COACHING PRESSURE INDICATOR: Who is under fire & who is sitting pretty?

Andrew Slevison - Thu, 1st Mar 2018 - 0 Comments

Each and every season, the job security of AFL coaches is called into question.

2018 is no different with a number of club coaches under fire and in peril if things do not take a positive direction.

On the other hand, there are plenty who are safe and secure for differing reasons.

AFL Nation’s Coaching Pressure Indicator 2018

Scale: 10 = high pressure. 1 = low pressure.


Don Pyke

The Crows failed in the Grand Final after dominating the home and away season but Pyke’s guidance in getting them to the big dance is undoubtedly looked upon with positivity.

There was some fuss during the off-season surrounding Walker and the departed Lever, while Cameron also left and there is some (slight) Sloane uncertainty, but Pyke is fairly comfortable after achieving what a handful of others could not following The Messiah’s prosperous governance.

A top-four finish would be a pass mark so there is some lingering pressure for Pykey to deliver.

Contracted until: End of 2021

Pressure gauge: 5


Chris Fagan

Fagan basically has free rein due to the fact he has the most youthful squad in the league on his hands.

There are no finals expectations and after their best win return in three seasons, including four wins in their last 11 in 2017, there is some sort of light at the end of the tunnel.

6 to 7 wins would be seen as a pass and with some experienced players returning, the pressure is definitely being spread and not shouldered by Fages.

Contracted until: End of 2019

Pressure rating: 3


Brendon Bolton

There may be plenty of faith and belief within the four walls but surely patience is running out among the supporters.

The Blues have been rebuilding for the past five or so years and it must be starting to wear a bit thin. In saying that, Bolton is seeing improvement in his young and inexperienced list so a fairly positive 2018, around 8 wins, is likely to be his only remit.

The rolling one-year contract situation is not seen as adding any extra pressure.

Contracted until: End of 2018

Pressure rating: 5.5


Nathan Buckley

Unfortunately for Bucks, the pressure is only going to rise to an all-time high in 2018.

He had a tumultuous time last year with many expecting him to get the chop before Eddie and the Magpies board laid on some confidence in the form of a two-year extension. Finals is a must otherwise that contract may be null and void well before its expiration.

Off-field issues again this pre-season only adds to the heightening tension at the Holden Centre.

Contracted until: End of 2019

Pressure rating: 9


John Worsfold

Just one season after the drug debacle hit them hardest and the Bombers are now a serious threat.

Woosha is one of the main architects of the redevelopment and the only pressure floating around would be that of a top-4 finish. A little bit of added pressure after a strong trade period is the only slight strain.

A finals win is a must in 2018!

Contracted until: End of 2018

Pressure rating: 4.5


Ross Lyon

The last two seasons have been disappointing but luckily for Ross, he has another three seasons at the helm to turn it around.

The aim is to deliver a flag before his time with the Dockers is up so that tells us that there is some significant pressure mounting. For a premiership before 2020 to become realistic, finals in 2018 HAS to happen.

Is that too much to ask of a team who won just eight games in 2017?

Contracted until: End of 2020

Pressure rating: 7



Chris Scott

Making finals hasn’t been an issue but winning them has been.

3 wins from their last 11 in September isn’t up to scratch and the claws of the Cats faithful will be sharpened if there is a similar occurrence in 2018.

he usual high expectations are even loftier following the return of Gaz and you sense only a Grand Final appearance will appease the fans.

Contracted until: End of 2019

Pressure rating: 6.5

Gold Coast Suns

Stuart Dew

Dew’s employment is certainly safe having only stepped into the role in October.

His job may be secure but it would have to be one of the hardest in Australia.

A first-year senior coach having to deal with a basket case will not be easy but there is probably more chance of the Suns shutting up shop than Stuey getting the sack.

Contracted until: End of 2020 season

Pressure rating: 3

GWS Giants

Leon Cameron

Leon the keys to a Ferrari but is driving it safely, more like a Sedan.

Two Prelims is quite a feat but this group, who are now stars of the game individually, simply has to deliver collectively. Top 4 is a must again and from an ‘on paper’ viewpoint, a Grand Final berth is quite necessary to vindicate the overall quality of the list.

Cameron and his Giants can create history, but do they have the spunk to do so?

Contracted until: End of 2020

Pressure gauge: 7.5


Alastair Clarkson

After four flags in 13 years there would be few expectations on Clarko. But the vision of seven more premierships by 2050 means things must get back on track in 2018.

