Adam Simpson departs West Coast as Kane Cornes calls out players over startling coin toss detail

The leadership group has come under pressure after pre-game decision.

Adam Simpson has parted ways with the West Coast Eagles following a horror start to the season after West Coast were called out their pre-game decision to not send a captain for the coin toss against Melbourne. The Eagles' season hit a new low on the weekend after they were hammered 17.10 (112) to 8.10 (58) in a defeat at the MCG to Melbourne.

And the loss - taking the Eagles to 3-13 in 2024 - was the last game in charge for West Coast coach Adam Simpson as the club announced his departure from the role after 11 years on Tuesday afternoon. Pressure was mounting on Simpson in recent weeks and the 54-point humiliation on the weekend was the end of his reign as coach.

Adam Simpson (pictured left) has parted ways with the West Coast Eagles after 11 years as coach as Kane Cornes took aim at a pre-game moment from the weekend. (Images: Getty Images/Fox Sports)
Adam Simpson (pictured left) has parted ways with the West Coast Eagles after 11 years as coach as Kane Cornes took aim at a pre-game moment from the weekend. (Images: Getty Images/Fox Sports)

And while Simpson has copped plenty of the criticism in recent weeks, Cornes has piled on the pressure on the players having called out a telling moment before the match got underway. In his 150th milestone game, Hunt emerged as the representative for West Coast at the toss against Max Gawn.

While it was a nice gesture from the club to recognise Hunt's achievements in the AFL, Cornes was left baffled West Coast didn't sent a captain out to the middle to make a statement for the struggling side. Cornes called out the leadership group, including co-captain Oscar Allen, for not making a good enough effort throughout the game. This comes as pressure mounts on the club to make changes.

"I think the players need to take some responsibility and their leaders do as well. I was watching the coin toss, why is Jayden Hunt tossing the coin? After the week they have had...and Jayden Hunt because he is playing game 150 is tossing the coin," Cornes said.

"I want my captain to shake hands with Max Gawn, then come back and say 'we are kicking this way' and address the group." Cornes then labelled the Eagles' body language as 'shocking' after they went down 37 points in the first quarter. Allen was singled out after a moment where he was easily shoved out of the way when contesting a mark.

Cornes called for the leaders to stand up and show the playing group they need to change their efforts. "Be a captain, go and shake the other captain, address the group and start better than that. It's not just on Adam Simpson," Cornes added. While Cornes took aim at some of the players for their efforts in the humiliating loss, which takes the Eagles to 3-13 in 2024, it hasn't stopped Simpson coming under plenty of criticism.

Simpson cut a dejected figure after the loss to Melbourne on the weekend as he addressed the criticism. There were growing calls for a change at the Eagles, despite the 48-year-old's contract finishing at the end of 2025. Although a poor run in recent weeks prompted the end of his 11-year reign at the Eagles.And speaking after the Melbourne loss, the coach revealed he is comfortable and aware that his time in the game will not last forever.

"I'm here to do a job as best I can and I'll do that until I get tapped on the shoulder," Simpson said. "That's not really a question. I know how long the road's going to be and I'm up for it, but if the club's not then they're not.

Adam Simpson during a game.
Coach Adam Simpson (pictured) has departed the Eagles.

"It's going to be up and down, the last few weeks have been down. It doesn't mean all hope is lost. We can't ride that wave. Whether it's me or someone else, it's going to take time. I sort of know how long the road is going to be. I'm up for it, but if the club's not, then they're not. That's fine. I'm okay with my football mortality. It's OK."