PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 20: Dockers head coach Ross Lyon looks on while walking from the field during the round 18 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Sydney Swans at Optus Stadium on July 20, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

North Melbourne legend David King has predicted that Ross Lyon will return to AFL coaching in 2022.

One of the highest regarded coaches of the modern era, Lyon has overseen 305 games for St Kilda and Fremantle from 2007 to 2019, reaching three grand finals during that period, four including the 2010 replay.

The 54-year old took a year out of the game in 2020 and took up media commitments instead.

However, speaking on SEN radio, King believes it is only a matter of time before Lyon is in charge of an AFL side again.

“The pressure (on coaches) goes up another 10 per cent when there’s someone in the waiting, ready to come back into coaching,” the dual premiership Kangaroo said on SEN’s Whateley.

“I’ve got no doubt that Ross will be coaching in 2022. No doubt.

“He’s had a couple of seasons off now, refreshed, re-energised, see the game from a different lens, his understanding of how to work with people doesn’t change, his knowledge of the game is clearly top of the pack and he’ll be heavily sought after, it’s just a matter of at what point.

“We’ve seen what this does. When there’s someone sitting on the sidelines, the rush to get first crack at that person, it becomes really strong. Was it the Michael Voss signature of half a dozen years ago?

“That sort of occurrence, I think is right up 2021’s alley.

“There may be two or three clubs that may not be underperforming massively, but the expectation is so high … Carlton has to make finals, Melbourne has to make finals, where does Nathan Buckley have to finish?

“There’s those discussions that will come. Everyone wants to take about Leon Cameron, I think the Victorian-based teams will suit the family side of things, he’s moved the whole family back to Melbourne.

“I’m not talking for Ross, but Ross in the wings puts another element of pressure on these coaches that are already in the cauldron.”

PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 25: Dockers coach Ross Lyon addresses Lachie Neale at the three quarter time break during the AFL First Preliminary Final match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Hawthorn Hawks at Domain Stadium on September 25, 2015 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Media/Getty Images)

It begs the question – which club would be the most realistic landing spot for him?

As King pointed out, David Teague could come under the pump if the Blues don’t make the eight in a season where expectations have never been higher.

Melbourne’s preliminary final run was now three years ago and the Demons have been in oblivion ever since under Simon Goodwin.

And with Eddie McGuire out at Collingwood and Nathan Buckley in a contract year, the long-standing Magpies coach feels as vulnerable as ever.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 20: Magpies head coach Nathan Buckley speaks to media during a Collingwood Magpies AFL training session at Holden Centre on March 20, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Asked by fellow AFL great Tim Watson on SEN Breakfast this morning which coach he believes is the most under pressure this year, Garry Lyon responded: “Buckley, Goodwin and (Leon) Cameron.”

Coming off a grand final appearance in 2019, the Giants failed to make the eight last year and lost several key players in the off-season, including Jeremy Cameron and Zac Williams.

Will the pressure valve get turned up on Leon Cameron if his men fail to feature in September for a second consecutive year?

Where do you think Ross Lyon would be best suited to coaching in 2022?