Essendon has nothing to give James Hird.
Essendon has nothing to give James Hird.

Coach shuts down Hird ‘insanity’

James is Hird is welcome at Essendon any time but that invitation doesn't extend a job anywhere in the coaching unit.

Hird's recent comment that he would never say never to coaching again led to speculation of a shock return to the club he left in 2015 after the supplements saga.

Hird, who served a 12-month ban over the Bombers supplements saga, admitted he missed the "camaraderie" of being part of a club and would consider a return.

However, Worsfold told reporters on Tuesday that adding Hird to his coaching panel in any capacity wasn't in his thinking as he looks to get the Bombers on the right track after an 0-2 start to the season.

Worsfold said there is no plan to invite Hird back in from the cold, despite a report claiming Hird's "spectre" continues to hover above the club after its disastrous start to the 2019 season.

Worsfold's comments come after The Herald Sun's Jon Ralph told Macquarie Sports Radio on Tuesday that it would be "insanity" for Essendon to ever contemplate hiring Hird again.

"He oversaw part of the most destructive period in the Essendon Football Club's history," Ralph said.

Worsfold seemed to agree in his Tuesday press conference, declaring he has no job to offer his predecessor.

"No, I wouldn't, no," Worsfold replied when asked if he would entertain the former senior coach's return.

Hard to believe this didn’t work out.
Hard to believe this didn’t work out.

"That's not on the radar, not for discussion in any way, shape or form right at this moment.

"I haven't heard anything about it. I'm not sure where it's come from ... you're the first person who's raised that name with me.

"He's a champion of this footy club and he's welcome to walk in the door any day he wants."

It comes as Bombers great Tim Watson told SEN on Tuesday declared he has not heard anything from his Essendon connections to suggest there is any plan to undermine Worsfold or to engineer Hird's return.

"I can go on the record and categorically state that this is the case, too," Watson said.

"To me, this is a completely concocted story. This is what's happened: Essendon have lost their first two games badly, simultaneously James Hird announces that he's going to go into the media, then after that he states as part of that conversation he's having for the first time, 'Oh, yeah, I would like to coach again one day'."

He told Hird to do some hard yards by returning as a development coach or as an assistant coach to prove he can be trusted again before any team would consider him for a position.

"If he has a deep, deep desire to coach … if he has that itch that needs to be scratched, then he should get himself back into the system like everybody else and then work his way through.' he said.

Meanwhile, Former Bombers star Brendon Goddard told Fox Sports he did not see any issues with Hird returning.

John Worsfold has all the help he needs.
John Worsfold has all the help he needs.

"It's pretty premature to think that far ahead because I assume that if he ever was to go back to Essendon, it'd be in some (other) capacity (first), obviously not walk straight in back as head coach.

"For me personally, I've got no qualms with it whatsoever. I said at the time he left Essendon and from what I've seen in my relationship with him - which was great and admittedly we haven't spoken in a while - but he had the potential to be a great coach. And I don't use that term lightly."

The Bombers, who have started their campaign with losses to GWS and St Kilda, face fellow strugglers Melbourne at the MCG on Friday night.

Worsfold was encouraged by improvement in some areas of his side's play despite the upset 11-point loss to the Saints.

Kyle Langford's astonishing decision to run past a ball still in play at Marvel Stadium to get to the interchange bench was seen as emblematic of Essendon's woes.

It was speculated the error was an indication of wider confusion among the players about the game plan.

Worsfold explained it as a simple brain fade.

"That was the first time I've ever seen that in my time in the game," he said.

"That means that in 600-odd games I've been involved with it was an isolated incident.

"Kyle has addressed it with the playing group around what his mindset was at the time and why he made a mistake.

"It was a simple mistake."

The Bombers could be boosted by the return of versatile tall Cale Hooker against the Demons as he nears full fitness after a pre-season calf injury.

- with AAP


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