Adam Simpson’s former club North Melbourne will go “hell for leather” to try and poach the embattled West Coast coach, but money could be what stops his Kangaroos homecoming, according to a leading AFL journalist.
Simpson’s Eagles have endured a dismal start to the season, sitting dead last with a 9-1 record and have been plagued by off-field issues, causing growing speculation over his future at the struggling club.
But Kangaroos coach David Noble’s position also appears to be hanging by a thread in just his second season at the club.
Noble was forced to apologize to his players after what they felt was an overly aggressive post-match address and North Melbourne are the only other team to have won just one game – that came against a West Coast side featuring WAFL top-up players.
Caroline Wilson told Channel 9’s Footy Classified on Monday night Simpson’s tenuous future at the Eagles looms over Noble and that North are likely to try and lure the Eagles’ premiership mentor to the club in the off-season.
“You have got the specter of Adam Simpson, who is really struggling at West Coast at the moment, has coached them to a flag, but who could be coming to the end of his tenure there – not contractually, but things are not going well , ”She said.
“(He is a) North Melbourne man, we know David King has been desperate to get him back there in the past, and Glenn Archer.”
Wilson said the club’s Hip-E Club saga, where seven Eagles attended a Perth nightspot amid the club’s COVID crisis and decimated playing stocks, indicated it might be time for the two to “break their relationship”.
But she says money could be what stops Simpson returning to his former club.
“You can not imagine Adam Simpson going from the richest club in the AFL to the poorest – I hate to be brutal – but one of the poorest,” Wilson said.
I could (see him not coaching next season), because I think Adam Simpson has a big future somewhere and it might not be in footy.
“But I know North Melbourne will be going hell for leather to get him back to their footy club.”
The Eagles have 60,000 more members than North Melbourne, who announced they were debt free for the first time in more than three decades last year.
North had the lowest attendance average of any club in the competition last season, while the Eagles boasted the third greatest.
On Tuesday, three key members of the club’s recruiting staff, including highly-regarded list manager Glenn Luff resigned, leading its greatest ever player, Wayne Carey, to describe North as a “broken” club.
“This is as low as this football club has been since I’ve known it,” Carey said on Triple M.
“The really worrying part for me is… North Melbourne footy club thinks everything is OK.
“I do not think they are being completely honest. There is too much going on. “You do not have people just resigning for no reason.”
Former Roo David King said during an impassioned appearance on Fox Footy’s AFL 360 his former club was a “country footy club playing AFL” and that the situation unfolding was “hard to watch”.
Meanwhile, Simpson and long-time West Coast chief executive Trevor Nisbett have received the backing of Australian cricket legend and Eagles board member Justin Langer.
“As an ex-coach and an ex-player, if you take your best players out of your team, it is very difficult; if you take your best executives out of the office, it is very difficult to be performing at the same level, ”Langer told a WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry event on Wednesday.
“The clubs in good shape. The results have been poor, they’re very aware of that, and they’re working very hard.
“They’ve got some good senior players, and hopefully, the results will turn around because they’re a great football club. They had over 106,000 members last year – people do not join a rubbish organization. ”
Simpson joined his players on the training track at Mineral Resources Park on Monday, showing his lethal left foot during drills just days after former Melbourne great David Schwarz warned him he needed to get harder on his players.
The Eagles’ tough on-field stretch is likely to continue when they face last year’s grand finalists the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium.
They are looking to snap a run of six consecutive defeats by 50 or more points.