Aussie Rules

Pies’ coach shortlist: Tigers assistant catapults into mix

With Justin Leppitsch departing the Tigers at the end of last year, Kingsley has assumed responsibility of the defence this season.

After retiring as a player in 2006, Kingsley worked under Mark Williams as an assistant at the Power for four seasons before an eight-year stint at St Kilda from 2011-2018.

Kingsley has made no secret of his want to be a senior coach and was previously a graduate of the AFL’s Level Four coaching program.

The 45-year-old had been considered for the vacant Adelaide coaching job at the end of 2019 but withdrew from the process citing a desire to continue to upskill under premiership teammate Damien Hardwick at Richmond.

The Pies named a five-person panel to preside over their coach search at the end of June with Sam Mitchell an early contender, only for Hawthorn to act swiftly and draw up a succession plan for him to take the reins from Clarkson in 2023.

Clarkson remains steadfast in his view that he will see out the final year of his contract with the Hawks for 2022 amid expected rival interest.

Pies football director Paul Licuria, who is spearheading the club’s hunt alongside head of football Graham Wright, told an online fan forum last month they had started with 92 names on their initial whiteboard of candidates.

That has since been whittled down in recent weeks with Kingsley, Voss, Pyke and Scott among names of interest.

Port Adelaide assistant Michael Voss ahead of the Power’s clash against St Kilda in round 18, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

Collingwood has put the feelers out to Scott to gauge his interest in returning to the coaches’ box and it is understood he is open to a conversation should the Pies pursue him.

Scott spent three years in the Pies’ coaches’ box under Mick Malthouse before a 10-year stint coaching North Melbourne that ended midway through 2019.

Pyke told ABC Radio two weeks ago that he was still weighing up whether he wanted to enter the race, while Voss has excelled under Ken Hinkley at Port Adelaide in recent years.

It is believer former St Kilda and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon is not a genuine candidate.

Pies chief executive Mark Anderson, director Peter Murphy and premiership player Luke Ball round out the Pies’ five-person sub-committee.