Jy Simpkin during 2024 AFL Captain's Day at Marvel Stadium on February 26, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

NORTH Melbourne co-captain Jy Simpkin hopes Tarryn Thomas will play again in the AFL, provided he can fix his troubled life.

Simpkin has reaffirmed the club's ongoing support for Thomas after his sacking last week, saying the forward will not be thrown to the wolves.

Thomas was let go by the club after an AFL investigation, for threatening a woman and other misconduct.

It was the latest in a series of off-field controversies involving Thomas.

"It's obviously a really sad situation for everyone involved - the football club, the community and Tarryn himself," Simpkin said on Monday.

"We're definitely not throwing him to the wolves. We want to support him as much as we can.

"I've had a good relationship with Tarryn over the last five-six years he's been at the club.

"I hope to see him playing AFL football again, as long as he gets all his stuff off-field sorted.

"He's obviously a great talent. He could be a very special player - unfortunately it won't be for our football club."


Simpkin agreed with Kangaroos football manager Todd Viney, who said last week there are two sides to Thomas.

"You see Tarryn at the club and he's such a great kid," he said.

"Then obviously he has a few issues that go on outside ... the footy club.

"We wish him all the best, the club supported him as well as they could and now it's up to him to make change."

Jy Simpkin and Tarryn Thomas arrive at North Melbourne on February 27, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Asked if teammates could have done anything differently in regards to helping Thomas, Simpkin replied "I don't think so".

Thomas has been a major issue over the summer for North as they prepare for their second season under coach Alastair Clarkson.

The Kangaroos only managed two wins last year as Clarkson had extended time away from the club because of the Hawthorn racism controversy.

"I have no doubt we'll win a lot more games than we did last year," Simpkin said.

"We'll win more than two games.

"To have him (Clarkson) for the back half of last year and have a clear understanding of what we wanted to work on ... it's been a very good pre-season."

Jy Simpkin, Alastair Clarkson and Luke McDonald pose during North Melbourne' 2024 official team photo day at Arden Street. Picture: AFL Photos

A glaring area of concern for North will be a lack of experienced key defenders, with Ben McKay going to Essendon.

But Simpkin has been impressed with what Charlie Comben, Bigoa Nyuon and Will Dawson have been showing in the pre-season.

"Obviously losing Ben McKay last year didn't help our tall stocks, but we have come really good defenders coming through," he said.