BRAD Scott's almost decade-long tenure as North Melbourne coach seems set to end as soon as Saturday, with a mutual parting of ways in the works.

With that in mind, which coaches are in the mix to replace Scott as the Kangaroos' next long-term man in charge, after a caretaker steers them through the rest of 2019? takes a look at the candidates.

Scott Burns (Hawthorn)

Has long had the tag of senior coach-in-waiting, and was most recently in the running for the Gold Coast job that went to Stuart Dew and also included John Barker. Was in the mix for the job Adam Simpson won at West Coast, too. Spent five years at the Eagles and four at Collingwood, where he was the Pies' midfield coach and one of Nathan Buckley's closest confidantes, before linking up with the Hawks and Alastair Clarkson last season. 

Burns and Buckley in 2017. Picture: AFL Photos

Matthew Nicks (Greater Western Sydney)

One of the inaugural Level 4 coaching intake, he is Giants coach Leon Cameron's right-hand man in 2019 after eight years at Port Adelaide. Earned a reputation at Alberton as a straight shooter who was equally adept at forming strong relationships with the playing group. His range of experiences there – good, bad and challenging – are viewed as a positive for him, along with his willingness to move to a new club. 

John Barker (Carlton)

Was a close second to Stuart Dew to be the Gold Coast coach, was also runner-up to Chris Fagan at Brisbane, and made Carlton's and Adelaide's shortlist for jobs that went to Brendon Bolton and Don Pyke, respectively. It remains to be seen if Barker's best opportunity has come and gone, but his experience and the fact the Blues assistant has been so close previously suggests he'd be in the running again if he's keen.

Brett Kirk (Sydney)

Regarded as a future senior coach. Kirk, who was in the previous Level 4 coaching batch, played 241 games for Sydney, including the 2005 premiership, and excels as a coach in the way he uses his people skills and intelligence to develop players as individuals and competitors. A source pointed to Malcolm Blight as an example of how "different kinds of people can be successful" as senior coaches.

Kirk with Kieren Jack. Picture: AFL Photos

Steven King (Western Bulldogs)

The darkhorse. King's first season at the Kennel was 2012, after he spent a year as St Kilda's ruck and midfield coach. His first five seasons at the Dogs were spent with the midfielders, before he switched to the backline in 2017. Industry sources believe King would make a good senior coach "in the right set of circumstances" and that he has "enormous potential". Started the Level 4 coaching course last year. 

King is the darkhorse for the Kangaroos role. Picture: AFL Photos

John Longmire (Sydney)

Booted 511 goals for the Roos and was part of the 1999 premiership, so the nostalgia of a Longmire return to Arden Street is immense. But would he leave Sydney, where he coached the Swans to their most recent flag in 2012? Sydney is rebuilding after making the finals in 15 of the past 16 seasons, but still sits a win ahead of North Melbourne this year.

Brett Ratten (St Kilda)

The Ratten name is a constant on these types of lists. The former Carlton coach is already earning plaudits for the work he's done since joining the Saints, after departing the Hawks at the end of last season. Ratten was at Hawthorn for its 2013-15 flag three-peat and put together a solid record in charge of the Blues (59 wins, one draw, 56 losses) that hasn't been forgotten. 

Could Ratten juggle the job at North Melbourne? Picture: AFL Photos

Other candidates:

Adam Kingsley (Richmond)
Blake Caracella (Richmond)
Ben Rutten (Essendon)
Jade Rawlings (Melbourne)
Justin Longmuir (Collingwood)
Dean Solomon (Gold Coast)
Rhyce Shaw (North Melbourne)
Josh Drummond (Gold Coast)
Craig Jennings (Melbourne)
Daniel Giansiracusa (Western Bulldogs)

Senior coach changes since 2008
SeasonClubCoachTimingReasonReplaced by
2008BrisbaneLeigh MatthewsEnd of seasonStepped downMichael Voss
2009North MelbourneDean LaidleyDuring seasonSacked after four wins, eight losses for seasonDarren Crocker (interim)
RichmondTerry WallaceDuring seasonSacked after 37 wins, 60 losses, two drawsJade Rawlings (interim)
2010EssendonMatthew KnightsEnd of seasonSacked after 25 wins, 41 losses, one drawJames Hird
GeelongMark ThompsonEnd of seasonStepped downChris Scott
Port AdelaideMark WilliamsDuring seasonSacked with a 5-10 record in 2010 after missing finals in 2008-09Matthew Primus
SydneyPaul RoosEnd of seasonPre-planned hand over to John LongmireJohn Longmire
2011AdelaideNeil CraigDuring seasonSacked after four wins, 12 losses for seasonMark Bickley (interim)
CollingwoodMick MalthouseEnd of seasonPre-planned handover to Nathan BuckleyNathan Buckley
FremantleMark HarveyEnd of seasonSacked after missing finals with nine wins, 13 losses for seasonRoss Lyon
MelbourneDean BaileyDuring seasonSacked after 22 wins, 59 losses, 2 drawsTodd Viney (interim)
St KildaRoss LyonEnd of seasonResigned, joined Fremantle as senior coachScott Watters
Western BulldogsRodney EadeDuring seasonSacked after 7 wins, 12 losses for seasonPaul Williams (interim)
2012CarltonBrett RattenEnd of seasonSacked after missing finals in 2012Mick Malthouse
Port AdelaideMatthew PrimusDuring seasonSacked after 5 wins, 13 losses for seasonGarry Hocking (interim)
2013BrisbaneMichael VossDuring season8 wins, 11 losses for seasonMark Harvey (interim)
EssendonJames HirdDuring seasonSuspended by AFL with one game remaining in seasonSimon Goodwin (interim)
MelbourneMark NeeldDuring seasonSacked after 5 wins, 23 lossesNeil Craig (interim)
St KildaScott WattersEnd of seasonSacked after 17 wins, 27 losses, no finalsAlan Richardson
West CoastJohn WorsfoldEnd of seasonStepped downAdam Simpson
2014AdelaideBrenton SandersonEnd of seasonSacked after missing finals in 2013-14Phil Walsh
EssendonMark ThompsonEnd of seasonReplaced by James Hird returning from suspensionJames Hird
Gold CoastGuy McKennaEnd of seasonSacked after 24 wins, 64 losses, no finalsRodney Eade
Western BulldogsBrendan McCartneyEnd of seasonSacked after 20 wins, 46 lossesLuke Beveridge
2015CarltonMick MalthouseDuring seasonSacked after 1 win, 7 losses for seasonJohn Barker (interim)
EssendonJames HirdDuring seasonResigned after 5 wins, 14 losses for seasonMatthew Egan (interim)
2016BrisbaneJustin LeppitschEnd of seasonSacked after 14 wins, 52 lossesChris Fagan
MelbournePaul RoosEnd of seasonPre-planned handover to Simon GoodwinSimon Goodwin 
2017Gold CoastRodney EadeDuring seasonStepped down after board voted not to renew contractStuart Dew