Liam Shiels at North Melbourne training in December, 2022. Picture: NMFC

LIAM Shiels was happily retired a month ago, but the triple premiership player believes he can extend his AFL career for at least another two years.

The 31-year-old was officially confirmed as a North Melbourne player on Monday, as previously reported by, reconnecting with former Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson at Arden St.

A self-confessed footy fanatic, Shiels will combine his love for recruiting and list management with a leadership role guiding the young Kangaroos group.

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It was that pitch from Clarkson and North's head of football Brady Rawlings that convinced Shiels to turn his back on retirement and add to his 255 AFL games.

"I still felt like I had footy left in my body and my body's feeling really good. But at the time, I felt like hanging up the boots and retiring," Shiels said on Wednesday.

Liam Shiels at North Melbourne training in December, 2022. Picture: NMFC

"It's probably only happened over the last month that this opportunity came up to represent the Kangaroos.

"I want to get into recruiting and list management and there was an opportunity to do that here at North Melbourne, and as the talks progressed, there was an opportunity to play a bit of footy and help educate these young players coming through.

"We'll get to the end of pre-season and the end of next season and sit down with Brady and Clarko again and assess where my footy is at. But I'd like to think that I've got at least a couple of years in my body."


Clarkson has brought a heavy Hawthorn flavour across to Arden St, with former Hawks utility Daniel Howe also joining the Kangaroos via last week's rookie draft.

Shiels and Howe were among 10 new recruits officially unveiled this week, while delisted Roo Jed Anderson officially joined Gold Coast on Wednesday, as reported by last week.

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Shiels, who had spells in the VFL with Box Hill this year, said he had not taken his axing by the Hawks - now coached by his former teammate Sam Mitchell - personally.

"Hawthorn played a big part in my life and I'm forever grateful for everything they did for me," he said.

"To retire a one-club player was something that crossed my mind.

"I still felt like I had some good games of footy left in my body but they were going in a different direction. I completely understand that."

Players signed during the SSP (Dec 5 to Feb 15)

Liam Shiels - North Melbourne
Oskar Baker - Western Bulldogs
Conor McKenna - Brisbane
Jed Anderson - Gold Coast
Tyler Brown - Adelaide
Liam Stocker - St Kilda
Mark Keane - Adelaide
Darragh Joyce - Brisbane