Thompson lauds AFL Bulldogs' move - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thompson lauds AFL Bulldogs' move

Greg Buckle 20/09/2011 07:47:32 PM Comments (0)

Dual premiership mentor Mark Thompson says the Western Bulldogs deserve praise for choosing a coach with personality rather than simply appointing an ex-player.

Thompson says the decision by the Bulldogs to name former Geelong and Essendon assistant Brendan McCartney as their senior coach despite never having played a game at AFL level shows Australia is embracing the NFL American model.

Thompson coached the Cats for 11 years, quitting in 2010 afterleading the club to premierships in 2007 and 2009.

McCartney followed Thompson to Essendon in 2011 where the pair worked under senior coach James Hird.

McCartney, a former Newtown player in the Geelong Football League, coached Ocean Grove to four successive flags in the Bellarine league before two seasons on Richmond's coaching panel, joining the Cats in 2000.

"It's a good story. I would have thought maybe the Bulldogs would have maybe gone for the easy choice," Thompson said on Tuesday.

"But the board have made a really good decision based on skills, sense and personality, and how they can take their club forward.

"Some boards just don't take that risk because of the fall back later on."

Former Essendon skipper Thompson says it's a "great thing for the industry" that clubs are widening their coaching search beyond playing records.

"The NFL went through a long period of 'coaching coaches' who didn't play football, they had a career in coaching and they turned out to be great coaches," Thompson told SEN Radio.

"I don't think, if you've played the game at the highest level, that it necessarily means you've got an advantage being a coach.

"I suppose what people who haven't coached have to do is prove that they can coach, and he has done that.

"If you were a player at the Western Bulldogs and you heard his press conference (on Monday), you'd be pretty impressed straight away.

"That's the impression most people get when they meet the man.

"He just knows his caper, he's got a huge desire to work and help and develop people, and you can't help but be impressed by him."

Another of Thompson's former assistants, Brenton Sanderson, is leaving Skilled Stadium to be coach of Adelaide next year.

Thompson, who quit the Cats in acrimonious circumstances and cited burnout after the 2010 season, spoke of his pride in seeing the pair get senior coaching jobs.

"We're like the three musketeers, `Macca', `Sando' and I. We're like little clones of each other," Thompson said.

"He (Sanderson) has been a big part in our success (at Geelong).

"Both `Macca' and `Sando' have had 10 years of seeing a club develop into a very, very good club and they know they can implement some of those things that they've seen and been part of.

"I'm happy for them. Geelong as a club, they deserve all the credit. We did have, we still have, Geelong have a great system."

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