John Worsfold has signed a three-year deal to become the new senior coach at AFL club Essendon.
The 47-year-old was officially announced as James Hird’s replacement this morning after he stood down earlier this year following the Bombers troubled 2015 season.
Worsfold coached West Coast to the 2006 premiership with his 12-year tenure there coming to an end at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
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“I never lost the passion (for coaching) but I was tired,” Worsfold said on Monday.
“It’s what I love doing.”
Most recently, he filled in as coaching director at Adelaide following the death of Crows coach Phil Walsh.
“I’m excited to begin the next chapter in my coaching career with the Essendon football club,” Worsfold said in a statement.
“Ask anyone who’s coached at senior level and they’ll tell you the passion to coach never leaves you.
“My time away from the cut and thrust of senior coaching only increased my appetite to return.
“Once my family gave me their blessing to pursue the job at Essendon, I fully committed myself to the process and I’m extremely fortunate to have been chosen ahead of a number of quality coaches.
“Essendon is a club that I’ve watched from afar and you can see they have the makings of a very good side.
“It’s clear they have a talented group of young men on their list, and now my job is to ensure they maximise their potential.”
Former Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney and Collingwood assistant Scott Burns were also short-listed for the position, but Worsfold was always understood to be the favoured candidate by the Bombers’ board.
Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell chaired the coaching sub-committee.
“We had a really strong field of candidates who applied for the senior coaching position,” Campbell said.
“Following a thorough and extensive interview process, John established himself as the standout candidate.”
Ex-Gold coast coach Guy McKenna – who played alongside Worsfold in the Eagles’ 1992 and 1994 premiership sides – is likely to be offered a position on a new-look Bombers coaching panel.
The Bombers have been in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons for the last three years due to the ongoing supplements scandal which rocked the club.
The World Anti-Doping Agency will appeal the decision of the AFL anti-doping tribunal not to sanction 34 past and present Essendon players at a Court of Arbitration hearing in Sydney in November.
Worsfold said he hoped everyone at Essendon would soon be able to put the saga behind them, while acknowledging that it seemed as though the Bombers players “haven’t had the love for the game they should have had” at times in the past three years.
The Bombers won only six matches in 2015 and finished 15th on the ladder.