Flag-contending Roos axe coach 'through no fault of his own'

SCOTT Gowans will put his hand up for AFLW coaching vacancies after his shock axing as North Melbourne coach on Thursday morning left him blindsided.

Gowans, who led the Roos to a 11-3 record before COVID-19 ended the 2020 season abruptly, was informed at 9.30am via a Zoom teleconference call he had lost his job. 

He will be replaced by former North Melbourne AFL interim coach and Roos player Darren Crocker who will split his role between his current position as AFL pro scout.

Crocker will begin the AFLW senior coach role in November.

"It did (blindside me), I had no idea it was coming," Gowans told womens.afl.

"We had a staff meeting last week and (CEO) Ben Amarfio mentioned there might be some roles that go.

"Even then I thought that, particularly in sport, you base yourself on performance and I thought I'd done OK.

"But doing OK in these tough times probably isn't enough. A lot of good people are going to lose their jobs whether they're AFL or AFLW people.

"North have been really supportive today, they've been terrific.

"I genuinely believe they looked around and thought, 'We've got a guy who's coached senior AFL, he hasn't coached women, but he's got a lot of coaching experience'.

"I was just unlucky 'Crock' was sitting there."

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The Kangaroos insist they were forced to make the tough decision with economic and resource restrictions in place due to COVID-19.

"The discussion with Scott was one I truly wish we didn’t have to have, but we’re operating under new rules with less flexibility," North Melbourne's general manager of football Brady Rawlings said.

"Scott has been a tremendous contributor to the club and our AFLW program. This circumstance has come about through no fault of his own and we sincerely thank him for his passion, commitment and hard work during his time at Arden St.

"Unfortunately for Scott and so many others across the industry, we and other clubs have been forced to make some very difficult and hard decisions."

Gowans led the Kangaroos to the top of Conference A in 2020 with five wins and one loss, and could have been a flag contender if the season was not cut short.

He also held the position of VFLW coach during the winter months.

Richmond's AFLW coaching position is vacant and Gowans said he was open to any move.

"I feel like I've learned over the last couple of years is how the game's played and I understand the game," he said.

"I think my game-plan and philosophies are sound and I'm really keen continue in the industry.

"When I got off the Zoom call, I have a little saying that's on my desk which says, 'Stay positive, work hard and make it happen' and nothing's changed."

Gowans previously coached Vic Country at the NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships and Diamond Creek in VFLW.