North Melbourne has ruled out young gun Will Phillips for the remainder of the 2022 AFL season.

After recovering from Covid-19 earlier in the year, Phillips developed glandular fever. Having overcome the first bout of glandular fever, the 20-year-old was struck down with the illness for the second time. 

Phillips played three VFL games earlier this season but has not made an AFL appearance due to this illness.


“It’s been a very disappointing year for Will,” North Melbourne’s General Manager Football Performance Dan McPherson said.

“After a really good pre-season, Will had his sights firmly set on taking his game to the next level in 2022. 

“Will is a fantastic young man whose maturity and perspective on life has helped him deal with his current situation so well. Frustratingly, for both Will and the club, he just hasn’t been able to shake the lingering effects of glandular fever. We think it’s best to take the expectation off him for the rest of the year and allow him to focus on his recovery as he builds towards 2023.”

After a frustrating first half of the year, Phillips says he’s trying to stay positive.

“It’s been pretty tough and frustrating. I’ve just tried to stay in the present as much as possible and look forward to hopefully what is a long career,” Phillips said.

“I’ve got to stay patient and believe that in the long-term I’ll be okay. I’m doing everything I can to get myself healthy again, get to the point where I can run and perform exercises in the gym and go again for a big pre-season.

“I’ll be hungrier than ever to get back into things having missed a lot of games this year.”


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