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Why every AFL coach is safe in 2020

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17th August, 2020

The job security of AFL coaches is usually a hot topic at this point of the season.

Coaches are usually under pressure and teams that are struggling are looking to the future. Usually the coach is the first to go.

However, in 2020 it seems as though we may see all coaches retain their jobs. With the exception of John Worsfold, it looks as though no coach will face the sack.

Worsfold will obviously move aside for Ben Rutten to take the reins in 2021.

Coaches are benefiting from the reduced soft cap in 2021 and will also be helped by the financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on clubs. Teams will be hesitant to pay out a coaching contract unless they absolutely need to do so, but at the moment no-one is in dire need of a new start.

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Here’s a look at every coach and why they are safe.

Adelaide: Matthew Nicks
Adelaide are struggling but Nicks is in only his first year and deserves time to develop the youth at the Crows as as well build his own list. At this stage it is still the team he inherited from Don Pyke.

Brisbane: Chris Fagan
They are a genuine contender. Fagan has been terrific for the Lions and is in absolutely no danger at all.

Carlton: David Teague
Teague has brought drastic improvement to the Blues. They aren’t the finished product yet but they are all aboard the Teague train.

David Teague

(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Collingwood: Nathan Buckley
Buckley is set in stone. Collingwood are facing their struggles, but very little of that is Buckley’s fault. He has earnt some brownie points.

Essendon: John Worsfold
He’ll step away at season’s end via mutual agreement.


Fremantle: Justin Longmuir
He’s a new coach who has made a good impact. He won’t be going anywhere.

Geelong: Chris Scott
A premiership contender, there’s pressure on the Cats to perform in the finals, but I’m not sure that will affect Scott’s job.

Cats head coach Chris Scott enjoys winning

(Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Gold Coast: Stuart Dew
He’s recently signed a new deal and will be going nowhere. He’s doing a good job with the Suns.

Greater Western Sydney: Leon Cameron
He’s probably the most under-pressure coach in the league at the moment. Cameron needs to find something in this group. He may have earnt some time to fix the issues.

Hawthorn: Alastair Clarkson
He’s got tenure and will leave when he is ready despite Hawthorn’s struggles.

Melbourne: Simon Goodwin
He was under pressure a month ago but has found a spark in this team. His 2018 season has probably kept him safe for the past 18 months, but he will be good for now.

Simon Goodwin

(Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)


North Melbourne: Rhyce Shaw
He’s in charge of the rebuild. They need to and will back him in.

Port Adelaide: Ken Hinkley
He seemed doomed at the start of the season and needed to make finals to secure his job, and he’s now taken them to top of the ladder. Safe!

Richmond: Damien Hardwick
Dimma is safe as houses, with two premierships in three years. No worries there.

St Kilda: Brett Ratten
A new coach who’s taken the team to heights unexpected so early. If he keeps going this way, he seems locked in for a long time.

Sydney: John Longmire
He’s blooded a lot of kids and has the backing of everyone in Sydney, and deservedly so. He’s in no danger.


West Coast: Adam Simpson
A premiership contender, Simpson has got the Eagles back to their best after hub life. Nothing to see here.

Western Bulldogs: Luke Beveridge
Bevo is the darling of the west. The Dogs have been wildly inconsistent since their 2016 premiership, but Bevo has the support of the higher-ups at the Dogs.