The West Coast Eagles have landed two highly-credentialed assistant coaches with Port Adelaide midfield coach Jarrad Schofield returning to his roots and Geelong midfield coach Matthew Knights agreeing to head west.
For Schofield, who started his AFL career at the Eagles it is something of a home-coming while Knights, an all-time great with Richmond who has also enjoyed extensive coaching experience, will start a fresh challenge.
“It is great to have both Jarrad and Matthew coming to our club,” said West Coast Eagles chief executive Trevor Nisbett. “We’re delighted to have them on board and obviously believe they can have a strong impact as we look to rebound after missing out on finals this year.
“Both have impressive coaching resumes and combined with the senior coach Adam Simpson and the other coaching and football department staff, we believe we can start the process of making the adjustments we need to make in order to improve.”
Schofield, head of strategy and stoppage, and Knights, who will be in charge of the midfield, have senior roles within the coaching structure as the club plots its way forward.
While both have impressive coaching records, their football pedigree runs even deeper than that as outstanding players.
Schofield played 63 games for the Eagles after making his debut round 11, 1993 against Sydney before being traded to Port Adelaide where he played 131 games and was an integral part of their 2004 premiership.
He returned to WA in 2005 and played 12 games with Fremantle, but it was his re-connection to WAFL club Subiaco that ignited the second phase of his football life.
The skilful midfielder played in three senior premierships with the Lions, and then began his coaching journey, returning to his WAFL home as senior coach in 2013 and in his six years at the helm took Subiaco to five grand finals for three premierships.
He then returned to Port Adelaide as midfield coach, where he has spent the last three seasons.
Knights, who played 279 games for Richmond, is a former captain and two-time fairest and best at the Tigers as well as being selected in their team of the century. He was senior coach at Essendon from 2008 to 2010, before starting his career at Geelong in 2012, steering the Cats to the VFL premiership in his first year.
Since 2015 he has been midfield coach alongside Geelong senior coach Chris Scott.