North Shore has engaged former Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney for a high-performance program, as it leaves no stone unturned in returning an under-18 team to the field.
The Seagulls last fielded a Colts team in 2019, winning the AFL Barwon under-19 division three premierships.
However, a combination of local football’s pause for COVID-19 and a lack of numbers has conspired against North Shore having a team at the top of the underage pathway.
Former players Mitch Bone and Mario Arcoraci have been appointed coach and assistant coach, respectively.
Senior coach Darren Winter says a steering committee is working hard behind the scenes to get an under-18 team on the park in 2024.
“A lot of our effort’s gone into getting our under-18s up,” he said.
“We know the most important thing for the club right now is to get that stream of players coming through to our senior group.
“There’s a lot of time and effort being put in by the steering committee.”
The program with McCartney, renowned for his work in player development, is open to players from all clubs at under-16 and under-18 levels.
It starts on Wednesday, 29 November and will also be held on December 6, 13 and 20 before pausing for the Christmas break.
“It’s a high-performance program, and that’s open to all (under-)16 and (under-)18 players,” Winter said.
“The big thing we hope to be able to do is find some talent that’s been missed throughout the process of picking guys for the (Geelong) Falcons and that sort of stuff.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to get a hidden gem.
“It’s not specific to the northern suburbs – it’s open to any of the kids who want to come along and have the expertise of Brendan McCartney shone on them.”