Simpson still feels the love from Eagles board
West Coast coach Adam Simpson is confident he still has the full support of the club's board, and says even his wife was surprised when reports emerged he will be taking a three-month break at the end of the AFL season.
The rumour mill went into overdrive on Wednesday when whispers emerged Simpson was set to take an imminent break.
The reports were later clarified to state Simpson would take three months off at the end of the current campaign but the premiership coach said even that information was incorrect.
"You know, my wife asked a few questions when I got home," he told reporters on Friday.
"(Talk of a three-month break) is just something that's probably taken out of context.
"I'm looking to do a bit of personal development and probably take the family away somewhere but not for three months."
Simpson is contracted until the end of 2025, but the club's dire record over the past 18 months has led a throng of past players, including club great Glen Jakovich, to call for the 47-year-old to step aside.
The Eagles posted a club-worst 2-20 campaign last year, and they currently sit in last spot on the ladder with a 1-9 record and a percentage of 55.4.
Simpson has been publicly backed by the board despite the woeful results.
"I always feel supported from Trevor (chief executive Trevor Nisbett) and the board. They've been really good to me," Simpson said ahead of Saturday night's clash with Essendon in Perth.
"And I really want to repay them with good leadership. I've got full support of the board from what I've been told, so we'll go from there."
Damien Hardwick's decision to step down as coach of Richmond this week shocked the AFL world.
It followed on from North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson taking indefinite leave to focus on his mental health.
Simpson says he is still feeling energised, despite West Coast's ongoing injury crisis and last week's embarrassing 116-point loss to fellow strugglers Hawthorn.
"Dimma (Hardwick) has just finished up and Clarko has stepped aside but I feel good," Simpson said.
"I feel bad about where we're at and what's going on with our side but the energy is still there.
"I know I look a bit older than I did when I first got here. But I signed up for this."
Reports have emerged about a split in West Coast's board, with some reportedly wanting long-serving chief executive Nisbett to step aside, and others demanding Simpson be moved on.
Simpson said he avoids reading or viewing the media as much as possible.
"What happens with you guys, you're frothing at the mouth at the moment with the stories and the scandalous stuff and the board (rumours)," Simpson said.
"That doesn't affect what we do.
"We've got a plan in place. And despite the criticism, we're sticking to the plan."
The Eagles have been bolstered by the return of Tom Barrass (illness), Elliot Yeo (groin) and Shannon Hurn (groin) for Saturday's match against Essendon.