BRAD Scott's final game as coach of North Melbourne could be as soon as Saturday’s round 10 match against Western Bulldogs.
After nine and a half seasons in charge of the Roos, Scott has reached an arrangement with senior club officials that he will not enter the 2020 season, for which he is contracted.
It is an amicable situation.
It allows North to conduct a thorough review of its entire operations without compromising on existing contracts, and it allows Scott to officially enter negotiations for other coaching vacancies which are expected to come at St Kilda, Carlton and possibly Essendon.
The timing of his departure from North is not yet established, and there is genuine concern attached to having a caretaker in charge for the remaining 12 matches of 2019.
But with both parties having established that they won't be together beyond this season, others take the view there is no point in Scott continuing beyond the round 10 game against the Bulldogs.
Assistant coach Rhyce Shaw and senior football department official Darren Crocker will be among the candidates to take over in caretaker capacity.
Shaw has impressed North officials and has long held an ambition to be a senior coach.
Crocker would be the safe option. He filled the caretaker role at North Melbourne when Dean Laidley exited in the 2009 season, before Scott was appointed for the start of 2010.
Scott’s most recent contract renewal took in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons.
He has often said he would put the club first with his decisions, and it is understood he broached the arrangement to part the Roos with chairman Ben Buckley in the past five weeks.
Buckley will soon announce a sweeping review of all positions in the football department.
Scott was appointed to the role in late 2009 and his coaching record is evenly poised heading into what looms as his final game in charge, with 105 wins and 105 losses.
That includes a 4-4 run in September action. Scott led North to preliminary finals in 2014 and 2015, when it was defeated by Sydney and then West Coast respectively.
During his tenure, the Roos had a win tally in the single digits just once – in 2017, when they had six victories.
However, they defied the pundits' expectations the following season to post 12 wins and finish ninth.
Scott declared in the pre-season "You write North Melbourne off at your peril" but the team is languishing in second-last despite having recruited mature-age talent in Jared Polec, Jasper Pittard, Dom Tyson and Aaron Hall over the off-season.
|2008||Brisbane||Leigh Matthews||End of season||Stepped down||Michael Voss|
|2009||North Melbourne||Dean Laidley||During season||Sacked after four wins, eight losses for season||Darren Crocker (interim)|
|Richmond||Terry Wallace||During season||Sacked after 37 wins, 60 losses, two draws||Jade Rawlings (interim)|
|2010||Essendon||Matthew Knights||End of season||Sacked after 25 wins, 41 losses, one draw||James Hird|
|Geelong||Mark Thompson||End of season||Stepped down||Chris Scott|
|Port Adelaide||Mark Williams||During season||Sacked with a 5-10 record in 2010 after missing finals in 2008-09||Matthew Primus|
|Sydney||Paul Roos||End of season||Pre-planned hand over to John Longmire||John Longmire|
|2011||Adelaide||Neil Craig||During season||Sacked after four wins, 12 losses for season||Mark Bickley (interim)|
|Collingwood||Mick Malthouse||End of season||Pre-planned handover to Nathan Buckley||Nathan Buckley|
|Fremantle||Mark Harvey||End of season||Sacked after missing finals with nine wins, 13 losses for season||Ross Lyon|
|Melbourne||Dean Bailey||During season||Sacked after 22 wins, 59 losses, 2 draws||Todd Viney (interim)|
|St Kilda||Ross Lyon||End of season||Resigned, joined Fremantle as senior coach||Scott Watters|
|Western Bulldogs||Rodney Eade||During season||Sacked after 7 wins, 12 losses for season||Paul Williams (interim)|
|2012||Carlton||Brett Ratten||End of season||Sacked after missing finals in 2012||Mick Malthouse|
|Port Adelaide||Matthew Primus||During season||Sacked after 5 wins, 13 losses for season||Garry Hocking (interim)|
|2013||Brisbane||Michael Voss||During season||8 wins, 11 losses for season||Mark Harvey (interim)|
|Essendon||James Hird||During season||Suspended by AFL with one game remaining in season||Simon Goodwin (interim)|
|Melbourne||Mark Neeld||During season||Sacked after 5 wins, 23 losses||Neil Craig (interim)|
|St Kilda||Scott Watters||End of season||Sacked after 17 wins, 27 losses, no finals||Alan Richardson|
|West Coast||John Worsfold||End of season||Stepped down||Adam Simpson|
|2014||Adelaide||Brenton Sanderson||End of season||Sacked after missing finals in 2013-14||Phil Walsh|
|Essendon||Mark Thompson||End of season||Replaced by James Hird returning from suspension||James Hird|
|Gold Coast||Guy McKenna||End of season||Sacked after 24 wins, 64 losses, no finals||Rodney Eade|
|Western Bulldogs||Brendan McCartney||End of season||Sacked after 20 wins, 46 losses||Luke Beveridge|
|2015||Carlton||Mick Malthouse||During season||Sacked after 1 win, 7 losses for season||John Barker (interim)|
|Essendon||James Hird||During season||Resigned after 5 wins, 14 losses for season||Matthew Egan (interim)|
|2016||Brisbane||Justin Leppitsch||End of season||Sacked after 14 wins, 52 losses||Chris Fagan|
|Melbourne||Paul Roos||End of season||Pre-planned handover to Simon Goodwin||Simon Goodwin|
|2017||Gold Coast||Rodney Eade||During season||Stepped down after board voted not to renew contract||Stuart Dew|