Main content
NewestEssendonWebsiteHeader.png

Hird keen for Bomber to stay

BTV: Mark Harvey and James Hird media conference - October 27, 2014 Essendon Head Coach James Hird presents the new Assistant Coach Mark Harvey to the media.

James Hird says his relationship with Mark Thompson remains intact and wants the two-time premiership coach to remain at Essendon in 2015.

However, Thompson's future at the club appears no clearer, with the Bombers' two most recent senior coaches yet to talk after returning from their respective holidays. 

Hird fronted the media on Monday for the first time since Thompson's speech at Essendon's Crichton Medal count earlier this month effectively became a public application to retain the senior coaching position. 

On the same day, Hird had earlier broken ranks with the club by challenging the Federal Court's finding that the joint ASADA-AFL investigation into Essendon's supplements program was legal. Hird was subsequently advised to stay away from that night's function.

Hird said he would speak with Thompson "very soon" and he still wanted the ex-Geelong coach as part of his football department next season. 

"We're fine. We've had a very good relationship for a long time and we still have," Hird said on Monday. 

"I haven't spoken to Bomber about his future.

"I know the club is in discussions with Bomber at the moment so we'll wait and see how those discussions play out.

"I'd rather not speak for Bomber or the club; I'd let them speak for themselves."

Hird said the two had not spoken because he had only returned from his one-week overseas holiday on the weekend. 

Thompson was previously holidaying in the US and Mexico for a fortnight before that.

Hird said Thompson's best and fairest speech hadn't changed the situation.

"I think Bomber is an Essendon person and he's been a great Essendon person and he's played a lot of games, captained a premiership team, was a great coach of Geelong, was terrific here last year and terrific in the first three years we had here together," he said. 

"I'd love to see Bomber around the place and I think every Essendon supporter would.

"We've got a very good relationship that goes back a long time.

"That's still the same.

"We talk all the time … and we'll talk again soon.

"Everyone wants to put a timeline on it. Mark and I will speak very soon but we haven't spoken yet, he was on a holiday and I was working pretty busily at study and it will happen.

"It doesn't have to happen today or tomorrow; it will happen in the next few days when we're ready for it to happen as well."

Hird said the club's coaching panel wasn't finalised with a head of development and another appointment to occur in the coming weeks.

He emphasised there was "definitely" a spot at Essendon for Thompson "if that's the way it goes and that's what he wants".

"Mark's been coaching for a very long time, been in football for a very long time and he has to be given that time to decide what he wants to do," he said.

"I'm not sure I can say a lot more on it because we don't know a lot more and he's going to take his time and he's talking to the club at the moment."

Hird was flanked by new senior assistant Mark Harvey, who has returned to the club after holding the senior role at Fremantle from 2007-11 before a brief assistant stint at the Brisbane Lions until this time last year.

He said he didn't consider Harvey's appointment to be a type of contingency plan in case ASADA's re-issued show-cause notices produced a negative result for the players involved.

"I'm here to coach, I'm the coach of the Essendon Football Club and I plan to coach next year. I've been told I'll be the coach next year," he said.

"Anything more than that is speculation and I'm here to coach.

"Mark's come on board to help the Essendon Football Club be as good as it possibly can be.

"That's why we're all here and we're very excited to have him here.

"I can't wait to be out there coaching with Mark and we start in about seven or eight days time and we're all very excited."

/* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */ var disqus_shortname = 'essendonfc'; // required: replace example with your forum shortname /* * * DON'T EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */ (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + '.disqus.com/embed.js'; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })();