PETER Sumich will take charge of Western Australia's best young talent in the under-18s system after turning down an offer to be part of Adelaide's coaching team.
Sumich, who left Fremantle in August after five seasons as an assistant and senior development coach, was courted by the Crows to fill a proposed high performance role after the departure of football manager David Noble.
However, the 48-year-old has chosen to exit the AFL system for the first time in 15 years to take on what is understood to be an expanded role with the WA Football Commission.
Sumich, who is part of the AFL's Level Four coaching course, also knocked back a midfield coach position at West Coast last month and had been sought out by North Melbourne.
Former East Perth coach Tony Micale has accepted a position as coach coordinator for the state 16s.
"The opportunity to coach the best young players and coaches in WA is exciting. I'm really looking forward to working with (state talent manager) Adam Jones and Tony Micale again and sinking my teeth into it," Sumich said.
"I'm also looking forward to building a really strong brand in the 16s and 18s and helping the Colts coaches to become better coaches over a long period of time so hopefully they'll continue on and become really good coaches at WAFL and AFL level in the future."
Sumich replaces Andrew Lockyer, who departed in August after two stints in charge of the WA team.
Just 12 players from WA found AFL homes via the draft system last year, with only three coming from the state's under-18 system.
The state had become a concern for AFL clubs prompting a quest to improve its program.
Sumich's son Zane is eligible to be selected at the upcoming NAB AFL Draft after playing 19 games with South Fremantle's colts in 2016.