North Melbourne coach Brad Scott insists talented forward Mason Wood must rectify some aspects of his game before he returns to the senior team.
Wood is regarded as one of the Roos’ most talented youngsters but a host of injuries have held him to just 26 senior games.
The 24-year old was overlooked for selection last week against Gold Coast in a surprising decision by the club.
Scott told reporters on Wednesday that the club was fully aligned with Wood being a part of their future but first needed to see some improvements in his game.
“‘Mase’ has got a few things that we really want him to work on,” Scott said
“He had a minor interruption in the scheme of things in terms of a small fracture in his thumb in the pre-season. It just robbed him of game time more than anything, so we want to get Mase back out and playing first and foremost.
“While he’s a player that we have really high regard for, he’s played 26 AFL games. So we really need to get him out playing and we were just conscious that Cairns in the wet with three talls wasn’t the structure to go with.
“This week, we’ll just weigh it up again. He’s certainly right in the mix. We know he’s a player who’s got a really bright future for us, but when we bring him in we want to make sure that he stays in regardless of conditions.”
North went into last week’s Cairns clash with a smaller line-up to suit the torrential conditions but may look to bring in a third tall defender to counter the Saints’ trio of Josh Bruce, Paddy McCartin and Tim Membrey.
Scott identified Majak Daw, who was a travelling emergency in round one, and Ben McKay as possible defensive options to come into the side.
“The three (tall forwards) were very effective (for St Kilda) on the weekend. We’ve got to make sure that we’ve got cover to support that,” Scott said.
“Majak is fresh and ready to play and Ben McKay had his best game in defence at North Melbourne last week (in a VFL practice match against Coburg).
“(McKay) is hungry for an opportunity and he’s a real competitor and someone we would like to get into our team.”
North will play on Good Friday for the second time, entering the new timeslot last season against the Western Bulldogs.