Veteran Kangaroo Liam Shiels will play on for a 16th AFL season in 2024 after inking a new one-year deal at Arden Street on Thursday.

In what was a busy morning for the club, North Melbourne has also announced the re-signings of defender Kallan Dawson, forward Blake Drury, and ruckman Hamish Free, with each of the young Roos now recommitted until the end of next season.

While Shiels officially retired at the cessation of the 2022 season after three flags and 255 games with Hawthorn, the 32-year-old signed on with North for the 2023 season, rekindling his professional relationship with head coach Alastair Clarkson.

Across the course of his first season in royal blue and white, Shiels represented the Roos with aplomb, playing a leading hand in the club's rebuild throughout his 16 appearances.

Speaking on Thursday, North's list boss Brady Rawlings claimed that Shiels' nous is set to stand the Roos in good stead through summer and into next season.

“We are thrilled to retain the services of a player and person of Liam's calibre for another season,” Rawlings told Kangaroos Media on Thursday.

“Liam has had a significant impact on the playing group in his short time at the club. His leadership qualities, ability to influence, and his overall experience will no doubt be even more valuable next season following the retirements of Jack Ziebell and Ben Cunnington.”

At the other end of the scale, Dawson (five AFL appearances) and Drury (four) were able to get a taste of senior football during their first full seasons with the Shinboners.

And though Free is yet to earn his debut, Rawlings stressed that along with Dawson and Drury, the Rookie draftee would have his own role to play as North thinned their ruck stocks, with Jacob Edwards (delisted) and Todd Goldstein (free agent) departing the club this off-season.

“We are equally excited to have Kallan, Blake and Hamish on board for 2024 to see what they can do with another AFL pre-season under their belt,” Rawlings added.

“Blake offers some versatility being used at both ends of the ground this year, and Kallan (defence) and Hamish (ruck) provide more tall options for us.

“All three players have impressed with their willingness to work hard and improve, and we know they will be eager to make the most of their opportunities next season.”

North Melbourne is set to embark on November's draft armed with picks 2, 14, 19, 40, 52, and 60, however, the Clarkson-led club could still make a play for West Coast's opening selection in an effort to make highly-touted teenager Harley Reid a Roo in 2024.


The first night of the 2023 National Draft is scheduled for Monday, November 20.