Essendon champion James Hird doesn't close coaching door; Jordan De Goey, Darcy Moore to play for Collingwood Magpies; Christian Petracca will play against Brisbane Lions says Melbourne Demons coach Simon Goodwin - petsitterbank

Essendon champion James Hird doesn’t close coaching door; Jordan De Goey, Darcy Moore to play for Collingwood Magpies; Christian Petracca will play against Brisbane Lions says Melbourne Demons coach Simon Goodwin

“But I worked very hard over the last six years to create another business arm, and I’m 50 … you go down that [coaching] path and that’s almost it. So, I’d have to think very carefully about the path that I take, and there has to be an opportunity too, obviously.”

During the interview, Hird claimed his greatest strength as a coach was the relationships he’d forged, and said his greatest weakness was trusting too much, including trusting two “bad people” during the fallout of the Bombers supplements saga.

“I really was a trusting, accepting person because nothing really bad had happened to me,” said Hird.

“We had two people there who were bad people – I don’t think they cheated, but that’s debatable … I still don’t think players took the wrong thing. Players were put in a very compromising position, which I don’t think they shouldn’t have been put in.

“And the thing that is the most upsetting is there are 34 players who have done absolutely nothing wrong, and their families and them have suffered hugely for it, and so have the Essendon supporters… the players went through hell, through no fault of their own. They just trusted, they didn’t do anything wrong.”

The former Essendon captain also spoke about the five weeks he spent in a Melbourne psychiatric facility in 2017 after overdosing on sleeping tablets, but he added he has come out the other side where he can now see “life is good”.

“It was horrible, it was absolutely horrible [being in hospital]but it was a necessary part of the journey in terms of where I am now,” Hird said.

“I’m not proud of what happened, but I am proud of the resilience that I have to actually get to where I am.”

Crisis support is available from Lifeline on 13 11 14.

De Goey, Moore to line up against the Dockers

Roy Ward

Collingwood are confident Jordan De Goey and Darcy Moore will be fit for Saturday’s semi-final knockout against Fremantle, but finding a way to replace Taylor Adams is proving difficult.

The Magpies named Trent Bianco to replace the injured Adams, while the Dockers made no change.

Collingwood will stick with Mason Cox, who was subbed out of the game the last time the two teams met, and overlooked Oliver Henry, who kicked four goals as a medical sub against the Dockers.

Jordan De Goey will carry a shoulder injury into the final against Fremantle.Credit:Getty Images

Magpies coach Craig McRae said on Thursday that De Goey (shoulder) trained well enough to be selected to face the Dockers while Moore gave the club a scare when he bumped knees with another player and went down during training on Thursday.

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After some treatment, Moore returned to training.

“Jordy will be right to go, he actually did more than we were asking, so he is confident his shoulder will be fine,” McRae said. “I may have some discomfort [in his shoulder] for the rest of the year maybe but he was running well today.

“[Darcy] in one of the contact drills went knee on knee but he should be fine.”

At selection, Collingwood named Trent Bianco to replace Adams. They overlooked Oliver Henry who kicked four goals as a medical sub against the Dockers last time. Fremantle made no changes.

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McRae said he and the match committee were still throwing names around for how they will cover for Adams, who has been an integral part of their midfield success this season.

Running defender Brayden Maynard and forward Jamie Elliott have been mentioned as potential options to spend time in the midfield and, earlier, McRae admitted they could be part of the solution.

But such moves could destabilize other areas of their set-up, considering Maynard made the All-Australian team this season and Elliott can be match-winner up forward.

“Taylor is a difficult one,” McRae said. “We don’t have a plethora of Taylor Adams on our list. He is a unique player, a contested player, and we just don’t have a replacement.

“There are a whole array of things we will discuss. That is why we talk in circles. We may play a role player there or play a specific player in that role.”

Adams faces a three-month recovery after tearing his groin in last Saturday’s qualifying final loss to Geelong. McRae said the star midfielder would be hurting on game day although he may join the coaching staff to help the team at stoppages.

“He’s going to need every bit of the off-season to get himself right,” McRae said.

“He’s brilliant at helping us be better and then he will struggle on match day – he’s already texted me to say he doesn’t know if he will be able to watch he is such a competitor.

“We are considering having him in the box to help with our stoppages but I’m not sure that is going to help his emotions.”

McRae revealed he has a routine for making difficult decisions.

“What I do is take the magnets [player names] home and sleep on them and if I have a restless sleep then I take a couple out and if I have a good sleep then those names generally get to the top of the cue,” McRae said with a smile.

“So I need to take a couple home tonight and sleep on it.”

Melbourne decides not to risk Tom McDonald

peter ryan

Melbourne opted against making any changes for their must win semi-final against the Brisbane Lions after their coach Simon Goodwin declared Norm Smith medalist Christian Petracca a certain starter as he battles a bad corkie and the mental challenge of playing with a hairline fracture in his fibula .

They decided not to risk Tom McDonald, who has played just one game and been training for four weeks after returning from a foot injury. He had not played since round 10.

They also weighed up whether to introduce Jacob van Rooyen to make his debut in a final, but stuck with Ben Brown who has been put on notice, with Goodwin saying McDonald would definitely be available for the preliminary final if they beat Brisbane.

Christian Petracca at training earlier this week.

Christian Petracca at training earlier this week.Credit:Getty Images

The Lions recalled Cam Rayner and Noah Answerth from suspension, and selected Darcy Fort to replace Oscar McInerney in the ruck after McInerney was concussed.

They left out veteran Mitch Robinson as well as Rhys Mathieson and Jaxon Prior. Last week’s sub, Callum Ah Chee, comes into the team and Darcy Wilmot held his spot after making his debut last week.

Demons coach Simon Goodwin was adamant that Petracca was “100 per cent playing” after training well earlier in the week, provided he got through Thursday’s captain’s run without an issue arising.

“He’s moving incredibly well, and we have been really surprised with his progression during the week, and he is the type of competitor that you want,” Goodwin said.

The 26-year-old, who has not missed a game since 2020, has been very open about his hairline fracture and Goodwin said the game presented an opportunity for Petracca to show he could play after facing some adversity early in the week.

“He’s ready to go,” Goodwin said.

He dismissed suggestions his options for managing pain might be limited, with Goodwin claiming Petracca would be right to go without pain management.

“Selection is tight … the guys underneath Tom McDonald and Jacob van Rooyen are putting pressure on our guys in the front half of the ground,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin conceded that on reflection Max Gawn should have been given more time in the ruck with Luke Jackson spending more time forward.

“We will certainly give Max a little bit more responsibility throughout this week. He is a premier ruckman in the competition. We know what he can deliver for us and that is certainly something we have looked at,” Goodwin said.

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