Worsfold named as new Essendon AFL coach

Having regained his hunger for senior coaching, John Worsfold has accepted the top job at AFL club Essendon.

The 47-year-old Worsfold was officially revealed on Monday as the replacement for James Hird, who stood down late in their troubled 2015 campaign.

Worsfold coached West Coast to the 2006 premiership.

Most recently, he filled in as coaching director at Adelaide following the death of Crows coach Phil Walsh.

“I’m excited to begin the next chapter in my coaching career with the Essendon football club,” Worsfold said in a statement.

“Ask anyone who’s coached at senior level and they’ll tell you the passion to coach never leaves you.

“My time away from the cut and thrust of senior coaching only increased my appetite to return.

“Once my family gave me their blessing to pursue the job at Essendon, I fully committed myself to the process and I’m extremely fortunate to have been chosen ahead of a number of quality coaches.

“Essendon is a club that I’ve watched from afar and you can see they have the makings of a very good side.

“It’s clear they have a talented group of young men on their list, and now my job is to ensure they maximise their potential.”

Worsfold was replaced by Adam Simpson as Eagles head coach at the end of the 2013 campaign, ending a 12-year tenure capped by the controversial 2006 premiership.

But his time with the Crows rekindled his desire to return to coaching on a fulltime basis.

Former Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney and Collingwood assistant Scott Burns were also short-listed for the position, but Worsfold was always understood to be the favoured candidate by the Bombers’ board.

Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell chaired the coaching sub-committee.

“We had a really strong field of candidates who applied for the senior coaching position,” Campbell said.

“Following a thorough and extensive interview process, John established himself as the standout candidate.”

Ex-Gold coast coach Guy McKenna – who played alongside Worsfold in the Eagles’ 1992 and 1994 premiership sides – is likely to be offered a position on a new-look Bombers coaching panel.

The Bombers have been in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons for the last three years due to the ongoing supplements scandal which rocked the club.

The World Anti-Doping Agency will appeal the decision of the AFL anti-doping tribunal not to sanction 34 past and present Essendon players at a Court of Arbitration hearing in Sydney in November.

The Bombers won only six matches in 2015 and finished 15th on the ladder.

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