JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.



Demons coaching choice is close at hand

Mark Williams hams it up with Trent Cotchin at Punt Road.

Mark Williams hams it up with Trent Cotchin at Punt Road. Photo: Pat Scala

Having botched its critical senior coaching appointment less than two years ago, Melbourne has no choice but to look for experience and authority in seeking a replacement for Mark Neeld. There is every indication the Demons won’t have to look very far.

Mark Williams is the best candidate for the job. He comes with baggage, but even those detractors who witnessed first-hand his fall-out with Port Adelaide and tempestuous two seasons at Greater Western Sydney admire Williams as one of the best coaches in the AFL.

When asked if experience was now required at Melbourne, new chief executive Peter Jackson told Monday morning’s latest bloodletting press conference that Melbourne required "a very good coach".

That is no surprise. Jackson is a known admirer of Williams and there is no indication that the AFL took the 2004 premiership coach off its books for consideration after 54-year-old’s largely unhappy time with the then under-resourced baby Giants.

The league is well aware of what went wrong and do not believe that Williams alone should shoulder the blame.
Jackson also underlined the club’s search for a strong and senior football operations manager as a priority. That role is unlikely to be filled by the new caretaker Josh Mahoney.

The position requires someone with the authority needed to back Williams, but also to handle his demands, which will come regularly and loudly.

Melbourne has now sacked two previously inexperienced senior coaches within 22 months, but that is not reason alone to seek experience now.

The truth is it would be folly to go for another unproven coach.

Garry Lyon, Cameron Schwab and Don McLardy believed that Neeld would work with the old hand Neil Craig by his side, but for a variety of reasons the two men could not take Melbourne any further and rather than rebuild they dismantled.

Now Schwab and McLardy have gone, largely because of the Neeld disaster, and Lyon has declared the former Collingwood assistant may have been the wrong person to take on the coaching in the first place.

Paul Roos has no interest in coaching again, Kevin Sheedy will not be a candidate, nor should he be, John Worsfold is out of the picture and Rodney Eade is not rated as highly as Williams.

Unless Neil Craig performs football miracles over the coming two months he will not coach again and would probably have to go given that he and Williams would not work together.

Melbourne has blown yet another six-figure sum - $600,000 - on yet another piece of bad business with more pay-outs to come. The AFL industry’s disproportionate amount of money spent on sacking coaches, officials and executives remains a disturbing undercurrent as it now demands so much from its supporters through club memberships, pay television and admission costs.

Williams, the long time Port Adelaide mentor, remains passionate about coaching and seems the ideal candidate to dispense some tough love - with emphasis on the latter - on this shattered playing group. With strong guidance from the right football boss he is the teacher to slowly instill confidence back into the Demons.

If Williams learned any lesson from the Giants experience it was that he perhaps demanded too much from some of the younger players, although many of those still speak highly of him. But the GWS list was dominated by teenagers and Melbourne’s is not.

His family struggled to settle in Sydney whereas they have already happily relocated to Melbourne. Presumably the pitfalls of attempting to micromanage a developing and under-resourced football club with Kevin Sheedy as the front man is one experience he has learned from and will never repeat.

Williams also has a history of strong relationships with his older players, something Neeld failed to achieve, and has one of the best reputations in the competition in promoting indigenous talent, which Neeld in his short unsuccessful stint at Melbourne did not.

Richmond, which lured him from GWS on a two-year contract as a senior development coach, has no regrets in that appointment and has singled out his close and reportedly fruitful relationship with the talented but troubled Dustin Martin as one of many assets Williams has brought to Tigerland.

Williams’ contract with Richmond is directly linked to Damien Hardwick’s - a matter that would become irrelevant should Melbourne offer him the senior job and he chooses to take it.

None of the above means that Melbourne should not apply due diligence to this appointment - something it failed to do last time in not passionately pursuing Ross Lyon the way Fremantle did, nor wooing Mick Malthouse, nor even bothering to invite Ken Hinkley for a second interview.

Williams did not interest the Demons then either.

He should now. He is not the messiah, Melbourne has had enough of those, but he is the man for the job.

And who would have thought he'd be working just around the corner at Punt Road.

143 comments

  • Leave Choco alone! He likes being a Tiger, and we like having him.

    Commenter
    Flumpf
    Date and time
    June 17, 2013, 3:22PM
    • Yep, leave him where he is please. I think he is doing great things down at Punt Rd.

