West Coast premiership forward Ashley Hansen has cited bad timing as his main reason for knocking back a full-time position as a development coach at Fremantle.

The 28-year-old was offered the role after several meetings with senior Dockers officials, including one with new coach Ross Lyon and assistant Peter Sumich on Monday.

He revealed yesterday he had chosen to turn down the job opportunity, labelling it as a hard decision to make.

Hansen will instead complete studies at Edith Cowan University and play on with WAFL club Swan Districts in 2012.

“I’m pretty much going to stick with my original plan, which was to have another year at Swan Districts and enjoy playing while I can, while I still think I can play at a good level,” Hansen said. “(I also want) to start and finish my masters in sports science.

“Those two factors I want to get pretty much behind me before I start the next phase of my career. Whether that’s at Freo or another club, I’m not sure.

“I suppose that’s the risk I’ve run by not taking this position, but hopefully another opportunity will come up to facilitate that kind of role.

“The opportunity was really great. Meeting Ross Lyon and Suma and (football manager) Chris Bond and (assistant) Simon Lloyd, they’re all really impressive people.

“I was excited about taking the opportunity up and I probably was there for a couple of days, but I had a good think about it over a week and decided to go this way.

“It’s a hard one, but I just think the timing’s not quite right to start a position like that.

“I’d rather educate myself and be 100 per cent ready to commit myself to a position.”

Hansen said Fremantle had initially approached him to gauge his interest. He made his decision after speaking to family, close friends and his manager.

The 2006 Eagles premiership player would have been in familiar company if he had accepted.

All of his 78 appearances for West Coast came with Sumich as senior assistant coach at the club.

The forward also knew Fremantle stoppages coach Mark Stone from when the recently-appointed Docker worked at the Eagles from 2003 to 2007.

Hansen’s call leaves the position open to other candidates.

Sandover medallist Neil Mildenhall, who played seven matches for the Dockers in their inaugural 1995 season, is believed to have had recent meetings with Fremantle and is likely to be a contender.

A short list of seven candidates has meanwhile been reached from the 17 applicants vying for four vacancies on the WA Football Commission. The WAFC will make the short list public in the next few days.

Stakeholders including West Coast, Fremantle and each of the nine WAFL clubs will then vote on November 29.

 

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