Adam Simpson during the round 15 match between Essendon and West Coast at Marvel Stadium, June 23, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

WEST Coast coach Adam Simpson insists he won't embark on a "witch hunt" despite rumours several players are disgruntled and want him moved on as coach.

Simpson put on a brave face in front of the media on Friday morning, just hours after a report emerged in the local newspaper detailing a text message leak in which three players expressed their discontent towards the 2018 premiership coach. 

The 48-year-old's contract runs until the end of 2025, but a poor end to the season could spell the end of his 11-year reign.

West Coast had shown big signs of improvement earlier this season, but a 99-point loss to Adelaide in May and last week's 61-point home loss to Hawthorn have cast the spotlight back on Simpson.

The Eagles (3-12) have lost six games by 50 or more points this season.

The Eagles leave the field after the round 16 match between West Coast and Hawthorn at Optus Stadium, June 30, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

The defeat to Hawthorn was particularly horrendous given the Eagles fielded their strongest side in years.

Simpson is adamant he still has the support of the player group and pointed out it's unrealistic to expect every single player to be happy at a club, no matter how well they are going.

"It's not ideal but it's not uncommon either," Simpson said.

"It happened when I was under Denis (Pagan), when I was working with 'Clarko' (Alastair Clarkson) - it happens all the time.

"I won't be checking everyone's phones, put it that way.


"We've got 15-20 players who don't get a game every week, we've got probably 10 players who will be off the list at the end of the year.

"So there's always people who are disgruntled. It's just part of the job. We can't apologise for trying to get better, but I think I've still got the players (backing)."

Simpson will address the issue with his player group on Friday before the team flies out for Sunday's clash with Melbourne at the MCG.

"I'll talk to the boys at the airport today (to) take the sting out of it, because I'm not on a witch hunt," Simpson said. 

"It's not that at all. It's a little bit grubby from the paper's point of view, but that's fine. You guys are doing your job and I'll just do mine."


When asked what he will say to his players, Simpson replied: "I think you're overplaying it a little bit, just because you've seen three players have sent text messages to each other. 

"It's our lives, we deal with it every day. I'll just talk to the players today and we'll try to unite and be better on the weekend."

Simpson played down the prospect of him walking away from the club.

"I'm committed to the build," he said. "We're starting. We're at the beginning.

"I know the two previous years were difficult to get anything from that - the traction from COVID and injuries and availability, but we're legitimately starting that build now and ... it's going to take time.

"Whoever is coaching at West Coast, it's a longer-term direction we're going in."

Despite three years of struggles, Simpson said he is still energised for the role.

"I love my job," he said. 

Adam Simpson and players leave the field after the round three match between Western Bulldogs and West Coast at Marvel Stadium, March 31, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"I don't think everyone wants my job at the moment, but it's a tremendous environment. I love the club, I love the players and I love coaching, so there's no issues there."

Simpson praised his family for keeping him grounded and said he does his best to avoid the media chatter about him.

"My family is pretty balanced. They take the piss out of me a lot," Simpson said. 

"My son's here (at this press conference) just in case this is my last press conference. 

"We're quite balanced. We're pragmatic."