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North secures superstar Kearney

PRESS PLAY - Emma Kearney speaks about her move to North Melbourne. Emma Kearney talks to North Media on her first day in the North guernsey.

If North Melbourne's first AFLW player announcement is anything to go by, big things are in store for the club's highly anticipated introduction to the league in 2019.

The competition's best player, Emma Kearney, has nominated North as her club of choice, when the player movement window opens.

“It was quite an easy decision and I feel like Arden St is sort of my home and I’m really excited to be here,” Kearney said.

“It’s always a bit different putting on a different guernsey but I think the vertical stripes is quite nice and slimming and it’s quite exciting to wear the colours.”

The superstar already thinking big for North’s inaugural year and beyond. 

“The ultimate is winning a premiership but for me its developing that list that we have and forming a really good group and growing from there. 

“Being the first one to sign with North, it sort of takes the pressure off the other girls if they’re still deciding what club to play for and I’m hoping that we can build a good list for 2019 and I’m really confident that we will.”

 North Operations Manager Laura Kane said the club is thrilled having secured Kearney.

“We identified Emma very early as a player that we wanted at North Melbourne,” Kane said.

“We’re rapt that Emma has nominated North and sees her future at Arden Street.

Kearney's list of achievements is phenomenal, and there's no sign of her slowing down. 

“I’m really excited to see what the next five to ten years look like [in the AFLW competition],” Kearney said. 

“I think it’s going to be a lot more highly skilled and I think the tactics behind the game are going to improve each year and that’s what I’m looking forward to - is helping grow the game and using my experience to help the young girls particularly on North’s list coming through.”

The 28-year-old not only won the 2018 premiership, but was also the 2018 AFLW Best & Fairest, the Bulldogs' best & Fairest, AFLCA MVP and was selected as an All-Australian for the second-straight year.

"We look forward to finalising her move here when the AFL’s rules on player movement are confirmed,” Kane said.

Kearney's ties to North stretch back to her days setting up the local all-girls Auskick program in 2012 and working as a teacher at Mount Alexander Primary.  

When North Melbourne entered into a groundbreaking partnership with Melbourne University Womens Football Club (MUWFC AKA the MUGARS) almost a decade ago, Kearney was front and centre, going on to win five Best & Fairest awards (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), was captain in 2014 & 2015, and co-captain in 2016 & 2017.  

In the coming weeks Kearney will pick up where she left off, taking up a role as sport and recreation coordinator within North's award winning not-for-profit education arm, The Huddle. 

“She’ll commence full-time employment here next week with a playing contract to be agreed in the coming weeks,” Kane added. 

The multi-talented 165cm midfielder is also an established cricketer, playing WBBL with the Melbourne Stars.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs