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Smith admits feeling “flat” following Neeld departure


Essendon midfielder Devon Smith has opened up on his relationship with former game performance coach Mark Neeld.

Neeld was relieved of his duties on Monday as the fallout from the Bombers’ poor start to the season continues.

Smith was disappointed to see the former Melbourne coach leave the club due to the great rapport they have built over a number of years.

“I was pretty flat because ‘Neeldy’ used to sit next to me in the meetings and we had a good relationship,” he told SEN’s Time On.

“I know him through my partner who used to play netball with his daughter in the early days so I knew him pretty well.

“It’s more the fact that I will miss him as a bloke around the club”

After moving from Greater Western Sydney during the trade period, the 24-year-old has been one of the few shining lights for Essendon, averaging 21 disposals and eight tackles per game, making him the number one pressure player in the competition.

While Smith is enjoying his new lease on life, the clubs win-loss ratio isn’t sitting well with him at the moment.

“I’m certainly sure my pressure acts weren’t too bad at the GWS Giants as well,” he said.

“Obviously last year I didn’t get picked for the Preliminary Final so I’ve used that as extra motivation.

“That’s always been the way as a small forward and now playing a bit more in the midfield, if you don’t put pressure on now it’s hard to get a game.

“I had an injury interrupted year last year so in many regards I’m very happy to be playing footy again.

“But I’m a winner and pretty competitive so even if my form isn’t too bad I’m not too happy that we’re 2-6.”

Listen to Devon Smith's chat with Sam McClure in the player below

Devon SMITH Essendon Mark Neeld Time On

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