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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Mark Thompson said several months ago he was not interested in coaching the Bombers in 2014. However he has since changed his mind and will be the stand-in coach for the suspended James Hird. At a press conference he said the difference was spending time away, having a rest and coming back refreshed after the off-field turmoil of 2013. Former Adelaide champion Simon Goodwin has been promoted as the senior assistant while former Adelaide coach Neil Craig quit Melbourne with one year to run on a three year contract. Craig has signed a two year deal with the Bombers as coaching director. As of this writing, Essendon is interested in former Crow Nathan Bassett but Bassett, currently coaching SANFL club Norwood, has yet to make a decision. Two other former Crows, Hayden Skipworth and James Byrne, are also on Essendon's coaching staff.

Former Eagle Jaymie Graham has returned to West Coast in a development role alongside former teammate Adam Selwood, who announced his retirement earlier this year. Graham played just 37 games in an injury-interrupted career and retired in 2008. He joined South Fremantle but an horrific knee injury ended his playing days in 2011. He has since been an assistant at St Kilda.

The Eagles have lost assistant Scott Burns, who is returning home to Melbourne after accepting an offer from Collingwood to be an assistant. Burns, who retired in 2008 after 265 games with the Magpies, has been an assistant at the Eagles since his retirement. With Burns returning, midfield coach Robert Harvey will assume the role of senior assistant coach. Burns played alongside Magpie Coach Nathan Buckley for 14 seasons and served as his vice-captain from 1999 until his appointment as captain in his final season.

Source:, Anna Carew-Reid, West Coast Media Release

Article last changed on Monday, October 14, 2013 - 6:29 PM EDT

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