Sheezel in, Naitanui out for Eagles-Kangaroos clash
New North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson has handed prized draft pick Harry Sheezel his AFL debut and hopes it will be a symbolic step towards the club's next golden era.
Clarkson addressed the player group on Tuesday to let them know Sheezel, the No.3 pick from last year's national draft, will be unveiled in Saturday's clash with West Coast at Marvel Stadium.
The crafty forward is a symbol of hope for the Kangaroos following two straight wooden spoons, and Clarkson has a grand picture in mind for the whole team.
"We all start this journey on Saturday of every one of us helping get this club back up the ladder," Clarkson told his players.
"With no guarantees, ultimately our clear goal is to get our hands on silverware again.
"It's happened twice before at this club in eras - when they won two in the 1970s and two in the 1990s, and it would be good if we can be part of the next two.
"It's going to take a lot of hard work. We all jumped on this journey together.
"Perhaps symbolic of this journey is the fact that one particular bloke is going to start out his (AFL) journey for the first time this Saturday, and that's Harry Sheezel."
West Coast have officially ruled Nic Naitanui out of the match following the ruckman's struggles with a sore Achilles tendon.
With Bailey Williams (hamstring) also under an injury cloud, it could leave youngster Callum Jamieson to go up against North Melbourne veteran Todd Goldstein in the ruck.
"Nic has been working diligently with our strength and conditioning team to return to play as soon as possible and is making encouraging progress," West Coast's general manager of football Gavin Bell said.
"When Nic does return we want him to play with the same unique explosiveness and power around the contest that we've all come to know and admire about his game."
The Eagles are hopeful forward Jack Darling (ankle) will be passed fit to play.