With all the drama that the Essendon football club has been through in the past few years, right or wrong, foolish or not, one thing you had to admire was the way the players, the club, and in particular the members and fans, have stuck solid behind coach James Hird.
And I suppose considering all the club has been through, you would expect that the coach would be given some sort of leniency when it comes to results as well.
But, regardless of results right now, something has to change at Essendon.
They need a new beginning.
I don’t care what he has done for that club. I don’t care that he is their favourite son, or that the players are coming out and saying they want him as the coach.
Of course the players are going to say that. Imagine if one comes out and says the opposite, and Hird continues to coach – now that would be uncomfortable.
Just two wins since Round 5, and in that time some embarrassing losses, the season’s worst coming on the weekend when they were humbled by 19 goals against Adelaide.
Hird was spot on after the loss when asked about his future.
“I think I can do it (coach), but that doesn’t mean everybody else does.”
And I’d imagine the majority don’t.
I noticed even Leigh Matthews threw his dollar’s worth in on the weekend.
“You have to be asking … what’s going on in the environment around Essendon and therefore what is James Hird contributing or not contributing?” Lethal said on Channel Seven.
“Every now and again in footy clubs you need a fresh start. The senior coach’s role is really the only thing you can do in a footy club that gives you fresh air to have a new beginning.”
Whether the players think it or not, they need that new beginning, that fresh start, the fresh air.
There is more baggage at the club than at Heathrow.
Five wins in 19 matches. Some may argue for the Gold Coast, but I really think it’s no contest, considering their roster, when it comes to the biggest underachievers of 2015.
But as Hird said, a review is underway, he is not part of it, but he will wait and see if it’s decided that the job remains his.
My head says it won’t be, but somehow, my gut is telling me Hird will be there again in 2016.
But back to footy matters, specifically teams who will be playing in September and teams whose coaches will definitely be there next season.
There’s been a couple of matches that I have truly looked forward to in 2015, most involving Hawthorn, but I honestly can’t wait for the final game of next week’s round, the Western Bulldogs against the West Coast Eagles.
The Western Bulldogs will not only look to show their legitimacy as a premiership contender, but to secure a top-four finish.
Yet again the Dogs flexed their newfound muscle as they swatted away a feeble opponent, this time beating Melbourne by 98 points, a week after beating Port by 10 goals, and having beaten Essendon by 87 the week earlier.
Now they head to Perth, and while they have beaten Sydney in Sydney, and Richmond and the West Coast in Melbourne, this really is their acid test.
The Eagles are flying – pardon the pun – having proved beyond doubt yesterday that Western Australia really does have two genuine flag candidates in 2015.
And the way they have bullied so many sides on Subiaco this season, it looks like an imposing task for the Dogs on Sunday, but as I wrote last week, they have something about them, and I like it a lot.
Come through next Sunday as winners, and a top four berth will be theirs for the taking, and it won’t be only the Bulldogs supporters who are true believers.