North Melbourne assistant coach Leigh Adams has revealed the Roos' 2024 plans for a quartet of young stars, as the start of the new season quickly approaches.

Reigning Rising Star Harry Sheezel, Tasmanian draftee Colby McKercher, ex-Carlton recruit Zac Fisher and incumbent improver Bailey Scott are preparing to commence the 2024 campaign under Alastair Clarkson, and have each been touted for roles across half-back.

Sheezel and McKercher, in particular, were eye-catching during the Kangaroos' intra-club hitout on Wednesday, as Adams shed some light on his side's blueprint for '24.


Adams, who is entering his second season as a Roos midfield assistant after playing 104 games as a Shinboner, said McKercher is set to be deployed as a rebounding defender - joining Sheezel, who mastered the role as a rookie last year.

"We've been looking to probably get a little bit more run, carry and ball use off our half-back line," Adams said, via SEN.

"At this stage, it looks like (Colby) McKercher will come off at half-back and (Harry) Sheezel will probably start there as well."

McKercher, who averaged 23.3 uncontested possessions for the Allies during last year's National Championships, figures to adjust seamlessly to the position despite developing as a midfielder with the Allies and Tasmanian Devils.

Allies draft talent Colby McKercher (Image via Graham Denholm/AFL Photos)

As for Scott and the hamstrung Fisher, similar roles are expected to be carved out.

"It looks like Bailey Scott will probably come off half-back and play wing from there and I'm hoping maybe Zac Fisher - who didn't play today - when he's up and running that he might go through there (half-back) as well.

"So, there's plenty of options for us with speed and ball use off half-back. A mixture of those four guys you should see playing through those roles."

Fisher suffered the strain in late January and remains sidelined, with the Roos hoping the precarious ailment doesn't eat into his season proper.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 17: Zac Fisher of the Kangaroos kicks during a North Melbourne Kangaroos AFL training session at Arden Street Ground on November 17, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Adams detailed the thought process behind introducing McKercher to the league as a defender, as well as keeping the prolific Sheezel behind the ball.

"There's definitely plenty of fighting going on between the assistant coaches trying to get the best players into their line," Adams said.

"I'd love to have Sheezel and McKercher inside, but we've got to balance up the team as best as possible to make sure that we've got all lines covered.

"So, there's a bit of that and I think how successful Sheezel was being able to come off half-back last year and see the game coming at him a little bit instead of getting hit by those bigger bodies all season, probably allowed him to have a really consistent (season).

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18: Harry Sheezel of the Kangaroos looks to pass the ball during the round one AFL match between North Melbourne Kangaroos and West Coast Eagles at Marvel Stadium, on March 18, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

"It probably let him (Sheezel) stay a little bit fresher than if you had to play midfield. I think that's a little bit of the thinking behind it with McKercher - allow him to pick up the speed of the game, allow him to probably not get crashed and bashed as much in his first year of footy.

"But no doubt at some stage throughout their career, both of those guys are going to play some midfield time.

"But at the moment when we've got the likes of George Wardlaw, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Jy Simpkin, Will Phillips and Tom Powell that can go through there, there's probably not that need to rush them straight into the middle straight up."

The Kangas will play Collingwood and Richmond in practice hitouts before embarking on their Round 1 outing against GWS in Sydney.