      Commenter
      Brett
      Date and time
      June 17, 2013, 3:49PM
    • totally with ya Flumpf. Don't want to see him go either. He's done well with Dusty and hope to see him work on Riewoldt next. Don't get me wrong, love Jack but needs a slight onfield attitude adjustment. :)

      Commenter
      tigergirl
      Location
      melb
      Date and time
      June 17, 2013, 3:50PM
    • Richmond is doomed as all its money hungry wannabes seek lucrative contracts elsewhere. Williams should make a name for himself by taking Melbourne to its first flag since, since...?

      Anyway, he is too good a coach to be filling in minor positions, he should be a head coach!

      Commenter
      GWS
      Date and time
      June 17, 2013, 3:51PM
    • Williams would be a great choice - will stand up for the club and he knows homesick GWS players very well !!!

      Commenter
      David
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      June 17, 2013, 4:29PM
    • @GWS, which money hungry stars are seeking contracts elsewhere? Cotchin and Deledio are locked away. Jack and Dustin both re-signed last time GWS came knocking.

      Commenter
      Mick
      Date and time
      June 17, 2013, 4:43PM
    • Choco can stay as John Worsfold will be the next coach of Melbourne. You have heard it here. His missus has left him, he no longer wants to be at WC or in Perth.

      Commenter
      Peter
      Location
      Bangkok
      Date and time
      June 17, 2013, 9:12PM
    • As a Melbourne supporter for over 50 years I would love to see Mark 'Choco' Williams as senior coach with Simon Black as Assistant Coach, if the MFC could lure him from BB (I think of Simon Black as Mr Football in AFL as the equivalent of Michael Hussey as Mr Cricket is in cricket) he lives and breathes football in every aspect of his life full stop and could be a football genius in years to come.

      Commenter
      GB
      Date and time
      June 17, 2013, 10:50PM
  • Melbourne required "a very good coach".
    really, and here i was thinking we needed a crap coach...

    Must be why this guy is the CEO...

    Commenter
    Bean
    Location
    Beanville
    Date and time
    June 17, 2013, 3:29PM
    • Maybe they just need some "very good" players instead.
      I'm sure Neeld would have made an excellent coach at Collingwood, Geelong, Hawthorn & Sydney who already have a strong list. I don't care who you are or what team you coach a NEW coach needs at least 5yrs MINIMUM in the job to make an impact (unless you are Chris Scott and walk into a ready made team).

