West Coast Eagles Midfielder Reuben Ginbey says he feels for Adam Simpson and the pressure put upon him but owns that the players must take responsibility. 

On Tuesday morning, West Coast released a statement saying the club would mutually part ways with Simpson after 11 years at the helm. 

This decision comes after several weeks of poor-onfield performances and pressure put on his leadership as head coach.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, Ginbey described the day’s events as ‘weird’ and ‘interesting’ and how it all unfolded. 

“Simmo has meant so much for the West Coast footy club and he’s pretty much been the only coach for pretty much every player there,” he told SportFM.

“It was just that normal day we were doing a review, and there had been some whispers thrown around that it might have been a meeting or that a decision might happen. 

“We actually found out before training and that this would be Simmo’s last day.” 

Simpson was appointed in 2014 after John Worsfold stepped aside. From then, he brought plenty of success to the club, including winning the 2018 premiership – one of the toughest feats for an interstate coach to achieve. 

However, from there it began to unravel and pressure to perform became evident. 

Despite winning three games earlier this season, a series of heavy losses has put West Coast in 16th on the ladder and has only added to the existing pressure put on Simpson since.

“It was probably over the last two weeks there’s been a lot of pressure on him, but last year he was probably copping that the whole year,” said Ginbey. 

“For us to play a bit better footy, a bit more promising footy at the start of the year, getting us three wins. But over six weeks, we expected to play better footy than what we have been doing.” 

“I feel for the guy at times, there’s been so much pressure thrown on him and as players, we’ve got to take some of that responsibility as well. It’s not him out playing on the field, it’s us. 

“The last six weeks, we just haven’t performed. I do feel quite sorry for Simmo and as for us players, we’re going to be responsible for what we’re doing on the field as well.” 

Ginbey’s first season at West Coast was 2023 – a year marred by injuries and heavy defeats for the club. 

The Dunsborough product has played each game this season and will have played 33 games under Simpson’s leadership. 

“I’m totally grateful for everything he’s done for me and I’m sure the other players are as well,” said Ginbey. 

“His style of coaching, I really liked and he’s an awesome educator of the game. 

“Coming into AFL as a young player, it’s not just the physical demands, it can be those mental demands and getting the strategies of the game. 

“I definitely haven’t learned everything about the game, I don’t think anyone can but he’s been so great at teaching us that. 

West Coast are set to play Brisbane on Sunday afternoon at Optus Stadium.

IMAGE: The West Australian