MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: Emma Kearney of the Bulldogs poses with the AFLW Medal the 2018 AFW Awards at The Peninsula on March 27, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Western Bulldogs premiership player and reigning AFLW best and fairest winner, Emma Kearney, will join the inaugural North Melbourne women’s team next season.

After recent weeks of speculation, North Melbourne confirmed on Wednesday that the dual Bulldogs club champion will be joining their side for 2019.

Due to North Melbourne being a start-up club in 2019, the Bulldogs will not receive anything in return for Kearney.

The 28-year-old will also work full time at the club in their community department as the sport and recreation co-ordinator, giving up her coaching role at the AFL.

Laura Kane, football operations manager for North Melbourne, said Kearney was someone they sought out to get to the club for their debut season.

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“We’re rapt that Emma has nominated North and sees her future at Arden Street. We look forward to finalising her move here when the AFL’s rules on player movement are confirmed,” Kane told Fairfax media.

“We identified Emma very early on as someone we wanted at North Melbourne and she will commence employment here soon, with player terms to be agreed in the coming weeks.”

Kearney also has a strong association with the Melbourne University Football Club which Kane is the president of.

The dual sports player also plays for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League but has decided that AFLW will now be her main focus.

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