NORTH Melbourne vice-captain Jack Ziebell is out to fast-track his 2016 preparations in the oxygen-starved air of Utah after recent shoulder surgery stopped him from running for six weeks.

Ziebell said that his post-season operation had been nothing more than a "fix-up" and wouldn't delay his start to the 2016 season.

"(My shoulder problem) has been ongoing for a couple of years, but it hasn't stopped me from playing footy or anything like that," Ziebell told

"So while the time is right in the off-season we just wanted to make sure we could get it right for the longevity of my career."

Ziebell resumed running earlier this month and has made an early start to his 2016 pre-season, having joined North's first-to-fifth-year players this week on the club's annual high-altitude training camp in the US, along with fellow senior players Shaun Atley, Shaun Higgins and Jamie Macmillan.

The 24-year-old is keen to make up for time lost from his fitness program after his surgery.

"(I wanted to come to Utah) just to get a bit of a headstart on my fitness and just trying to make sure when I get back to pre-season in Australia I'm ready to go and I can really take my workload up a few notches,” Ziebell said.

Sunset in Park City at North Melbourne's pre-season camp. Picture: Twitter/@NMFCOfficial

Ziebell is rooming with recruit Jed Anderson on the Roos' camp in Deer Valley (near Utah's capital, Salt Lake City) and says the former Hawk has fitted in well with his new teammates.

"He's a nice fella and I think he can play as well. We're really excited to get him across to North and hopefully his best footy is in front of him because I think he can really help our team," he said.

Ziebell was set to become a free agent at the end of next season, but signed a five-year contract extension last month that ties him to Arden Street until the end of 2021. 

The Roos head off on a snow hike at Park City. Picture: Paul Riordan/NMFC

The midfielder is confident that in that time North can improve on its 2014-15 preliminary final appearances.

"The list we've been building so far is really competitive and we are not too far away from what we want to do and win that premiership," he says.

"I couldn't be happier with where I'm at and how we are going to look in the future.

"I think the boys have had enough of losing prelim finals, to tell you the truth.

"We've done it the last two years and people say, 'Good effort to get there', but in our minds we wanted to make another step and win a premiership. We're not going to rest until we ultimately hold that cup up. 

"The boys have come back in really good shape and we can't wait to get stuck back into it."

North's players face the hard yards in high altitude. Picture: Paul Riordan/NMFC