Mick Malthouse won’t be coaching Bulldogs next year

Ben Somerford Roar Guru

16 Have your say

    Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse addresses his players at quarter time. GSP Images

    Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse addresses his players at quarter time during the AFL Round 21 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Sydney Swans at the Telstra Dome. GSP Images

    According to polls running on most footy websites yesterday, Mick Malthouse is the fans’ favourite to take over from Rodney Eade at the Western Bulldogs. After all, a move to the club where Malthouse began his coaching career would make a lot of sense.

    The idea has a lot of romance about it and it probably won’t go away for some time.

    And even though Eade’s axeing was only announced yesterday, the rumour has been floating around in the footy world for some time already, given the fact both of their coaching contracts were due to expire at the end of this season.

    In fact I wrote a column on Malthouse’s future back in March and the first reader comment read: “If the bullies fail to make the grand final, Mick will be coaching there in 2012.”

    However, at this stage, we don’t know who the Bulldogs are after and it seems nor do they.

    Dogs chief executive Simon Garlick gave little away when he outlined they had no preference at this stage for the new coach.

    Garlick said the new coach didn’t need to have a Bulldogs background, nor did they need senior coaching experience.

    Dogs president David Smorgon added: โ€œWe have not discussed any possible replacement for Rodney and I want to make it clear that we did not assess Rodney against any possible replacement.โ€

    Of course, the dust has barely settled on Eade’s axeing and I agree they’d be silly not to make an inquiry to see where Malthouse’s head is at now the role has opened up.

    If it happened it’d be sensational for the Dogs, as we know Malthouse is a top coach. It’d be sensational for footy, as we know Malthouse is a interesting and polarising AFL figure who we want in our game.

    But despite the romance of the idea, hasn’t this one been put to bed already?

    It was only a month ago Malthouse fronted The Footy Show panel and categorically denied he’d be coaching another AFL club in 2012.

    However, despite the denials, speculation has still lingered about Malthouse’s coaching future somehow. All this, despite the fact Malthouse called SEN Radio the day after his Footy Show interview to clarify: “I was saying categorically that it won’t be taking place. I don’t know how people can misinterpret that.”

    Of course, the whole situation, whereby the coach of a side likely to win back-to-back premierships will soon be out of a job, is extremely strange. And it’s arguable that the odd nature of this situation has prompted people to misinterpret it, as Malthouse not coaching in 2012 in itself seems crazy.

    However, that’s how it is and Collingwood and Malthouse have made that clear. It’s what they agreed to in July 2009 but the team’s successful fortunes since have murkied the waters.

    So too has Malthouse’s explanation behind the decision at a time of his life when he was stressed by family matters.

    In saying all that, simply from observing this whole saga from afar, it’s hard to believe Malthouse will never coach again. He may step aside in 2012, but in my opinion 2013 will be a different story.

    Malthouse has already planted a few seeds suggesting he won’t be away from coaching for long.

    He has already made it public that if he deems his new director of coaching role as irrelevant he’ll walk away from it. That’s an out he could use in 2013.

    And then there’s the question relating to Malthouse’s passion for coaching and whether after a season away from the role it’ll be burning. Surely Eddie Maguire couldn’t begrudge him that.

    But, of course, 2013 will be too late for the Dogs.

    Maybe it’s time the rumour-makers started looking at which coaches are out of contract in 2013?

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • Roar Pro

      August 18th 2011 @ 7:18am
      camcallsthegame said | August 18th 2011 @ 7:18am | ! Report

      Being a Dogs supporter, I would like MM to coach at the kennel but I think Malthouse should be taken on his word … that he won’t coach (or be head coach) next season.

      I still think Eade will be at Melbourne and Burns to Adelaide … Neeld to the Dogs?

    • August 18th 2011 @ 10:01am
      BigAl said | August 18th 2011 @ 10:01am | ! Report

      I may be wrong, but didn’t Malthouse walk out on the dogs mid-season prior to him joining the Eagles ?

    • August 18th 2011 @ 10:05am
      kick to kick said | August 18th 2011 @ 10:05am | ! Report

      The next month is huge for John Longmire at the Swans. If Sydney misses the finals this year the pressure on him in 2013, the second of his 2 year contract, will be intense because amongst other things Malthouse may be on the market for 2013. What’s the betting that Swans chairman Colliss would look hard at attracting a coach who is both very successful and a name capable of countering the Sheedy effect at GWS.

    • Roar Guru

      August 18th 2011 @ 10:23am
      Redb said | August 18th 2011 @ 10:23am | ! Report

      Good article Ben.

      I think your on the money here, 2012 appears to be difficult for Malthouse who lets face it has a contract with the Pies until 2014. There appears to be a problem finding the right role for Mick, both parties will give it a go for 2012 but no doubt will agree to part next year.

    • August 18th 2011 @ 11:03am
      amazonfan said | August 18th 2011 @ 11:03am | ! Report

      I think there is only one Roarer who honestly believes that Mick will be at the Magpies beyond 2012. Where is Richard? ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Roar Guru

        August 18th 2011 @ 11:45am
        Richard said | August 18th 2011 @ 11:45am | ! Report

        After the performance of the last few weeks, I don’t know whether Mick will be at CFC after 2012. I hope he will, he has a job to do there to build the “Manchester United” he promised us back at the turn of the century. But don’t get me wrong, Mick is not the most important leader at CFC. Eddy Is. And a leadership team of Eddy, Gary Pert, Walshy and Bucks, now that really gets my juices running. I’d like to see Mick added to that, but that’s up to him. In the short term, I’d like to see him showing some leadership by supporting the club’s drive to sort out the sledging of Milne. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like Milne, and I am passionate about the Mighty ‘Pies, but I don’t support ratbaggery on the part of the crowd either. One of the great things we have in Australian Footy is the friendly banter of crowds and the fact that we can all barrack next to each other without causing a riot. I don’t want us to loose that, so get on board Mick and stop nit-picking.

