James Hird was non-committal about returning to a senior coaching role, however AFL 360 Co-host Mark Robinson believes the Essendon legend “deep down … I want to coach”.
St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt says he would be prepared to conduct a selection process at Essendon if his former coach Ross Lyon is asked about the club’s vacancy.
The Bombers are on the hunt for a new senior manager following a disastrous week after parting ways with Ben Root after Alastair Clarkson missed out until their final home-and-away game of the year. They will need to find a new CEO after the departure of Xavier Campbell while there are more board seats.
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Among the names linked with a coaching role, Hird returned to the football industry this year with the Giants in his first part-time management role before joining interim coach Mark McVeigh in the coaching box from May.
In the year It was Hird’s first contact with an AFL club following his infamous departure from the Bombers in 2015 amid the scandalous extras saga.
Robinson revealed that he interviewed Hird last week at a private event as part of the club’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
“The first question (to Hird): ‘How are you?’ The second: ‘Are you going to coach Essendon next year?’ And he’s not committed… he hasn’t missed it, he’s still thinking about it. (But) I think he wants to train deeper,” Robinson told Fox Footy. AFL 360.
“What happened at Essendon – the add-ons saga, the court cases, what happened to him as a person – forced him to the point where he was almost suicidal.
“So this game wants to come back in? Do the families want him to come back to this game and face the media scrutiny that comes with James Hird? Because it’s already started.
“Will he go back to that pressure? I don’t know the answer to that… It’s kind of treading water at the moment.”
Herald Sun Reporter John Ralph added on Fox Footy. On the couch Hird will be sure to apply for the role when the audience realizes they walk away from the interview.
Ralph reports that the club will first speak to experienced AFL coaches such as Port Adelaide’s Ken Hinkley and West Coast’s Adam Simpson to gauge their level of interest. If you show less, the club will draw a shortlist from there.
With Gunners assistant coach Adem Yze losing the Giants role won by Adam Kingsley last week, former St Kilda and Fremantle coach Lyon has been heavily linked with the vacant role.
Lyons was right in the mix for the vacant Carlton gig 12 months ago but pulled out when told he had to go through a formal interview process to get the role.
“I think Ross Lyon has to swallow his pride … he might be on the shortlist, but he has to go through a lot of interviews,” Ralph said.
Rialdt, who played under Lyon for five seasons, said when asked if Lyon was “in or out” for the Bombers’ coaching job. On the sofa“At this stage I’d be close out but definitely not – because every time I hear Ross talking I still hear coach. I think there’s still coach locked into his identity.”
I think Ross would be fully prepared to go through a process… I think the problem with Carlton’s situation last time was that it went from a self-hunting situation to an overnight process. As he said, if the conversation changes and he understands the process, then he can make an educated decision. But I don’t think he has spoken to him yet.”
The Bombers announced their coaching sub-committee late last week, which includes current football boss Josh Mahoney, four-time premiership hawk Jordan Lewis and Carlton legend Robert Walls. They meet for the first time this week.
At the same time an external review of the club has begun, with all positions being reviewed.
Robinson said Mahoney could be caught in an awkward situation.
“I found it very interesting… Josh Mahoney and Xavier Campbell put together an internal review. The results of the internal review have devastated the club because there was a referendum on Ben Root on the board… and now they’re doing an external review – and that external review includes a review of Josh Mahoney’s position,” Robinson said. on AFL 360.
“Josh Mahoney could appoint the next manager and not be at the club next year because an external assessment would be ‘sorry Josh but you’re not the right man for the job’. I find it amazing that Essendon Football Club can do that.
But they don’t have anyone else. Who is left in the senior leadership club to sit on the selection panel? I’m curious.”
New Bombers president David Barham suggested at Essendon last week that “a more experienced coach might be able to get more out of this list”.
“It’s important to go in with a real open mind,” Lewis said in his post on Monday.
I think experience is good and it’s probably a club that needs experience – whether it’s a senior coach or an AFL assistant coach. But personally, I will be as open as I can with the applicants who apply and who we can ultimately choose,” he told reporters.