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Meet Freo's black belt

Watch Tom North's first media conference as a Freo Docker. Tom North chats to the media after arriving at Freo.

While new Freo draftee Tom North plans to continue using the skills he’s developed as a black belt in karate, he has assured his future AFL opponents that this won’t involve any physical confrontations.

Instead, the strong-bodied midfielder hopes he can worry the opposition with ability to accumulate possession while using his strong game sense.

“I started karate when I first started footy and I did it for about 10 years,” North said.

“It’s something that I loved doing and it helps out a lot with balance and discipline. It’s been massive for my footy.”

While the infamous ‘Demolition Derby’ is now 18 seasons in the past, North gave a perfect deadpanned response when asked if he thinks his abilities were a pre-requisite for coming up against the Eagles. 

“I’m not really sure if that is,” said North as the media laughed in response.

The Eastern Ranges product has a resume that is just as intimidating as any black belt.

In round seven of the TAC cup against Bendigo, he accumulated 43 disposals and 12 clearances in a dominating performance, while he averaged 24 disposals and 5.5 clearances for the season. 

“I’ve always been a strong body in the midfield and clean,” North said.

“Getting the ball in the centre and clearing it out is definitely something I try to do best.”

North is joined at Fremantle by good friend and Eastern Ranges teammate Adam Cerra, who was selected with pick no.5 in the draft.

Cerra was given a glowing review by his fellow midfielder.

“I couldn’t be happier to be moving over with Adam,” North said.

“I was so happy for Adam to be picked up in the top 10. He’s a superstar, he’s a very good player. 

“He’s going to work hard, like myself, we’ll both work hard and see where it takes us.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs