VICTORIAN clubs are inquiring about Ryan O'Keefe's coaching services after Adelaide chose not to offer the dual Sydney premiership star a new contract for 2019.
O'Keefe, who coached the Crows' SANFL side the past two seasons, was hopeful at the start of the week about continuing into a fifth year at West Lakes and wasn't looking elsewhere.
The August 1 deadline passed on Wednesday for club officials to give assistant coaches clarity on their future.
O'Keefe, 37, was one of 13 assistants – along with Adelaide's Ben Hart, Hawthorn's Brett Ratten and North Melbourne's Ben Dyer – that appeared on a list the AFL Coaches' Association circulated to all 18 clubs this week.
The 286-game Swan's playing career ended in 2014 and he went straight into coaching, spending two seasons as Adelaide's midfield development coach before stepping up to oversee the SANFL team.
O'Keefe also supported Josh Francou in developing the Crows' forwards this year.
His manager, Darian Lobb, told AFL.com.au they were surprised at his exit, but thankful for the chance to start his coaching journey.
"We really hadn't spoken to anyone else (until now), because we didn't think we needed to – the club's been really good to Ryan and his family," Lobb said.
"Ryan loved his time at Adelaide, but he's not one to wallow in self-pity. We're going to find another club and go from there.
"He played under some great coaches at Sydney with Paul Roos, John Longmire and even Rodney Eade, and Adelaide gave him a great opportunity under 'Pykey' (Don Pyke) and Phil Walsh.
"He's learned a lot and he reckons he has a lot to offer."
O'Keefe is a graduate of the AFL's level four coaching program and aspires to be a senior coach at the elite level.
Lobb said the 2012 Norm Smith medallist was willing to relocate anywhere in Australia, with his wife and two kids, to keep his coaching ambition alive.