Hird preparing to scale back duties - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hird preparing to scale back duties

By Tom Wald 09/02/2005 06:34:38 PM Comments (0)

Essendon great James Hird has admitted the upcoming AFL season could be his last.

Hird, who turned 32 on Saturday, is in the final year of his contract and said he would decide on his future at the end of the 2005 season.

He hinted this might be his last year at a training session at Manly Oval before the Bombers' trial match against Sydney on Friday night.

"At the moment I really love playing and I really want to keep playing so I suppose time will tell, maybe by the end of this year I won't," he said.

"But the way I am feeling at the moment I want to keep playing. "But I think it is always more of a body thing than a mental thing how could you not want to do what we do."

Hird took his first step in scaling back his duties by appearing ready to hand over the captaincy to deputy Matthew Lloyd at the end of the upcoming AFL season.

The Brownlow and Norm Smith Medallist said he was prepared to continue playing under another player and that looks the likely option if he continues into 2006.

"I definitely don't have to be captain to keep playing," he said. "I think there are a lot of terrific leaders around so sooner or later I won't be captain and whether I am playing or not (as) captain that does not faze me."

The two-time premiership winner is preparing to lead the Bombers for the eighth season after guiding the side to the flag in 2000.

"The time is almost here that one of the other boys needs to step up," Hird said. "Lloydy is looking pretty good for that so I would imagine that would not be too far away for him.

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