North Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell hopes Jason Horne-Francis and the rest of the Kangaroos’ young bridge can create a “special environment” that can carry the club into the future.
Horne-Francis has put contract talks on hold with the Roos until the end of the season with his current deal due to expire at the end of 2023.
North Melbourne coach David Noble told reporters on Thursday that Horne-Francis’ contract status is “not an unusual circumstance”.
Ziebell, who plays his 250th game for North against St Kilda on Sunday, says the 18-year-old is at a “special place” and spoke of his personal love for the club.
“I just reiterate to him how good of an environment it is and how great of a place it has been to me,” Ziebell told SEN Breakfast.
“The North Melbourne Football Club has given me absolutely everything, I owe it nothing, and you look over the history and how many people have been through our footy club, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been here for five minutes, five years or 15 years, you’re always part of the fabric when you leave the North Melbourne Football Club. It’s a special place.
“Jase is experiencing that at the moment. There’s no doubt that he’s loving his time and he’s going to be a hell of a player for us.
“Passing that onto him I think is part of my job, and not just him, but also all the first-year players. Hopefully they can create a special environment there over the next few years.”
Horne-Francis gathered 17 touches, four clearances and kicked a goal in North Melbourne’s loss to Melbourne last week.