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

Wardlaw and the Roos claimed their first 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.

"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 premier Collingwood awaiting at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.

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 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."


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