Brad Scott AFL era at North Melbourne ends

Brad Scott has officially announced his departure from North Melbourne.
Brad Scott has officially announced his departure from North Melbourne.

Having helped set a new AFL course for North Melbourne, Brad Scott and the Kangaroos ultimately came to the realisation that he was no longer the right person to steer the ship.

It might sound like a vague explanation, but that was the crux of what chairman Ben Buckley and Scott had to say when they fronted a packed media conference on Sunday to confirm they had parted ways amicably.

Put more simply, after 211 games including two preliminary finals in 10 years under Scott, it was really just time for someone else to have a crack at guiding the Roos to their fifth premiership flag.

An offer by Scott to step aside was part of a strategic plan he laid out several weeks ago to the club's board, the coach perhaps sensing their relationship was nearing its natural conclusion despite his contract for next year.

After the Roos slipped to a 2-7 record, the board reconvened on Friday and decided change was needed - that a new face had to take the club forward through what might be some tricky times as they repositioned for their next flag tilt.

"Fresh air is required," Scott said.

"I'm a firm believer that a big part of what makes this game the greatest game in the world is the conduit that the media provides to the supporters.

"But with that comes pressure.

"There is pressure on clubs and, while we like to think that we're incredibly resilient and we can withstand the pressure, it makes it really hard for everyone to do their job to the best of their ability.

"And when there's going to be significant change, clubs need that fresh air.

"While I would love the opportunity that the club has now 10 years ago, we were going through a very different phase and we had massive impediments.

"Those have all been removed and the next custodian that comes in and takes the helm has a remarkable opportunity.

"... While I love this club and I would love to serve this club in whatever capacity it would like me to, I felt that we don't want tumultuous times.

"We want a smooth transition to the next era."

In his first year at the club, assistant Rhyce Shaw will step in as caretaker and audition for the role on a permanent basis.

Scott's players farewelled him with a surprise 25-point win over the Western Bulldogs on Saturday at Marvel Stadium.

He leaves with a 106-105 coaching record, having guided them to preliminary finals in 2014 and 2015 and elimination finals in 2012 and 2016.

Buckley was highly complimentary of Scott's contribution since his arrival in 2010, but there was just a hint of frustration at the lack of progress on field.

"I think that we're still, to some extent, in that rebuilding phase which we set out from 2017 onwards," Buckley said.

"Clearly at times, it takes longer than you would expect.

"I think when we sat down and had that conversation with Brad recently, the time horizon may have shifted further out than we had originally planned and that was probably part of the decision that we ultimately came to."

Scott is believed to be in the running for senior roles at Carlton, St Kilda or Essendon should they become vacant.

"As for my future, I can categorically say that I haven't spoken to anyone but Ben, Carl (Dilena) and our board," Scott said.

"My future involves being the best husband and father I can be, playing a hell of a lot more golf and barracking for the Kangaroos."

As well as the search for a new coach, a club-wide review will commence this week and will be undertaken by Peter Nash, the former national chairman of KPMG, ex-club football director Glenn Archer and current board member Brian Walsh.

DEPARTED NORTH MELBOURNE COACH BRAD SCOTT:

* DOB: 3/5/76

* Played 168 games at Hawthorn, Brisbane 1997-2006

* Two-time Lions premiership player

* Started coaching North Melbourne in 2010

* Coached North in 211 games, 106 wins

* 2014-15 preliminary finals, plus elimination finals in 2012 and 2016.

Australian Associated Press