Fremantle have six of Ross Lyon’s assistants without a contract for next season, with changes to be made to the coaching panel at season’s end.
The Dockers have already told development coach Brent Guerra that he will not be given a contract for 2020, while five others – assistants Simon Eastaugh and Michael Prior, development coaches Roger Hayden and Adam Read and the coach of the club’s WAFL affiliate Peel Thunder, Cam Shepherd – have not yet been told whether they will be offered a position.
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon.Credit:Fairfax
As new football boss Peter Bell reviews the coaching department, the expectation is that the Dockers will make two to three changes to the coaching panel, replacing Guerra and one or two others.
Six assistants is a large number to be up in the air at a club where the senior coach has a contract for next season, though the Dockers have staggered some of their coaching contracts.
Under the AFL Coaches’ Association protocol, assistants are supposed to have their futures clarified by August 1.
Guerra was informed he wouldn’t be kept on after he sought an answer from the club.
Fremantle chief executive Steve Rosich has declared that Lyon will remain senior coach for 2020, the final year of a four-year contract extension.
The Dockers want to canvass their options for assistant coaches before deciding whether to offer the relevant coaches contracts. Sources suggested the club wasn’t planning a massive clean-out, with measured rather than wholesale change anticipated.
Carlton also have held off informing some assistant coaches whether they would be retained, on the grounds that they have to wait until they have a senior coach installed before making those calls.
St Kilda are in a similar position, though like Carlton’s caretaker David Teague, interim coach Brett Ratten is contracted for next season and could stay on if he does not win the job. Ratten will be interviewed by the Saints this week as the club steps up their coach-search process.
The Dockers have spoken to midfielder Brad Hill about him exploring a trade to a Melbourne club. Fremantle have said that they expect Hill – contracted for two more years – to stay with the club, which is in competition for Geelong’s out-of-contract Tim Kelly, who may again seek a trade to West Coast or Fremantle for family reasons.
St Kilda has been a strong suitor for Bradley Hill, whose brother Stephen is a free agent and can cross to the club of his choice, while the Dockers are trying to re-sign wingman Ed Langdon, who has been weighing up a return to Melbourne.
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