AFL 2024: Geelong Cats tipped to pursue Tarryn Thomas as future at North Melbourne in doubt, Andrew Mackie comments

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A Victorian club hasn’t turned its back on the possibility of pursuing admonished North Melbourne player Tarryn Thomas this year.

Following multiple troubling off-field indiscretions, Thomas is currently serving an 18-game AFL-imposed suspension, with his playing future not only at Arden Street but at the top level as a whole in serious doubt.

However, if the midfielder is eventually allowed to make an AFL return, he’s already being linked to a finals contender.

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Geelong, who afforded a third AFL opportunity to now-All-Australian Tyson Stengle, has been touted as a potential landing spot for Thomas.

Andrew Mackie, the club’s general manager of football, answered a direct question on SEN about a possible pursuit of the maligned 24-year-old.

“As far as looking at the available talent (goes), at times, if you want to be in the market for players that are really talented and have that (desired) skillset, often if they become available to you it means that something has been a little bit bumpy for them along the way,” Mackie said.

“The (Tyson) Stengle story is much known. We (assess on an) individual case-by-case basis, we do a lot of work on a lot of players, and we look at the positives and what their footy skillset can be to us and then we work backwards from there.”

After hearing those comments, Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes couldn’t help but tie Thomas to the Cats.

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“I’d be surprised (if) that phone call hasn’t been made — that connection to Geelong is the obvious one,” he said on Nine’s Footy Classified.

Veteran journalist Caroline Wilson rebutted: “It doesn’t always work, though, and (Thomas’) problems are remarkably different to Tyson Stengle’s.”

Stengle, who was traded by Richmond to Adelaide in 2018 before the Crows offloaded him in 2021, paid the price for off-field missteps that included drink driving and being found in possession of an illicit substance.

After spending the ‘21 campaign away from top-level footy — instead plying his trade in the SANFL with Woodville-West Torrens — the premiership player joined Geelong as a delisted free agent at the start of the 2022 season.

Thomas won’t play any AFL football this year and his Kangaroos contract expires at the end of the season.

Originally published as ‘Obvious connection’: AFL lifeline emerges for Tarryn Thomas

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