New-look 'Roos to take on Cats - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

New-look 'Roos to take on Cats

By Roger Vaughan 20/02/2010 06:04:35 PM Comments (0)

Brady Rawlings will be nearly as nervous as his young North Melbourne team-mates on Sunday when they open the AFL NAB Cup against Geelong.

The Etihad Stadium twilight clash against the reigning regular and pre-season premiers will be the first game in North's new era.

Brad Scott will make his senior coaching debut, the Kangaroos are well-established in their new Arden Street headquarters and their list is notable for the large number of young players with strong potential.

Rawlings is 28 and has played 201 senior games, but he admits there will be a sense of the unknown for him as well when he runs out against the hotly-favoured Cats.

"You have to keep learning, no matter how old you are or how long you've been playing," he said.

"I've probably learnt more this pre-season than I have for a while, in terms of a different way to play.

"It's one thing to know how to do it, it's another to be able to implement it out on the ground.

"The blokes who've been here for a while, we've still got nerves because we really haven't played against a proper opposition yet and how we play this new style against actual opposition."

Rawlings was third in the club's best-and-fairest last season and he took on a new role, playing in defence.

He had previously built a strong reputation as a defensive midfielder.

"I've probably only played 11 or 12 games as a defender, so when you look at it that way, I'm probably a bit inexperienced down back as well," he said.

"I've had to adapt to that, I enjoy playing down there - hopefully we can gel well down there."

Asked to nominate three North youngsters who have impressed him in the pre-season, Rawlings immediately mentioned fellow defender Robbie Tarrant.

The younger brother of Fremantle defender Chris Tarrant finally looks set for his senior debut after two shoulder reconstructions.

Not surprisingly, Rawlings also mentioned Jack Ziebell, who was outstanding in his debut season last year until he broke his leg in round 12.

Rawlings' third mention was Cruize Garlett, a midfielder-forward who also showed definite promise last year.

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