West Coast have emphatically backed their leadership structure by locking in contract extensions for coach Adam Simpson and chief executive Trevor Nisbett.
Despite missing the finals, the Eagles board has signed off on Simpson's option for a third year on top of his initial two-season contract and have also extended Nisbett's long tenure for a further three years.
Chairman Alan Cransberg told The West Australian yesterday the club was bitterly disappointed finishing out of the top eight and admitted he had been concerned when the team won only one of eight games after victory in its first three matches of the season.
He recognised the work required to bridge the gap to match the AFL's best teams but believed Simpson had shown enough in his first year to deserve the chance to continue building the Eagles' new direction.
"We set out to improve during the year and I think most people would agree that we did," Cransberg said.
"We've identified what we need to do and I think people should understand, too, that it took a fair while to settle in our new coaching group and a lot of changes to our playing personnel.
"I like Adam's people leadership. He knows how to treat individuals differently to get the most out of them. I also like the standards he sets for the club and the way he wants the players to take a much stronger leadership role, on and off the field.
"But most of all I like the way he's bonding the team around a set of principles that I think will be good for us in the longer term.
"He talks a lot about competitiveness, he talks a lot about what it takes to be elite and talks a lot about making sure there is good unity on and off the field."
Cransberg said the club would make "tough decisions" on football department staff and players in a bid to improve.
"This is a club that's used to playing in finals and the truth of the matter is that we're not and we didn't beat a side in the top eight," he said.
"So we clearly understand we need to be a stronger side physically and mentally and I think we've got a pretty good road map on what we need to do."
Cransberg said the board would meet Simpson for a thorough season review early in November.
He said Nisbett rejected offers to join rival clubs to stay at West Coast, particularly to continue working on a new training base at Lathlain Park, the move to the new Burswood stadium and to strengthen the WAFL alignment with East Perth.
"We expressed a desire to continue the journey we're on," Cransberg said.
"It's a great time to be around the footy club, Niz wants to be part of that and we obviously think he's the best CEO in the business."