Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has no interest in getting caught up in the coaching merry go round, saying he’s loving life in Perth and wants to re-sign with the Dockers.
The AFL rumour mill is set to go into overdrive over the coming months as pressure mounts on several coaches.
North Melbourne are already on the lookout for a new coach after parting ways with Brad Scott, while positions could open up at Carlton, St Kilda, and Essendon by the end of the season depending on results.
Lyon is contracted to Fremantle at the end of 2020, and was clear in his position when asked about the prospect of switching clubs.
“That’s really simple. I’ve never been happier here,” said Lyon, who has coached Fremantle since 2012.
“My identity is incredibly strong with Fremantle. I’m fully committed. The playing group and I are really strongly committed.
“I love Perth. I don’t see myself moving. I intend to see out the term and hopefully longer.”
Lyon also leapt to the defence of Jesse Hogan, who failed to tally a kick in last week’s one-point win over Brisbane.
Hogan, who was traded from Melbourne at the end of last season, has booted just eight goals in nine games this year.
“I’m not as concerned as everyone else … but I’ve also got a longer horizon time line for it to come together than others,” Lyon said.
“At the end of eight years here, I’m sure we’ll be saying he’s a champion forward of the club.”
Hogan arrived at Fremantle with a serious navicular foot injury.
Lyon said it was a huge effort just for Hogan to get himself fit for round one, and the key forward still needs more time to regain his running power.
“If you want to really go beyond fingernail deep (analysis), let’s drill right in – he had a navicular where we thought we mightn’t see him until the middle of the year,” Lyon said.
“He got to round one with great application and a great conditioning program, but it was thinner on the ground.
“So he hasn’t actually been able to play at the exact tempo and run.
“But that’s how good Jesse is – he’s found a way to have five or six shots on goal (against Essendon a fortnight ago) when he’s not even near his full capacity.”
Fremantle (5-5) face a major test when they take on second-placed Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday.
Injury-plagued Docker Harley Bennell will be given another game in the WAFL following his stunning 30-disposal return last week.
Ruckman Sean Darcy (ankle) and Hayden Ballantyne (hamstring) are also a chance to feature in the WAFL.