The AFL community has rallied around Rhyce Shaw after North Melbourne confirmed the coach would be taking a period of leave.

The Kangaroos won’t rush Shaw to resume his duties with the club, and they’re likely to head into trade and draft period without a senior leader.

While there’s nothing confirmed, there’s a very real but unfortunate possibility the club will need to find a new coach for 2021.

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Grand Final
Hardwick's Shaw sentiment

Hardwick’s Shaw sentiment

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There are multiple options around the AFL landscape, but an experienced head is sure to be looked at favourably.

Paul Roos appears certain to join in a mentor style role, while John Blakey returns to Arden Street as a senior assistant.

Michael Voss could have a second crack at a senior coaching role, with Nick Riewoldt and Jason Dunstall believing the current Port Adelaide assistant deserved another chance.

“No doubt if you do everything you’ve ever done before a second time around, you’re going to have a better frame of mind to attack it,” Riewoldt said on Fox Footy.

“You’re not going to make the same mistakes again. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t someone like that that ends up securing the job, if indeed it becomes available.”

Dunstall added: “It’s going to be a very testing environment for any coach that does come in to the mix.

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Shaw is taking time away from the club. Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images.
Shaw is taking time away from the club. Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images.Source: Getty Images

“I’d be very surprised if Michael Voss doesn’t get a look at it, particularly after we’ve seen the way that Brett Ratten has adapted in his second time around at the Saints.

“You’ve got to be a much better coach second time around because you’ve learnt so many things – what you did wrong, the little things you did right – you’ve gathered more experience. He might be the man in my eyes, but it’s going to be a very interesting search.”

Voss coached 109 games at the Lions between 2009 and 2013, before being sacked before the end of the home and away season.

He has since worked hard at the Power under Ken Hinkley as midfield coach.

Who to choose to coach Roos?

Who to choose to coach Roos?

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Former St Kilda and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon’s name has been mooted by a number of former AFL players, but a complete rebuild like North is likely to required appears unlikely to take his fancy according to Riewoldt.

“I don’t think so. I think the one thing that would drive Ross Lyon in terms of a coaching opportunity would be the opportunity to do the one thing he hasn’t done, which is coaching a premiership,’ he said.

“Without speaking on Rossy’s behalf …. I don’t think a five to 10-year rebuild is part of his plans.”

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