Sport AFL James Hird still has Bombers job… but does he want it?
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James Hird still has Bombers job… but does he want it?

James Hird
James Hird's dramas with ASADA and the AFL continue.
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· Hird’s job safe after Bombers’ board meeting
· Why Tania has a right to be heard

So Team Hird has pledged its silence yet again – let’s hope it sticks this time so we can all enjoy some clear air for a while.

I say ‘for a while’ because when ASADA finally wraps up its investigation, which is beginning to rival JFK’s assassination in scope, there will no doubt be another can of worms for the media machine to pore over.

ASADA – footy fans, players, coaches and administrators everywhere should treat that acronym with acrimony.

When they made their bold pronouncements hand in hand with the Australian Crime Commission last year about the game being riddled with performance enhancing drugs and the creeping influence of organised crime in sport, little did we know we’d be getting on a road to nowhere.

Four hundred and 12 days after the ‘blackest day in Australian sport’ we’re still all standing around waiting for the blast wave to hit. It looks increasingly like the predicted tsunami will be nothing more than a ripple.

Hird might have a right to feel aggrieved – he’s been suspended for a year, denied his day in court and as yet the precise nature of the actual offence he committed remains vaguely defined.

Getty
Paul Little fronts the media on Wednesday. Photo: Getty

But when he accepted his year-long suspension, and the non-disclosure terms that came with it, he relinquished his right to be heard publicly on the matter.

While his wife’s appearance on the 7:30 Report to go into bat for him could be seen as a noble act, Hird must have suspected the reaction it would cause, both within Essendon and the wider AFL community.

Now, according to Essendon’s chairman Paul Little, he’s given assurances once more that the boat won’t be rocked and that he’ll be back in 2015 to lead the Bombers again.

The Hird camp’s actions over the past week smack of a man wrestling with whether to cast himself back into the furnace of AFL coaching.

“The board has sought assurances from James and Tania in relation to future conduct that the club deems appropriate under James’ contract of employment,” Little said on Wednesday.

“The club and James have discussed clear parameters and expectations moving forward around actions deemed to be in the best interests of our club.”

Whether he adheres to those parameters will be instructive.

The Hird camp’s actions over the past week smack of a man wrestling with whether to cast himself back into the furnace of AFL coaching.

After how the past 13 months have been, who could blame him?

Little said Hird needed to move on, and try to find some peace with his decision.

“Our advice to James is he needs to let go of those issues,” Little said.

“It’s time for James to get over his anger.”

Anger can consume a man, and it may yet consume James Hird.

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