Barassi, Daniher back Sheedy for Demons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barassi, Daniher back Sheedy for Demons

By Sam Lienert 31/07/2007 06:25:02 AM Comments (0)

Former Melbourne coaches Ron Barassi and Neale Daniher have backed Kevin Sheedy to take over as the next coach of the Demons.

Barassi, one of Melbourne's most revered figures and the captain of their team of the century, rubbished the notion that 59-year-old Sheedy, who is in the last of his 27 seasons with Essendon, was too old to embark on a new coaching job.

"I don't see any evidence of that, he's still got a lot of energy, he's still very creative, definitely his brain's not going backwards," Barassi told the Southern Cross Network.

"Why would you say that? What proof has one of saying that?

"Age is not a problem in this case, it might be in some cases."

Barassi's own coaching career ended at the age of 59, when he resigned from Sydney at the end of 1995, believing he only had one year left in him, while the Swans wanted someone for a longer term.

But he said Sheedy, a four-time premiership coach with the Bombers, was a different case, and could do the job "in any sort of area in any sort of club, no matter what the history of that club".

"I think he'd be a good choice to be honest, I'm warming more and more to him," Barassi said.

"When you think of what he's done, and as I said there's no sign of him lessening his efforts, I think he'd be good."

Daniher, whose nine-and-a-half seasons in charge of Melbourne ended with the club's round 13 loss to the Bombers, also backed Sheedy, who coached him at Essendon during his playing days.

"I think he'd add a lot down at Demonland," he said.

Daniher also dismissed the age factor.

"Sometimes young people can be old and the older people like Kevin have got a youth and ratbaggery about him," he said.

Melbourne officials declined to comment on whether Sheedy was a candidate.

Apart from his coaching credentials, Sheedy's profile and promotional nous would be a major plus for the Demons, whose financial constraints have forced them to sell home games interstate, including Sunday's match against Sydney in Canberra.

Ex-Fremantle coach Chris Connolly, a former Melbourne player, is still regarded as the frontrunner for the job.

The Demons have said caretaker coach Mark Riley is also in the running, but his chances would have waned as a result of leading the team to three big losses in the past three rounds, after they won his debut match against Carlton.

A selection panel headed by chief executive Steve Harris and football director Chris Fagan will meet candidates over the next few weeks, but the club said in a statement they would not be rushed.

"There is no shortage of speculation and comment ... however the club has resolved to make the best possible decision, not necessarily the quickest," the Demons said.

Fremantle has also made contact with Sheedy, with the Dockers believed to be considering him for a managerial or mentoring role in combination with current caretaker coach Mark Harvey.

"I've got no doubt Fremantle will talk to Kevin Sheedy about going over there trying to support Mark Harvey," Daniher said.

"I reckon that conversation will occur, but I don't know if you could get Kevin Sheedy out of Melbourne town."

Daniher is rated as a leading candidate to take over Sheedy's job at the Bombers and said an interview had been scheduled.

"I have been approached to have a chat to Essendon, but I might be one of 30 or 40 (candidates), so we'll see where that goes," he said.

He conceded he was out of the race for the Carlton job, saying the Blues seemed fixed on former Brisbane premiership captain Michael Voss.

"They're looking for someone that's recently left (playing), I reckon they're looking at Voss basically and they're going `We're looking for someone out of the game,'" he said.

"They've got a very young list and hoping a younger coach can grow up with their list, I reckon that's what their thinking is."

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