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Aussie Rules: Five contenders for the Greater Western Sydney job

Greater Western Sydney have yet to announced who will be their new long-term coach following the departure of Leon Cameron, but there is no shortage of interest in the position.

Both GWS and North Melbourne are in the hunt for a new head coach and there is of course the possibility of more positions becoming vacant in the coming weeks and months.

A head coach merry-go-round could be on the cards in the off-season but the Giants are playing a patient game as they prepare to make their next move.

It goes without saying the appointment is huge, they need to make sure they get the right man, someone who could get them back challenging at the right end of the ladder.

That may be easier said than done, but there are some exciting names in the frame, so let’s take a look at the leading contenders for the job.

Mark McVeigh

McVeigh currently holds the position after being named interim boss for the rest of the 2022 campaign following the departure of Leon Cameron.

The latest reports suggest he is one of the three main contenders to land the job on a long-term basis despite the Giants struggling for wins.

McVeigh has certainly earned the opportunity to take the reins. He is now in his eighth season as an assistant coach and was promoted to senior assistant alongside Cameron this year.

However their form has not been great. They sit 15th on the ladder and have won just once in the last 16 games.

A strong end to the season could boost his chances, but with games against Sydney, Essendon, the Western Bulldogs and Fremantle to come it will be tough.

Don Pyke

The former Adelaide coach is currently working as a senior assistant with the Sydney Swans and would not have to relocate if he took the job.

Pyke has bags of experience and could be the man to lead the Giants revival. He was head coach of the Crows between 2015 and 2019 and guided them to the grand final in 2017 before they lost to the Richmond Tigers at the MCG.

He has since been credited with helping the Swans develop a more attacking game plan after joining them in 2021 and it is no surprise he is being mentioned with the GWS job.

The big question is would Pyke be interested in giving up his role with the Swans to jump back into the pressure cooker environment of being a head coach.

Adem Yze

Yze is currently with Melbourne as their midfield coach and played a key role in helping the Demons break their premiership drought in 2021.

He has also tasted premiership success when being part of Hawthorn’s coaching set-up when they won their flags between 2013 and 2015.

Yze has deputised as head coach when Simon Goodwin has been ruled out and he may be keen to take a long-term gig somewhere down the line. He may now be offered the chance with GWS.

Ken Hinkley

Hinkley is the current coach of Port Adelaide and is under contract for the 2023 AFL campaign but his name continues to be linked elsewhere and Greater Western Sydney has been mentioned as a possible destination.

Hinkley has been in the hot seat since 2012 and has enjoyed great success with the Power, without delivering a premiership.

It could be time for a change of scenery following a disappointing season and he has also been linked with the North Melbourne job at the end of the season.

The fresh challenge could appeal to Hinkley and he would tick a lot of boxes for GWS. He certainly has the credentials to get the Giants back up the ladder having done just that with Port Adelaide.

Alastair Clarkson

A vacant job can not be talked about without Clarkson’s name getting a mention. Again he is on the radar of North Melbourne as well.

Clarkson is a four-time premiership coach following his time with Hawthorn and would be a very popular appointment with the club’s members and is currently out of work.

Clarkson has hinted that he would like to return to coaching but it remains to be seen if he would be interested in taking the GWS job.

North Melbourne could suit him more. He is a former Roos player and the challenge of rebuilding the club could appeal to him.

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