North Melbourne will be looking to replace two coaches who have mutually agreed to part ways with the club after the Kangaroos confirmed the departures of assistant coach John Blakey and development coach Gavin Brown.
Blakey is a favourite son of the Kangaroos, playing 224 games for the club across his time at Arden Street from 1993 to his retirement in 2002. He was an integral part of the club’s success, featuring in North’s 1996 and 1999 premiership sides. Before his time at North Melbourne, Blakey played 157 games with Fitzroy before making the move across Royal Park.
To begin his coaching career, Blakey became the assistant coach for the Brisbane Lions in 2003 until the end of the 2006 season. He then moved to Sydney and took on a new role as the coaching director and head of development. He was at the Swans until the end of 2020 before he returned to North Melbourne.
Brown had a storied career at Collingwood from 1987 until 2000, playing 254 games for the club and captaining the Woods from 1994 until 1998. Brown was also a member of the Magpies’ historic 1990 premiership side, the club’s first in 32 years.
After retiring, Brown became an assistant coach at Collingwood under Mick Malthouse before moving to the senior coaching role of the club’s VFL side in 2008. In 2011, Brown moved to Carlton as an assistant coach before making the jump to North Melbourne after the 2013 season.
In the club’s press release, Roos general manager Todd Viney expressed the decision made by both parties.
“After conversations with ‘Blakes’ and ‘Browny’, we have agreed to mutually part ways,” Viney said.“These decisions are never taken lightly, but the time is right for all parties to move forward in new directions. “Blakes and Browny have been outstanding contributors to our club and they leave as highly respected individuals. We wish them well as they look to take on new opportunities within the industry.”
North Melbourne continues to rebuild and currently holds the number two draft pick. With two open vacancies in the coaching staff, their trade period is going to be one to watch.