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AFL 2017 Training - North Melbourne 041217

Mitch Hibberd has taken out North's time trial

FOUR-GAMER Mitch Hibberd upset ex-Hawk Billy Hartung to win North Melbourne's time trial in impressive fashion at Arden St on Friday morning.

The 21-year-old defender, who made his AFL debut in round one this year, took the lead from early pacesetter Hartung about midway through the 2km endurance test and gradually moved further away.

Hibberd turned the tables on Hartung, who relegated him to second in the club's Yo-Yo test on Monday.

They finished ahead of Ed Vickers-Willis, Declan Mountford and Mason Wood. 

Hibberd's season ended prematurely because of a shoulder injury suffered against Port Adelaide in round 17 that required surgery.

The Tasmanian remains a non-contact participant in pre-season training, but has otherwise excelled, according to Kangaroos assistant coach Leigh Tudor.

"Mitch has had a great start to the year," Tudor said.

"He was awesome in Utah with all the one-to-four-year players, and he's continued on.

"It's a great setup to the year going to Utah (for the annual high-altitude training camp) and he's continued on, so we probably expected it from Mitch."

North's players ran in two groups, with Shaun Higgins, Jarrad Waite, Robbie Tarrant, Ben Brown, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Ben Cunnington, Braydon Preuss and Majak Daw part of the secondary one.

Skipper Jack Ziebell (toe), Trent Dumont, Marley Williams (back) and Ben McKay were among those who didn't run the time trial, while Sam Wright (ankle), Ben Jacobs (foot) and Taylor Garner were unsighted.

Tudor said Garner, who has an extensive injury history, particularly with hamstring setbacks, completed a modified program inside.

"They're just on their programs. We've got quite a few coming in over the next week or two, but after Christmas we pretty much should have everyone on track," Tudor said.

"That's the sports science guys who put their program together; to make sure they're ready for round one and able to play all year, so all the programs are tailored around that."

Tudor said the time trial presented a good chance for players to make an early impression, with the opening JLT Community Series match on the horizon.

"We've been back a few weeks now, but it's great to see who's done the work in the pre-season … and who wants to put their hand up," he said.

"We've got a pretty exciting young list, so these sorts of things are great for competitiveness and also just for us coaches to see who really wants to start well.

"If you get an opportunity in JLT one, you can hold your spot and anything's possible with this young group."