Former coach Rhyce Shaw has reportedly frozen out North Melbourne following reports his former club abandoned him during the turbulent 2020 AFL season.
Shaw was given the Kangaroos’ top job in August 2019 but the side had a horror 2020 season, winning just three games.
North announced shortly after the final round the 39-year-old was taking extended leave for “personal reasons” before it became apparent he wasn’t going to return at all.
Shaw in January confirmed he would return to full-time coaching, taking up a position as a development coach with the Gold Coast Suns.
Ahead of the Suns’ — and Shaw’s — showdown with the Kangaroos on Saturday night on the Gold Coast the prickly separation between the two parties has returned to the headlines following reports this week the Roos failed to provide the support Shaw needed.
Rhyce Shaw has reportedly remained in touch with his former players.Source:Getty Images
The 2020 season took a toll on many in the football world with staff and players forced to leave their families when inside the Queensland bubble. Clubs were also forced to make budget cuts and trimmed their football departments.
Former Footy Show panellist Damian Barrett reported Shaw hadn’t received the support he needed by North Melbourne.
Footy Classified’s Caroline Wilson also suggested the Roos may not have given him enough support. She said North Melbourne was wrong in the first place to appoint a rookie head coach in Shaw and a rookie football manager in Brady Rawlings — appointed in 2019 — to guide the club through such a difficult year.
The Herald Sun’s Mark Robinson on Thursday reported Shaw has frozen out several of his former colleagues, senior figures at the club.
Assistant coach Rhyce Shaw is back in business.Source:Getty Images
The report claims Shaw has not responded to messages or calls from Rawlings, board member and club legend Glenn Archer and head of media Heath O’Loughlin.
North Melbourne reportedly privately claims Shaw had all the support he needed.
Shaw ultimately accepted a settlement to leave the club in October despite having a full year to run on his contract and a clause to activate a further 12 month extension through to the end of the 2022 season.
However, the friction appears to be mutual, with Robinson reporting senior people at the Roos were shocked to see Shaw sign with the Suns so quickly.
North Melbourne moved on immediately from Shaw, eventually appointing former Brisbane Lions football boss David Noble to step into the top job.
Former Swans and Demons coach Paul Roos is also working with the Roos as a part-time consultant.
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