Cats happy to let Thompson talks wait - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats happy to let Thompson talks wait

By Sam Lienert 10/09/2007 07:37:04 PM Comments (0)

Geelong president Frank Costa says the decision to delay talks on coach Mark Thompson's future is producing results for the AFL club and there are no fears that Essendon will make a successful swoop.

Thompson, in the last year of his current contract, has a long standing agreement with the Cats' hierarchy not to negotiate a new deal until the club's season comes to an end.

With Thompson seemingly poised to become the Cats' first premiership coach in 44 years, Costa said there was no temptation to act quickly to secure him, despite an expectation that the Bombers will seek to lure the former Essendon premiership captain to Windy Hill.

"Mark wants nothing to interfere with their concentration on going forward in this finals campaign," Costa said.

"He's asked that not even the players' contracts be looked at this stage - a lot of them still haven't been contracted - to wait until the end of the season.

"He's got a wonderful simple approach to football this year, which is working well for us, we don't trouble about anything except the game coming up, the next game, that's what all the focus is on.

"So I've respected that, I've got no reason to believe that we have got anything to be concerned about whatsoever."

Once negotiations begin, Costa said he expected it would be a straight-forward process to keep Thompson at Geelong, despite having little doubt Essendon would try to talk him into a move.

"I've got no doubt the Bombers will speak to Mark and that's their job, they should speak to as many possible coaches around their area of consideration," he said.

"They should speak to the managers of those guys, but they won't be coming to Mark (before the end of the season) and Mark's not talking, I'm very sure of that."

Essendon chief executive Peter Jackson said the Bombers respected Thompson's desire to focus entirely on the Cats' finals campaign, but would not rule out approaching him post-September.

Jackson said the Bombers had already had five candidates present their cases to the club's coaching subcommittee.

West Coast assistant Peter Sumich will be the sixth candidate to do so on Tuesday, while Jackson said a seventh candidate was also likely to be interviewed.

Candidates are believed to include ex-Melbourne coach Neale Daniher, former Richmond player Matthew Knights, who coaches the Bombers' VFL affiliate Bendigo, Hawthorn assistant Damien Hardwick and Collingwood assistant Guy McKenna.

"The ultimate object is to get a shortlist of two to the full board, we have no time constraints to do that," Jackson told SEN radio.

"I think having had seven pretty good presentations we're going to have to put three or four of them back through the mix again and see if we can narrow it down.

"So I think we're at least two weeks away from getting some sort of concrete position."

Daniher said on Sunday he believed the process was being extended until Essendon could determine whether Thompson was a candidate.

Former Essendon champion Tim Watson, who played in three premierships with Thompson, said it made sense for the Bombers to do that.

"Why wouldn't you? Mark Thompson, he may be a premiership coach, he's out of contract at the end of this year, he's a former Essendon player, why wouldn't you try to include him in your search for a new coach?" Watson said on SEN.

Meanwhile, Jackson said he wanted ex-coach Kevin Sheedy at the club's best and fairest night, despite Sheedy having expressed some reservations this week.

Jackson said Sheedy might be getting farewell fatigue, after having been given send-offs in the Bombers' final two matches, with another one planned after grand final day.

"He might be farewelled out, I can understand that, but it is the club's premier event of the year to recognise the achievements and I certainly hope he turns up," he said.

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