Darren Crocker, says his focus is to evolutionise not revolutionise the club's AFLW program.
Crocker brings a wealth of experience to the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos, having played 165 games for the club, including its 1996 Premiership victory.
Following his playing career, he went on to become the director of coaching and has acted as caretaker coach in the AFL system on several occasions.
Speaking to North Media for the first time, Crocker praised the Kangaroos’ AFLW program and said he is looking forward to imparting his knowledge.
“I’m not coming in to revolutionise things and change heaps, there’s lots of good things happening within our program,” Crocker said.
“Hopefully what I can bring is a little bit of knowledge and wisdom and experience that is just something for everyone within the program; for staff, coaches, and players, to tap into and help them grow as individuals, as well as players.
“I’ve said to the [playing] group already that Scott [Gowans], the previous coach, and Matt [Bolitho] the previous football operations manager who are no longer with the club, they’ve done a great job, along with Laura Kane and Rhys Harwood.
“[They’ve] been able to set up a terrific program, and for me to come in, I’ve just seen it as an evolution not a revolution.”
With a compulsory "pre pre-season underway" and the official pre-season set to commence on November 19, Crocker said he'd been impressed with the dedication the team has shown to date.
“We have recently been in a pre pre-season block for three weeks, and non-compulsory, it’s been purely up to the girls if they wanted to come in and do any training and the response has been overwhelming really,” he said.
“So many of the girls have been coming in ... they’ve hardly missed the sessions that we’ve provided for them to come to, so that just gives me the sense that they’re pretty determined to get on with things and have a strong pre-season.
“We’re really looking forward to the season ahead and obviously having last season taken from them and no VFLW throughout last year, I think they’re pretty much itching to get out and play some football.”
A Shinboner through and through, Crocker said he can't wait to play another key role in the club's rich history.
“I think it’s just great for North Melbourne Footy Club to exist as one club, but have four teams, our own AFL men, VFL men and then AFLW and VFLW, I think it’s a great sign for a club that we’re really united ... we play four teams but we’re really just one club.”