Dockers sound out assistant Watters
Inaugural Dockers squad member Scott Watters could return to his old club, having started talks with Fremantle over their assistant coach vacancy.
Watters is in the final year of a two-year contract with Collingwood, but is yet to commit for 2012 and beyond.
It is understood the 42-year-old met Fremantle officials before Monday’s announcement that Barry Mitchell would be leaving after three seasons as the club’s midfield coach.
Mitchell, whose son Tom will join Sydney next season under the father-son rule, will return to Melbourne, where he previously worked at Carlton and Hawthorn.
That decision has left the door open for a potential reunion between Watters and the club where he played 26 matches in 1995 and 1996. His 109-game career also included stints with West Coast and Sydney.
Watters could add a second AFL premiership to his credentials if the Magpies are successful in winning consecutive flags next month.
He has filled the role as Collingwood’s defensive line coach for the past two seasons and been involved in Leon Davis’ transformation from a small forward to an All- Australian squad nominee as a defender in 2011.
Watters is well versed in the WA football landscape, having also coached in the WAFL.
He was at the helm of Subiaco in 2007 and 2008, the last two of their three successive flags.
The Lions made another grand final in Watters’ third and final season at the helm in 2009 before he was recruited by Collingwood.
Fremantle could have two assistant coach positions available for next season, with Simon Lloyd’s role tipped to change. Lloyd is highly rated as a development coach but was promoted into a dual assistant role last October.
The Dockers, who declined to comment on Watters, have held talks with former captain and triple Doig medallist Peter Bell about the possibility of joining the coaching panel next season.
Meanwhile, utility player Michael Johnson has signed a two-year contract that will keep him at Fremantle until the end of the 2013 season. The 26-year-old was one of only three Dockers, alongside Stephen Hill and Chris Mayne, to play every game this season.
Veteran Antoni Grover also appears likely to play on after his season review with club officials yesterday morning.