Family keeps Williams out of Dons' reach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Family keeps Williams out of Dons' reach

By Daniel Brettig 17/08/2007 04:52:32 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams is resolute on rebuffing Essendon's increasingly determined efforts to recruit him as Kevin Sheedy's long-term AFL successor.

Essendon chairman Ray Horsburgh has made no secret of his desire to lure Williams to the Bombers, publicly stating that he and Geelong's coach, 1993 Essendon premiership captain Mark Thompson, were the preferred candidates.

Horsburgh this week intimated that there may in fact be "loopholes" in Williams' contract, allowing him to wriggle free of the Power if he chose to do so.

However Williams remained steadfast in his commitment to the Power, who despite not being as big or popular a club as Essendon have positioned themselves for a serious finals tilt in 2007.

"Essendon's a wonderful club and I had a fantastic time there, there's no doubt it's all based on the fact I've got a lot of time for them and they've a lot of time for me with those two years that I spent there, but I'll be staying at Port Adelaide as long as they want me," he said.

"In coaching circles Essendon is a fantastic club, it has huge membership, huge resources all those things are tempting for a coach, there's no doubt, but as long as Port want me I'll be staying here."

In a sense Williams is rejecting the advances of a friend in the name of family ties, for he has remained on very good terms with the Bombers ever since he spent two years there as a reserves/assistant coach in the mid-1990s.

But there is no family that has been so vital in the development of a football club as the Williams brood has been for Port Adelaide, and the prospect of Williams leaving for other pastures appears unlikely.

Williams, meanwhile, expressed his surprise at how quickly Dean Brogan and Warren Tredrea had regained fitness, leaving them near certainties to play against Hawthorn in Launceston on Sunday.

"Yeah I think (Tredrea) will, I really didn't have any ambition for him to play this week but he looks good enough to play so he'll be playing," Williams said.

"They'll be playing for sure and Steven Salopek will come into the side, so we'll take someone else down as a precaution but work it out as the day goes on.

"Tredders was playing really well prior to missing the last few games and Broges is certainly up there with the best running ruckmen in the AFL so it's great to have both of those available.

"Steve Salopek's played really well for us this year, it's certainly been a defining year for him this year.

"His kick, his decision making, his running ability is something you need to match up against the Hawks and certainly going forward to the end of the year."

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