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Sacked Bombers coach keen to coach again

By Robert Grant 30/08/2010 03:23:08 PM Comments (0)

Dumped Essendon coach Matthew Knights has expressed his disappointment at being axed but his manager insists he wants to continue coaching.

Knights, whose contract was terminated by the Bombers board on Sunday, spoke briefly on Monday, saying he would take the next few days to consider his immediate future.

He was sacked after the 14th-placed Bombers won just two of their last 12 games.

Essendon have agreed to pay out the remaining two years of his contract at a cost of $800,000.

"I'm obviously disappointed but we'll look at things as the week goes on and at some stage I'll come out and speak to the media," Knights said.

"I'll do that in due course but I certainly won't be rushing the situation - I don't feel there's any real need to do that under the circumstances."

Knight's manager Dan Richardson said Knights was keen to coach again despite being dumped midway through a contract.

"My feeling is that he will still want to stay in the industry and want to coach," Richardson said.

He said Knights originally felt "anger and a little bit of bitterness".

"But he's a strong person, Matthew, and I think he will get through that and be better for it."

Richardson said Knights knew he was under pressure but his sacking on Sunday still came as a shock.

"You'd have to be silly not to realise there was certainly going to be some pressure come the end of the year and he was well aware of that," Richardson told Fairfax Radio.

"I think to some degree though it was unexpected.

"I think from what he had been told by some players and people around the club that he might be able to get through.

"The problem was from day one from the start of this year that I don't think anyone came out strongly enough from the club and said that we can guarantee that he will be coach next year.

"I guess that opened the door for the events to take place the way they did."

The early favourites to replace Knights as Essendon coach are former Port Adelaide premiership mentor Mark Williams and current Bombers assistant Alan Richardson.

Essendon's most recent premiership captain James Hird has again ruled himself out of the race, although he is certain to be courted by Bombers officials.

Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson was sympathetic about Knights' situation, saying it highlighted the "terrible" part of AFL football.

"It's a tough, tough circumstance and every club at some point of time goes through it," Clarkson said.

"Our club went through it five or six years ago with the departing of Schwabby (former coach Peter Schwab), who was a decorated son.

"Essendon will work their way through it as best they can I suppose and the same with Knight too.

"It's the terrible part of AFL footy unfortunately."

Essendon chairman David Evans insisted the club would not be rushed into appointing a new coach.

"I said yesterday that we all have a challenge ahead of us - the board, the management, executive, players and the members of the club," Evans said in a statement.

"We still have a football review to undertake which will now take a longer time, a new coach to recruit, a five-year business plan for growth, and issues to resolve about our facility.

I appreciate that there is a great deal of interest regarding the process of a getting a new coach, and we will be in a position towards to end of the week to give out more information regarding our next steps."

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