North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson has labelled Sunday's performance "a great learning lesson" for first-year sensation Harry Sheezel, who was tagged by Suns forward Nick Holman throughout the defeat.

Sheezel has been arguably the Roos' best player across the opening quarter of the 2023 season, averaging over 31 disposals and six marks as a half-back flanker for Clarkson's side, earning early favouritism for the Rising Star Award.

Drafted as the standout small forward through last year's intake, Sheezel has adapted to a defensive role with ease, but in just his sixth game with the Roos picked up direct opposition attention through Holman.

Sheezel was limited to just 11 possessions for the game, struggling to continue his ball-winning role before moving up the other end of the ground and then soon through midfield to help counter the Suns' plans to prevent him from having a high-impact performance.

Gold Coast's orchestrated shutdown role on Sheezel came a week after the teenager battled with a thumb injury and cork from his side's Gather Round loss to Brisbane, creating a "valuable" week for the young gun in the long run, according to his coach.

"We need to learn as a side and he needs to learn as a player just how to deal with attention like that," Clarkson said after his side's 43-point loss.

"It was actually a credit to the kid that he got up. He was a bit bashed up after last week's game against Brisbane, he had a corky, sore thumb, got knocked around a little bit and got himself up to play, which is once again just part of his maturity and lessons learnt at the top level of AFL footy, having the rigour and the durability just week after week despite a little bit of hardship.

"Even though his preparation was hampered, to get himself up was a credit to him, and then he found another lesson in terms of the attention that he got from Holman.

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"(Sheezel) didn't have the influence that we'd like him to have, but it's a great learning lesson for him as he goes through."

Clarkson is likely to deploy Sheezel at half-back for his side's Round 7 contest against Melbourne, however conceded even he was unsure where the No.3 draft pick's best position might be for the future.

Comparing Sheezel's poised style to that of his former student in Jack Gunston, Clarkson said the young Roo will continue to get exposure across multiple lines of the field during his development at AFL level.

"It's just trying to give him space at different levels of the ground," the Roos coach said.

"He's nearly been our best player in the first five weeks of the season, which is a real credit for a young player to come into the competition and do so well.

"We'd be foolish to think that he's gonna stay at half-back for the whole time. In fact, somewhere down the track he might be a really valuable forward for us.

"He plays the game very much like a Jack Gunston. Clever and smart, good decision-maker, safe with the ball in his hands.

"Just where he ends up playing his best footy in the long run we're not too sure. But you know the exposure that he gets at half-back and wing and half-forward, a little bit on ball, tonight is really valuable for him."

After three games outside of Melbourne in four rounds, the Kangaroos will play their first game of the season at the MCG on Saturday, going head-to-head with the Demons at 7:25pm (AEST).