John Worsfold


He was definitely up against it as a post Sheedy untried coach without much in the way of football department spending & experience around him


Fkg concur


He may have been a bad coach but the club was in a bad way at the time so I can’t judge him either way.

We only started making inroads with our spend when Hurd arrived and now we are starting to see the results of it.

There is a direct correlation with innovation off the field and success in field.

The only outlier would be what the bulldogs achieved. They are truely the Leicester City of the AFL.


Why, in your story, did he start and finish doing this in 2013? Is it maybe that he was coaching the same all the way through - but that year (above others) he had a cohesive, settled 22, and good senior leaders, and everyone all on the same page that year??

FWIW I didn’t think he was that flash as a game day coach. Too often he started with a defensive and conservative side and mindset, I don’t think he was prepared to back our 6 forwards to kick scores against 6 defenders - and that hurt us. Lots.


Good post.


I think it was just to compare to 2015 from memory. I suppose it should have said 2013 and previous, although 2013 was his best year.


Exactly. I’ve got nothing against Knights as a person, but his time as coach of this club was done.

He got most of the senior players offside, some of which are club champions. He also had many past players critical of him, including James Hird. In fact Knights’ failure was supposedly one of the key factors in Hird putting up his hand to coach in the first place.

If it was one or two individuals on the list you could accuse them of being petulant, but he had lost basically all the leaders of the club in his last year. One way or another there was no way he could go on.


That’s fair enough.
I still think Hird was about a 7/10 matchday coach. Worsfold was about that at Eagles, hasn’t shown to be more than 6/10 so far with us.
Year 3 is the big moving year for coaches.


Yeah look, I wasn’t particularly fond of Hird’s overall game plan, or his list management direction, or a best 22 over-filled with contested flanker types.

But as far as reacting to things that happened on game day, I thought he was pretty damn good. Didn’t always make the right moves, but he at least identified problems and addressed them before they got too far out of hand.

But Knights never made a single move, Bomba was too stubborn to and Woosha seemingly only makes them after the game is already lost, so maybe he’s just more glowing in comparison.


Re Knights and for the sake of those too young at the time to know (or those who do not remember back that far)…

Our most successful coach in the previous last half century was sacked (or “contract not renewed”, as said at the time) because:


NB: not just the best available but the best coach in the country.

Knights was not even the best coach in the VFL at that time.

This is yet another reason why Peter Jackson should be vilified in EFC history.


Bomba made moves, it’s just that none of them involved Hurley so no-one remembers them. In fact he was the first person to throw Hooker forward.


Ummmm… when did that happen? Hooker didn’t kick a goal in 2014 so it can’t have been for long.

I thought the second half of 2015 was the first time Hooker had spent any meaningful time forward


I think Bomba threw Hooker forward at about the 27 minute mark of the last quarter in the loss to St Kilda.


Knights lost me when he selected Lovett-Murray to be our ruck for the Adelaide final.


My memory isn’t great but I also remember Hirdy throwing Hooker forward in the 100 point loss to St Kilda in 2015.


Yep. First full game of the experiment I think


Knights conceded he couldn’t coach defensively months after he got sacked. Some credit to Knights for keeping quiet about his sacking (must have something to do with the $1m plus termination agreement) but at some point we are going to learn a lot more about what went on.
It will come out when he’s done with coaching,


Really? when/where did he say that?
I thought he had said the focus hadn’t been on defence, but the plan was to focus on it for 2011.


When the truth comes out will he be in a very good place?

When he turned down the club getting him extra help (in the form of an experienced senior asistant) he signed his own dismissal. Arrogant.


I disagree, Knights was an awful coach.

He had the chance to clean out the list and start a fresh, he didn’t he backed the list cloggers and pushed the stars aside. look at how he tried to quick rebuild and look at the Hawks the last two years. He picked Naegle and Johns over a aging but still capable Lloyd. Can’t see Clarkson ever treating a club great like Lloyd and Fletch were by knights.

Hi game plan was a one trick pony with no ability defend whatsoever. He failed to see the development of the defensive side of the AFL in zones and team defence and got opened up constantly. I really feel for the players who did their best in what was a monumentally flawed game plan. The attacking from half back was borrowed straight out of the cats 07 game plan.

He may have had a tough gig following Sheedy, he may have not had the resources, although I would say that again is his failing in not being able to justify the investment to senior management. There really is no excuse for some of the lame ■■■■ he did.

And remember a broken clock is right twice a day, just because he got some things right doesn’t mean he was good for the other 90% of the time.