Can Roos win it? North talking big ahead of first AFLW season

NORTH Melbourne AFLW skipper Emma Kearney is confident the Kangaroos have assembled a list capable of challenging for the premiership in the club's inaugural season.  

North's ambitious list build started with Kearney's high-profile move from 2018 Grand Final winners the Western Bulldogs and continued with the addition of stars Moana Hope, Emma King and Kaitlyn Ashmore. 

"It's a long way to go but we've built a really strong list to get the job done ... it's really unpredictable the women's competition but we've got the right players and coaching staff in place to get the job done," Kearney told reporters on Friday.

"You're a bit nervous when you're the first one to sign and not sure who else is going to sign. But I was confident the work North Melbourne has done for women's footy, we were always going to get really strong players. 

"It's a testament we've got these great girls here standing behind me and we've built a really strong list, and that'll put us in really good stead for 2019."

North Melbourne has an alignment with the state of Tasmania, with eight of its 30 players based in Hobart and Launceston along with assistant coach Trent Bartlett.

"It's a challenge. We've got girls based in Tasmania, so we don't see them as much, but the club's really doing a mountain of work so those girls down there feel really integrated," Kearney said.

"The leadership group has decided one of us will go down there and train every Saturday. We get that connection with them, we've got our pre-season camp coming up soon (in Hobart), that's a really good opportunity for us to bond together.

"The club's really big on good personalities, we've got really good people at the club, so we're able to connect pretty easily."

North Melbourne has announced Mazda will be the AFLW side's sole major partner, having been already been a partner of the club's men's team for 20 years.

"Our partnership has continued to flourish over the decades and we are extremely excited to have Mazda on board for our inaugural AFLW season and beyond," North Melbourne managing director and CEO Carl Dilena said.

"This expansion of our partnership to include AFLW shows that Mazda Australia is fully committed to our club, and the bright future of women's football, which is just outstanding and so encouraging for our new team and women's football in general."

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