Hird, Solomon in Bombers' coaching race

·2-min read

Former Essendon defender Dean Solomon has interviewed for the Bombers' head coach job as club great Tim Watson says the embattled AFL club don't need James Hird to play saviour.

Hird and Solomon, 2000 premiership teammates, separately addressed the Bombers' selection panel on Wednesday.

The pair shared a coaches' box with former teammate Mark McVeigh when he was GWS' interim coach for 13 games this year.

Solomon was among the contenders for the Fremantle job in 2019 that ultimately went to Justin Longmuir.

He spent 2010 as an assistant coach at the Dockers then was an assistant at Gold Coast from 2011 until the end of 2020, including spending three games as interim coach in 2017.

Solomon spent 2021 away from the AFL before re-entering as one of McVeigh's assistants in May alongside Hird.

Beyond his stint at the Giants, Hird hasn't been in AFL coaching circles since resigning from Essendon in August 2015.

Hird was at the helm from 2010 to 2015 but was suspended for all of 2014 for bringing the game into disrepute for his role in the club's supplements saga.

Essendon attempted and failed to lure now-North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson, which prompted Ben Rutten's sacking, and a board upheaval, last month.

They have been linked to a dramatic Hird reunion since but Watson stressed the strife-torn Bombers needed structure and success rather than a saviour to unite the club.

"Let's say Essendon is broken. What will unite a club will be success," Watson said on SEN Breakfast on Thursday.

"Now, it doesn't have to come from James Hird being the coach of the Essendon Football Club to unite Essendon.

"The club would've been united under Ben Rutten had they been more successful.

"We don't need a saviour to come back to the Essendon Football Club and unite the Essendon Football Club.

"We need somebody who's able to put a plan of action in place that's able to deliver success and to start to build a successful team again."

Watson queried whether a potential Hird appointment would "drag back" memories of the supplements saga but said he'd be surprised if the former mentor was successful.

Melbourne assistant Adem Yze and St Kilda assistant Brendon Lade both also interviewed on Wednesday.

Former Adelaide coach and Sydney assistant Don Pyke and ex-North Melbourne mentor Brad Scott have been linked to the role.

Ex-GWS boss Leon Cameron and former Fremantle and St Kilda coach Ross Lyon opted out of the process, while SEN reported Carlton assistant Ash Hansen had also knocked back interest.