Schwarz casts doubt on Neeld's longevity

Schwarz casts doubt on Neeld's longevity

If Mark Neeld survives as coach of Melbourne and continues on next year, it will come as a surprise to club great David Schwarz.

The former Demons best and fairest winner and now well-regarded media personality has cast doubt on whether Neeld will see out the rest of his contract after the club's disastrous start to the coach's second season in charge.

Speaking on Fox Footy's Open Mike on Monday night, Schwarz gave a blunt response when asked if he thought Neeld would be coaching at Melbourne in 2014. "I don't think so. No," he said.

The Demons are in second last position at 1-4, with their only win coming against bottom-placed GWS, and have had the most points kicked against them of any side this year after massive losses to Port Adelaide (79 points), Essendon (148 points) and West Coast (94 points) in the first three rounds.

Schwarz's appraisal of Melbourne was bad timing for Neeld after Sunday's loss to Brisbane featured a best-on-ground performance from Lions midfielder Brent Moloney, the former Demon who Neeld dropped to the reserves last season and became disgruntled before choosing to leave.

Neeld has been heavily criticised this year for the type of players he has recruited to the club over the off-season, balanced against the players whom he could not convince to stay or got rid of. "I don't know him as a coach. But I can only see what I can see on the field," Schwarz said. "And if you could tell me in the first three rounds that the players were playing for the coach, I would be lying."


Schwarz said he thought the departure of chief executive Cameron Schwab after the embarrassing loss to Essendon in round two was just the beginning out a clean-out at Melbourne.

The Demons have brought in former Essendon administrator Peter Jackson as interim chief executive for six months from May 1. “The footy club is in serious trouble," Schwarz said.

“Our footy department has been a debacle. There hasn't been anything down in the football department that's worked. Cameron Schwab is probably the first step of many before this club is actually up and going. It's a proud club. I don't want to see my club go down.”

Asked if he would return to the Demons as an administrator or coach, Schwarz said he would seriously consider it, as long as he could still work and support his family while doing so. “I actually want to go back and help," he said. "[I will do] whatever needs to be done.

“If that means going on the board, or if that means I gave up everything to become a coach, well, I would do whatever needs to be done so my footy club does survive - because without that footy club, I'm not sitting here.”

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