        • August 18th 2011 @ 12:20pm
          Swampy said | August 18th 2011 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

          Spot on. As a Pies fan myself, It’s time Mick showed some respect to the club and personal who got us to a flag. Mick’s ego is overtaking his wisdom, and although the Milne case has not legally been put to bed by the police, dick head supporters, who dirty the club down with their brainless mouth sewage, should find a sport to participate in like cliff diving, on concrete.

          • Roar Guru

            August 18th 2011 @ 12:38pm
            Richard said | August 18th 2011 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

            “As a Pies fan myself, Itโ€™s time Mick showed some respect to the club and personal who got us to a flag. Mickโ€™s ego is overtaking his wisdom…”

            Well said Swampy!

            • Roar Guru

              August 18th 2011 @ 12:53pm
              Redb said | August 18th 2011 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

              Wow look at how quick the Pie fans are jumping off Mick. ๐Ÿ™‚

              If he wins you a flag you’ll beg him to stay.

              • Roar Guru

                August 18th 2011 @ 12:59pm
                Richard said | August 18th 2011 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

                No we’re not jumping off Mick. Just pointing out that Mick raised his own bar. He still has to deliver what he promised for Collingwood, and that is on-going high achievement. One premiership, even two, doesn’t cut it. Just milestones on the road. To deliver on his promise, Mick’s got to step up and show leadership. No more “pissing” about.

              • August 18th 2011 @ 1:00pm
                Swampy said | August 18th 2011 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

                Well you have to take a proactive, forward thinking and dispassionate stance on these things. I mean we wouldn’t want to hold on to him too long, would we.

    • Roar Guru

      August 18th 2011 @ 11:36am
      Richard said | August 18th 2011 @ 11:36am | ! Report

      It’s known as “the messiah syndrome”. When times are tough people struggling with the situation pine for a simple solution, an omniscient, omnipotent, saviour who can ease the pain. Life’s not like that and the path to success and happiness is much more complicated than that. The Western Bulldogs, Port Adelaide, Melbourne, need to get the fundamentals right before they can have a successful coach. The fundamentals? Leadership, culture, organisational stability, resources. If the Western Bulldogs had got that right, I have a strong suspicion Rocket would now be celebrated as a premiership coach at Whitten Oval, rather than having to put up with that condescending twaddle at yesterday’s press cconference. As it was they had their chance. He did a mighty job. Without getting those fundamentals right, not even Mick Malthouse will be able to help them.

      • August 18th 2011 @ 12:05pm
        amazonfan said | August 18th 2011 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

        Eade was a very good coach, who coached the Bulldogs to three straight preliminary finals. If Eade was good enough at the pointy end of the season (and I don’t think he was), he would have coached them to at least one GF. It’s all very well to talk about fundamentals but if they were able to reach the preliminary finals three years in a row, why wouldn’t their fundamentals allow them to make the GF? At least once? I get that fundamentals may prevent a club from winning a flag (St Kilda may very well be an example of a club unable to grab the ultimate prize because of history and culture) when they are capable of doing so, but a club should at least make a GF.

        I don’t think Eade has yet to demonstrate that he is capable of taking a team all the way, and his 1996 GF appearance wit Sydney may be the closest he ever gets, which is why I’m reluctant to have him as Melbourne’s coach. I think Eade is better when it comes to development, but when it comes to flags, you need someone like Malthouse.

        • Roar Guru

          August 18th 2011 @ 12:34pm
          Richard said | August 18th 2011 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

          Think what might have happened at CFC if Eddy hadn’t reversed the clubs financial performance since he took over in 1998. The club was “broke” back then, with a moribund culture rooted in the past, weak administration, a high profile but poor coach, declining memberships and a bleak future. (Do you remember Alan McAllister and his “Maggie Land” project? Bloody hell!) If that had continued? No move to the “Lexus” Centre, no first class sponsors, no record attendances, no revenue surges, no high football department spending, no trips to Arizona. I reckon it follows that there would have been no Mick Malthouse too of course, and certainly no 2010 premiership.

          Rocket took the Swans (which is a well run club) to the GF in 1996. Look at what he achieved at the Bulldogs on the smell of an oily rag. I reckon he’s done a great job. The Bullies have got a lot of work to do to get that GF appearance and I for one hope they succeed. As for Mick’s messiah status well, as they say, “Nothing succeeds like success”.

          • August 19th 2011 @ 4:09am
            amazonfan said | August 19th 2011 @ 4:09am | ! Report

            I’ll respond in reverse order. Malthouse has messiah status because he is an amazing coach. He has taken three clubs to preliminary finals (or better) in four straight decades, coached the Eagles to the finals ten years in a row (one of the greatest coaching feats of the modern era), and at Collingwood, he took an ordinary team within two goals of a flag, before rebuilding (some years later) the team into a great team that could possibly become an all-time great team. I’m not a massive fan of Mick as a person, but as a coach, I think he’s definitely top ten all-time.

            Eade has done a great job at the Bulldogs, however if he is able to coach them to preliminary finals, why not GFs? That’s why I have question marks regarding him.

            Regarding Collingwood, and more specifically Ed, I have nothing but respect for him. While I think he’s far from perfect (for one thing, he’s been extremely hypocritical), I do think he is probably the second best AFL president of the past decade after Frank Costa. Anyway, my only objection is that if the Bulldogs were capable of making three straight preliminary finals, they should have made at least one GF.

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