Sacked Richmond assistant coach Mark Williams.
Sacked Richmond assistant coach Mark Williams. JULIAN SMITH

Williams' giant decision ends in disappointment

AFL: Port Adelaide's only AFL premiership coach, Mark Williams, has felt the full force of sliding doors shut in his face.

After cutting ties with the Power at the end of the 2010 season, after 12 years in charge, the one-time Collingwood skipper and Brisbane Bears player had been earmarked as the man to lead GWS during its premiership window.

He had become head coach Kevin Sheedy's right-hand man at the Giants during 2011 and 2012, the latter its first season in the big league.

But with Sheedy set to hand over the reins at the end of 2013, Williams walked out on the club 12 months earlier, despite having another season left on his contract, to take up a position as development coach at Richmond, working under Damien Hardwick.

Leon Cameron was then plucked from Hawthorn to serve as the Sheedy heir apparent before taking charge in 2014.

When it comes to the Giants, the rest is history with Cameron now preparing to lead the side in its first ever preliminary final, and possibly a first grand final to boot.

Williams, meanwhile, is left lamenting what might have been after being one of three assistant coaches let go by the Tigers.

He told Melbourne radio yesterday he was informed over the phone while outgoing football manager Dan Richardson was interstate attending a funeral.

"It was a bit awkward," the 2004 premiership-winning coach told SEN.

"I had a previous meeting where it was indicated I might have to take a pay cut and maybe a change of role. But it didn't eventuate that way.

"That was their decision. It was a bit tough. Based on my role and what I had done, I thought that I had done a pretty good job. And they all said that."

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