BRAD Scott held discussions about North Melbourne's "strategic direction" with club officials weeks before his impending exit from the club was revealed on Friday afternoon.
It emerged on Friday Scott would leave the Roos and Saturday afternoon's 25-point win over the Western Bulldogs was his last match.
However, Scott revealed it was hardly an impromptu decision.
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"The strategic direction I put forward to the club was weeks and weeks ago, not days ago, so there's been no indication that this would come up (in the media)," Scott said.
"I came to work yesterday expecting business as usual. I left work expecting business as usual, but on the way home, it wasn't."
A press conference will be held on Sunday, in which Scott and the Roos are expected to reveal their plans for the rest of the season, and was only scheduled on Saturday, before the Dogs clash.
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Scott made a beeline for media pundit David King at three-quarter time and appeared to deliver him an almighty spray.
Scott denied directing his words at the North great, saying he hadn't "spoken to David King in years" but still sent a parting shot his way.
"There was a time I put my shoulder straight through David King and it was at the Gabba in the late 90s, and he didn't respond then either," Scott said.
"I'm not about to start doing that again. I'm a coach, not a player."
It didn't end there.
"Everyone's entitled to their opinion … and there are people who have played for football clubs that automatically people think they've got a unique insight," Scott said.
"With due respect, I haven't seen any of those people at our football club. Ever.
"I invited David King to come down and present a jumper to a first-year player and he chose not to come.
"They don't have any unique insight. They've played, but there isn't a unique insight, so I focus more on the people who do know."
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He admitted it was tough to keep his players' emotions in check, speaking to them about the situation for the first time in a pre-game meeting rather than letting some know individually on Friday night.
"I certainly didn't want the players to fragment. Clearly there was a bit going on, so I just turned my phone off (on Friday) and told Cameron Joyce, our chief of footy, to keep the players focused on what they needed to focus on, which was the game tomorrow," Scott said.
His agent Craig Kelly was not kept in the loop either.
"Even my manager's angry with me because I didn't talk to him, but I mean, the most important reason why I didn't talk to him is because I just refuse to have any speculation or accusation that you're manipulating circumstances," Scott said.
"My attitude's always been that I want to do what's best for this football club and I've always said I would do that, regardless of what that was, regardless of what the circumstances were.
"It's just really important to me that I've always spoken to the club at every contract renewal about 'You need to be sure that I'm the right person, and when I'm not, and when I think I'm not, then I'll put options forward for you'."
Scott expressed his love for the club he was appointed to lead late in 2009.
"North Melbourne have given me an opportunity that very few people get. There is no doubt that there isn't a person, I don't care who you are, how good you are, what you've achieved in football, there isn't a single person in football that receives more than the club gives to them," Scott said.
"We are really fortunate to do what we do. Every player gets more from the footy club than they are able to give.
"I can't thank North Melbourne enough for what they've been able to do for me and what they've given me, and I've loved every minute of it. This is a great club.
"We've always had our challenges, but this club will endure, and provided we continue to have people in positions of power that always put the club first, the club will be in very good hands."
Also, from his media conference, Scott spoke about:
- Joining in the song for the first time as coach, in his 211th game in charge: "Sometimes you've got to fight the battles you know you can win, and I couldn't win that one. They got hold of me and I had no other choice."
- Reflected on the list in his time at North and where it is headed: "In my 10 years, we've never had multiple first-round selections in the draft. We've had three top-10 selections in 10 years, and one of those is a father-son (Luke McDonald) and the other one was an academy player (Tarryn Thomas). It's been hard through the period to build a sustainable base of talent but the club's now in a better position than it's ever been to be able to do that."
- Coaching in such an unusual circumstance: "The players were very emotional at times. They were emotional at the breaks. I thought my job today was to keep them focused on the task at hand and contest to contest. They were just super today, in all aspects."
- What North should do now: "Ultimately, the strategic direction for the club is not in my control and I don't have a vote. I've given them my opinion and I'm absolutely there to help in any way I can."