‘My nightmare’: North star’s powerful message

AFL Rd 5 -  Geelong v North Melbourne
North Melbourne sharpshooter Nick Larkey says he is hellbent on staying at the Roos until they experience success. Picture: Darrian Traynor / Getty Images

North Melbourne spearhead Nick Larkey insists there is no temptation to “run to a top team” for a flag tilt as he remains confident the Roos are on a path to long-term success.

The key forward will play his 100th game on Sunday against Hawthorn in a tense clash which will leave the loser alone at the foot of the ladder with a 0-6 record.

Larkey, who has only tasted victory 20 times in his 99 games, said he remained hellbent on pursuing success at Arden Street and would honour the massive five-year contract extension he signed midway through last season.

“I didn’t sign up thinking it would turn instantly – I saw enough last year and in previous years to know there were small signs here and there,” Larkey said on Monday.

“My nightmare would be to be at the club for all the tough times, take off and all of a sudden we get good.

AFL Rd 5 -  Geelong v North Melbourne
North Melbourne forward Nick Larkey is determined to fire against Hawthorn in his 100th game after a disappointing start to the season for him and the Kangaroos. Picture: Darrian Traynor / Getty Images

“I want to be a part of the club when it gets good, because we’ve been through the tough times there.

“That’s why I signed up, I love a challenge. I think anyone can sort of run to a top team and try to win the flag, but does that flag mean as much as the one where you’ve done the hard work and put in the hours through the tough times? I don’t think so – that’s the success I want, the one that’s forged through a bit of adversity.”

Larkey said his remarks were not pointed at close friend and fellow forward Cam Zurhaar, who is mulling a potential move away from North Melbourne as he comes out of contract at the end of the year.

“I know for a fact Cam wants success here, obviously this year’s his decision year, whether he wants to stay, but it’s a personal choice,” Larkey said.

“I want to play with him for another hundred games and I’m sure he does too, but it’s a personal decision whether you stay. I gave it a lot of thought … for me, (staying) was the right decision.”

AFL Rd 3 -  North Melbourne v Carlton
Larkey was firm on why he wanted to stay at Arden Street but said the same reasoning wasn’t neccessarily right for Cam Zurhaar (pictured) when he made his decision. Picture: Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

The Kangaroos confirmed No. 2 pick Colby McKercher had avoided broken ribs in his collision with Jeremy Cameron against Geelong on Sunday and had returned home from hospital.

The classy left-footer could still play against Hawthorn in a clash Larkey described as “the battle of the youth”.

Larkey, a former No. 73 pick who rocketed to third in the Coleman medal last year with a 71-goal season, said he never expected to reach 100 games when he arrived at North Melbourne.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It is pretty special, I never thought I would’ve got to that many games when I first started my career,” he said.

“I feel like each time I play or each year I’ve played at the club, I’ve sort of surprised myself with what I can do.

“There’s not as much expectation when you come in, because if you are a bust then you’re a late pick anyway.

“I didn’t come in with any entitlement to think that I should be playing here, or think I should be playing quickly or first … I think it was a blessing in disguise to be picked up late.”