North young gun Wardlaw wants more after first victory

North Melbourne young gun George Wardlaw hopes his first win in 19 attempts can prove a turning point in the cellar-dwelling Kangaroos' season.

Wardlaw and the Kangaroos claimed their first AFL victory of 2024 with a hard-fought nine-point away triumph over West Coast on Saturday.

It meant an early birthday celebration for second-year midfielder Wardlaw, who turned 20 on Tuesday.

"Obviously it's very special," Wardlaw said.

"It means a lot to me, but also it means a lot to the football club, every part of the football club, that win. 

"So we come in today pretty proud."

Wardlaw insisted the Kangaroos weren't celebrating too much.

Kangaroos beat Eagles.
George Wardlaw says the Kangaroos would take the victory over the Eagles in their stride.

"We understand that we've won one game this season," he said.

"So there's a bit to celebrate, but we've got a lot of work to do, so we weren't celebrating too hard.

"One thing I've learned is when you do win when you've been down for a bit, it tastes all that much sweeter. 

"So hopefully this can be a turning point in our season."

Backing up is easier said than done, with reigning premiers Collingwood awaiting at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.

George Wardlaw is raring to take on Collingwood after claiming his first AFL win.

Wardlaw could go toe-to-toe with Nick Daicos if the Collingwood gun gets through a shin knock suffered during the King's Birthday win over Melbourne.

"Our midfield was really strong last week. We played one of our better games as a group," he said.

"So we're excited as a bunch to play against one of the better midfielders of the last couple of years."

Coach Alastair Clarkson has flagged interest in recruiting experienced players at season's end.

North's talented midfield, led by Jy Simpkin, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Wardlaw and Harry Sheezel, could be bolstered.

"It would (be good), but we like that this is an opportunity for the youth to get in there," Wardlaw said. 

"Give us some experience, expose us to the tough days and the good days. That will only fast-track our development.

"There's some midfield groups out there, like Port Adelaide is one, that's got a few young players coming through and they're working well together. 

"So as soon as we can fast-track our development, we'll see progress."

Wardlaw, who is averaging 18 disposals and 4.8 clearances, is the new favourite for the AFL Rising Star award, with West Coast's Harley Reid and Bulldog Sam Darcy ineligible because of suspensions.

"It's not something I'm really focused on. It's more about winning games and playing my role for the team," he said.

"I am enjoying it. I've had great role models with the likes of LDU (Davies-Uniacke) and Jy Simpkin. 

"I've had those mentors to help me through and I haven't had a good game every day, but with the help of those guys I'm slowly starting to get the ball consistently."

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store