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Ziebell a new Roos captain for new AFL era

AAP logoAAP 9/12/2016 Jason Phelan

North Melbourne are a blank AFL canvas for Jack Ziebell to work with and the newly-installed skipper plans to create a masterpiece.

The 25-year-old fulfilled his long-held ambition to succeed Andrew Swallow as North's skipper this week - a job he has long been groomed for.

He takes over at a tricky time for the Roos, who farewelled 1345 games of AFL experience when veterans Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Michael Firrito and Nick Dal Santo were sensationally moved on at the end of the season.

The quartet's departure has changed the age profile of the club's list dramatically, which Ziebell believes offers him a rare opportunity.

"Obviously it was sad to see those old guys leave, but we've got 11 out of 44 guys this year who are brand new to the footy club," Ziebell told reporters on Friday.

"There are a lot of guys who are almost putty ready to be moulded, in a sense, so we're looking forward to getting stuck in as leaders to help shape them into the players that we want them to be ... the custodians of this great footy club.

"Our playing list is a lot younger than it has been over previous years ... there's a lot of excitement around that.

"Our job as leaders is to set the expectations for our young guys and make sure the standards we set are being met."

Ziebell denies there's a rebuild in progress at Arden Street despite the emphasis on youth and playing list regeneration.

"There's talk of rebuilds but for us ... we've never gone down that track," he said.

"You try and tell the 44 guys out there that they're rebuilding - it's not a very positive thing to say.

"We've never really dipped to the bottom of the ladder and we're not looking to. It's important that we train well and do everything right."

Robbie Tarrant, who won his first club best and fairest award this season, was named vice-captain with Jamie Macmillan and Shaun Higgins deputy vice-captains, and Swallow rounding out the five-man leadership group for 2017.

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