There’s poorly kept secrets. And then there’s this.

After a protracted “selection process” that involved the interviewing of a number of clearly-not-going-to-get-the-job candidates, a recruiting flight to Adelaide by the club bosses and senior players that was about as subtle as a brick to the face, and a week of everyone idly sitting by while official confirmation was delayed until after the Grand Final, the worst kept secret in the AFL has been confirmed.

John Worsfold is the new coach of the Essendon Football Club.

The former West Coast Eagles Premiership Captain (in 1992 an 1994) and Coach (2006) will take over the embattled club at potentially its lowest ebb – having endured 3 years of turmoil through the still on-going ASADA supplements saga, and now facing an exodus of star players such as Jake Carlisle.

The announcement today caps off over a month of uncertainty, following the removal of James Hird as senior coach back in August. Hird, the story goes, suggested Worsfold as his potential replacement on his way out the door.

Worsfold’s appointment will herald a complete overhaul of the Essendon coaching department, with assistant coach Nathan Bassett and Performance GM Neil Craig both recently parting ways with the club.

It’s speculated that Guy McKenna – former West Coast premiership player, inaugural coach of the Gold Coast Suns, and Worsfold’s best mate – will be offered a position as a senior assistant on the new-look coaching panel.

Worsfold’s first order of business is to guide the Bombers through a tricky upcoming Free Agency and Trade period – which will include overseeing the likely trade of key position player Carlisle to St Kilda in exchange for a prized high draft pick – before pre-season training commences shortly thereafter.

Photo: Daniel Kalisz via Getty Images.