Harry Sheezel celebrates a goal during North Melbourne's clash against Sydney in round 10, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

THE REMARKABLE debut season of Harry Sheezel has been rewarded with another prestigious honour, with the North Melbourne youngster taking out the Syd Barker Medal as the club's best and fairest on Saturday night.

The award follows Sheezel's AFL Rising Star gong earlier this month and further underlines the teenager's credentials as one of the game's brightest talents, having made an instant and significant impact in his debut season.

Sheezel, the No.3 pick in last year's national draft, polled 197 votes in his first ever North Melbourne best and fairest count to eventually overcome key forward Nick Larkey (173) and wingman Bailey Scott (140) to secure the honour.

It was just reward for a season in which Sheezel averaged 27 disposals playing predominantly in an unusual position across half-back, having initially been drafted as a creative goalkicking mid-forward out of the Sandringham Dragons.

The skilful distributor won 30-plus disposals on 12 different occasions throughout the season, breaking the 33-year record for most touches across a maiden campaign previously held by Collingwood's Scott Russell in 1990.

Still a month away from turning 19 years of age, Sheezel also picked up the Best Young Player Award and the fan-voted Mazda Excellence Award to cap a memorable night and a terrific maiden campaign.


Larkey finished second in the Syd Barker Medal count and also claimed the Glenn Archer Shinboner of the Year award, having kicked a career-high 71 goals to also earn All-Australian honours and finish third in the Coleman Medal.

Meanwhile, the reliable Scott secured his second successive top-three finish in the Syd Barker Medal after averaging 22.1 disposals per game, while he was also named the Harold Henderson Best Clubman.

Star midfielder Luke Davies-Uniacke (131 votes) and retiring former captain Jack Ziebell (112) rounded out the top five, while defender Ben McKay also secured a top-10 finish as he continues to weigh up his free agency future.

Ben McKay and Flynn Perez celebrate after the round 24 match between North Melbourne and Gold Coast at Blundstone Arena on August 26, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Jaidyn Stephenson claimed the Peter Scanlon Community Award for his work with HeartKids, a non-for-profit organisation that supports people impacted by childhood heart disease, while midfielder Jack Watkins won the VFL best and fairest.

Coaches vote individually after every round for the Syd Barker Medal via a 4-3-2-1 system, with five coaches voting each week. It means the maximum number of votes any player can receive in one round is 20.


1. Harry Sheezel - 197 votes
2. Nick Larkey - 173
3. Bailey Scott - 140
4. Luke Davies-Uniacke - 131
5. Jack Ziebell - 112
6. Tarryn Thomas - 101
7. Ben McKay - 98
=8. Cam Zurhaar - 90
=8. Liam Shiels - 90
10. Jy Simpkin - 88