Former North Melbourne captain and current AFL defender Jack Ziebell has joined the club's AFLW team as a specialist development coach.

Ziebell, 32, has played 274 games for the Roos after making his debut in 2009.

"I'm super excited to be able to start with the girls when they started their pre-season, I think it was about a month ago now," Ziebell told

"I'm a specialist development coach, working on skill acquisition and development, along with some midfield craft.

"So far, I've really enjoyed it, the girls are great to work with, 'Crock' (Darren Crocker) is a great coach, very, very well organised. The training at AFLW is really professional, which is exciting to see.

"The girls are loving it and hopefully they're in for a really strong year, a bit more positive than last year's finish anyway (losing a preliminary final)."

The Roos defender is enjoying wrapping up his men's training duties for the day and rolling into AFLW, providing some balance and perspective against a tough season for the men's program.

"I've got a bit of a passion for coaching. I've played a lot of footy in my time, this is my 15th season at AFL level and I'm probably closer to the end of my career than the start, I can safely presume," he said.

"I've been thinking about life after football and been speaking to a few people around the club, especially 'Crock', he thought it would be a good thing for me to jump in and test the waters with the girls this pre-season and throughout the year.

"It was an opportunity I jumped at, I've done a few coaching PDs and courses and done plenty of work with our coaches at North Melbourne over the years, our line and assistant coaches, but to be able to have a bit more responsibility in a coaching sense, I think that's going to hold me in good stead for a future career in coaching."


Ziebell is mirroring aspects of North Melbourne AFLW skipper Emma Kearney's role, who joined the men's program as a development coach this year.

"She's been great. She's a teacher by trade, and coaching and teaching are very similar, and as a coach, you probably are a teacher, you have to educate players a lot about football and also about life, and Emma's got some great teaching qualities," Ziebell said.

"She does a lot of work with our first, second and third-year boys and obviously on the field is one part of her job, but off the field as well, with their education and training and some stuff away from footy as well.

"She's got a great skillset, and I think she's really enjoyed her time in the program so far. She's been a great asset for us."


Ziebell is joining an extensive and re-jigged North Melbourne coaching panel set to support Crocker in his fourth season in charge.

Inaugural list manager Rhys Harwood has moved into a senior assistant and head of football performance role, with Flynn Loft taking the list management reins.

Sam Wright (forwards) and Brad Murphy (midfield) will continue in their roles, with Nick Devereux taking charge of the defenders after a development position last season.

Former Roo Daniel Currie has joined as assistant coach for the talls, with ex-assistant Brett Gourlay returning as head of development, a new position for the club.

Kangaroos VFLW player Mietta McDonald has joined Noni Taylor in development coaching roles.


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