SHEEDY: HIRD SHOULD NEVER HAVE COACHED WITHOUT PRIOR EXPERIENCE
BY JUSTIN TALENT A DAY AGO
Four-time Essendon premiership winning coach Kevin Sheedy says that fellow former coach James Hird should never have coached without having acquired experience as an assistant beforehand.
The 69-year-old AFL coaching great says that his former captain at the Bombers was rushed into the role of head coach at the club, which Sheedy believes never results in a happy ending.
Hird is currently recovering from an overdose earlier this month, over a year after he resigned as coach following his involvement with the Essendon’s long-winded supplements saga that eventually saw 34 past and present players suspended for 12 months.
“We have a really good person in James Hird who’s not well. He should never have been allowed to coach, like (Michael) Voss and Tim Watson,” Sheedy said on SEN Mornings.
“I put to the AFL ten years ago – particularly when we started the Coaches' Association – that no coach should coach in the AFL unless they’d done their coaching courses and had experience.
“Really when you look back, it’s probably come to bite the game on the bum, hasn’t it?
“You wouldn’t get in the plane if the pilot’s done no training, would you? You wouldn’t go in for an operation if the doctor or surgeon’s never actually done any training. Here we are, expecting (success) because they’re superstar players.
“In fairness to James and in fairness to any coach, it’s a very difficult job and becoming more difficult because of the tactics and the technique of playing the game now. It’s a very, very awkward situation to be in.”
Sheedy also touched on the negative perception that some people in the wider public still have of Hird despite his recent troubles.
The former Essendon coach says that this is evidence of people wanting to bring down a popular figure, something Sheedy vehemently dislikes.
“I think everybody likes to be able to knock off a 'tall poppy'. There’s one of Australia’s problems I think… in many ways (we’ve) started to whinge a little bit as a country,” he said.
“I think we’ve just got to get back to basics; we’re a really wonderful, hard-working country with intelligence and we give people an honest go.”
Sheedy says that the 43-year-old Bombers great remains one of the finest people he has ever known.
“James Hird is not a bad person. He’s a very, very good man,” he said.
“I know the type of guy he is… there’s no way known he’d want to sit down there and tell his coaches ‘we’re going to break the laws of the AFL and we’re basically going to have a supplement program that’s (performance) enhancing and it’s going to go over the top of the white line of the rules of ASADA and WADA.’
“He’s not that sort of person. There’s no way known anybody will ever convince me of that…I’ve been watching him for a long time.”