AFLW star Kearney becomes men's coach

Trailblazing AFLW star Emma Kearney is joining four-time AFL premiership mastermind Alastair Clarkson's coaching group at North Melbourne.

Kearney, who will captain the Kangaroos in their AFLW semi-final against Richmond on Saturday, has been hired as a development coach for the rebuilding men's team at Arden St.

Kearney is excited by the prospect of combining her love for football and education.

The 33-year-old is a qualified teacher, a professional background Clarkson has famously loved his assistant coaches to have across an almost two-decade career.

"The ability to work with some of the greatest coaches including Alastair Clarkson was a big reason why I wanted to take on the challenge," Kearney said.

"As an educator I really enjoy working with young people and helping them out.

"Sometimes people forget that footballers, particularly when they come into the system, are young people.

"I feel like I'm going to enjoy working with some young boys and helping them be as successful as they possibly can."

Kearney is the only AFLW player to make all six All-Australian teams and she has been nominated in this season's squad as well.

Now playing halfback, she has captained North since they joined the league in 2019.

She played in the Western Bulldogs' 2018 premiership side before switching to the Kangaroos.

Kearney is one of the first AFLW players to make the switch across into men's coaching. Melbourne captain Daisy Pearce is set to join Chris Scott's team at Geelong when she retires from playing, likely at the end of this season.

"Emma has been and continues to be an outstanding leader in our AFLW program, she lives and breathes the club values and is committed to becoming better in whatever she does," North football boss Todd Viney said.

"Emma's sporting achievements speak volumes, her football nous teamed with her extensive experience in education make her the perfect fit for this role."

Clarkson started his job at North on November 2 despite a panel investigating serious claims of racism at Hawthorn between 2008 and 2016.

Clarkson and Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan are key figures in the Hawthorn investigation.

Both men strongly deny all claims made against them.