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The Roar


The AFL coaching massacre isn't done yet

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Roar Guru
14th August, 2019
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In 2019 we have seen the departure of three coaches before the end of the AFL season – and the massacre isn’t over.

There are still three or four coaches who will be given their marching orders.

After Round 10, Brad Scott officially bid farewell to North Melbourne – he knew that after nine years and two preliminary finals, his position was no longer tenable.

One week later, the media circus arrived at Ikon Park for the sacking of Carlton coach Brendon Bolton after one win from 11 games.

Next, Alan Richardson resigned as St Kilda coach, aware he wasn’t going to survive beyond 2019 either.

It’s been eight years since we’ve seen six changes in the coaching ranks – in 2011 we said goodbye to Neil Craig, Dean Bailey, Rodney Eade, the controversial Mark Harvey, Ross Lyon, as well as the departure of Mick Malthouse at the conclusion of the 2011 grand final.


Yet we may see seven in 2019.

John Worsfold will be gone from Essendon by season’s end, despite his denial about a meeting with club officials about having to turn it around in the last two weeks.

Coach of the Bombers John Worsfold

John Worsfold (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

Fremantle this weekend and Collingwood in Round 23 are almost mission impossible for the embattled Bombers coach, and with Blake Caracella returning to the Dons for the first time in 15 years, he could become the man to lead the club out of their finals drought.

I’ve been strong on this next one – Ken Hinkley is seeing his final days as Port Adelaide’s coach.

Hinkley was earlier linked with a move to Carlton, which he strongly denied, but has been under pressure to finally take Port to success. If the Power get knocked out in Week 1 of the finals again – or miss the eight completely – do not be surprised if president David Koch sacks Hinkley and gives the coaching job to Michael Voss (who is favourite to take the Blues gig).

Don Pyke is another who won’t last if Adelaide make a poor showing of the finals, but with Carlton still failing to appoint David Teague as coach, the Crows are monitoring the situation closely.

Teague could be the man Adelaide look at if they decide to sack Pyke, with the club having failed to recovere since the 2017 decider, and Josh Jenkins and Tex Walker under intense scrutiny with a rebuild on the cards.


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There is no way the Dockers coach survives another season. Ross Lyon will be moved on at season’s end after again missing out on finals for the fourth straight year, and failing to rebuild the squad in the allotted time he was given.

Lyon has been linked to Carlton and could also look at returning to Saints, who he betrayed in 2011 to take the Fremantle position, leading to Mark Harvey getting sacked without knowing.

Lyon has failed the Dockers and Peter Sumich is the man in the box seat to take over.


These four will have the microscope on them over the last fortnight because, regardless of results, the coaching massacre of 2019 isn’t done yet.