Kevin Sheedy lashes out at Essendon over James Hird 'insult'

Kevin Sheedy, pictured here alongside Brad Scott and James Hird.
Kevin Sheedy has blasted Essendon over an 'insulting' comment about Brad Scott and James Hird. Image: Getty

AFL legend Kevin Sheedy has accused Essendon of an 'untruth' in its wording around the appointment of Brad Scott as coach, slamming the notion that the decision was 'fully endorsed'.

Scott was announced as Essendon's new coach on Thursday night, getting the nod ahead of Adem Yze and club stalwart Hird.

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In announcing the decision, the Bombers said Scott's appointment was “fully endorsed” by the board.

But club legend Sheedy blasted that suggestion on Friday, revealing that he actually voted for Hird but was overruled 6-1.

“I am extremely disappointed that the comment from my club was that it was fully endorsed, when in fact I voted for James Hird to be the coach of Essendon,’’ Sheedy told the Herald Sun.

“The vote was 6-1. Now, I would’ve expected that to have been written, and that in the end the board actually won that vote.

“But I want to make sure all the fans know that I voted for James Hird and I’m extremely disappointed with the report that went out from the Essendon media department.

“I’m not happy. Don’t tell the Essendon fan base an untruth. This is what happens when you bring new people into the club.

“I actually felt insulted that Hird would think I voted against him after what he’s done for our club.’’

Kevin Sheedy, Adam Ramanauskas and James Hird, pictured here in 2015.
Kevin Sheedy, Adam Ramanauskas and James Hird in 2015. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Essendon president David Barham thanked Hird for applying for the role on Friday and said he was open to the former coach and player returning to the club in another role.

The Bombers' decision to interview Hird had raised eyebrows given the club great was coach during last decade's supplements scandal.

“Hirdy went through the process and I was glad he did,” Barham said.

“He went through exactly the same process as everyone else. It was a completely independent process.

“Everybody had the same opportunity, that was really important.

“Hirdy will always be a champion of this football club. I can‘t speak for him on whether he wants to get involved, that’ll be something for him.

“He’ll always be loved by this football club.”

Brad Scott and David Barham, pictured here speaking to the media at an Essendon press conference.
Brad Scott and David Barham speak to the media at an Essendon press conference. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Brad Scott asks for patience from Essendon fans

Speaking alongside Barham at a press conference, Scott urged expectant Essendon fans to be patient as he attempts to turn the fallen AFL power's fortunes around.

But Scott, who won two flags with the Brisbane Lions and coached North Melbourne to a pair of preliminary finals, warned success would not be automatic.

Essendon have won a record 16 AFL/VFL premierships - tied with arch rivals Carlton - but have not won a finals match since 2004.

"The longer you spend in football, the more you realise that you're not entitled to anything," Scott told reporters.

"Regardless of which club you're at and what opportunities you have, it all comes back to the same thing; hard work, discipline, being united and being really clear on the direction and the role that everyone needs to play.

"That's going to be a big challenge here.

"But if you're not united and you're not going in the same direction, I don't care what players you've got and what facilities you've got, none of that matters."

with AAP

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