Worsfold re-signs as West Coast coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Worsfold re-signs as West Coast coach

By Justin Chadwick 26/06/2009 07:55:44 PM Comments (0)

West Coast entertained the idea of replacing premiership coach John Worsfold but in the end it was an "easy" decision to re-sign him, according to Eagles chairman Mark Barnaba.

Worsfold's two-year extension, reportedly worth $1.5 million, will take his tenure to 10 years, equal to that of Mick Malthouse as the AFL club's longest serving coach.

But while Barnaba said the club had faith in Worsfold's ability to lead the Eagles to their next premiership, he did admit options were explored.

"It's not as if as a club you don't consider other options, we did," Barnaba said on Friday.

"We considered John the best option in light of those options.

"Two years was the term in the end we jointly agreed to, it was easy.

"It was John as much of the club that was comfortable with two years, which I think is a real vote of confidence by John in what he thinks he can achieve in that period."

Worsfold, who captained the Eagles to premierships in 1992 and 1994, took over from Ken Judge in 2002 and led the club to six straight finals series, including their grand final triumph in 2006.

But since losing Chris Judd and Ben Cousins at the end of 2007, the Eagles have won just seven of 34 games, including just three of 12 this season.

"There's a cycle in football. After six years in the finals, especially with extenuating circumstances last year, it's not unrealistic to expect that you are going to have to go through that cycle," Barnaba said.

"I think there's been improvement this year.

"He deserves to be backed and we feel confident where we are going."

While Worsfold has publicly declared he expects the club to be playing finals football again by 2011, Barnaba refused to speculate whether that was the benchmark Worsfold needed to achieve in order to earn another contract.

"I think we will cross that bridge when we get to it," he said.

"I'm not going to even cast my mind to what we need to consider in another two and a half years."

Worsfold was adamant his developing list has what it takes to challenge for a flag in the "near as possible future".

The 40-year-old is banking on youngsters Nic Naitanui, Scott Selwood, Jamie McNamara, Chris Masten, Brad Ebert, Mitchell Brown, Josh Kennedy, Eric Mackenzie, Ben McKinley, Luke Shuey, Tom Swift and Matt Spangher to combine with the club's established stars to transform the Eagles back into a genuine premiership contender.

"I suppose I would like our supporters to continue to look strongly at the squad of players we have and how exciting and talented they are and understand how hard they're working to improve and get themselves into that position," Worsfold said.

Captain Darren Glass said the player group had no doubt Worsfold was the right man for the job.

"John has enormous respect amongst the player group and I'm very confident he's the man to take us forward," Glass said.

"He's done it before and there's no doubt he can do it again."

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