day.”
“I started coughing up blood… I’ve got some bruising in my lungs and some irregularities with my heart.” – Jack Ziebell
The Kangaroos had an 82-point win over Brisbane in Round 2 but were hoping to claim a big scalp in their Round 3 match against Port Adelaide.
Though North Melbourne fought gallantly, the club fell on the wrong side of a nail-biting eight-point loss. To make matters worse, vice-captain Jack Ziebell was rushed to hospital after a collision with Port Adelaide’s Ollie Wines.
Speaking from the hospital bed, Ziebell described the rarities of the injury and the long process of getting cleared of further problems.
“I just went to spoil the ball and he just got me in the right spot. I started coughing up blood and I’ve got some bruising in my lungs and some irregularities with my heart.”
“It’s Monday morning now so it’s been a long couple of days in the hospital. I spent Saturday night in emergency and didn’t get much sleep, and then moved up to the cardiology ward, which wasn’t much fun.
“The plan is to get to 100 percent this week and prove to the medical staff I’m fit and ready to play.”
The 24-year-old, who has had to overcome a series of concussions and other injuries along so far in his relatively short career, recovered in time to play against Geelong the following week.
The tough midfielder has played every game so far this season, and contributed 20 disposals, eight tackles and five clearances in his side’s win against Geelong.
After five rounds, North Melbourne sits 12th on the ladder, with two wins and three losses. The Kangaroos take on Richmond at Blundstone Arena in Tasmania this Saturday.