West Coast's John Worsfold has endorsed former club assistant coach Peter Sumich and current senior assistant Scott Burns as suitable successors as he broke his silence on deciding to step down as coach after 12 years.
In interviews reported on the AFL and West Coast websites, Worsfold said he retained the support of chief executive Trevor Nisbett and chairman Alan Cransberg when he quit, but doubted he had the energy to continue.
Sumich, now working at Fremantle, and Burns are expected to figure in the race to replace Worsfold. The Eagles hope to have a new coach in place by the middle of next month.
"Peter Sumich has now followed a very good pathway into giving himself the background to be a senior coach, having coached reserve level in the WAFL and in the seniors, and then as an assistant coach at two different (AFL) clubs over 12 years," Worsfold said.
"His experience as an assistant coach and coaching his own team would stack up with anyone going for any senior job other than someone who's coached at senior level already in the AFL.
"And Scott Burns … (his coaching career is a) bit shorter but as a player for such a long period and playing under Leigh Matthews and then Mick Malthouse, and then working with myself for five years, I think he's got a good grasp of what coaching takes and how you can attack different issues."
Worsfold stunned the football world two weeks ago when he resigned and did not attend a club press conference to announce his departure.
Despite a dismal finish to the season, Worsfold was expected to present a case to the Eagles board for a new two-year contract.
"I believe from my conversations with Trevor Nisbett and Alan Cransberg that I had the full support of the board to coach on, providing that I had the passion and providing I presented a plan that was going to be accepted by the board," he told the websites.
"It was a tough decision to make because I loved the job and love the footy club. There were a lot of reasons to stay but deep down to absolutely do the job to the best of your ability I felt I was going to struggle to do that and maintain my passion.
"I am still keen to keep coaching at this footy club but you can't do it just because you are keen to do it, you have to be absolutely full on into it.
"I love coaching, I love this footy club. I would love to coach on. The squad is in pretty good shape and they are going to go on and do great things. Those were the reasons I would love to coach on, but you can't just do it for those reasons. You have to have the energy."
Worsfold revealed he was still working at the Eagles, believing he had a commitment to finish player and coach reviews and to assist squad members who were playing in the WAFL.
"Right at this moment I am tidying up things around the club," he said. "There are still players playing in the WAFL and still have to finish their seasons off and I want to finish my commitment to those young guys."
Worsfold said coaching had taught him that the most important thing was to be yourself rather than being the sort of person others thought would make you a good coach.
"The players see through lack of authenticity," he said. "You have to be who you are and not try to coach like you think a coach should be.
"Bring your own personality to it, not think you have to be a certain way, act a certain way just to keep people happy because of what they perceive a good coach should be doing. That is one of the key things."