Spearhead North Melbourne forward Nick Larkey is holding out hope that a troubled teammate can become Arden Street's superstar.
Midfielder Tarryn Thomas, a smooth-moving ball-getter at the height of his talents, has spent a large portion of the past year caught up in off-field domestic indiscretions.
The fifth-year Kangaroo was stood down twice in 2023 by North Melbourne – culminating in eight weeks spent away from the club – following allegations made against him by multiple women who detailed Thomas' disturbing and alarming behaviour towards them.
Further, in April, Thomas was fined $5,000 after footage surfaced that appeared to display the 23-year-old with his feet placed on the dashboard of his car while driving across multiple lanes of the road.
Despite his issues, Thomas played 12 senior games for the Roos this year, including every North Melbourne fixture from Round 12 through to the end of the season.
Teammate and talismanic goalkicker Larkey expressed his maintained belief that Thomas can overcome his non-footballing shortcomings to evolve into North's best player.
"The sky's the limit for Tarryn," Larkey told the media on Friday afternoon.
"I think he (Thomas) does have the potential to be our best player. He has all the attributes for us. It's a matter of him putting it all together and also a matter of him getting the consistency in his season.
"He was obviously interrupted last season, but he has come back in great condition and it is a matter of him stringing the whole season together.
"We have got a lot of players like that who had a bit of inconsistency last year. I can't wait to see what 'Lukey' Davies (-Uniacke) can do when gets an uninterrupted season. Jy (Simpkin) was interrupted last season (due to injury).
"There were a lot of quality players in our team who missed due to injury, or inconsistency, or for different reasons."