BRENDON Lade is officially out of the running to become Essendon's new coach as intrigue grows over Brad Scott pitching for the job.
Lade was among four candidates interviewed by the Bombers for their head coaching role but has now joined the Western Bulldogs' assistant coaching ranks.
The move of Lade, who had been St Kilda's senior assistant coach since 2019, has been confirmed by the Bulldogs' football director Chris Grant.
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"Brendon is a highly respected, experienced coach, having been involved in successful teams throughout his time in the industry as a player and now coach over the past 12 years," Grant said in a statement.
"His extensive coaching and playing background will be invaluable for our players, whilst also bolstering our already highly-skilled coaching panel."
Lade, a former Port Adelaide premiership ruckman and assistant coach at Richmond as well as the Saints, had been among candidates interviewed for the vacant Bombers head coach role along with James Hird, Adem Yze and Dean Solomon.
But speculation has grown that Scott is positioning for a return to coaching ranks.
Scott coached North Melbourne from 2010-19 before moving to the AFL, where this year he served as the League's general manager of football.
Scott has yet to publicly comment on reports that Essendon has now targeted him to replace the sacked Ben Rutten.