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Bailey hoping for calmer times at Demons

By Sam Lienert and Justin Chadwick 24/07/2008 06:25:13 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Dean Bailey says a return to stability at the AFL club is needed, admitting the turbulent times during his first year in charge have caught him by surprise.

The club's sacking of Paul McNamee this week, after his short-lived stint as chief executive, continued an extremely tumultuous recent period.

Since Bailey was appointed as a first-time coach last August, the Demons have appointed a new football manager, installed a new president, hired and sacked McNamee, as well as revealing their debt is spiralling towards $5 million.

On field, things have not gone much smoother for the bottom-placed club, with skipper David Neitz retiring in May, and another four players going down with season-ending injuries.

But Bailey said that while there had been no hint of the dramas to come when he took the job, he was determined not to lose focus.

"I didn't know all this was going to happen, no, I'll be honest with you there," Bailey said.

"But look, my direction, I was employed to be a coach and nothing has changed from the day I got the position to today.

"I'll coach as well as I can and help and develop young players and help and develop our list.

"The board ... they're in place to make those decisions that they see best fit for the future of Melbourne."

Bailey said he had faith in new president Jim Stynes' ability to create the settled environment needed.

"It's important that we have stability and I think we've got an exceptional president, Jim Stynes," he said.

"He has brought a lot of momentum with him. He's very passionate and this is the start of I think a pretty exciting future with the Melbourne footy club."

Bailey, who said he was surprised by McNamee's sacking and had no input or advance warning, was confident it would not distract the players ahead of Sunday's MCG clash with North Melbourne.

One of the leading contenders to replace McNamee, outgoing Fremantle chief executive Cameron Schwab, today distanced himself from the job.

Schwab, a former Demons administrator, who is returning to Melbourne for family reasons, refused to completely rule himself out, but strongly suggested he would not make himself available.

"I've given it no consideration and I won't be giving it any consideration," Schwab said.

"The next phase of my life will be about organising my family back onto the other side of the country and then (I'm) focused on taking a break and working out what I'm going to do from that point onwards."

Schwab said it was pure coincidence that he was seen speaking to Stynes when the two clubs met at Subiaco on Sunday.

"It's nothing that I'm actually seeking or wanting to do, I'm looking at doing something different," he said.

Schwab, who has been linked to a possible administrative post with the AFL, was speaking at a press conference in Perth today where it was announced that one of his subordinates, Steve Rosich, would replace him at the Dockers.

His reluctance towards the Melbourne role increases the frontrunner status of Geelong chief operating officer Stuart Fox, although Stynes said on Wednesday Melbourne would throw their net wide.

Meanwhile, Bailey indicated today that he had not been in favour of an aborted attempt to lure Brisbane forward Jonathan Brown to the club.

McNamee's efforts to sign the triple-premiership star were one of the major sticking points between him and the new board, with the sacked chief executive revealing it "knocked me for six" when Stynes told him to stop pursuing Brown.

Bailey said his preference had always been to build through the draft.

"We intend to use the national draft with our first pick and the succeeding picks to try to get the best players we can," Bailey said.

"I think there's enough talent in the draft for our first two or three picks to come out of the draft.

"That's a clear indication from our recruiting and a clear direction that I've set for most of the year, particularly the second half of the year."

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