THE KID who put Lindsay Thomas "out of a job" will inherit his No.12 at North Melbourne next year.

Fellow Aboriginal footballer Jy Simpkin is the player in question, with Thomas – who agreed to be released from the final year of his contract – asking his ex-teammate if he wanted his old number. 

Simpkin, the Roos' first pick in last year's NAB AFL Draft and the No.12 selection overall, wore No.21 in 13 games in his debut season and looks a long-term star. 

The 19-year-old played up forward in 2017, but is expected to eventually become a midfielder.

Thomas, who has been linked with a move to Port Adelaide, said he took Simpkin under his wing from the time he walked into Arden Street.

"Hopefully he can make the number his own and he can beat all the records I've set," Thomas told

"It's funny, because I said to my wife, 'If there's going to be anyone that's going to knock me off my perch, it's going to be Jy Simpkin'.

"The kid's so talented and he's knocked me off my perch and put me out of a job, but it's good. I'm super proud … to see his development over the last 12 months.

"I hope he can have a long career and do well. It's going to be good to see Jy wearing the No.12."

Thomas, who turned down the chance to wear Shannon Grant's No.6 when he started, kicked 325 goals and played 205 games in No.12. 

Only John Blakey (224) played more matches in the number as a Kangaroo than Thomas.

North's chief executive Carl Dilena also made 10 appearances in the No.12 between 1991 and 1992.

North's new No.12 packs a punch. Pictures: Adam Trafford