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Thompson To Lead Bombers

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.

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Neeld Third Man Out

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chcago

In late May, a Melbourne board meeting led to media speculation that Coach Mark Neeld was going be sacked. That rumor was quashed with Neeld himself saying it was simply a routine meeting. However, at a meeting on June 14, the board decided to tell Neeld his services were no longer required. Recently appointed CEO Peter Jackson held off on delivering the news to Neeld until the Monday following the completion of Round 12 due to concerns that the information would be leaked to the media before Neeld could be told.

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More Late Season News

Who's in, who's out...and other matters...

All clubs have over 30 players on their lists and select whomever they feel will be the best 22 for any given game. In that respect, the Grand Final is no different, which means some players who may have impressed during the season are going to miss out, no matter what contributions they made during the season. It is tough call for the selection panel of a club to tell a player who has served the team well during the year that he has to miss out on the biggest game of the year. According to Geelong defender and team captain Tom Harley, he and his teammates who will be selected for the game, plan to rally around and console those who miss out.

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