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AFL Team Profile: North Melbourne

It has been a rough few seasons for North Melbourne recently and it looks as though they could be in for more of the same in 2024.

They have spent those years battling to avoid the wooden spoon and could be doing the same again in the season ahead.

It looks to be between them and West Coast Eagles for who finishes bottom of the ladder, with both clubs priced at 2.50 to suffer most losses in the 2024 AFL season.

But it is not all doom and gloom. The Kangaroos are in great hands with head coach Alastair Clarkson at the helm and he does have a list of talented youngsters to work with.

Let’s take a look at North Melbourne heading into 2024.

More hurt for Kangaroos

It was another season of hurt for the Kangaroos in 2023 as they picked up just three wins out of 23 matches to finish second from bottom.

The only thing that kept them above West Coast Eagles was a better percentage of 71.5, compared to the 53.0 the men from Perth produced.

The season did start remarkably well, with two of their wins coming in the opening two games of the season.

In week one they beat West Coast by five points and then travelled over to the west to beat Fremantle by one point in a thriller.

With Clarkson at the helm, it sparked hopes of a rapid rise up the ladder, however the optimism was short-lived.

Their next victory would turn out to be in the very last game of the season, with the Kangaroos having lost 20 games in a row.

They gave the odd team a run for their money, but on the whole they suffered heavy defeats, conceding over 100 points in most games.

They did save the best until last, however, when beating Gold Coast Suns by 35 points in the final game of the campaign.

Looking ahead, the aim for North Melbourne will not only be picking up more wins, but they will want to be more competitive in games.

That will be a sign of how much progress is being made. It has been suggested a place in the top eight is still a few seasons away, but the members will want to see progress in 2024.

Key players

Head coach Clarkson is key to the whole operation and it was something of coup when North Melbourne landed him 12 months ago.

Clarkson won three premierships with Hawthorn and is seen as the ideal man to get the Kangaroos up the ladder. However, it will take time and there is no magic wand.

He does have a young, talented list to work with and that offers plenty of hope.

Harry Sheezel and George Wardlaw are two exciting youngsters to look out for once again.

Sheezel won the Rising Star in 2023 and North Melbourne will be hoping he can now take his game on to the next level.

Co-captain Jy Simpkin will be a big player for the Kangaroos in 2024, along with the likes of Jaidyn Stephenson and Darcy Tucker.

The goals will come from Nick Larkey, who despite North Melbourne’s struggles last season, still managed to boot 71.

Larkey can be backed at 11.00 to win the Coleman Medal for most goals in a season.

Giants trip first for Kangaroos

North Melbourne face a massive test first up with a trip to take on Greater Western Sydney on Saturday 16th March.

The Kangaroos are priced at 8.00 to cause a massive upset, with GWS available at 1.08.

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