Werribee has shored up its backline with the addition of former North Melbourne key defender Daniel Nielson.

Nielson is a familiar face at Werribee as he pulled on the Big W jumper during his time at the Kangaroos as part of the Werribee-North Melbourne alignment.

The 22-year-old managed seven games at AFL level over four seasons between 2015-18, but his rookie season was ruined by a knee injury.

After failing to gain a senior spot for North Melbourne last season, Nielson was delisted and is now keen to re-energise his career with Werribee under coach Mark Williams.

“I came down for a couple of sessions and there was a huge drive for being competitive and wanting to improve coming from Mark Williams and the playing group itself,” Nielson said.

“Knowing those boys a bit, I know how they play and their character as well, so I just felt this was the best fit for me.”

While Nielson’s chances in North Melbourne’s AFL side were limited, he is a proven performer at VFL level.

At Werribee, he was an important part of former coach John Lamont’s defensive set up.

In North Melbourne’s inaugural season as a VFL entity, he was named among the best players in seven of his 16 games.

Werribee football operations manager Stuart Balloch is looking forward to working with Nielson again.

“Dan was devoid of opportunities at North Melbourne given they had a mature defensive outfit, but he’s been serviceable in the VFL,” Balloch said.

“He’s had some connection with our program through North Melbourne, has played footy with our senior group, and is also good mates with [new recruit] Oscar [Junker], who’s come in from North as well.

“He’s now really focused on helping us have some success and taking us to a position of playing some finals footy.”