Sheedy backs Hird's credentials - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sheedy backs Hird's credentials

By Roger Vaughan 18/08/2010 07:32:28 PM Comments (0)

Kevin Sheedy has backed fellow Essendon legend James Hird as a potential AFL coach, but has also defended Bombers incumbent Matthew Knights.

Essendon's tough season is in free fall after successive thrashings from arch-rivals Carlton and Collingwood.

Hird, one of Essendon's greatest players, compounded the pressure on Wednesday when he said (eds: Herald Sun): "there's something in me, deep in my heart, that says at some point I want to coach Essendon".

Hird also stressed he supported Knights.

Reacting to Hird's comments, Sheedy said his former captain could succeed as a senior coach, provided he had a strong support staff.

"You need great assistants, I've had Denis Pagan, I've had Mark Williams, I've got Mark Harvey, Mark Thompson, they've all been terrific," Sheedy told Triple M.

"In the end, with Essendon, I think Hirdy would have to have a great support team."

Sheedy said Knights needed more time to develop a young side and used Fremantle as an example of how the Bombers could turn around their fortunes quickly.

"He has a very young team out on the paddock," Sheedy said of Knights.

"I think they'll stay on with Matthew Knights ... this time last year it was (Fremantle coach) Mark Harvey, everyone was gunning for Mark Harvey whereas he has been in the top four (this season)."

Sheedy coached Essendon to four premierships in a 27-year term and is now in charge of expansion side Greater Western Sydney.

Thompson, another former Bombers captain, has coached Geelong to two premierships.

He said it would be better for Hird if he worked as an assistant coach in the AFL before taking over a team, but added the Brownlow Medallist had the ability to walk straight into a senior job.

"It's a lot easier (to serve an apprenticeship) - Brad Scott and Damien Hardwick have done a remarkable job in their first years, that's because they knew what was coming and they had experience at a league club," Thompson said of the first-year Richmond and North Melbourne coaches.

"If you were going to pick a coach, that would be the ideal way, an ideal person to pick, someone who's had experience.

"But if anyone can do it, Hirdy can - he probably could."

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