North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson says a return to the AFL for banned ex-Kangaroos Tarryn Thomas would come as little surprise.

Geelong football boss Andrew Mackie and coach Chris Scott both noted the Cats would do their due diligence in assessing a potential move for Thomas at the end of the season if the former Roos is cleared to return to the top flight.

Still serving an 18-game suspension despite being cut from North Melbourne, Thomas also needs to complete educational programs set by the AFL to be given the green light to return to the competition.

Comments from both Mackie and Scott suggested the door could be ajar for Thomas to make an AFL comeback at Kardinia Park, with the Cats remaining "open-minded" in their recruitment approach.

A move to Geelong, or any other rival club, would "delight" Clarkson, who believes Thomas has a place in elite football if he can get through the needed protocols.

"Tarryn and the AFL and his management need to work through whatever protocols he needs to go through for him to become available to play AFL footy," Clarkson told reporters on Friday.

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"It was never in any doubt for me that was going to be something he'd be able to achieve. We're excited if he gets that opportunity, whether it's Geelong or any other club.

"The whole goal of this is to try and give all young men and women right across the country, if they've got a passion to play our game, how can we assist with giving them that opportunity?

"If he can do the things necessary to get himself right to put himself in that space again, then we're delighted he's going to get the chance.

"We tried our best to make it work, it didn't work for a whole heap of reasons. Whatever happens from here is up to Tarryn and whatever footy club wants to take him onboard and give him that opportunity."

Thomas played 69 games in the blue and white after being drafted with Pick 8 in 2018 out of North Melbourne's Next Generation Academy.

A series of serious off-field matters led the Kangaroos to cut ties with Thomas, who was not contracted beyond this year.