Brad Scott appointed as Essendon’s senior coach, despite Kevin Sheedy’s push for James Hird

AFL

Brad Scott is the newly appointed senior coach of Essendon, with the club announcing the decision in an email sent by president David Barham on Thursday evening.

It was reported that Scott officially entered the race on Thursday (due to his obligations as AFL GM), as the Bombers looked to replace Ben Rutten.

The former North Melbourne coach (2010-2019) will move on from his role at the AFL and says his keen to get back into the coaches box.

“I’m as excited as I’ve ever been to be back in football,” Scott said on Friday.

“I’ll learn from the experiences and I think I’ll be more rounded, but this is all about looking forward to me.

“I’m incredibly fortunate to have an opportunity to coach again. I had to be crystal clear Essendon was the right fit. I wouldn’t have accepted the invitation if it was “you want it, the job is yours.

“I’m very privilege and humbled., I went though a very extensive and thorough process that the panel and the board feel I am the best fit to lead this football club.

“Ultimately, I love coaching players. I love improving people. Talent was part of my portfolio with the AFL and every time I went out and looked at the talent pathway, I couldn’t get away from the fact that that’s really what I love doing.

“This time I am not an untried, blissfully ignorant 33-year-old. I think I have a pretty good understanding of what’s required.”

Scott was also inspired to take on the role by his twin brother, Chris, who led Geelong to their 10th premiership last week.

However, not everyone felt this way, as Essendon legend and board member Kevin Sheedy weighed in on the outcome.

Sheedy – who wanted James Hird to lead the club for the second time – was outraged with the club’s statement, saying the decision to appoint Scott was unanimous.

“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.

“But I want to make the sure the Essendon fan base understands the truth, and the Hird family.

“I thought he needed a second opportunity, but that’s not to say I won’t support the coach who has been appointed.

“It’s nothing against the board, it’s the way it was reported by our media department.’’

Scott commented on Sheedy’s outburst, remaining unfazed by it all and keeping his focus on the job at hand.

“I don’t think it’s really anything for me to get involved in. The reality is there was an independent panel appointed to run a rigorous process to select the coach they felt was the best fit for Essendon,” Scott said on SEN.

“It’s certainly not for me to talk about and I don’t know what the board discussed. All I know is that there was a recommendation made to the board and the board ratified that call, so it’s certainly not for me to talk about discussions at board level.”

Essendon finished 2022 15th on the ladder with seven wins, after making the finals in 2021.

The club goes into the upcoming NAB AFL Draft with picks 4, 22, 41 and 59.

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