A drop off last year was perhaps seen as normal, and the rebuild in the second half of year wasn’t too shabby, but the further loss of experience is a massive dent.

Finals is the goal but the overall pressure gauge isn’t a burden due to recent success.

Contracted until: End of 2019

Pressure rating: 5.5


Simon Goodwin

11 years without finals. It’s time to deliver.

The Demons missed by the barest of margins in 2017 and are being tipped by absolutely everybody to break their September drought this year. Goody is only in his second year as Melbourne coach but the pressure is enormous.

The supporters are hungry, the players are ravenous and even the opposition are expectant. But are they capable of turning around this disheartening shortage of success?

Contracted until: End of 2019

Pressure rating: 8

North Melbourne

Brad Scott

2017 might have looked much worse than it actually was for Scott. The seven years prior saw the Kangaroos finish no lower than 10th, with four finals appearances thrown in for good measure.

However, a poor season of six wins has prompted a clean out at Arden Street and Scott is now tasked with the rebuild that the club has well and truly backed.

The playing group expect to play finals but that is where the confidence ends with many critics tipping a wooden spoon.

Contracted until: End of 2020

Pressure rating: 5


Port Adelaide

Ken Hinkley

The Power has recruited hard suggesting they feel they aren’t too far off a flag. So, it’s now or never for Kenny.

The fact they’ve pushed to bring in some established quality brings about some rather stern pressure.

The next few years will define Hinkley’s legacy at Port. Can he become the new King of Alberton by delivering the goods in 2018?

Contracted until: End of 2021

Pressure rating: 7


Damien Hardwick

The only pressure Dimma has on him in 2018 is that of his gold-plated shower head of a morning!

However, the threat of missing finals, ala the Bulldogs, is real so tread carefully Tigers fans. You’d expect the game style to stack up, allowing Richmond to at least be competitive.

Back-to-back would be the aim internally but from the view of the starved Yellow & Black, just making the eight will suffice after a fairytale drought-breaker.

A new long-term deal should be finalised at some point in the coming months as Hardwick eyes prolonged prosperity at Tigerland.

Contracted until: End of 2018

Pressure rating: 2

St Kilda

Alan Richardson

Finals is a must. The Saints have traded experienced key players in recent years and have achieved nothing during.

Much has been spoken and written about Richo’s talent-laden list and after falling narrowly short the past couple of years, the moment of truth has arrived.

If September action is not achieved, it will be a tremendous letdown for the expectant Saints supporters.

Contracted until: End of 2020

Pressure rating: 7.5


John Longmire

Horse may have banked a decent amount of brownie points after guiding the Swans to the 2012 flag.

But all of a sudden it’s 2018 and the relationship spark may be beginning to flicker ever so slightly. No flag so far in the Buddy era and they need one to vindicate the hefty spend.

The Swans cannot afford another slow start…

Contracted until: End of 2020

Pressure rating: 6.5

West Coast Eagles

Adam Simpson

The Perth footy bubble can burst at any time and leave you in shock. Simpson may experience that mounting pressure if the Eagles don’t deliver wins early.

The return of NicNat instils belief but some key midfield departures have not been addressed, which has already seen the pressure gauge rise.

The club has backed Simmo in and he believes truly that he has strengthened his list, so finals again has to be the goal.

Contracted until: End of 2019

Pressure rating: 6

Western Bulldogs

Luke Beveridge

Bevo has the keys to Footscray after 2016, which brings with it a free hit, but another failure will not be accepted.

There is only so much a coach can do, however, so the Bulldogs players need to restore pride for the man who has shown so much faith and trust in his list.

Pressure may be building on the club as a whole to recover from the hangover but as an individual, Bevo appears to be safe and sound.

Contracted until: End of 2020

Pressure rating: 5

Coaching Pressure Indicator Ladder

Collingwood – Buckley: 9
Melbourne – Goodwin: 8
St Kilda – Richardson: 7.5
GWS Giants – Cameron: 7.5
Port Adelaide – Hinkley: 7
Fremantle – Lyon: 7
Sydney – Longmire: 6.5
Geelong – C.Scott: 6.5
West Coast Eagles – Simpson: 6
Carlton – Bolton: 5.5
Hawthorn – Clarkson: 5.5
Western Bulldogs – Beveridge: 5
North Melbourne – B.Scott: 5
Adelaide – Pyke: 5
Essendon – Worsfold: 4.5
Gold Coast – Dew: 3
Brisbane – Fagan: 3
Richmond – Hardwick: 2