Main content

AFLW: Culture a priority

"The players we bring in, like Emma, will value add to the Shinboner spirit, I have no doubt about that."

As the new kid on the block in next year’s AFLW competition, North Melbourne will be aiming to have a distinct point of difference according to Scott Gowans.

The women’s head coach wants culture to inform decisions regarding list build and the setting of standards.

“It’s not a matter of getting the best 30 players in the country, it’s a matter of getting the best players to play in a team,” Gowans told North Media.

“It’s a really big piece when we’re interviewing potential recruits to ask them about their background and what they do away from football, then we make decisions based on that. It’s not just about how many kicks, handballs and marks they can take.”

A perfect example of North’s philosophy is Emma Kearney. Regarded as the best player in the AFLW, she epitomises the club’s famed Shinboner spirit.

Her dedication to the community is what makes her the complete package. 

“The players we bring in, like Emma, will value add to the Shinboner spirit, I have no doubt about that,” Gowans said confidently.

In addition to culture, Gowans emphasised the importance of building depth to the side.

“It would be nice to be very successful from the start and I don’t see any reason why we can’t but we’re going to really focus on getting the process right,” he said.

“I took those experiences from Carlton, good and bad, then put them together with what we’re doing here at North and I think our recruiting process is really strong.

“If we can get this part right now, it’s almost preparing for Round 1.

“Emma is obviously the first piece of that and over the next couple of weeks we will be able to release some other names that I think our fans will be excited by.”

Gowans is also confident about the integration of AFLW with AFL at Arden St.

“It’s a big thing that we’re trying to do at North; to have four teams here and share the facilities. It sounds simple but it just means everyone must have a mindset that everyone’s in it together,” he said.

“Ultimately culture is never set, it just evolves all the time and those personalities that’ll come into the club will help form that.”