Despite currently residing at the foot of the AFL ladder with a 1-14 record and coterie members calling for boardroom heads to roll, there may still be air between the rebuilding Roos and a realistic rock bottom.

Though powerbrokers at Arden Street have been transparent about the length their current overhaul is set to take, the beatings dealt out on a weekly basis have taken the vast majority of breaths from their balloon.

Still, with their historical debt wiped and a recruiting ploy in place to attack the future, the club known for their propensity for always facing up to a fight is prepared to get their fists dirty again.

Within a report published by The Age this week, it was suggested that North Melbourne held the view of obtaining a general behind the ball in the mould of Luke Hodge during his tenure with the Lions.

But while the notion of luring a seasoned veteran to help raise the Roos off the canvas may well work in theory, before one can be snared, a short-list must first be drawn.

While North has kept their cards close to their chest regarding the names in their crosshairs, you can be sure that if they are to pull the trigger on an import, it will be one that meets most of these metrics:

- Is open to seeking a final challenge before hanging their boots up
- Has proven their leadership qualities across the course of their career
- Has proven capabilities in steering sides
- Has obvious claims to a coaching role once their playing career concludes

With this in mind, here are the prime candidates currently plying their trade on rival lists.

Although most names on this list will appear to be unrealistic trade options on the surface, but so too did the notion of Hodge, and his former teammate, Sam Mitchell, coming clad in anything other than a brown and gold guernsey.

Still, with the left-field nature of many of these pitches in mind, only read on after consuming a grain of salt or two.

3. Carlton – Sam Docherty

While a shift away from Carlton would likely see Princes Park razed to the ground, a trade between the Roos and Blues for Docherty does work, in broad theory.

Given Carlton has requisite half-back options in Adam Saad, Zac Williams and Nic Newman, should Docherty be offered a king’s ransom to cross Royal Park, the coverage is already under their roof

But given Docherty is currently in career-best form, North Melbourne would need to part with more than just a handsome cheque to pry the 28-year-old loose.

Like Rich in the Sunshine State, Docherty is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season, so however slim, the option is open on several fronts, whether Blues fans choose to accept this or not.

Should North’s ‘Hail Mary’ for ‘The Doc’ fall flat, a secondary swing for out-of-contract veteran Ed Curnow could well bear fruit.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 17: Sam Docherty of the Blues kicks the ball during the round one AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Carlton Blues at Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 17, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images