ST KILDA has informed three assistant coaches they will not be required for 2019 as the club prepares for sweeping changes in its football department.
Simon McPhee (senior midfield assistant), Rohan Welsh (senior forward assistant) and Lindsay Gilbee (defensive assistant) have been told to look for new jobs next season.
It comes on the August 1 deadline day, put in place by the AFL Coaches Association, when clubs are told to give assistant coaches an indication on their future.
St Kilda head of football Simon Lethlean said it was a tough time for the individuals and their families.
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"I would hope all of our coaches would say those conversations happened at the end of a number of conversations that have been ongoing," Lethlean told the Saints website on Wednesday.
"This club and my way of managing and leading is not to spring a surprise on people.
"The conversations we had today were a point in time of a number of conversations we've been having about how we've been going and the changes we might need to make.
"A few of those were harder than others because we're talking about careers, opportunity and livelihoods. It's not a pleasant time of the year to have those conversations."
Welsh, who played 42 games for Carlton, was backline coach at the Saints from 2015-2017 before taking over the reins as forwards coach for 2018.
McPhee joined St Kilda ahead of 2012 and had been in development coaching and academy roles prior to this year where he took control of the midfield.
Gilbee, a star over 206 games for the Western Bulldogs, joined the Saints at the end of 2013 in a development coaching role. He was appointed senior coach of VFL affiliate Sandringham last year before continuing his work with the defenders this season.
Senior coach Alan Richardson remains contracted at the Saints until the end of 2020 after signing a contract extension in October last year.
The Saints, who are also expected to announce a new list boss before the end of the week, have been active in pursuing various coaches across the competition.
"We have interest in some people to join our club next year in the coaching part of our program," Lethlean said.
"They're early days. Everyone's got a minimum four or five games to go in the industry, it's hard to bring those to a crescendo just yet.
"We've got those we're interested in and we're talking to."
AFLCA chief executive Mark Brayshaw said he had received more positive news this year than ever before.
"It appears to be a pleasing trend that most coaches out of contract have been reinstated at their current clubs," Brayshaw told AFL.com.au on Wednesday.
"It's a nasty cycle at this stage of the year but it's been much less nasty than in previous years.
"We'll continue to work with those coaches who are out of work for relocation and future employment opportunities."
While contracts are not required to be signed beyond 2018, coaches are expected to have received assurances of their futures by the August 1 deadline.