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HomeAFLNorth Melbourne’s AFLW captain Emma Kearney hops into AFL coaching at Kangaroos

North Melbourne’s AFLW captain Emma Kearney hops into AFL coaching at Kangaroos

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North Melbourne AFLW captain Emma Kearney is taking the plunge into AFL coaching and will be part of Alastair Clarkson’s full-time staff next season.

The opportunity arose thanks to Kearney being awarded one of six positions in the Women’s Coach Acceleration Program, which is designed to fast-track the development of female coaches.

The 33-year-old is due to start her new role as player development co-ordinator and development coach in late November, when she and the Kangaroos could be preparing to play in the AFLW grand final.

Kearney, a six-time All-Australian and former star cricketer, will lead North Melbourne into battle on Saturday in a semi-final against Richmond at Punt Road.

But the qualified teacher will soon transition into an off-field role with the club’s AFL team, working closely with head of development Gavin Brown.

North Melbourne AFLW star Emma Kearney (left) will be a development coach for the Roos’ AFL side next season. Picture: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

She will provide support, guidance and education to the club’s first-to-third-year players within the AFL program, with a specific focus on player and personal development, as well as coaching.

“The ability to work with some of the greatest coaches, including Alastair Clarkson, was a big reason why I wanted to take on the challenge,” Kearney said.

“For me, as an educator, I really enjoy working with young people and helping them out. Sometimes people forget that footballers, particularly when they come into the system, are young people.

“I feel like I’m going to enjoy working with some young boys and helping them be as successful as they possibly can.”

Peta Searle was the first woman to score a coaching job in the AFL, when she became a development coach at St Kilda in 2014.

Emma Kearney is excited to work alongside new North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson. Picture: Mark StewartSource: News Corp Australia

North Melbourne’s new general manager of football, Todd Viney, said he was pleased to welcome Kearney into the men’s program.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for all involved. We are really pleased to see Emma take on this opportunity,” Viney said.

“Emma has been, and continues to be, an outstanding leader in our AFLW program, she lives and breathes the club values and is committed to becoming better in whatever she does.

“Emma’s sporting achievements speak volumes and her football nous, teamed with her extensive experience in education, make her the perfect fit for this role.

“We look forward to Emma making an impact. Our players and our program overall will benefit from her presence and expertise.”

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