Clarkson names Harry Sheezel for round 1 AFL debut
The former AJAX junior was told he will be in the Kangaroos’ starting team list by head coach Alastair Clarkson, surrounded by teammates.
It’s official! Harry Sheezel – the first Jewish top 3 AFL Draft pick ever – will definitely make his AFL debut this Saturday for the North Melbourne Kangaroos when they take on the West Coast Eagles in round one at Marvel Stadium (bounce time: 1:45pm).
The former AJAX junior – who finished year 12 at Mount Scopus College last year while playing NAB League footy for the Sandringham Dragons – was told he will be in the Kangaroos’ starting team list by head coach Alastair Clarkson, surrounded by teammates, at a meeting on Tuesday afternoon.
Moments later, he phoned him mum, Lana, who shed tears of joy upon hearing the good news.
He then phoned his dad, Dean, who said “congratulations – I’m so proud of you”.
Clarkson said “We all start this journey on Saturday – every one of us – of helping this club back up the ladder . . . and ultimately, to get our hands on the silverware again.
“But it’s going to take a lot of hard work, and a lot of people to do that, and we’ve all jumped on this journey together.
“And perhaps symbolic of that journey is the fact that one particular bloke is going to start his [AFL] journey for the first time this Saturday, and that’s Harry Sheezel . . . so, well done Sheez!
“I want you to know that your teammates, and everyone in this room, are going to be rooting for you too. So, well done mate!”
Sheezel replied “I just want to thank Clarko, and the whole club, who’ve been so supportive since the first day I walked into here with all the other first year-ers, and all you players making me feel a part of the group. Thanks, and let’s do it on Saturday!”
Clarkson will name North’s full round one starting squad on Thursday night (March 15), and told AFL Media earlier today that the club is fortunate that it can utilise Sheezel’s versatility, as a smart and mobile forward, a creative midfielder, or even pop him into the backline.
“Where he actually settles in a position long-term, we don’t know,” Clarkson said.
“What we do want to do over the course of his first two or three years, is give him exposure to all of those positions and see what suits him and see what suits us.”