Great Scott! Former Roos boss edges out Hird as new Essendon coach

Former North Melbourne mentor Brad Scott has been appointed Essendon’s new coach, edging out the likes of Adem Yze and club stalwart James Hird for the role.

The Bombers’ coaching selection panel, which is headlined by football boss Josh Mahoney and includes Robert Walls and Jordan Lewis, interviewed Scott on Thursday.

Hours later, Essendon formally announced the 46-year-old as their new coach.

Scott coached North Melbourne from 2010-19 but has most recently worked at the AFL, where this year he served as the league’s general manager of football.

He will be tasked with helping Essendon overcome almost two decades of mediocrity.

Essendon have not won a final since 2004 and were widely panned for the way they sacked coach Ben Rutten this year.

Rutten was not told of his axing until after the club’s bid to land Alastair Clarkson failed.

Essendon’s decision to interview Hird for the role also raised eyebrows given the club great was the coach of the Bombers during last decade’s supplements scandal.

Melbourne assistant Yze and former Gold Coast assistant Dean Solomon were the others in the running for the role.

Former St Kilda assistant Brendon Lade was also interviewed but pulled out to join the Western Bulldogs.

After Rutten was sacked, Essendon president David Barham made it clear he wanted an experienced hand at the helm, and Scott fitted the bill.

Scott coached the Kangaroos 211 times between 2010 and 2019, and had a winning record of 50.24 per cent, with 106 victories and 105 defeats.

He led North Melbourne to preliminary finals in 2014 and 2015.

“Throughout the process, it was clear the club required a strong leader and Brad’s track record as a player, coach and administrator demonstrated this,” Barham wrote in a letter to the club’s members announcing Scott’s appointment.

“Brad has an incredible resume, with a diverse range of roles and is the experienced figure the club required.

“We believe Brad has all the attributes to be the long-term coach of the Essendon Football club. He’s a strong leader who will drive standards and establish a winning culture.”

Scott is widely respected in the AFL, and is likely to be warmly received by Bombers fans.

But there is one notable person who may take some convincing about the new role for the former Kangaroos coach – his twin brother.

Dual Geelong premiership mentor Chris Scott said the stressful nature of coaching meant the role came at a cost.

“(Coaching) is not a very good job to be honest,” Chris Scott told Footy Classified, when asked prior to the appointment about his brother’s potential return to the fold.

“It’s just hard work. It’s a stressful existence. There’s a cost to that position and it needs to be weighed really carefully.”


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