Dockers' AFL coach search set to intensify

Collingwood assistant Justin Longmuir (R) is still in the mix for the vacant Dockers' coaching role.
Collingwood assistant Justin Longmuir (R) is still in the mix for the vacant Dockers' coaching role.

Fremantle's search for their new head coach will intensify this week, but Brisbane great Michael Voss has reportedly pulled out of the running.

The race to be named Fremantle coach was seemingly thrown wide open on Friday when reports surfaced that early favourite Justin Longmuir was considering taking an assistant's role at Carlton.

But the Collingwood assistant has since quashed talk that he has pulled out of the process for the Fremantle gig, saying he is "absolutely" interested in the role.

Collingwood's preliminary final exit at the hands of GWS on Saturday means Longmuir can now make his pitch to Fremantle's coaching selection panel.

More formal talks are set to be conducted this week, with the likes of Peter Sumich, Dean Solomon, and Josh Carr still in the race.

Voss was also expected to be a strong contender, but reports surfaced on Monday that the current Port Adelaide assistant has pulled out of the race.

Fremantle wouldn't comment on the timeline of an expected coaching appointment when contacted on Monday, but a decision could be made by next week.

Sumich is seen as Longmuir's main rival for the head coach role.

The former Eagle spent long stints as an assistant at West Coast and Fremantle, and more recently led WA to the under-18s Championship in his third year in charge.

Sumich narrowly missed out on West Coast's head coaching role to Adam Simpson at the end of 2013, but is hopeful of achieving his coaching dream at Fremantle.

Such an appointment at the Dockers would be somewhat ironic given that Sumich was forced to leave his assistant's post there in 2016 after a falling-out with then-coach Ross Lyon.

Lyon was sacked last month despite having a year remaining on his contract, with chief executive Steve Rosich shown the door on the same day.

Australian Associated Press