West Coast are canvassing coaches with significant AFL experience in a bid to appoint a senior assistant to new boss Adam Simpson.
Several recent senior coaches, particularly some with close links to Simpson, will be considered for the key position in the club's revamped football department in the wake of John Worsfold's decision to stand down.
While former Fremantle coach Mark Harvey and Brisbane mentor Michael Voss are available, Simpson worked closely alongside ex-Carlton coach Brett Ratten as an assistant in this year's Hawthorn premiership and he was also North Melbourne captain under former coach Dean Laidley, who is now working under Scott Watters at St Kilda.
The Eagles are expected to also look at former Melbourne caretaker coach Neil Craig, but the former Adelaide boss is understood to be a leading contender for a role at Essendon where club great Mark Thompson is becoming increasingly likely to be appointed stand-in coach for the suspended James Hird.
With replacements also needed for midfield coach Scott Burns, who has returned to Collingwood, and defensive coach David Teague, Simpson's retired former North Melbourne teammates Brady and Jade Rawlings could also come under consideration.
The opposition analyst position left vacant after Phil Walsh's decision to return to Port Adelaide could be filled as part of a dual role for the senior assistant coach and there could be up to three new appointments in the Eagles' development department. Forwards coach Justin Longmuir will remain an assistant to Simpson.
West Coast chairman Alan Cransberg last night refused to speculate on who might fill the senior assistant's position, but said the club was keen to appoint a well-known, experienced AFL coaching identity.
Cransberg said the club's coaching structure had been at the centre of intensive meetings this week between Simpson, chief executive Trevor Nisbett and football operations manager Craig Vozzo. But he said there would be a priority on the senior assistant position, with interviews likely to start immediately.
The club would give Simpson significant "ownership" on the appointments.
"One of the needs, given that we'll have a pretty young coaching team, is to get some experience in there," Cransberg said.
"We obviously want to get somebody with some experience to not only support and perform a coaching role, but to provide some of the wisdom and the experience that the team won't have in a direct coaching role.
"We're looking for somebody who obviously has the right chemistry with Adam and who he trusts, but also who has some history and wisdom in the game and can support what will be a pretty young coaching team."We have a pretty good list of people who are available and who we will approach. Adam, to his credit, is saying he needs some of that experience around him, but he also knows of other people who can grow with him and make a contribution. We'll tick it off, but we want Adam to own it."