Kangaroos part ways with assistants Blakey and Brown

Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS

The cleanout of assistants at North Melbourne has continued, with John Blakey and Gavin Brown the latest to depart the AFL club.

Caretaker coach Brett Ratten announced earlier this month that he had decided to leave the Kangaroos to pursue other opportunities.

Ratten led the side for 10 games this year during a period in which head coach Alastair Clarkson stepped away to focus on his mental and physical health.

Brown and Blakey will join Ratten out the door in what the Kangaroos have labelled a mutual parting of ways.

Blakey notched 224 games for North Melbourne and featured in the club's 1996 and 1999 premierships.

His coaching career took him to Brisbane and then to Sydney, where he spent 14 seasons working under former teammate John Longmire.

Blakey returned to Arden St ahead of the 2021 season as a senior assistant, a role he has held for the past three seasons.

Brown departs after 10 seasons, having first joined North Melbourne in November 2013 as senior development coach.

He was promoted to head of development in late 2019 - a role he has held across the past five seasons.

"After conversations with 'Blakes' and 'Browny', we have agreed to mutually part ways," North Melbourne's general manager of football Todd Viney said in a statement.

"These decisions are never taken lightly, but the time is right for all parties to move forward in new directions.

"Blakes and Browny have been outstanding contributors to our club and they leave as highly respected individuals. We wish them well as they look to take on new opportunities within the industry."

As it stands, Leigh Adams, Brent Harvey, Emma Kearney, Tom Lynch and Jordan Russell remain on North's coaching staff.

The Kangaroos only narrowly avoided a third consecutive wooden spoon this year after pulling off an upset victory over Gold Coast in the final round.

Meanwhile, Geelong have released assistant Shaun Grigg from the final year of his contract so he can link with new Gold Coast coach Damien Hardwick.

Grigg played under Hardwick for nine seasons at Richmond, and has now joined his former mentor at Gold Coast after spending the past four seasons on Geelong's coaching staff.

In other news, the Western Bulldogs announced the departure of development coach Travis Varcoe, who had been at the club for three seasons.

And West Coast have told defender Luke Foley that he won't be offered a contract for 2024.