Sheedy considered Essendon board tilt - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sheedy considered Essendon board tilt

By Roger Vaughan 29/10/2008 08:14:06 PM Comments (0)

AFL legend Kevin Sheedy has revealed he considered running for the Essendon board before deciding on a return to Richmond.

Speaking at the launch of his latest book, Sheedy was at his headline-grabbing best as he took aim at long-time Bombers board member Alec Epis and also proposed exempting all indigenous players from the AFL salary cap.

Sheedy's new book, Stand Your Ground, comes a year after the Bombers ended his 27-year reign as their coach in messy circumstances.

Given his standing at Windy Hill and the fallout from his departure, it would have been massive news had Sheedy decided on a tilt at the Essendon board.

In the new book he has fired shots at several key Essendon figures, especially chief executive Peter Jackson, chairman Ray Horsburgh and Epis.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Sheedy was set to return to the Tigers in a marketing and membership role.

Sheedy made his name as a triple-premiership player at Richmond in the 1960s and `70s before joining Essendon as their coach.

"Should I go and stand for the board? I really thought hard about that, but then I thought that might be putting your energies in the wrong direction," he said.

"I had an opportunity to go back to Richmond, a club that gave me a wonderful start in my footy career.

"I would have had no problem working with Peter Jackson or Ray Horsburgh, but you wouldn't waste your time working with Alec Epis."

Sheedy later slightly toned down his attack on Epis, an Essendon premiership player and long-standing board member, admitting there was personal enmity between them.

"It's better to be more positive than possibly negative and work with ... a guy like Alec," he said.

"Alec and I just don't see eye-to-eye on anything and that's fair enough, too.

"Why waste his energy and my energy?"

Sheedy is working with the AFL this year to help with game development and on Wednesday he publicly floated the unlikely idea of exempting indigenous players from the salary cap.

He put the idea to the league as a way of helping with the likely expansion to 18 teams.

"Approximately in 2010, maybe we should just say `let's not have any indigenous players' contracts in the salary cap and see how many more indigenous players we could recruit and get into AFL clubs'," he said.

Sheedy also defended the controversial idea outlined in his book that the Bombers should have seriously considered swapping captain Matthew Lloyd for Chris Judd when he parted ways with West Coast.

Sheedy said he had informal contact with Judd's management before leaving Essendon midway through last season.

Judd joined Carlton for the 2008 season.

"If you wanted to get a Chris Judd, then you had to let somebody go that's very, very good," Sheedy said.

"The Bomber midfield needed a player and a leader like Judd.

"Obviously you won't get many better people than Matthew Lloyd, but the Bombers needed a player and a leader like Judd in the midfield.

"It's a tough decision, you either sit with it or you don't, or you'll never, ever know."

Sheedy also said last year's controversial end to his tenure at Essendon was only a small part of his time there.

He said the club had made the right decision, but mischievously suggested that the change of coach could be considered a new "era" or an "error".

"There's one or two areas that might be concerning for some people, but forget about the five minutes of my time leaving Essendon," he said.

"That was just a very quick goodbye and I think the club made an excellent decision in moving to a new era.

"Obviously how you spell `era' is another thing, but that's another issue.

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