Rhyce Shaw is embracing North Melbourne’s past, as he looks to build for the future.
Shaw has soaked up the ‘Shinboner Spirit’ since his arrival, and re-iterated the importance of understanding and calling on the club’s rich history for inspiration.
“You do have to learn about it. You have to learn about the history, where the club has come from,” Shaw told RSN’s The Inner Sanctum on Thursday
“They have seen some hard times at North Melbourne.
“There is a lot of history and a lot of challenges, but they are still here and that’s what makes the club great.
“Now we are in a really good place financially and looking forward to the future.”
Having the title of senior coach brings huge responsibility, but Shaw is embracing the challenge.
“I’m in the really fortunate position to be the coach of a great footy club, and I’ve got the opportunity to take them forward,” he said.
“It was pretty intense early days. We played Hawthorn the week after I took over the job, and I think they kicked six goals to one in the first, and I was thinking, ‘Ok, this isn’t a great start’.
“I remember thinking to myself about just being me and what would I say?
“I went out and said to ‘just relax and that we aren’t playing anywhere near what we are capable of’. I said to ‘go out with a smile and play the North Melbourne way’, and it worked out.
“It’s a bit risky, because it can go the other way and they can have another six goals kicked on them. ”
Of course, North went on to win that game by 22 points, Shaw’s message clearly resonating with the players.
Much has been said of his ability to build relationships with his players, but perhaps it’s his willingness to understand them which is most important.
“I think a lot of emotion is involved on game day,” Shaw said.
“We work on our tactics during the week, but it’s controlling the emotion at quarter-time, if we are down or up. You can make changes at half-time, but the emotion plays a huge part.
“You’ve got to get the balance right of your feel for the group and who you are.”
While the players enjoy a well-earned break, Shaw is still hard at work.
“We are looking to improve our list, as all clubs are,” he added.
“We aren’t going to be silly about it, and we’ll fill positions we think can make us better.”
“We’ve also got a high pick at the draft (pick 7), so we are hoping we can get a key player with that.