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Keep focus on Pies, coaching trio told

By Adam Cooper 10/08/2008 06:08:57 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has urged the AFL club's assistant coaches to pursue their career ambitions in their own time so they do not lose sight of the Magpies' finals ambitions.

Assistants Guy McKenna, Brad Scott and Alan Richardson have reportedly all been interviewed by the Gold Coast franchise, which is searching for an inaugural coach to lead them into the league in 2011.

The trio's interviews come as another possible distraction for Collingwood, who last week had to deal with the fall-out of the drink-driving incident involving Heath Shaw and Alan Didak.

McGuire said he was fine with McKenna, Scott and Richardson being interviewed, provided their main focus was on building on Saturday night's win over St Kilda and helping Mick Malthouse steer the club into the finals.

"I'm more than happy. I did tell them during the week `Do it on your own time'," McGuire told Melbourne radio SEN.

"Be focused and everyone has to be seen that we're focusing on the job, at Collingwood, of getting into the finals.

"It's not good to read in the paper that three of your coaches are being interviewed for jobs.

"(But) I don't mind it happening, it's just a perception issue and a logistical issue.

"(I told them) `I don't want you doing interviews at 12 o'clock or one o'clock in the afternoon', and that's fine, that's what happened."

McGuire said the trio could look at North Melbourne coach Dean Laidley for advice on handling things, as he was an assistant coach at Collingwood in the biggest week of the 2002 season when interviewed by the Kangaroos about a senior job.

"Dean Laidley was approached by the Kangaroos in grand final week," McGuire said.

"He came up to me and said `I won't go for the interview because we're in grand final week and I owe it to the club'.

"I said `You owe it to yourself and I believe you can walk and chew gum at the same time, so go down tomorrow and I'll ring (the Kangaroos' then-chairman) Allen Aylett and say they have our blessings if there is any publicity'."

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