Essendon’s poor form sparks AFL review
Former Essendon captain Neale Daniher will be involved in a full review of the struggling AFL club’s football operations.
The Bombers have confirmed the ex-Melbourne coach and West Coast football manager will be one of several outsiders who will help with the review.
“Neale has a great football mind – he has a depth and breadth of experience,” Bombers chief executive Xavier Campbell told the Nine Network’s The Footy Show.
After making an elimination final last year, Essendon have had a disastrous season and are 15th.
In the past five games, they have lost to St Kilda by 110 points and the Western Bulldogs by 87 points.
Essendon’s ongoing poor form has meant more pressure on coach James Hird, who had returned to the club this season after a 12-month AFL suspension because of their supplements saga.
WADA’s May decision to appeal against an AFL anti-doping tribunal verdict in favour of 34 current and past Essendon players undoubtedly has affected the team’s morale and results.
Campbell said on the weekend that Hird would continue as coach next season and repeated that on Thursday.
“James is contracted for 2016 and I believe James will be coaching (in) 2016,” he said.
“This is a review that is not about individuals or roles specifically.
“This is about broader football business.”
Campbell said in a club statement on Thursday that the review could become an annual process.
“We need to understand the reasons why our performance has not met our expectations and quickly address any areas that we identify need improvement,” Campbell said.
“The exercise will include an external focus, which will be important in gaining valuable insights to benchmark the club against our competitors.”
Daniher coached Melbourne to the 2000 grand final loss against Essendon.
In 2008, he went to West Coast to run their football department and was with the Eagles until last year.
Daniher has motor neurone disease and is now involved heavily in fundraising to help fight the illness.