Essendon have confirmed club legend Mark Harvey will “transition out of coaching”, as the club prepares for its first season under sole senior coach Ben Rutten.
Harvey, a three-time premiership player and former senior coach of Fremantle, has been replaced by fellow assistant coach James Kelly effective immediately.
The 55-year-old, who has been an assistant coach at the club since 2015, will now move into a “dual off-field” position, while Rutten will take responsibility for his backline duties.
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Harvey’s role will be split across “commercial stakeholder management” and “a football role between pro scouting and opposition analysis”.
Essendon are out of the finals race after their 50-point loss to Port Adelaide last week and will face Melbourne on Saturday, who must win in order to have a chance of making the top eight.
Saturday will also mark John Worsfold’s final game as Essendon coach after a coaching handover to Ben Rutten that started swimmingly but has since been the source of frustration for many supporters.
AFL 360 co-hosts Gerard Whateley and Mark Robinson bemoaned the handover on Monday night, which they believe will leave Worsfold with less praise than he deserves for taking the reigns at the club during the most tumultuous period in its history.