Sydney assistant coach Leigh Tudor made a presentation to the Essendon board on Monday in an indication that he is considered a serious candidate to coach the club next season.
Tudor, who worked under Mark Thompson at Geelong and is one of John Longmire’s main lieutenants, made his presentation to the full board as the Bombers weigh up the candidates for the senior coaching position during James Hird’s 12-month suspension.
The Bombers’ decision on the interim coach for 2014 is imminent, with an announcement expected by Wednesday. If an outsider, such as Tudor, is appointed rather than internal candidates Thompson and Simon Goodwin, that person would be expected to be offered a continuing senior role in the coaching panel once Hird returns.
Tudor has already been offered an assistant coaching position at North Melbourne.
While Thompson’s credentials as a two-time premiership coach speak for themselves – and he has recently indicated a willingness to fill the breach during Hird’s exile – the club is determined to run a rigorous process and canvass different options before making an appointment.
When he left Geelong, Thompson ruled out taking on another role as senior coach and has publicly expressed reluctance to fill in for Hird. But his most recent public comment suggested he had had a change of heart.
”I said that I’d help in any way,” he said on AFL 360 last week. ”If they want me to coach, I’d seriously consider it. I’m just worried about the club. Have I got my hunger back? I don’t know. We’ll find out.”
Hird had indicated that Thompson, who was fined $30,000 for his role in the Essendon supplements scandal, would be the ideal person to fill in.
Mark Harvey, an external candidate with a close connection to the club, has been touted as a possible replacement and is also understood to have spoken with the Bombers. He recently left his position as an assistant at the Brisbane Lions.
Goodwin filled in for Hird for the final match of the year and assumed some of the post-season duties of a senior coach.
Former Melbourne stand-in coach Neil Craig has also spoken with the Bombers, but sources believe he is more likely to be a candidate for a football department role. The Bombers also have to replace Sean Wellman, who has opted out of football.
Essendon is taking a similar process-driven approach to the appointment of a chief executive, with Ray Gunston acting as interim boss since Ian Robson stood down in May following the Ziggy Switkowski report into the supplements scandal.
The club board is believed to be canvassing other candidates in addition to Gunston, who has won points for his steadiness in a difficult and tumultuous period for the club.
Thompson and Goodwin are involved in the club’s trade period dealings, which are being largely handled by list manager Adrian Dodoro.
The Bombers’ coaching subcommittee is headed by board director Chris Heffernan and Gunston.
AFL Coaches Association chief executive Danny Frawley had initially been part of the selection process, helping to determine a job description and a list of candidates, but he has not been part of the interviewing process because it would conflict with his AFLCA.
Former Western Bulldogs and Richmond coach Terry Wallace helped to interview the candidates, before making a recommendation to the subcommittee and stepping aside.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.