After a one hour board meeting several days ago, Matthew Knights was informed that his coaching contract, which will cost the club almost one million dollars in a payout, had been terminated.
With Essendon's dismal season barely over, the Board acted swiftly, and as early as eight am Sunday morning, Essendon Board members moved to remove Matthew Knights as coach even though he had two years left on his contract.
It was Jonathan Brown's 200th game of AFL football. Injuries had plagued the Lions' champion for most of the season but today he was fighting fit and raring to go.
Friday night in the opening match of the round at the MCG, Essendon got off to a quick start, scoring the first two goals.
Last week's dramatic demolition by the Adelaide Crows left Essendon reeling and Bomber coach Matthew Knights under siege. With all quarters weighing into the debate, some fans and media were calling for his head, others for a game plan change. This week was renewal time for the Bomber squad.
For pictures of all the action go to:
With both teams coming off interstate travel, the ever hopeful thought Essendon had the slightest chance of winning. However the script went according to form.
After a bleak start to the 2010 home and away season, the West Coast Eagles finally broke the drought to defeat a disappointing Essendon side at Subiaco Oval. In a two team town where West Coast has always reigned supreme, the early buzz has been all about the Fremantle Dockers’ brilliant start which has been in marked contrast to some uninspiring performances by West Coast. Finally in Round 4 the Eagles found some winning form and scored their first victory of the season.
After their exciting defeat of top team St Kilda in Round 20, all that stood between Essendon and a guaranteed finish in the Final Eight was a trip west to Subiaco Oval and a win over the Fremantle Dockers. The equation was simple: beat Fremantle and play Finals football.
West Coast Eagles fans have long memories. In 1993 Essendon won a match against the Eagles after the siren and on his triumphant run down the coaches' race, then Bombers' coach Kevin Sheedy showed his elation by waving his jacket helicopter-like over his head. To this day, depending on the outcome of the game, fans continue the tradition.
Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Perth
Twenty-five years of rivalry came to a head Friday night at Etihad Stadium. A pro-Hawthorn crowd of 50,000 was looking forward to an easy win over the Bombers, and tipsters from all around Australia were licking their lips at the odds.