North Melbourne coach Brad Scott says his side's exposure to high-pressure matches will enhance their development beyond the 2012 season.
The Kangaroos are the form side of the league as it stands, having won their past six matches, and have won nine of their past 10 since they had a bye.
They are all but guaranteed of a spot in the final eight, and are the faintest of hopes for a place in the top four, but Scott was simply pleased his youth brigade was being tested - and winning games - in the second half of the season.
North face fellow finals contenders Fremantle at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, and Scott said they were a force to be reckoned with courtesy of their two leaders - coach Ross Lyon and captain Matthew Pavlich.
"It's certainly terrific for their long-term development because you need to be able to stand up under pressure," Scott said at Aegis Park on Thursday.
"Every time that challenge came up, we've answered that, so that's been really pleasing but we know the challenges keep presenting themselves.
"Any time you come up against a Ross Lyon-coached side, you know you're going to be in for one hell of a challenge.
"Fremantle at the moment are playing footy that's - I think - worthy of a top-four standing so they're going to be a real challenge. You can say it's at Etihad but they've put that one away as well, because they've played well at Etihad this year and they're going to be a great challenge."
Scott, however, said his side cannot afford to single out attention to star forward Pavlich, as doing so previously has 'burnt' them.
"Kepler Bradley's jumped up, I think he's kicked four in a quarter against us before, so we've got a lot of respect for him," Scott said.
"Chris Mayne's been in great form, when he gets a shot at goal he doesn't miss, so I think they've got a lot of players that can be potentially damaging in there.
"Pavlich is clearly the focal point, they go to him more than anyone else, but that's for a good reason, because he normally gets the job done."Scott added that he and his coaching staff were 'hopeful' of midfielder Daniel Wells returning to face the Dockers, after he injured his calf in their win over Essendon in Round 20, but that the speedster would not be risked if he did not train well on Thursday.