AFL Bulldogs sack coach Rodney Eade - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL Bulldogs sack coach Rodney Eade

By John Salvado 17/08/2011 12:56:17 PM Comments (0)

Rodney Eade says he's "bitterly disappointed" at being sacked as coach of the Western Bulldogs after seven mostly successful AFL seasons in the top job.

Bulldogs president David Smorgon informed Eade on Wednesday morning of the board's decision not to renew his contract.

The 53-year-old is expected to be a leading contender to fill the head coaching vacancies at Adelaide or Melbourne next year.

Eade becomes the third AFL coach to be ousted in 2011, joining Adelaide's Neil Craig and Melbourne's Dean Bailey.

"I'm disappointed, there's no doubt about that," he said about the Bulldogs' decision not to renew his contract.

"I'm not shattered or angry but I'm certainly disappointed, I'm bitterly disappointed.

"I feel like I've got a lot to offer.

"... but it's a results-driven business.

"As much as we want to talk about other factors, the W and L (win and loss) columns mean a lot."

After reaching the preliminary final in each of the previous three seasons, the 12th-placed Bulldogs will miss out on the September action for the first time since 2007.

In addition to his seven years with the Bulldogs, Eade also coached Sydney for six-and-a-half seasons, highlighted by leading the Swans into the 1996 grand final, which they lost to North Melbourne.

The Bulldogs had intended to wait until the end of the season to make a decision on Eade's coaching future but brought the decision forward after a request by his manager Phil Mullen.

Smorgon said Eade had enjoyed total support from the club's hierarchy during his time as coach.

But the president said the board decided that the club needed a new direction to take them forward for the next three to four years.

"We feel it's time for a change, it's time for a different approach," said Smorgon.

"We nearly got there (to win a premiership) - it wasn't Rodney's fault.

"... I don't think we need to rebuild, I think we need to refresh.

"... this is not about rebuilding in our assessment, although we'll obviously defer to the new coach."

Smorgon said the club had yet to discuss any possible replacements for Eade, although there would be an independent figure on the selection panel.

Chief executive Simon Garlick insisted the club had no preference on whether the new coach had a background with the Bulldogs.

Eade has previously described himself as a career coach but said on Wednesday he had yet to decide on his preferred next move.

Eade planned to coach the Bulldogs in their remaining three home and away matches against Port Adelaide, Hawthorn and Fremantle.

But if that situation became too awkward, the club was prepared to appoint a caretaker coach to see out the season.

"Maybe my thoughts might change, I don't know," said Eade.

"But at the moment it's a Wednesday and I'm in coaching mode for the weekend."

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