Scott Lycett. Picture: AFL Media.
Scott Lycett. Picture: AFL Media.

West Coast chief executive Trevor Nisbett has declared out-of-contract ruckman Scott Lycett and midfielder Andrew Gaff off-limits.

Nisbett, on the verge of signing a three-year deal to keep him in his role until the end of 2017, was adamant Lycett would stay at West Coast, despite being no closer to a deal with the South Australian's management.

"There's a lot of interest in Scott, he's a good young player," Nisbett said yesterday.

"We're very firm. Scott won't be going anywhere. He's a big part of our plans."

_The Weekend West _understands Gaff has started working through a new contract with the club.

"We want Gaffy to play with West Coast and hopefully he'll play his career here," Nisbett said.

Nisbett, whose two-year contract expires this year, was coy about his own future.

"I'm considering going on. I've been asked by the board, so I've got to consider that," he said.

"I weigh up whether I can continue to make a contribution to the football club. I think that's the most important thing.

"If I can do that at the highest level, and that means I've got the energy to put in the hours required, then I'll push ahead."

But club chairman Alan Cransberg was certain West Coast's chief executive of 15 years would continue to oversee a shift to a new training facility at Lathlain Park at the end of 2017 and football's shift to the new Perth stadium at the start of the 2018 season.

"Trevor and I have spoken about it, it will get done," he said.

"He will be there for the next three years. We have just about done the contract."

Cransberg said it was important that there was overlap between his departure at the end of 2016 and Nisbett's departure from the club.

"From our point of view, having the chairman and the CEO leave at the same time wouldn't be a good thing," he said.

Lycett, 21, has played 17 games in four seasons and seven games this season, including four of the past five as he emerges as an AFL ruckman.

But there has been speculation that he could be tempted away from the Eagles to seek greater opportunity if veteran Dean Cox decides to play on.

Nisbett, who labelled the Eagles a "team in transition", said Cox would be left to make up his own mind on his future.

But specialists would have a say in whether injury-plagued defender Beau Waters played on after a serious shoulder problem.

Regardless of Cox's decision, Lycett was aware there were no guarantees of getting a game at AFL level anywhere, Nisbett said.

"Scotty knows that and so does everybody else in the squad," he said.

Nisbett gave new coach Adam Simpson "a big tick" despite the team's mixed form.

Simpson was doing a terrific job and gained respect immediately at West Coast, Nisbett said.

"It's still taking time, because he won't get every- thing right in the first 12 months, but we've been really pleased with Adam, really pleased with the coaching group and what they've implemented," Nisbett said.

He refused to rule out West Coast playing finals this year and predicted they would not slide any further next year.

"I think we're going through our pain at the moment," he said. "I think we're in transition and have been for a while.

"We're confident in a lot of the boys we've got on the list to improve and take that next step, but I don't think we have to go backwards to go forwards here. I think we've done that.

"I'd be really surprised if we didn't improve markedly in 2015."

He applauded the design of the new Perth stadium, but warned there was work to do to strike a commercially acceptable deal for clubs and the WA Football Commission.

Clubs received an 80¢ return from every dollar earnt at Patersons Stadium while the 30 to 35¢ in the dollar return some Melbourne clubs received at Etihad Stadium was disastrous for them, Nisbett said.

It is understood that returns at the refurbished and popular Adelaide Oval, where there are concerns over the stadium deal, were between 60 and 70¢ in the dollar.

Nisbett said there were lessons to be learnt from Adelaide and that clubs here should aim for a return of 75¢ or more for every dollar earnt at the new venue.

The West Australian

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