For the period he coached in 2015, he was under attack from certain Board members ( leaking to Wilson he had been sacked, some had promised Bomba the job). The players morale was close to zero with the CAS case, knew they were going to lose
I think we are at a stage now where we can have a reasonable debate about this. It is a forum after all.
I loved Hirdy as a player. I grew up with his posters on the wall, fist pumping and running around the loungeroom when he won the 1996 Brownlow, have memorabilia of his littered around the house…
There’s no denying the love many Essendon people have for him and that won’t change.
As coach though? Yes there were positives and he was treated appallingly during and post saga (I have a lot of sympathy for the psychological impact it clearly had on him and his family) … it wasn’t right. Despite all of this I do think he shouldn’t have returned in 2015. We can list as many reasons as we want to excuse the performances that season (some valid, some not so much) but I think putting him back in that position after the anguish and turmoil of the previous few years was a mistake. As I said in a previous post it has had a major domino effect on our years since.
I wish him all the best in his role at GWS and whatever else he chooses to do in his life. As senior coach though? I don’t see it happening… anywhere.