North Melbourne assistant Xavier Clarke is keen to become an AFL senior coach in the future, but the Roos' new forwards guru isn't rushing for a top job following his shortcomings in the recent Richmond coaching race.

Clarke was one of several candidates who progressed into the final stages of the Tigers' search for Damien Hardwick's successor, with Melbourne assistant Adem Yze eventually appointed to the role in September.

Yze edged out Clarke, former Richmond captain Chris Newman and caretaker coach Andrew McQualter, with the latter heading to the Demons to fill Yze's vacancy.

Newman decided to join the Tigers despite missing out on his maiden senior coaching role in the top flight, with Clarke departing Punt Road for Arden Street after seven years under Hardwick.

Moving from one champion coach to another, Clarke is now working alongside four-time premiership mentor Alastair Clarkson at North Melbourne as he takes the next step in his coaching journey.

Clarke took needed learnings from the coaching process with Richmond, which he is now hoping places him in good stead with the Kangaroos.

"I learnt a lot personally. Where my gaps are and where I need to improve," Clarke said of the Tigers coaching search when speaking to media on Friday.

"It was a great process to go through. It was pretty daunting but it was really good for me to do that and then land where I am now and know what I need to work on.

"It's just made me a better coach, to be able to reflect. Hopefully I'm starting to implement that stuff at North.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 13: Xavier Clarke, Assistant Coach of the Kangaroos in action during the North Melbourne Kangaroos training session at Arden Street on November 13, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"The reality is you're going for the biggest job interview of your life (during the process). You want to do the best you possibly can, you prepare hours on end on what that looks like.

"You're never sure what's going to come across the table, but overall it was a great process."

Clarke's unsuccessful candidacy hasn't hindered his dream to become a senior coach, with the 40-year-old seeing his end at Tigerland as a stepping stone in his career.

The former St Kilda and Brisbane midfielder said he'll "certainly put my hand up" for a top job in the future, but is in no rush to run again.

"It's an aspiration, there's no doubt," Clarke added.

"You want to continue to improve and get to as high as you possibly can. I'm in no rush.

"I've been lucky enough to coach the VFL, NEAFL, about eight years as an assistant and now I get to learn under Clarko over the next few years.

"I'll continue to develop my pathway and skills, and then hopefully when the time does come I'm ready.

"I'll certainly put my hand up at some point in time."

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18: Xavier Clarke #3 for the Saints in action during the round thirteen AFL match between The St.Kilda Saints and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Telstra Dome on June 18, 2004 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Joining a new-look and young coaching contingent under Clarkson ahead of the 2024 season, Clarke has enjoyed the "refreshing" start to life with the Kangaroos.

With an extensive list of Clarkson's previous disciples - a cohort including Hardwick and Yze - going on to land senior coaching roles, Clarke has found himself working with the best mentor possible to further his coaching career.

The Darwin native said the thought of building toward success with a raw North Melbourne group was a tantalising prospect.

"It's been a nice little change-up," he said.

"The whole club in general is in a really good spot. Great board, support staff and leaders around the footy club.

"We're on an upward trend and the players are really buying into that. It's been really refreshing to see a young group really dip in and improve.

"The opportunity to come to a club like North, but also to work with one of the most successful coaches, was really exciting for me personally. [Clarkson] has been fantastic. He's let assistants and development coaches take a lot of the pre-season training. That's been really good.

"Now I'm really looking forward to gameday and taking this group to where we need to be.

"... Like players you want to improve by seeing what other opportunities are out there. Hopefully I can go on a journey with these boys. I thought if we can get this club going in the direction it needs to be that it'd be great to be part of that journey. it'd be great for my development as well."

Clarke and the Kangaroos will face GWS at GIANTS Stadium to open their new campaign in Round 1.