James Hird back for Dons' 150-year party

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James Hird is set to return to Essendon in an official capacity for the first time since departing as coach, taking part in the AFL club's 150th anniversary celebrations this week.

The Bombers will mark the occasion on Friday night when they take on old rivals Carlton at the MCG.

Hird quit as Essendon coach in 2015, having previously stood down for 12 months amid the fallout from the infamous supplements scandal.

The 49-year-old has been working with GWS this season, initially in a part-time leadership capacity.

He took on an expanded coaching role in support of interim coach Mark McVeigh after Leon Cameron's departure last month.

The move has sparked suggestions Hird could eventually take on another senior coaching role.

There has also been speculation Hird could return to Essendon full-time, with Bombers chief executive Xavier Campbell saying the two-time premiership player is "always welcome" at the club.

Former Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy said Hird will be warmly received by the club's fans when he takes part in the pre-game festivities leading into the Carlton clash.

"It will be absolutely fantastic for our fans to see Hird back at the club,'" Sheedy told the Herald Sun.

"He's been an incredible player for our club and unfortunately he coached the team through the supplement saga era.'"

Essendon have managed just two victories in a disappointing 2022 season and will need to pull off a huge upset if they are to topple high-flying Carlton.

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