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New Roos out to seize AFL opportunities

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016 Jason Phelan

North Melbourne are counting on recruits Marley Williams and Nathan Hrovat to make the most of their AFL lifelines as the club embarks on a new era.

The Kangaroos will go into the unknown in 2017 following the departures of popular veterans Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Nick Dal Santo and Michael Firrito.

Coach Brad Scott cited the need to give opportunities to younger players when he defended the shock cull, and that's precisely why Williams and Hrovat moved to Arden Street during the trade period.

Williams' move, for pick 105, was a surprise given the former rookie played 68 games in five seasons for Collingwood, including an outstanding 2015 campaign in which he was a regular in Nathan Buckley's back six.

But the 23-year-old said he knew it was time for a fresh start after a foot injury affected his fitness and form in 2016.

"We had a pretty open conversation by the end of the year about me being in and out of the team and not being able to hold my spot," Williams said referring to his former coach.

"(Me) not being able to cement a spot in the team and a few of the younger boys were pushing me out, so I thought maybe a move would do me good and improve my football.

"I think in 2015 I held my own playing down in that back line but I was unlucky to be pushed out. Injury didn't help, but it was a little bit disappointing."

Williams said he didn't find out North were interested until the night before the final day of the trade period and admitted to nervous moments before the deal was done just 30 minutes before the deadline.

Hrovat was the 21st player selected at the 2012 draft but while he was a prolific ball winner at VFL level, he managed just 30 senior appearances for the Western Bulldogs in four seasons.

The 22-year-old played the last four AFL games of the season but didn't feature in the finals and didn't come into calculations for the Dogs' grand final team.

Despite the frustration of missing out on their drought-breaking premiership, he says he left the club on good terms.

"I've made some really good relationships at the Bulldogs, and for them to win a flag after the period they've gone through is really exciting for them," Hrovat said.

"There's no bad blood between me or any of the guys, or the Bulldogs, so to play against them would be really exciting."

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