On September 30th former North Melbourne coach and current AFL head of football Brad Scott was appointed Essendon's new senior coach. Apparently, Scott had been in talks with the club for a week before formally applying for the job the same day.
In an email, president, David Barham said, “We believe Brad has all the attributes to be the long-term coach ... He’s a strong leader who will drive standards and establish a winning culture. We look forward to Brad getting started with us and working closely with the broader club and the football department for what will be an important preseason ... ". We are under no illusions about the hard work ahead of us. By the same token, we are excited about the challenge of building a club that our members are proud of and one that delivers sustained on-field success.” Scott coached North Melbourne in 211 games. After departing the Kangaroos, he replaced Steve Hocking at the AFL as head of football operations.
Former player and coach James Hird and assistant coach Adam Yze were both in the running for the job. After it was announced that Scott had been appointed, board member and former coach Kevin Sheedy was not happy. Sheedy, a member of the board but not part of the panel which appointed Scott, said, “I am extremely disappointed that the comment from my club was that it was fully endorsed, when in fact I voted for James Hird to be the coach of Essendon,’’ Sheedy told the Herald Sun ... I want to make sure all the fans know that I voted for James Hird and I’m extremely disappointed with the report that went out .. Don’t tell the Essendon fan base an untruth. This is what happens when you bring new people into the club. I actually felt insulted that Hird would think I voted against him after what he’s done for our club.’’
Club officials were not happy with Sheedy making the board decision public. The club refuted Sheedy's claim of the 6-1 board vote being unanimous, saying Scott was "fully endorsed". They also said that Sheedy said he would support the decision. They are also unhappy that he broke board protocols by going public.
Scott replied to the comments by saying it was not his place to get involved with club policy and he would not focus on things he could not control. He also said, “I think it’s healthy to have debate. I think its really important that there’s a really rigorous process ... if Essendon had said ... we’re going to appoint you without a process’, I would’ve been concerned ... The board ratified that decision ... I’m not privy to the discussions the board had and if I was ... I wouldn’t disclose them." There has already been speculation that Sheedy will be asked to step down from his position at the club.
Former Geelong star and current GWS football director Jimmy Bartel has already put in for the job to replace Scott. Interviewed on a TV show Bartel said, "... You know my passion for the game and administration, that’s why I do my work for the Giants, I've had some involvement with the Brisbane Lions and experience being on the board of the Players' Association ... I wouldn’t be much younger than when Brad Scott went into it, but I think having the different experiences down at Geelong, two interstate clubs, northern clubs, has clearly opened my thinking and education on the game. Obviously my involvement with the Players' Association, the AFL Tribunal and a number of other little subcommittees… "
Bartel retired from the AFL in 2016 after 305 games, and worked with the Lions midway through 2018 before joining the GWS board later that year. He was part of the process which brought in Adam Kingsley as the new senior coach. He is also involved with the media, doing commentary for AFL games during the 2022 season.
Article last changed on Monday, September 25, 2023 - 10:20 AM EDT