While the world of professional soccer is no stranger to head coaches coming and going during a season, the same can’t be said in the AFL. In 2019, however, the AFL has seen three head coaches leave their position during the year – and there could be a number of others set for the chop before the end of the home and away season. The focus for many clubs might be on the upcoming finals, but the rest will already be planning for next year, including who’ll be their head coach.
Who’s already gone?
Brad Scott’s nine-year stay at North Melbourne came to an end after round 10, when the 42-year old resigned from his position after a dismal run of form for the Kangaroos. Just a week later and Carlton coach, Brendon Bolton, became the first head coach sacked from his job after a run of only one win from 11 matches. Alan Richardson fell on his sword as St Kilda coach, aware he had the choice of jumping before he was pushed, after a disappointing campaign.
Who could be saying goodbye?
John Worsfold (Essendon)
Despite the Bombers turning things around in recent weeks, it’s almost certain Worsfold will be gone by the end of the season. Currently sitting at 80/1 with the latest Aussie Rules betting odds to go all the way this year, Essendon want to be much closer to the top of the ladder, and it doesn’t seem as though Worsfold will be the man to take them there.
Ken Hinkley: Port Adelaide
Much of Hinkley’s future in Adelaide could depend on how Port Adelaide performs in the finals. Having been linked with a move to Carlton earlier in the season, it may be that Hinkley walks straight into a new job, with Michael Voss – himself linked with the Blues position – believed to be on Port Adelaide president David Koch’s radar.
Don Pyke: Adelaide
It could be a double change in Adelaide this year with Don Pyke’s position at the Adelaide Oval looking extremely precarious, especially if they don’t make, or perform well in, the finals. After a disappointing couple of seasons, it does feel as though the Crows could do with a change. It’s been a dramatic change in fortunes for Pyke and Adelaide since earning minor premiership honours in 2017, and that grand final loss to Richmond seems to have been the moment everything began to go downhill.
Ross Lyon: Fremantle
It’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Dockers don’t move on Ross Lyon at the end of this season. Having missed out on the finals for a fourth straight year, it’s time to rebuild this club from the bottom up, including their long-serving head coach. Lyon has been linked with a move to Carlton in recent weeks, with Peter Sumich being the man tipped by many to most likely to take over at the Dockers.
Not since 2011 has the AFL seen six head coach changes during a year but, by the looks of things, there may be seven in 2019. While not all these coaches will be losing their jobs, it does look set to be another fascinating summer.