Sheedy defends his right to slam Bombers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sheedy defends his right to slam Bombers

By Adam Cooper 19/07/2010 10:23:45 PM Comments (0)

Kevin Sheedy has defended his right to criticise his former club Essendon and claims the Bombers should have appointed one of their own to coach the club after he left.

Sheedy made it clear on Monday he would not stop questioning Essendon's decisions and progress even though Bombers coach Matthew Knights is under pressure after six-straight defeats and Saturday night's shocker against West Coast.

Sheedy has said Essendon have not improved in the three years since he was sacked, which disappointed the Dons, who believe in the convention that former coaches should not bag their old clubs.

But Sheedy, who led Essendon to four premierships in 27 seasons at Windy Hill and now coaches club-in-waiting Greater Western Sydney, said he was entitled to his opinion even if it was critical.

"I'm not going to wait for anybody to tell me when I can make a comment about any club, any time," Sheedy told radio station SEN.

"As part of my own profession I do write in the press, I do make comments ... so if you ring up to interview people, am I not allowed to make a comment?

"How many years after you're at Essendon aren't you (allowed)? It's three already, do I wait another eight years?"

Knights is contracted until the end of 2012 but the Bombers plan to conduct a review of their football department at the end of the season.

Club chairman David Evans last week refused to guarantee Knights would serve his contract.

After reaching the finals last year Essendon languish in 12th position and have a tough draw over the remaining six rounds.

Sheedy on Monday was not critical of Knights but said the Bombers had missed a golden opportunity to appoint an Essendon identity when they instead decided on the former Richmond captain.

"You've been there for 25-plus years and you've developed a truckload of coaches," Sheedy said.

"There's always someone that they could have continued on in their own vein.

"But in the end they didn't go for a Mark Thompson or a Neale Daniher.

"Even Damien Hardwick got an interview and didn't get it and obviously Mark Harvey. So there's four.

"Dean Bailey's still at Melbourne and (ex-Port Adelaide coach) Mark Williams is basically just coming off contract. So there's lots of different things you can look at."

Sheedy, the AFL Coaches Association president, said he hoped to speak to Williams "as a courtesy" to offer him support following his recent sacking.

But he admitted Williams would be "handy" in a coaching role at Greater Western Sydney, who are scheduled to enter the competition in 2012.

Sheedy was also critical of Essendon's forward line, as he believed one of Matthew Lloyd and Scott Lucas should have been urged to play on in 2010.

The two forwards booted almost 1400 goals between them during their careers but retired last year, which has left the Dons with an inexperienced forward line.

"I think that with having five of their best 10 or 11 goal kickers out, that left (Angus) Monfries as the best goal kicker," Sheedy said.

"That's a big call for a club wanting ... to make the finals (this year) after making the finals (last year).

"I believe goal power is very important when it really comes down to winning games."

Former Essendon skipper James Hird is another who has been flagged as a potential coach but has said he is not contemplating the move.

But Hird said on Monday night he had "absolute confidence" the Bombers would not sack Knights.

"He's got a contract, you honour contracts unless there's a reason not to and at the moment there's not," he told Fox Sports.

Lloyd said Sheedy's comments about Essendon were hurting the club.

"Sheeds has got to look now at what's best for the club and that's not making continual comments, because there's enough of that without a past coach (doing so)," he told Network Ten.

Lloyd refused to answer whether he thought Knights should stay or go but said the last six rounds would have a big say on his future.

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