West Coast coach Adam Simpson has boldly put his foot down to stop questions surrounding his future during a press conference featuring retiring club greats Luke Shuey and Shannon Hurn.
Simpson fronted up to media after his side’s 45-point final round loss to Adelaide where the club bid farewell to both captain Shuey and premiership captain Hurn, alongside injured ruck Nic Naitanui.
And he sat alongside Shuey and Hurn for the conference on Saturday night, determined to speak on the legacy his players had left on the club.
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But just six minutes in, the first question came about Simpson’s future – as rumours of his imminent departure continue to grow.
“You can’t ask him that question, seriously,” Simpson said when Shuey was asked if he approved of the massive fan support the coach received during the loss to Adelaide and if he wanted to see him stay on.
When pressed moments later on whether he needed an answer on his future as soon as possible, Simpson was undaunted as he refused to speculate on what decision the club will make.
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“I don’t think tonight’s the night to talk about my role,” he said.
“We’ll talk Monday – but there’s no press conference so we won’t be talking.
“We’ll work through it.
“From here on, I’m not sure what happens. I’m contracted so we’ll see how it plays out.”
When a journalist attempted to ask another question on his future, Simpson replied: “You’re not going to ask another question about this are you?”
“I’ve been talking to you for 10 years,” he said to the journalist.
“I’ve been as honest as I can and I really don’t want to make it about me if that’s OK.”
Shuey did answer the earlier question about the support for Simpson.
“The resilience that he’s shown this year for us and every week, as much as the external noise has been a bit silly at times, it’s been about what do I need to do as a coach to get the best out of my playing group. And the players have certainly recognised that,” he said.
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Speculation continues to grow that the Eagles will part ways with their premiership coach after claiming their second wooden spoon in club history (after the first in 2010).
It was a horror 2023 season for West Coast where they managed just three wins amid a shocking injury toll, and conceded a record five 100+ point losses.
Reports emerged last week of an “informal” board meeting before two West Coat Eagles powerbrokers then backed in Adam Simpson for 2024.
The club has maintained no decision on Simpson would be made until the season’s end, with the 2018 premiership coach contracted until the end of 2025.
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