North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has praised the influence Drew Petrie made on Ben Brown at the start of his career, saying it laid the foundations for his now flourishing career.
Brown sits second in the Coleman Medal chase after four rounds with 15 goals, and was a key piece to the Roos' 86-point victory over Carlton on the weekend.
According to Scott, the lessons Petrie taught Brown have proved invaluable in his development.
“I think one of the keys when we brought Browny in was Drew Petrie still had a few years left of AFL footy,” he told SEN’s Time On.
“When young key position players come in, and when they’re one out, they get targeted by the opposition and they’re not quite mature enough to handle AFL defenders.
“Drew really sheltered Browny in the first couple of years.
“I probably thought when Drew moved on, Browny would get the best defender and he would probably struggle a little bit to deal with that.
“Not only has he dealt with it, he has exceeded anyone’s expectations.”
Scott also believes Brown is now a complete footballer.
“He is a remarkable player in terms of the level of effort he gives and he always puts himself in a great spot to receive the ball,” he said.
“He is becoming a pretty complete player. He had elements of his game that he really needed to work on, like defensive stuff, and he is now a very good defender.
“The pressure he can apply for someone of his statue is impressive. He has always been an elite runner, which not many people have probably recognised."
The Kangaroos will look to continue their winning ways on Sunday against Hawthorn.
Listen to Brad Scott’s chat with Sam McClure on SEN’s Time On in the player below