North Melbourne return to the scene of last season’s AFL preliminary final loss against West Coast and club captain Andrew Swallow is keen to make amends.
On Sunday, the Kangaroos take their first trip west to Domain Stadium since a 25-point loss that still rankles with many at Arden Street.
Unfancied after qualifying eighth and going about the finals the hard way, Brad Scott’s side were ahead as late as 10 minutes into the third term.
Six straight West Coast goals put paid to their meritorious season, a burst that Swallow said still hurt to think about.
“It burns away because it’s hard to make finals and prelims and grand finals,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“It was within our grasp and we let it slip so we want to get back out there and hopefully win over there and help set up our year.”
Swallow said in-doubt duo Jarrad Waite (hip) and Daniel Wells (calf) would be assessed at Thursday’s main training session for selection.
Like fellow club captain Kieren Jack of Sydney, Swallow plays game 200 on Sunday in a high-pressure contest.
After leading the competition with nine-straight wins to start the year, North Melbourne find themselves back in seventh place after consecutive losses to finals opponents Geelong, Hawthorn and Adelaide.
Given the eighth-placed Eagles are bound for September, the contest looms as both a chance to avenge last year and steady their current campaign.
Swallow said suggestions the Kangaroos had fallen away were way off the mark.
“We’re still sitting here at 10-4,” he said.
“It’s the best position the club’s been in since I’ve been here.
“Apart from a bit of percentage, we’d be sitting second or third … we feel like we’re in a good spot.”
The milestone man said Brent Harvey’s incredible endurance made his 200-game mark look somewhat insignificant.
“When you play with someone who’s played over 400 games, it puts it in a bit of perspective,” he said.
“The dream was to play one game and, from there, you worry about trying to clock ’em up.”