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Leigh Tudor presents to Bombers board

Sydney assistant coach Leigh Tudor made a presentation to the Essendon board on Monday in an indication that he is considered a serious candidate to coach the club next season.

Tudor, who worked under Mark Thompson at Geelong and is one of John Longmire's main lieutenants, made his presentation to the full board as the Bombers weigh up the candidates for the senior coaching position during James Hird's 12-month suspension.

The Bombers' decision on the interim coach for 2014 is imminent, with an announcement expected by Wednesday. If an outsider, such as Tudor, is appointed rather than internal candidates Thompson and Simon Goodwin, that person would be expected to be offered a continuing senior role in the coaching panel once Hird returns.

Tudor has already been offered an assistant coaching position at North Melbourne.

While Thompson's credentials as a two-time premiership coach speak for themselves - and he has recently indicated a willingness to fill the breach during Hird's exile - the club is determined to run a rigorous process and canvass different options before making an appointment.

When he left Geelong, Thompson ruled out taking on another role as senior coach and has publicly expressed reluctance to fill in for Hird. But his most recent public comment suggested he had had a change of heart.

''I said that I'd help in any way,'' he said on AFL 360 last week. ''If they want me to coach, I'd seriously consider it. I'm just worried about the club. Have I got my hunger back? I don't know. We'll find out.''

Hird had indicated that Thompson, who was fined $30,000 for his role in the Essendon supplements scandal, would be the ideal person to fill in.

Mark Harvey, an external candidate with a close connection to the club, has been touted as a possible replacement and is also understood to have spoken with the Bombers. He recently left his position as an assistant at the Brisbane Lions.

Goodwin filled in for Hird for the final match of the year and assumed some of the post-season duties of a senior coach.

Former Melbourne stand-in coach Neil Craig has also spoken with the Bombers, but sources believe he is more likely to be a candidate for a football department role. The Bombers also have to replace Sean Wellman, who has opted out of football.

Essendon is taking a similar process-driven approach to the appointment of a chief executive, with Ray Gunston acting as interim boss since Ian Robson stood down in May following the Ziggy Switkowski report into the supplements scandal.

The club board is believed to be canvassing other candidates in addition to Gunston, who has won points for his steadiness in a difficult and tumultuous period for the club.

Thompson and Goodwin are involved in the club's trade period dealings, which are being largely handled by list manager Adrian Dodoro.

The Bombers' coaching subcommittee is headed by board director Chris Heffernan and Gunston.

AFL Coaches Association chief executive Danny Frawley had initially been part of the selection process, helping to determine a job description and a list of candidates, but he has not been part of the interviewing process because it would conflict with his AFLCA.

Former Western Bulldogs and Richmond coach Terry Wallace helped to interview the candidates, before making a recommendation to the subcommittee and stepping aside.

5 comments so far

  • Bombers would be best served by appointing someone from outside the supplements disaster. Harvey appears not to be interested, leaving Tudor. Personally, I think it would be a massive poisoned chalice with Hird still in the wings. Does anyone believe he will have no influence over events at the Bombers?

    Date and time
    October 08, 2013, 11:06AM
    • One amateur our for 12 months, another in. They do it well at Windy Will...

      Windy Hill
      Date and time
      October 08, 2013, 12:10PM
      • Whether EFC appoint Thompson (a recent two time premiership coach) or Tudor (extremely highly rated by the OUTSIDERS on the selectional panel) it won't matter. The footy public will complain because that is what they have been conditioned to do this year. Sadly, this is an unsightly combination of a sustained and hysterical media frenzy and this thing called schadenfreude.

        Date and time
        October 08, 2013, 4:16PM
        • Hird...where is he? Surely he should be telling all about the drug scandal by now......that is unless there is nothing else to tell.

          The silence is deafening.

          If tudor is appointed and coaches the dons to finals...especially top 4...why would you put hird back in charge?

          Date and time
          October 08, 2013, 7:31PM
          • barney, barney, barney - what else would you like to know?

            no evidence of cheating or any intention to cheat (clearly stressed by AFL and EFC and anyone involved)
            no evidence of PEDs and, therefore, most likely no infraction notices
            agreed lack of governance at the club, that Hird took some responsibility for
            improved governance in place at EFC (and probably if the truth be known at many other clubs)
            some important issues raised about the ability of the AFL to follow due process and allow natural justice in matters as important as this one (not in Hird's baileywick)
            some important issues raised about the role of ASADA and whether or not they should have ever embarked on a joint investigation with the AFL (again not in Hird's baileywick)
            some important issues raised about the confidentiality of the investigation - i would like some answers here

            From all I understand the Essendon players and coaching staff were entirely honest with the ASADA investigators. It seems like the AFL has endeavoured to keep this away from the courts and an open hearing at all costs and have been selective about what information has been released. I wouldn't immediately blame Hird for this. And I don't know what confidentiality arrangemnets were entered into during the time the sanctions were accepted BUT again I wouldn't jump to blaming Hird for this either.

            Date and time
            October 10, 2013, 1:59PM

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