      Commenter
      Big Adz
      Date and time
      June 17, 2013, 4:07PM

More comments

Comments are now closed

Related Coverage

AFL 2015

Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78 vs RIC 105 19:20MCG
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115 vs GCF 89 13:40MCG
SYD 72 vs ESS 60 16:35ANZ
BRI 74 vs COL 86 19:20G
WBU 97 vs WCE 87 19:20ES
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78 vs GWS 87 13:10ES
ADE 140 vs NTH 63 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE 75 vs PTA 68 18:40Domain Stadium
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123 vs GEE 61 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131 vs CAR 62 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 66 vs WBU 85 13:45MCG
GWS 101 vs MEL 56 14:10SO
COL 63 vs ADE 90 16:35ES
GCF 76 vs STK 104 19:20MS
PTA 44 vs SYD 92 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60 vs FRE 104 13:10SS
ESS 78 vs HAW 76 15:20MCG
NTH 133 vs BRI 51 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140 vs STK 66 19:50MCG
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84 vs ESS 105 13:45MCG
ADE 80 vs MEL 55 14:10Adelaide Oval
SYD 111 vs GWS 90 16:35SCG
NTH 105 vs PTA 113 19:20ES
BRI 58 vs RIC 137 19:20G
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127 vs WBU 57 13:10AS
GEE 105 vs GCF 96 15:20SS
WCE 81 vs FRE 111 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51 vs MEL 83 19:50MCG
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81 vs CAR 121 11:10NZ
ESS vs COL 14:40MCG
GWS vs GCF 17:40SO
PTA vs HAW 19:40Adelaide Oval
FRE vs SYD 20:45Domain Stadium
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WCE 13:10G
GEE vs NTH 15:20SS
WBU vs ADE 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GEE 13:45MCG
SYD vs WBU 14:10SCG
GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
NTH vs HAW 19:20ES
WCE vs GWS 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL vs FRE 13:10MCG
STK vs ESS 15:20ES
ADE vs PTA 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs GEE 19:50MCG
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH vs RIC 13:45BA
WBU vs STK 14:10ES
GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
GCF vs ADE 17:10MS
MEL vs SYD 19:20MCG
FRE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs BRI 15:20ES
PTA vs WCE 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS vs NTH 19:50ES
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE vs STK 13:45Adelaide Oval
HAW vs MEL 14:10MCG
CAR vs GWS 16:35ES
SYD vs GEE 19:20ANZ
WCE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
RIC vs COL 15:20MCG
BRI vs PTA 16:40G
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE vs CAR 19:50ES
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK vs WCE 13:45ES
GWS vs ADE 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF vs COL 16:35MS
HAW vs SYD 19:20MCG
FRE vs NTH 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
PTA vs RIC 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CAR 19:50SCG
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW vs GCF 13:45AS
MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
WBU vs GWS 16:35ES
RIC vs ESS 19:20MCG
ADE vs FRE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STK 13:10G
COL vs NTH 15:20MCG
WCE vs GEE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs ADE 13:40MCG
GCF vs SYD 16:35MS
ESS vs GEE 19:20ES
PTA vs WBU 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS vs BRI 13:10Spotless Stadium
NTH vs WCE 15:20BA
STK vs HAW 16:40ES
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF vs FRE 13:40MS
WCE vs ESS 16:35Domain Stadium
NTH vs SYD 19:20ES
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs GWS 13:10MCG
STK vs MEL 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC vs WCE 19:50MCG
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs PTA 13:40MCG
GWS vs NTH 16:35Spotless Stadium
WBU vs BRI 19:20ES
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE vs MEL 15:20SS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs COL 20:10Domain Stadium
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs RIC 19:50SCG
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs ESS 13:40MCG
BRI vs ADE 16:35G
STK vs WBU 19:20ES
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs GCF 15:20ES
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 19:20SCG
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
COL vs HAW 19:50MCG
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GWS 13:40MCG
GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
WBU vs CAR 19:20ES
MEL vs WCE 19:40TIO
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs STK 13:10ES
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE vs BRI 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs COL 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs CAR 19:50MCG
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs MEL 13:40MCG
WBU vs GCF 16:35CAZ
NTH vs GEE 19:20ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs STK 13:10Spotless Stadium
HAW vs FRE 15:20AS
BRI vs SYD 16:40G
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH vs ESS 19:50ES
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs WBU 13:45SS
GCF vs GWS 14:10MS
COL vs WCE 16:35ES
SYD vs HAW 19:20ANZ
FRE vs CAR 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
PTA vs ADE 15:20Adelaide Oval
STK vs RIC 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:45SO
ADE vs GCF 14:10Adelaide Oval
RIC vs FRE 16:35MCG
ESS vs PTA 19:20ES
BRI vs NTH 19:20G
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU vs COL 13:10ES
MEL vs STK 15:20MCG
WCE vs SYD 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW vs RIC 19:50MCG
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs BRI 13:45SS
COL vs MEL 14:10MCG
SYD vs ADE 16:35SCG
CAR vs NTH 19:20ES
GCF vs WCE 19:20MS
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA vs STK 13:10Adelaide Oval
ESS vs WBU 15:20ES
FRE vs GWS 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
WBU vs PTA 14:10ES
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
GEE vs SYD 19:20SS
WCE vs HAW 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL vs NTH 13:10MCG
GWS vs ESS 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs FRE 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs COL 19:50SCG
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs ADE 13:45ES
NTH vs STK 14:10BA
PTA vs GWS 16:35Adelaide Oval
GEE vs HAW 19:20MCG
BRI vs CAR 19:20G
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GCF 13:10MCG
WBU vs MEL 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs PTA 19:50ES
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs RIC 13:45MCG
GWS vs SYD 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
STK vs GEE 19:20ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs FRE 13:10ES
CAR vs MEL 15:20MCG
WCE vs WBU 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS vs CAR 13:45Spotless Stadium
HAW vs BRI 14:10AS
NTH vs WBU 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:20MCG
GCF vs PTA 19:20MS
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs WCE 13:10Adelaide Oval
STK vs SYD 15:20ES
FRE vs MEL 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 00:00MCG
RIC vs NTH 00:00ES
HAW vs CAR 00:00MCG
GEE vs ADE 00:00SS
SYD vs GCF 00:00SCG
MEL vs GWS 00:00ES
BRI vs WBU 00:00G
PTA vs FRE 00:30Adelaide Oval
WCE vs STK 02:00Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Adelaide Crows 3 3 0 0 171.27 12
Sydney Swans 3 3 0 0 141.75 12
Fremantle 3 3 0 0 138.76 12
Hawthorn 3 2 1 0 166.33 8
Collingwood 3 2 1 0 125.65 8
Richmond 4 2 2 0 118.09 8
GWS Giants 3 2 1 0 113.47 8
Essendon 3 2 1 0 104.74 8
View all
 
Featured advertisers