Worsfold Future

Reporter: Mark Gibson

John Worsfold's world has been football. 26 years in the AFL, including 12 as a West Coast Eagles player and another 12 as coach.

Welcome to Woosha's new world. Just a few k's from Subi, Worsfold is at the Perth Convention Centre, speaking to 18 hundred primary school students about leadership.

"What makes good leadership?"

"I really believe good leadership comes from being authentic, being yourself, putting yourself in positions where by being yourself you are leading the way. We always say it but our next generation of star leaders and achievers are coming through our school system, there's people in there with so much potential"

Worsfold's other profession as a pharmacist must seem a world away from his life in the spotlight.

Last Sunday's lap of honour was Woosha's last hurrah. It was the club's idea, but its favourite son enjoyed saying goodbye. "It was really about the fans and the club believed that the supporters like the opportunity to thank people who have made contributions to the footy club."

"What was it like to be at the footy and not in the coaches' box?"

"Yeah very different to go to the footy and have to queue up to get through the gates, go through security. Try and work out which gate to go in and where my block was that I was sitting in, I had to ask for directions."

From the comfort of the stands, the former coach liked what he saw. "I think it'll be a wonderful season for the footy club, we always want to hang our hat on what does that mean, does that mean they're gonna play in the grand final, well a lot has to go right to get to that level, but if everything does go right I think they can, there's no doubt they can be right up there."

At 45, John Worsfold is fit, relaxed and comfortable with his decision to call it quits. "There's no pressure around what's happening with the team, are you gonna have the players fit, are you gonna win this week?"

John says "You do honestly think about it pretty much all day every day."

"So are you enjoying that, not having that pressure?"

"I am, yeah, there's no doubt I needed the break. I don't believe I could've done the job at the required level this year, I could've done the job but I would've been making it up a bit more, making up my enthusiasm, trying to look enthusiastic when I was starting to wane."

Worsfold also revealed that in the wake of the Ben Cousins saga, the Eagles were so desperate to clean up their image, that they put changing the culture ahead of winning games.

"Not many clubs in the past have said let's put winning games on the back burner, that is not our priority, but our club did that. if we had've won games but the culture festered and got worse our club would've been massively damaged for a much longer period and maybe they struggled to recover, it would've taken potentially decades."

With a new life away from football, Worsfold is giving away more secrets to his audience. "It wasn't my dream to coach the Eagles, it just ended up being that way, I would've been more than happy to coach any other team in the competition and I was prepared to live anywhere in Australia." And while he's pretty confident his Eagles are in good shape, Woosha reckons the Dockers are the team to beat this year. "Fremantle have started the season as premiership favourites and really showed why on the weekend."

For more information