SHEEDY —- The Enduring Mentor

What right have the media gurus to tell Kevin Sheedy (after 27 years at the helm) he is finished as a coach, or at least should give up coaching at Essendon. The advice is particularly ironic because most media personnel have never coached VFL or AFL football, and only a handful have played the game…

SHEEDY —- The Enduring MentorWhat right have the media gurus to tell Kevin Sheedy (after 27 years at the helm) he is finished as a coach, or at least should give up coaching at Essendon. The advice is particularly ironic because most media personnel have never coached VFL or AFL football, and only a handful have played the game at the elite level. They also earn their bread and butter by offering opinions which dramatize the ordinary in order to sell newspapers.

Sheedy has been a leader ever since his playing days at Richmond and as a coach has been inventive, unusual and the most astute person in football. He has always been far ahead of the less thoughtful men of the media.

Why do they now attack a person of enormous stature as a coach? Simply, they believe he is too old and cannot pass his experience on to his young team and cannot keep up with the modern game. What a load of rubbish! Kevin knows better than most that, as a coach, no matter how long you have had in the game, you continue to learn, especially how the game changes. You also continue to learn about dealing with your changing personnel and personalities, your board and your supporters, including the volunteers who help out enormously.

Why do they go after coaches such as Sheedy with his magnificent record ?

What would Gary Lyon and Wayne Carey (both great players) know about coaching? One tells Sheedy (3 wins 4 losses) to move on, the other tells Laidley (4 wins 3 losses) he is only second rate and should be assistant coach. Their analysis is simplistic and aimed only at making a good story – a typical media tactic.

Why select Sheedy for the treatment when the coaches of two teams have had disastrous starts to the 2007 season? One coach has had a good record with his team and should certainly stay. The other coach has less of a record and has little credibility. Let the media analysts have a searching look at these scenarios and leave the master-coach to do what he does best.

John "Swooper" Northey

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