Roo ready for revenge
Roo ready for revenge

North Melbourne star Lindsay Thomas is desperate to produce his best performance of the year when the Kangaroos play West Coast on Sunday night - and would love to follow Nic Naitanui's lead from last year and kick the winning goal after the siren.

Thomas helped design North Melbourne's indigenous round guernsey they will wear in the clash. He will be the team's only indigenous player because WA's Daniel Wells hasn't recovered from a foot injury.

Thomas will lead the team out and toss the coin. He said the round meant a lot to him.

"I can't wait. It's going to be a proud moment," Thomas said.

"It's big. It's definitely a round that I do look forward to. It's a round where I give a little bit more effort to and really want to do well. It's very special."

Clashes between the Eagles and Kangaroos have been extremely close in recent years.

In the past six years, four matches have been decided by six points or less. In the most recent match, round eight last year, Naitanui kicked a goal after the siren to give the Eagles victory.

Thomas' goal kicking plummeted in 2011 after he booted six successive behinds in a round-four defeat against Fremantle at Patersons Stadium. He struggled to recover from the performance in the weeks that followed.

But he has rectified the problem, kicking 38.19 in 2012, 53.23 last year and is his side's leading goal kicker this season with 19.9.

Several North Melbourne players have said Thomas would be their choice if the team needed to kick a goal after the final siren.

Thomas said he would relish being in that position.

"I'd love to take a kick after the siren any time, on any day of the week," he said.

"That's what every kid dreams of as a youngster. You'd be lying if you said goal kicking wasn't a mental issue. It definitely was the case with me. All I had to do was believe I was a good kick."

The Kangaroos are eighth on the ladder but will be replaced by the Eagles if they lose on Sunday.

North Melbourne have won both of their interstate games this year, a fact Thomas said hadn't been lost on their players.

He said it was exciting to be wearing the club's indigenous jumper in Perth because so many West Australians had played for North Melbourne.

Designed by artist Sarrita King, the jumper tells a story of the travels of players around the country to North Melbourne.

Thomas lived in Port Lincoln, South Australia, before being drafted. He played for Mallee Park - the same club as Wells before he moved to WA.

Byron Pickett, Eddie Betts, Graham Johncock and the Burgoyne brothers, Shaun and Peter, also played for Mallee Park.

"Watching Byron Pickett and Peter Burgoyne when they first got drafted, it paved the way for the younger generation," Thomas said.

The West Australian

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