NEW NORTH Melbourne football boss Brady Rawlings says the decision to break his contract with West Coast to return to Arden Street was a "somewhat easy" one.
Rawlings and chief executive Ben Amarfio – who started their new roles on December 1 and November 19, respectively – flanked chairman Ben Buckley for their official public introduction on Thursday.
The 38-year-old is a Kangaroos "favourite son", in Buckley's words, having played 245 games and won three club champion awards in the royal blue and white.
Rawlings was the Eagles' list manager until early July, when he resigned after his North role was announced, and before that was an assistant coach.
He spent about six years in the west and replaces Cameron Joyce at the Roos.
Rawlings said his strong relationship with West Coast premiership coach and ex-North Melbourne teammate Adam Simpson was the hardest part of his exit.
"The decision for me to come back was somewhat easy, because of the opportunity. This is my club," Rawlings said.
"That was a really exciting opportunity for me but the relationships I had at West Coast did make it somewhat difficult.
"Obviously, when you go over with the coach and he felt like there was unfinished business there … that was a pretty hard conversation to have.
"I needed to do what was best for my footy club here and for me and my family – and that was to come back to North."
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There was a pause on list management decisions for some period as North Melbourne dealt with the departure of coach Brad Scott and the fact Joyce was no longer going to be in his position.
However, Rawlings said the acceleration of re-signings and other list decisions in the period after his appointment "100 per cent" had nothing to do with him.
One of the Eagles' stipulations in releasing him from his contract next year and being without him since July was that he could not begin his role until after the drafts finished.
"We've got a terrific recruiting and list management team," Rawlings said.
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"Mark Finnigan really stepped up over that period, and (coach) Rhyce (Shaw) has a vested interest in the draft as well and was part of the list management committee.
"So we had the right people in the right roles to get the job done. (I had) full trust in the guys to pull through, throughout that period, without me being involved."
Buckley acknowledged the enormous change that has played out at the Kangaroos throughout this year.
Joining Scott and Joyce in leaving were chief executive Carl Dilena, list manager Michael McMahon, experienced assistant coach Leigh Tudor and head of player development Aaron Greaves.
Darren Crocker has also shifted from the director of coaching to being North's pro scout.
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Also coming in are Rawlings' brother Jade, to be Shaw's senior assistant, with Jared Rivers, Leigh Adams and Heath Scotland, while Brendan Whitecross (forwards) and Gavin Brown (head of development) scored promotions.
Experienced recruiter Scott Clayton is the latest addition as head of player personnel, and will oversee Finnigan and new list manager Glenn Luff.
Buckley said the overhaul was "borne out of frustration and impatience to be successful on the field and off the field".
"We've done a fantastic job in the last five to 10 years of building a sustainable operational platform but ultimately we exist to play in premierships," Buckley said.
"We haven't played in a premiership since 1999. As a board, we're ambitious, we're impatient, (and) we want to be successful.
"We think with a new line-up to support Rhyce in his first year as a full-time coach and with (captain) Jack Ziebell, who's here with us, we have an outstanding leadership group."