Leigh Adams will return to Arden St after accepting the role of Development Coach for 2020 and beyond.
The former North Melbourne midfielder spent the past two seasons as senior coach of Coburg in the VFL, following a two-year stint at South Croydon where he led the team to the 2017 EFL premiership.
“It is pretty exciting. Obviously I’ve been out of the AFL system for a few years. I’m excited to get back to my old club and work with people like Brady Rawlings and Rhyce Shaw; it was too good of an opportunity to pass up,” Adams told North Media.
“I’ve been pretty open in saying I wanted to take my coaching as far as I could and get back into the AFL system, but I wasn’t really in too much of a hurry.
“I spent the last four years as a senior coach and I suppose coming up with my own ideas, so I’m looking forward to learning again under someone and only having to work with a select group of young players instead of having to manage a whole football club, which I’m very excited about.”
Adams, affectionately known as “Patch”, played 104 games for North but was forced to retire pre-maturely mid-way through the 2015 season due to ongoing concussion issues.
He spent the remainder of the season working at the club as a part-time development coach with the forwards.
“Coburg was a really good opportunity to coach a young team at the highest level I could. I wasn’t really out of the AFL too long when I took that job but in the end it’s worked out really well, it was a really good stepping-stone to work my way back in,” he said.
“You do just want to get back into the system and get to the best club that you can and it always helps having those emotional ties back to the footy club but at the end of the day it’s a really exciting place to be with the young kids coming through.
“I think there’s some real improvement in there and I’m excited to get back to a footy club that’s obviously been close to my heart and help try get that club back up the ladder as quick as possible.”
The 31-year-old will work with AFL legend, Gavin Brown, who has been promoted to the position of Head of Development.
Brown will work closely with individual players while working with the coaches to create and identify learning opportunities.
Brown will also join the club’s match committee.
The 254 game player arrived at Arden St following the 2013 season as a senior assistant coach, working in player development in the AFL and VFL programs.
Brown spent time as an assistant and match day coach at Collingwood and Carlton across eleven seasons before making the switch to the Kangaroos.
Meanwhile club and AFL legend Brent Harvey has taken on a new look role, increasing his time to three days a week, while also taking on match-day runner duties.