Wood targets round one spot

19 December 2017 23:08:59 GMTPlus11

Mason Wood wants next season to be sixth time lucky by claiming a place in North Melbourne's round one side.

The 24-year-old forward has sat out the start of each of his first five campaigns at Arden Street.

He couldn't break into the team for the season-opener in 2014 or 2015 due to the form of Drew Petrie, Jarrad Waite, Ben Brown and Aaron Black.

Wood's also been sidelined in the past by a fractured knee and a medial ligament problem, and last season hamstring, knee and calf setbacks ruined his campaign.

There's been plenty of hype about his potential since he kicked three goals on debut against Melbourne three years ago but he's so far only played 26 game for the Kangaroos.

Last season his highlight was his 24 disposals, 10 marks, 12 score involvements and 2.3 in North's stunning upset of Adelaide in round seven that earned him a Brownlow Medal vote.

"I've always been very goal-orientated and wanting to do really well in the testing and all that kind of stuff," said Wood. "But it's been about me being able to make that round one side and be fit for the whole year.

"I've taken a little bit of the foot off the pedal (this pre-season) for a few things and making sure the body is as good as it can be at this time of the year and moving forward."

He added: "I missed eight weeks at the start of the year last year, then coming in virtually nulls out a pre-season, so it would be nice to make it all the way through and see what a fit, full pre-season could do for me."

North Melbourne are 250/1 to win the 2018 Grand Final.

The Kangaroos are 10/1 to finish in the top eight.

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