Dual North Melbourne premiership coach Denis Pagan has described West Coast's new coach and his former protege Adam Simpson, as a "man's man" and predicted he would take the Eagles to their "next success".
Simpson, 37, a premiership assistant with Hawthorn last Saturday and a premiership player under Pagan at North Melbourne in 1996 and 1999, beat Eagles club legend Peter Sumich, West Coast assistant Scott Burns and renowned assistant Leigh Tudor to the position.
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Simpson played 306 games for the Kangaroos and was the team's captain from 2004 to 2008.
"He is a quality young man," Pagan said. "He started off as a tagger and developed into an elite midfielder, a captain of the club. He was the sort of person who had all of the characteristics of a successful coach and I will be very, very surprised if he doesn't take the West Coast to their next success.
"He really manufactured himself into an elite player. He is a student of the game and he is a man.
"We were pretty firm with him in the early part of his career, pretty firm full stop but he just copped it on the chin. So many players today want to blame the coach when things aren't going well and I could never imagine Adam Simpson whingeing or sooking or moaning."
Pagan said he was excited for Simpson.
"He was a young man of 18 years of age (who had) just come out of the Northern Knights and in the first year he would have played a fair bit in the seconds and in 1996 he played in the seniors. The thing I liked about him was that he was a man.
"He was always positive and he was the Indian rubber man. He always bounced back. A lot of people could use Adam Simpson as their role model. A lot of more talented players could."
West Coast released a statement late yesterday confirming the appointment.
Simpson thanked Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson for his role in his education.
"Hawthorn has been fantastic for me in the last four years and it was certainly a great experience to be a part of the coaching group as the club achieved the ultimate success last Saturday," he said.
"Being so closely involved from a coaching perspective has provided me with a sense of the hard work which has to be done to achieve a premiership. I obviously enjoyed that feeling as a player, but it is different as a coach.
"I have always admired West Coast from afar and I believe the list has an exciting mix of senior and emerging young players."
Sumich said there was no hiding his disappointment.
"I'm gutted, there is no doubt about that and I'm disappointed I didn't get the job," he told 6PR.
"I understand the club's move and we all move on and I have just signed a new contract with Fremantle and I am looking forward to that going forward.
"I gave it my best shot."