West Coast coach Adam Simpson during the loss to Fremantle in round 22, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

WEST Coast coach Adam Simpson has sought direction within the club about the security of his position beyond this season and expects the board to provide further clarity in the next two weeks.

The Eagles are under mounting pressure to make a decision on Adam Simpson's future beyond 2023 after a fifth loss this season by more than 100 points cast doubt on the board's support for the premiership coach.

Simpson is contracted to the end of 2025 and has remained steadfast that he would not walk away from his contract and the job of continuing a rebuild with a list that will be significantly younger in 2024.

But a dispiriting 101-point Western Derby loss, that included 17 unanswered Fremantle goals, has again placed Simpson's future under the microscope as the Eagles prepare for a raft of key off-season decisions. 

Simpson said it was important for the club to have clarity about the senior coaching position as it seeks to fill other key off-field posts and make list management decisions.

"Getting clarity about what it looks like in the future and making sure you're still a part of it is important. That'll come in the next week or so," Simpson told Perth radio station 6PR on Thursday night.

"I haven't asked the board, but I've spoken to a few people at the club to get some direction. I'm not stamping my feet.

"It's more when we do all of this future planning, you want to be there if you're recruiting people or employing staff. That clarity is important.

"At the same time, I fully respect the board and they've always been pretty stoic and by an agenda that they set, and I respect that."

Adam Simpson walks off after West Coast's loss to Essendon at Marvel Stadium in round 21, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

The Western Derby loss put West Coast on equal footing with expansion team Greater Western Sydney, which also lost five games by more than 100 points in its inaugural 2012 season and again in 2013.

Asked if the Derby loss had changed the landscape for the coach, Simpson said the club had been clear about the need for a rebuild when he signed his most recent contract extension.

"I'm really clear about that and I'm up for it. That's been all part of the plan and I knew there were going to be some really difficult times," he said.

"I don't think one game in isolation is a pivot to make a change, but if the club and board decide that it is, then I need to respect that. But I haven't changed my position on where we're at and what we need to do.

"There's always going to be some hard times, and the weekend was really hard." 

Jeremy McGovern and Adam Simpson during West Coast's loss to Fremantle in round 22, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Chief executive Trevor Nisbett, who is not seeking a contract extension beyond 2024, has also been under mounting pressure this season, while change in the assistant coaching ranks is anticipated.

Champion players Shannon Hurn, Luke Shuey and Nic Naitanui have also announced their retirements in a changing of the guard for the club's on-field leadership.

Adam Simpson and Luke Shuey during West Coast's loss to Fremantle in round 22, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Shuey and Hurn are targeting a round 24 farewell game against Adelaide, which will also present an opportunity for the much-loved Naitanui to officially farewell the Eagles' home fans.

West Coast is also in the market for a new fitness boss after long-serving strength and conditioning manager Warren Kofoed stepped down in June in the fallout to the disastrous 171-point loss to Sydney.

The well-regarded Kofoed's departure came following a second consecutive season with the list decimated by injuries, including a spate of hamstring and other soft tissue setbacks.


The Eagles have never required a caretaker in the process of changing coaches in their 37-year history, but that record will be tested over the next fortnight.

The only matches in which the Eagles have required a caretaker coach were round eight last season, when assistant Matthew Knights filled in due to COVID, and in 2018, when Jaymie Graham covered for Simpson for family reasons.

Knights remains a member of Simpson's coaching panel, alongside Jarrad Schofield, Daniel Pratt and Luke Webster. 

West Coast's biggest losses

171 points - v Sydney, R15, 2023
142 - v Essendon, R15, 1989
135 - v Geelong, R13, 2008
130 - v Sydney, R16, 1987
122 - v Adelaide, R13, 2023
119 - v Carlton, R10, 2001
116 - v Hawthorn, R10, 2023
112 - v Port Adelaide, R22, 2001
109 - v Richmond, R7, 2022
108 - v Carlton, R7 2023
101 - v Fremantle, R22, 2023
101 - v Western Bulldogs, R11, 2022