He will join David Teague in the Richmond coach’s box, with Teague arriving at Richmond after Carlton sacked him at the end of 2021.
Essendon are yet to fill their vacant coaching position with four candidates — James Hird, Adem Yze, Brendon Lade and Dean Solomon — interviewed by the coaching subcommittee on Wednesday.
The decision to interview Hird — who coached the club during the drugs scandal that saw 34 past and present players suspended in 2016 — has created controversy.
Speaking at the Women in Insolvency and Restructuring Victoria Footy Finals Luncheon at Crown Palladium last week, senior player Zach Merrett told the crowd that although they would make it work if Hird won the job, he would be surprised if the club returned to the 49- year-old Bomber great.
Sources said Merrett also said he didn’t think it was the path the club should go down but the comments were made before there was any indication the Bombers would interview Hird.
The three-time best and fairest has played under five coaches in his 184-game career and twice been All-Australian. He signed a six-year deal to stay with the club until 2027, and although he expressed frustration with the way the season finished with the club once again searching for a new coach, he has faith that the review process will have a positive outcome.
Kangaroos offer Logue a five-year deal
North Melbourne have offered Fremantle’s Griffin Logue a five-year deal to help accelerate the club’s rebuild under new coach Alastair Clarkson.
The 24-year-old told the Dockers at his exit meeting on Thursday that he wanted to be traded to North Melbourne, after wrestling with the decision for several months.
Logue had an outstanding season playing inside 50 for the club in the second half of the year after struggling to get a look-in as a defender alongside Luke Ryan, Alex Pearce and Brennan Cox.
He was dropped in round eight after receiving three coaches’ votes in the Dockers’ round-seven win over Geelong, which sparked the interest of several Victorian clubs including Richmond.
North Melbourne were able to point to the role he will play in the Kangaroos line-up, which prompted Logue to consider his options before the Dockers eventually looked to make him a four-year offer.
Fremantle’s football manager Peter Bell said on Thursday night that Logue had told him that his decision to ask for a trade had been “the hardest decision he had ever had to make”, with the West Australian top-10 pick joined by Blake Acres, Rory Lobb and Darcy Tucker in wanting to trade for Victoria.
Logue, Acres and Lobb played in the club’s two finals in the past fortnight before making the requests. The Dockers said they will refuse to entertain a trade for the contracted Lobb, who wants to join the Western Bulldogs.
North Melbourne have picks one, 55 and 66 but also have pick No.1 in the pre-season draft which gives them strong leverage in any negotiations to trade in players.
They are also waiting on an AFL decision on their submission to receive draft assistance with a decision expected to be formalized at an AFL Commission meeting on Monday.
Rockliff ‘confident’ Tasmania will get AFL go-ahead
Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff hopes the state’s bid to win an AFL license will be a “done deal” in the near future and expects an announcement within weeks.
Tasmania’s bid to become the AFL’s 19th team will go on the line next week when the proposal is put to AFL club presidents. There has been no set date for a final vote but Rockliff is optimistic.
“There will be discussions with the presidents early next week as I understand it and I would hope that we would have within a fortnight from that point in time a very solid announcement,” Rockliff told ABC radio on Friday.
Asked if it was a done deal that Tasmania’s bid would be accepted, Rockliff replied: “Not yet. But I’m looking forward to it being a done deal in the not too distant future. I’m confident, but also very excited.
“This has been a 30-year conversation for Tasmanians in terms of being part of the Australian Football League. The Australian Football League needs to have a Tasmania in it, in AFL and AFLW. We’re not too far away.
“Football is dying in Tasmania and to save it we need to invest in the AFL. We will do that.“
The Tasmanian government will reportedly invest $150 million over 10 years as part of the bid.
Two weeks ago, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said a new stadium in Tasmania, which would cost about $750 million, needs to be a part of the island state’s bid.
“I don’t think Tasmanians would want a team without a new stadium,” McLachlan said. “That’s what the deal’s going to be and nothing has changed about that.”
Heavyweights keen to convert
Geelong and the Brisbane Lions, the two most consistent AFL clubs since 2019, are desperate to convert their home-and-away dominance into a premiership.
The Cats will enter Friday night’s preliminary final at the MCG as hot favorites after winning 14 straight games.
But the Lions have caused two giant upsets in this year’s finals series to rise from sixth and be on the cusp of their first grand final appearance since 2004.
Geelong have played off in six preliminary finals since their last flag in 2011, winning just one of them – against the Lions in 2020. But the ultimate success has eluded the Cats since they saluted 11 years ago, Chris Scott’s first season as coach.
After entering this year’s finals with a 1-5 record under Chris Fagan’s watch, the Lions have taken down the previous two premiers, Richmond and Melbourne, to shake off their MCG hoodoo and book a date with Geelong.
“Losing a prelim two years ago does teach you a few lessons,” Fagan told reporters. “The players did get caught up in playing a grand finale, maybe, or didn’t appreciate the opportunity they had, being so close.
“They talked a bit this week that maybe they took it a bit for granted, maybe [thinking making a prelim and winning it] is a bit easier than they think.”
Since the Lions rose from 15th in 2018 to a semi-final in 2019, their home-and-away record is 60-23. The Cats’ regular season form is even better with a 62-21 record.
The Lions’ rise up the ladder has meant games with Geelong, the perennial premiership contenders, have taken on extra significance. In a classic match at Geelong last year, the Cats prevailed in a controversial one-point thriller as Scott and Fagan had a verbal altercation during the fiery affair.
Tensions have boiled over in numerous recent games between the teams, but Scott does not expect a repeat of the round-two game in 2021. “I’m not that way inclined and I don’t think he is, either,” Scott said .
Fagan respects Geelong but believes the Lions can show the same ferocity at the ball they have displayed since stumbling into the finals.
“I actually respect them [Geelong]they’re the benchmark with their consistency,” Fagan said.
“I guess we’ve become rivals because we’re chasing the same thing as a football club. They’ve played in a lot of finals over the last few years and haven’t been able to win a flag, and so have we.”
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