Jarrad Schofield talks to West Coast players during the match against the Western Bulldogs in May, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

INTERIM West Coast coach Jarrad Schofield will bring a hard edge to the role combined with an ability to connect with players, according to those who have played under him in a diverse coaching career that stretches well beyond his time in the AFL. 

Schofield has spent six seasons honing his craft as an assistant, initially with Port Adelaide and then West Coast for the past three seasons, but his experience as Subiaco's WAFL coach could be what has him best prepared for the next seven weeks.

The 49-year-old won three premierships with the Lions in 2014, 2015 and 2018, building a reputation as a sharp tactician with an eagle eye for the little details. 

He also built strong relationships with his players that have lasted by bringing a personal touch to his coaching that made the tough conversations possible when they needed to happen. 

Schofield also comes to the role with a diverse football CV that started as a player with West Coast in 1993 when he was drafted with pick No.49. After 63 games under Mick Malthouse, he was traded to Port Adelaide and played 131 games under Mark Williams, winning a premiership in 2004. 

(L-R): Kane Cornes, Jarrad Schofield and Brett Montgomery celebrate Port Adelaide's Grand Final win on September 25, 2004. Picture: AFL Photos

His AFL playing career closed with a 12-game, two-season stint at Fremantle under Chris Connolly for a total of 206 games before joining Subiaco and featuring in the powerful Lions' three-peat of 2006-2008. 

Those who know the former midfielder well believe the next phase of his football journey, which included significant achievements outside the AFL bubble, has made him a well-rounded coach who is prepared to push for senior AFL opportunities.

He started by leading Subiaco's colts team from 2009-11, learning plenty about teaching young players before a brief stint as an assistant coach at league level. He was appointed Subiaco's league coach in 2013 and led the Lions to five grand finals for three premierships. 

An interest in coaching his own team at AFL level drew Schofield back into the system with the Power for three seasons between 2019-2021, forming part of Ken Hinkley's panel alongside savvy assistants Michael Voss and Brett Montgomery.

Travis Boak chats to Jarrad Schofield at Port Adelaide training on May 7, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

As midfield coach, he worked on helping Zak Butters and Connor Rozee become the stars and leaders they now are and was with the club for preliminary final appearances in 2020 and 2021. 

His relatively recent arrival at West Coast at the end of 2021 when the club's rebuild was taking shape could make him well-suited to the challenge ahead in the next seven rounds. 

Not tied to the premiership era of 2018 but with strong relationships across the list, he can offer players a clean slate between now and the end of the season. 

Jarrad Schofield during West Coast's 2024 team photo day at Mineral Resources Park. Picture: AFL Photos

His role as midfield coach this season also makes him a good choice to take the reins, given the Eagles' style has so often centred on stoppage wins and contested ball this year, with the midfield often kickstarting the team's best performances.

The Eagles and Adam Simpson decided this week it was time for the club to have a fresh start and a new voice in charge. Whether or not Schofield turns the caretaker role into a permanent one, he can definitely give the Eagles that for seven weeks.