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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Mark Thompson, who walked out on Geelong at the end of the season, has changed his mind about not taking up another coaching role. He has returned to Essendon, the club he played for and captained to a Premiership, as an assistant to James Hird. Thompson had one year to run on his contract with the Cats but said he was exhausted and needed a break from coaching. According to an article in the Geelong Advertiser, this about-face raises several questions. One would be whether or not his excuse for quitting was simply a ruse to get out of his contract so he could return to Essendon. This leads to the second question of whether or not the rumors he was being courted by the Bombers were true. Essendon has steadfastly denied making overtures to Thompson during and after the season. However, in announcing the appointment of Thompson, football manager Paul Hamilton was unapologetic for luring Thompson back home. Nor did he deny that the club had approached Thompson during the season.

Former Geelong player and current Port Adelaide assistant Jason Davenport commented on his Twitter page that Thompson was "officially the biggest hypocrite in the business." That was only part of a scathing attack he made against Thompson. He recently removed the comments from Twitter. Davenport's comments may have been fueled by Thompson himself. In a May radio interview, Thompson reportedly questioned the loyalty of star Cat Gary Ablett as speculation mounted about whether Ablett would leave for the Gold Coast or remain at Geelong. A recent online poll at News Limited resulted in a majority of fans saying Thompson himself had been disloyal to the Cats.

In other news, the Bombers have delisted Jay Neagle, Jarrod Atkinson and Bachar Houli. Atkinson debuted in 2008 and played 17 games. Houli debuted in 2007 and played 26 games. He managed just five in 2010.

Source:; Cara Pelchen, Club Media Release

Article last changed on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 10:09 AM EST

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