Roos won't target Brown in Coleman hunt

North Melbourne's Ben Brown leads the Coleman Medal going into the final round of the AFL season.
North Melbourne's Ben Brown leads the Coleman Medal going into the final round of the AFL season.

North Melbourne star Ben Brown is tantalisingly close to claiming his first Coleman Medal but coach Rhyce Shaw doesn't want his players targeting the beanpole forward at the expense of better options against Melbourne.

With both sides out of finals contention, Brown's bid for the league's goal-kicking award is a point of interest in the dead rubber between the 12th-placed Roos and 17th-placed Demons in Hobart on Saturday.

On the back of his stunning 10-goal haul in last week's win over Port Adelaide, Brown leads GWS forward Jeremy Cameron by four goals heading into the last round.

But that margin won't provide Brown with much comfort given the Giants play bottom-of-the-ladder Gold Coast on Saturday night, with Cameron every chance to kick a big bag against the woeful Suns.

However, Shaw says a strong team finish to a disappointing year is the sole focus of all his players, including Brown.

"Individual accolades come on the back of team success and I know the first thing Browny will be thinking about is just getting the win," Shaw told reporters on Friday.

"But he's certainly been playing some good footy to be in a position again where he's first or second in the goal-kicking.

"He's provided us with a great option week in and week out while battling against double teams.

"He's certainly had a good year and I'm hoping he continues that form."

Brown, who has booted 62 goals, will probably get plenty of balls come his way in any case - he does most weeks - and could even extend his lead against the dire Demons who played with little spirit in a horror loss to Sydney.

North made one change to the side that smashed the Power, Mason Wood replacing the injured Jed Anderson, while Melbourne added Jayden Hunt and former Kangaroos ruckman Braydon Preuss.

Roos defender Scott Thompson and Melbourne's Jordan Lewis, a four-time Hawthorn premiership player, will play their final games before retirement.

Australian Associated Press