North Melbourne are close to announcing their inaugural AFLW coach, with Carlton assistant Scott Gowans expected to be confirmed in the job.
The Roos don’t enter the league until 2019, but are understood to be well advanced in some of their decision-making. It’s understood this includes the appointment of Gowans, who was part of the Blues’ panel under senior coach Damien Keeping in the first season of the women’s league this year, helping Carlton to a fourth-place finish with three wins, three losses and a draw.
Hannah Mouncey will not be allowed to nominate for the AFLW draft after the AFL rejected her bid.
Gowans, highly rated in women’s football circles, has also been the coach of Diamond Creek in the VFL women’s league, taking the Creekers to the grand final, where they lost to powerhouse Darebin Falcons.
He has also coached the AFL Victoria Country youth girls team, as well as leading local club Longwarry.
Due to North’s affiliation with Melbourne University women’s football club, there had been a view Andrew Jago – who coached that club in 2017 – would get the North role. However Jago is understood to have fallen out of favour, leaving Gowans in the box seat.
North, along with Geelong, were last month granted licenses for the first round of AFLW expansion, with the competition set to expand to 10 clubs in 2019. The Roos’ bid was made jointly with Tasmania, with the club set to play some home games in the Apple Isle. The four existing Victorian clubs – Carlton, Collingwood, Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs – will need to give up between two and four players each to the expansion clubs under a player ratings points scheme revealed last week by Fairfax Media.
Gold Coast, West Coast, Richmond and St Kilda are also set to enter the competition in 2020. Hawthorn and Essendon unsuccessfully bid to enter the league, while Port Adelaide and Sydney opted not to bid.