Every year we hypothesise what players will announce themselves as stars of the competition. In 2018 I am firmly on the Mason Wood bandwagon.
The North Melbourne key-forward has shown glimpses of his talent, athletic prowess and the ability to take a great mark.
But he has been cruelled by various injuries in his career to date. Restricting him to just 26 games since being drafted with pick 41 in the 2012 draft.
Season 2017 was another injury interrupted year for Mason Wood who did not play a game at AFL level after round 15.
Time will tell if I am a good judge or off the mark. But I am confident, if Wood can remain fit, we are going to see a very good footballer in action.
While the output from the forward up until now has not been earth shattering, there is plenty of upside.
In 2016 Wood kicked a goal in every AFL game he played. And in 2017 he was a good contributor before injury.
On-field in 2017 the 24 year-old equalled the most goals he has kicked in a game (three) while also notching a career high 24 disposals and ten marks against Adelaide in round seven.
Kangaroos assistant Leigh Tudor certainly confident a big year is in store for his exciting forward.
“It was really unfortunate he got injured because he was playing really good football for us. He did show us this year that he’s improved his weaknesses and keeps bringing his AFL qualities to game day. He’s going to be a really dangerous forward for us next year.”
Time to shine Mason Wood
In 2016 the club looked to tie the Victorian to a long-term deal. With rumours circulating that other clubs were keen to secure his services.
Fortunately for the Roos, Mason Wood committed his future to Arden Street and signed a four year contract extension until the end of 2020.
There has not seemed to be a lot of excitement around North Melbourne after a disappointing season and failing to land a big fish in the trade period.
A forward-line combination of Mason Wood and Ben Brown is certainly something to get excited about. And Wood knows now is the time to repay the faith.
“You want to be playing as many games as you can and to this point I haven’t so that’s the goal.”
Here is hoping 2018 is the year Mason Wood can remain injury free and truly show the football world what he can do.