In almost every team sport in the world, the head coach is the most important man in the side. The most important selection for a club to get right.
A good coach can drag a side from the depths of despair to the top of the tree and a bad coach can have the very opposite effect.
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The humble profession, nay, art of coaching has many pillars to be mastered, and how many of these a coach masters directly equates to his success.
Unfortunately, for the five coaches listed below, something has gone wrong at his club so far this season.
Not all these men are under the same amount of pressure and some will have more time to right the ship than others.
We look at which which coaches are under the pump the most heading into the second half of 2016, with our coaching pressure meter.
At 100% pressure, that meter bursts!
Ross Lyon – 25%
A lot of things have happened that have helped push the Fremantle Dockers off the edge of a cliff this year. Some of these are due to Ross Lyon, others are not, with the Dockers suffering from a horrendously long injury list.
Given the man’s track record at this club and others, one bad season, even as bad as this one, will not see him sacked, particularly after just recently signing a new five-year deal. Stranger things have happened though, and if this carries on into next year, watch this space.
Rodney Eade – 33%
In a move a highly divisive move, Rodney Eade was handed the reigns of the Gold Coast Suns 18 months ago, after Guy McKenna was given the boot.
The struggles of captain and future hall of famer Gary Ablett Jnr are well documented, with injuries cruelling his past two seasons, but with this much talent on the list, 7-26-1 under Eade is not good enough. But he will be given time to work it out.
Nathan Buckley – 50%
In what may be the most non-committal contract renewal of all-time, Nathan Buckley recently had his contract extended to the end of next year. That’s right, just one more year.
With club president Eddie McGuire publicly stating that Buckley would not be sacked, it seems that if he does not harvest results from this side by the end of 2017, there will not be another contract extension handed out.
Damien Hardwick – 50%
The Tigers have been mighty patient with Damien Hardwick since 2010, whose progress, while noted, has been slow, so much so that it seems anyone could have achieved what he has in the time given.
Hardwick was also recently given a contract extension, until the end of 2018, but one wonders that if a top four finish is not registered before then, he may also not be given a renewal.
Justin Leppitsch – 75%
In just over two years as head coach of the Lions, Justin Leppitsch has recorded seven wins, four wins, and currently one win this year. Fairly standard rebuilding results.
However, if this measly output carries on until the end of his contract, in 2017, which it looks likely that it will, Brisbane may opt to install a more experienced head coach to carry out the next phase of the rebuild.