David Noble says there are a number of senior players set to return from injury and push for selection over the next few weeks.
Two-time Syd Barker Medalist Ben Cunnington is set to miss this weekend’s game against the Gold Coast, but should rocket back into contention for the Good Friday clash against the Western Bulldogs.
Noble said while Cunnington had recovered from the concussion symptoms that plagued his pre-season, the North medical staff needed to make sure he doesn’t come back into the side underdone.
“We’ve had him (Cunnington) in competitive work and all that sort of stuff … I don’t think he’ll play this week,” the North coach said.
“If you ask him he’s ready to go, but it’s just that balance between getting the right numbers for him … it’s just the load and the timing.
“[We want to] keep him in the team for a long period of time … we just need to be conscious of exposing our guys into that ballistic movement.”
While Cunnington may spend another week on the sidelines, Noble said Aaron Hall and Jed Anderson were both chances to make their returns to the senior side this week, while Trent Dumont and Luke McDonald wouldn't be far away.
“Jed (Anderson) and 'Hally' (Aaron Hall) are back into contention so that’s good for us,” he said.
“We’ve got a few that are lined up [to return] in the next couple of weeks.
“Trent Dumont is getting closer, he’s getting in that range … [Luke McDonald] will be training but we just have to be careful and conscious of that quad.”
Despite the round one loss to Port Adelaide, Noble said he was happy with how his team played on the whole.
“Overall there were some really pleasing aspects … we saw the method and style we wanted to play,” he said.
“We won a couple of quarters, but that 10 to 11 minute period in the second we have to learn how to restrict scoring.
“Our numbers across the board were pretty good … you have to play the full four quarters but we liked some of the elements for sure.”