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Giants CEO comments on potential appointments of Hird and Clarkson


GWS CEO David Matthews has addressed speculation James Hird or Alastair Clarkson could be the next coach of the Giants.

Current mentor Leon Cameron announced he was parting ways with the club on Thursday this week and will coach his final game on Sunday, leaving the Giants as the first club looking for a new senior coach in 2022.

Hird was one of the first names to come up in speculation, having joined the Giants as a leadership consultant on a part-time basis earlier this year.

The former Essendon captain has senior coaching experience having led the Bombers before the drugs scandal rocked the club.

He’s also been given the green light to return to a top job by the AFL.

When asked whether Hird was a possibility to be instilled as the next coach of the Giants, Matthews suggested the two parties were yet to have a conversation.

“It’s a possibility (Hird being more involved in the club) because he’s been involved and he’s obviously got a strong relationship with Mark McVeigh, so I would say it’s a possibility,” he told SEN’s Crunch Time.

“But at this stage he’s been actually away in Europe on some business, and his role with us so far is of a part-time nature and in some ways remote from Melbourne from time-to-time.

“I don’t know, I don’t know what would be in his mind at what is own aspirations would be.

“From our point of view, and I think from the AFL family, we’re all so delighted that he’s back in football and he’s happy and healthy and all of those things and that’s the real priority.

“We’ve also said that his involvement in the club really came (at the discretion of) Leon Cameron himself, he wanted him, Leon was always looking at areas of the club that could improve and wanted him involved.

“His involvement has been beneficial to both parties so far, but I’m not really sure what the future will hold.”

Meanwhile, Clarkson also shapes as a candidate at the top of the list, given his success at Hawthorn that resulted in four premierships.

The 54-year-old took the year off after departing Waverley Park but joined Fox Footy’s AFL 360 on Friday night to confirm his intentions of wanting to coach again.

Speaking about that interview, Matthews added that Clarkson was not yet a candidate.

“I thought it was compelling viewing, I enjoyed it,” he said.

“That’s the theatre of this game… it was unusual timing, it was a great coincidence, but clearly when someone as revered as he is with the track record he has, his name is going to come up in those sorts of conversations.

“But it's just not a topic of conversation for us right now, we are focused on what is in front of us and we’ll form that committee and develop a sort of list of competencies and other things and move into a process.

“I think most people would have the imagination that he would coach again.

“He clearly still has the passion and the drive.

“He continues to seek knowledge… if he’s got enthusiasm, I’m sure there’s a job somewhere at some point across the competition, but who knows.”

GWS has been backed into favouritism against Carlton in Round 9 following the news of Cameron’s resignation and Harry McKay’s knee injury, the Giants players expected to fire up for their coach’s last game.

Greater Western Sydney

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