MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Dustin Martin of the Tigers (R) and assistant coach Ben Rutten during a Richmond Tigers AFL training session at Punt Road Oval on September 22, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Essendon are looking to stoke up on their coaching panel for 2019, and seem to be setting their sights on Richmond’s assistant coach Ben Rutten.

The highly-rated assistant coach is yet to put pen and paper at the Tigers, but it’s understood by the club is keen to keep him on.

Rutten, 35, has been rated to be tactically astute, fully measured and he has been praised for his terrific relationships with his core defensive group.

Essendon have a coaching vacancy due to the departure of Mark Neeld earlier on in the season, with the Bombers football boss Dan Richardson fighting hard for Rutten’s signature after previously working with him at Punt Road.

If current Bombers coach John Worsfold was to leave the club at the end of his 2020 contract, it is believed Rutten could be the man to take over the reigns given his ‘senior-coach-in-waiting’ status.

Rutten seems to be possibly weighing up all his options before committing to any club, as his focus is on Richmond featuring heavily into September and chasing back-to-back premiership glory.

The former Adelaide player isn’t the only assistant coach being sought after as many AFL clubs look to offload, gain and switch up their coaching staffs for 2019 and beyond.