Ayres gets the axe - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ayres gets the axe

By Sam Lienert 22/06/2004 05:15:27 AM Comments (0)

Hours after Adelaide coach Gary Ayres declared he could see "light at the end of the tunnel", he was hit by the train, becoming the first AFL coach to lose his job this season.

Ayres was told he would not continue the "renovating" job at the Crows in 2005, after celebrating a win over the Western Bulldogs achieved by a side packed with youth he heralded as the club's future.

This prompted his immediate resignation, with assistant Neil Craig given to job for the rest of the season.

Craig's nine games in charge will be an audition for him to follow St Kilda's Grant Thomas and Sydney's Paul Roos from interim coaches to permanent appointments.

Other likely candidates are former Bulldogs mentor Terry Wallace, former Sydney coach Rodney Eade and Sydney assistant Peter Jonas.

Wallace immediately declared his interest, saying Adelaide had the two ingredients a prospective coach wanted - stability and a decent list.

"I would think a coach looking to step in has a nice balance between senior players and developing youth," Wallace told Fox Footy.

Adelaide chief executive Steven Trigg was glowing in his appraisal of Craig's credentials.

"The club believes very firmly that those attributes are ideal for where we're at in terms of the development of our list and fitting with the position description of senior coach of the Adelaide Football Club," he said.

But he stressed there was an "open book" on candidates, and the success of Geelong coach Mark Thompson, Fremantle's Chris Connolly and Roos left Adelaide open to the idea of appointing a coach untried at senior level.

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