John Worsfold will have one last season as coach of Essendon before Ben Rutten takes over. Photo: Michael Dodge/AAP Image.
John Worsfold will have one last season as coach of Essendon before Ben Rutten takes over. Photo: Michael Dodge/AAP Image.

Bombers to head down slippery slope

John Worsfold's coaching tenure at Essendon will come to an end at the conclusion of the 2020 season, with the club set to announce a succession plan for the future.

Foxfooty.com.au's report on Friday explained Xavier Campbell was a key driver behind the plan for the future, allowing the club to ward off Adelaide's potential interest in current Bombers assistant Ben Rutten.

Worsfold took over as senior coach in 2016, leading from the front, as the club attempted to rebuild following the club's drugs saga.

Stream every match of the 2019 Toyota AFL Finals Series before the Grand Final Live & On-Demand on KAYO SPORTS. Get your 14 day free trial and start streaming instantly >

But Essendon has made a call on Worsfold's future, with the West Coast premiership coach to be replaced by the highly-regarded assistant Rutten.

According to SEN and Herald Sun reporter Sam Edmund, the official announcement could come as early as Tuesday.

"Essendon is about to announce a succession plan for their senior coach John Worsfold," Edmund told SEN Breakfast.

"My understanding is, and we're just seeking absolute confirmation, this will happen today. The Bombers will reveal this plan today.

"Woosha will serve the final year of his contract in 2020 and assistant coach Ben Rutten will resume his assistant role as normal, but he will take on more and more responsibilities as 2020 goes on, and then he will take the reins for 2021. He (Rutten) will be Essendon's next senior coach."

John Worsfold speaks with Dylan Shiel after the club’s loss to West Coast. Photo: Michael Dodge/AAP Image.
John Worsfold speaks with Dylan Shiel after the club’s loss to West Coast. Photo: Michael Dodge/AAP Image.

Rutten, the former Adelaide defender, will take on a bigger role in 2020, as he prepares to take the senior position for the 2021 season.

After retiring at the end of 2014, Rutten became an assistant coach at Richmond, then joining Essendon at the end of 2018.

The Bombers have also secured the services of one of the best assistant coaches across the country, with Blake Caracella to call Tullamarine home once Richmond's 2019 campaign comes to an end.

Ben Rutten (right) will coach Essendon in 2021. Photo: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images.
Ben Rutten (right) will coach Essendon in 2021. Photo: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images.

Essendon has not won a final since 2004, with the club's September drought continuing this year after they were thumped by 55-points at the hands of the West Coast Eagles in an elimination final.

Club legend Tim Watson suggested Worsfold's buy-in to the succession plan is vital, following a botched plan at Collingwood with Mick Malthouse handing the reigns to Nathan Buckley.

"Absolutely (Worsfold would have to agree). I think it would be just foolhardy of any football club to embark upon something like that if you don't have everybody on the same page," he said.

"If that wasn't the case, this could be disastrous. We know that there was a succession plan at Collingwood where they apparently agreed and then they disagreed and they moved further and further apart.

"The disruption that can be caused if everybody isn't in agreement with this is disastrous for a footy club."

Melbourne most recently completed a successful transition between Paul Roos and Simon Goodwin.