Essendon’s Marsh Community Series match against West Coast on Thursday night will be the dawn of a new era with incumbent coach John Worsfold and his successor Ben Rutten taking charge for the first time in tandem.
Worsfold will coach the Bombers in 2020 before handing the senior reins to Ratten the following season, leaving many intrigued as to whether the succession plan will prove a success.
Speaking on SEN Breakfast, club great Tim Watson has warned to solely judge their partnership on Essendon's on-field performance – not a perceived “disconnect”.
“I think everyone’s going to be looking for some sort of a gap or a hole between the two or a disconnect in some way between John Worsfold and Ben Rutten. I’m of the view that Worsfold was completely and utterly on board with this whole succession idea,” Watson said.
“I think the most important thing will be the identification of a different way of playing for Essendon, because I think we all agree they can’t keep playing the way that they have and deliver success.
“That whole ball movement thing will be the important narrative around Essendon’s performance, how closely it’s going to be aligned maybe with the way Richmond play because Blake Caracella’s been in charge of that whole ball movement area over the pre-season.
“My answer to the question is if they look like they’re smooth on the field we’re going to think the relationship is smooth.”
It’s understood Worsfold will coach from the interchange bench with Rutten to take his place in the coaches’ box.
Listen to chat on Essendon's coaching succession plan on SEN Breakfast in the player below