NORTH Melbourne doesn't need to bother contacting Adam Simpson as part of its search for David Noble's replacement, with the contracted coach emphatic that he is not entertaining a move away from West Coast.
Simpson has been speculated about as a potential replacement for Noble, given the Eagles' looming rebuild and his own history with North as a former captain and dual premiership player.
The premiership coach, who played 306 games for the Kangaroos, said he had received no formal or informal contact from North Melbourne, and any call would not be necessary.
"I wouldn't have thought after today. There's no need," Simpson said on Thursday.
"Conversations with mates are conversations, but nothing formal and nothing informal [has occurred]. It's all been above board and respectful.
"Just because there's a change in the narrative at North, it doesn't change mine.
"I'm fully invested in what we are doing. I haven't spoken to North at all in a long time."
Simpson said his history at North Melbourne meant he was drawn at times to what it was going through and how it could be helped, but he had enough on his plate as West Coast embarks on its own rebuild.
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"I've been here for nine years and I'm as invested as I've ever been," he said.
"I just haven't entertained the thought. They're obviously going through some issues at the moment and it's been there for a couple of years, but my life is not around that.
"I've got my eye on some mates who are over there, but outside of that I'm working through here."
Simpson endorsed his group of assistants, which includes former Essendon coach Matthew Knights and strategy and stoppages coach Jarrad Schofield, as worthy contenders for the North Melbourne job.
He believed former Eagles assistant and now Fremantle forwards coach Jaymie Graham, who shapes as a leading contender among those without senior experience, was ready for the position.
"I thought he was ready last year … I think there's enough evidence to suggest that he's capable of taking on a role," the coach said.
"That will be up to what it looks like for him and if he wants to do it."
Meanwhile, star defender Jeremy McGovern will not play again this season after suffering internal damage as part of a significant rib injury that required a plate to be inserted.
McGovern had a check-up with his surgeon on Wednesday and it was recommended that he has a period of rest and doesn't return during the final six rounds.
Meanwhile, Luke Strnadica will step away from West Coast due to personal reasons.
Simpson said the state of the season meant the priority for the Eagles' injured players would be to make sure they are ready to start pre-season, rather than getting back for late games in 2022.
"There's a couple of others we were working through with the docs on what's happening," the coach said.
"We have gone to a point now where it's getting tough for them to come back and we might be dipping a little bit with availability.
"As the season goes, it’s going to be more towards season over rather than coming back. That’s unfortunate, (but) that's just been our season."
Champion forward Josh Kennedy will travel to play in Sunday's clash against Hawthorn at the MCG after pulling up well from last week's loss to Carlton.
Ruckman Nic Naitanui will be named in the extended squad after training lightly on Thursday with a decision yet to be made on whether he will line up.
Mid-season recruit Jai Culley will also be named in the 25 and is a chance to debut, with the Eagles keen to give the big-bodied midfielder an opportunity before the end of the season.
"Whether it's this week or not, we'll train today and see how we go and make a decision this afternoon," Simpson said.
"Whether they're ready some of these younger kids or not is secondary at the moment, it's just more opportunity."
Premiership captain Shannon Hurn's outstanding form has not brought forward any conversations about his playing future, with the club still on track to talk with the veteran defender about 2023 at the end of the season.