Brett Ratten has thanked North Melbourne for allowing him to "say goodbye" to senior coaching after announcing he will be departing the AFL club.
Ratten was unceremoniously axed as St Kilda coach in October, 2022 just months after signing a contract extension.
The 52-year-old joined North Melbourne as a part-time assistant later that year and was unexpectedly thrust into the head coach's role in May when Alastair Clarkson took extended leave to focus on his mental and physical health.
Although Ratten wasn't able to lead North to victory in his 10 games in charge, he came close against Sydney (three points), Essendon (six), St Kilda (eight) and West Coast (five points).
Clarkson returned for the last four games of the season with North Melbourne's final-round win over Gold Coast ensuring they avoided a third straight wooden spoon.
Ratten's stint at the helm of North Melbourne took his career coaching tally to 198 games across stints at Carlton, St Kilda and the Kangaroos.
The veteran coach isn't sure what is next on the agenda for him, but he's open to something new.
“When I accepted the role at North Melbourne, my plan was to come in and help the club in any way I could for 12 months,” Ratten said in a statement on Friday.
“While the role ended up different to the one I initially took on, I’ve loved my time here.
“Stepping in as interim coach gave me the opportunity to say goodbye to senior coaching, which is something I’m grateful for.
“In terms of what the future looks like, I’m not sure yet. I love the game and I’m certainly open to new opportunities.”
After finishing his stint as interim coach of North Melbourne with a five-point loss to West Coast in round 20, Ratten doubted whether he would ever get the chance to be a senior AFL coach again.
"I did say it felt a bit like the Dumb and Dumber scene where he looks at the good looking girl and says, 'I'm a chance - one in a million'," Ratten said.
"That's what it feels like going forward. It would be very surprising. And I've really got not that much ambition to be a senior coach.
"I'm on 198 and Jonny Bairstow has just ripped the bails off and I'm about that far short."