MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 31: Interim coach of the Kangaroos Rhyce Shaw looks on during the round 11 AFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Richmond Tigers at Marvel Stadium on May 31, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

North Melbourne coach Rhyce Shaw has taken an extended leave of absence from the club for personal reasons.

The 38-year old will likely be absent from the Kangaroos during the upcoming trade and draft period and may not return to his role.

It is believed that Shaw needs a break after the tough hub circumstances of the 2020 season.

Kangaroos chairman Ben Buckley provided club members with an update on Shaw’s future in an email.

“Rhyce has asked for some time and space away from football and we have provided him support during this period,” Buckley said.

“We thank the media for their ongoing co-operation and trust they understand we can’t make any further comment at this time.

“In the meantime we will forge ahead. From a board perspective, our decision-making centres around one ambition: how we can build a team and a football program that will win our fifth flag.”

Shaw’s mental wellbeing has been the club’s number one priority since the season ended, but have been working through potential contingencies around the coaching job, reportsĀ AFL Media’sĀ Damian Barrett.

North are in talks with Paul Roos to join the club in a part-time leadership mentoring role, while long-time Swans assistant John Blakey will return Arden Street.

The club has reportedly privately accepted that if Shaw returns he will not be senior coach again.

Barrett reports that the Port Adelaide assistant Michael Voss is a “person of interest” for their senior coach vacancy.

Shaw took over the senior coaching role at North Melbourne this season after a successful caretaker stint in the second half of 2019.