Rebuilding North Melbourne have landed the highly-regarded John Blakey as a senior AFL assistant to help under-fire coach Rhyce Shaw.
The Kangaroos on Monday confirmed the return of Blakey to Arden St, who played 224 games for the club between 1993 and 2002.
After 15 seasons in various coaching roles at Sydney, the two-time North premiership player will move back to Melbourne ahead of next season.
He has served as a coaching director and head of development at the Swans since 2015.
"It's really exciting to have John return to Arden St," Kangaroos football manager Brady Rawlings said.
"We know the club has a special place in his heart and he knows what this club is all about.
"He's tasted the ultimate success as both a player and coach, and there is no doubt he will be a tremendous asset to our club."
Blakey is a replacement for Jade Rawlings, who was let go after just one season as a senior assistant.
He was among a raft of changes announced by North last week, with assistant Jarred Moore, development coach Heath Scotland, head of football performance Jason Lappin, ruck coach Will Minson and academy coach Michael Firrito also not returning next year.
Blakey and Shaw previously worked together at the Swans after the latter made an immediate move into coaching following the end of his playing career in 2015.
North are determined to give 38-year-old Shaw as much off-field support as possible as the club prepares to rebuild its struggling list.
After winning seven of 12 games as a caretaker coach at the end of 2019, Shaw's second season ended in turmoil as the Kangaroos won just three games and narrowly avoided the wooden spoon.
North are preparing to trade key forward Ben Brown, who was the club's leading goal-kicker from 2016 to 2019, and veteran midfielder Shaun Higgins.