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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 15 November 2014
SPORT SATURDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2014 29 Mark Thompson's hugely- entertaining ride through the AFL this year has ended in derailment. The Essendon great has left the club after he was unable to agree with the club on a new role. "I'm out, I'm done," Thomp- son told the Herald Sun this week. "There's not a job there for me. "I was happy to work there, but a role could not be agreed upon." The three-time Essendon premiership player and two- time Geelong premiership coach made the comments after a meeting with Essen- don chairman Paul Little and chief executive Xavier Camp- bell. Campbell said the decision to part with Thompson had been very difficult. "There were many factors that were considered, but at the end of the day any role needed to have purpose and add meaningful value to our football club," he said. "We held extensive negotia- tions with Mark but we were not able to reach a position that would satisfy both par- ties and in the end, we had to make a difficult decision in the best interests of all par- ties and move forward with planning for the 2015 season. "I would like to commend Mark on the job he did coach- ing the team in the absence of James this year, he played a pivotal role in the ongoing development and improve- ment of our players. "It is highly unlikely the two-time premiership coach will work at another club next year, particularly given his ongoing reluctance to pay a $30,000 AFL fine. Thompson became one of the top stories of this sea- son while coaching Essen- don, as James Hird served his 12-month AFL suspension. He revelled in the short- term assignment, returning Essendon to the finals and giving full reign to his quirky personality - particularly in post-match media confer- ences. His star has plummeted re- markably since Essendon's tumultuous best and fairest dinner on October 1, where it appeared Thompson could choose between becoming their senior coach full time or taking the same role at Gold Coast. There was widespread spec- ulation at the time that Es- sendon were about to sack Hird because he had broken ranks with the club and ap- pealed against their devas- tating Federal Court verdict. In an emotional speech that night, Thompson said he wanted to stay at Essendon - but also did not want to go backwards. Hird has since insisted his relationship with Thompson remains strong. Thompson's sudden exit is another landmark in the on- going mess that is the Essen- don supplements scandal. The AFL issued Hird's sus- pension and Thompson's fine over the club's 2011-12 sup- plements program. If Thompson continues to refuse to pay his fine, the is- sue will go before the AFL Commission. There is speculation Essen- don football department boss Neil Craig has become a can- didate to coach the Western Bulldogs, or join them in a senior supporting role. But if Craig leaves the Bombers, that is unlikely to change Thompson's circum- stances. Bomber Thompson quits Essendon Mark Thompson says goodbye to the club. PHOTO: A AP/MARK DADSWELL. "There's not a job there for me" admits Mark Thompson as he walks away from Essendon Football Club Essendon coach James Hird might have to wait till next year to get his appeal heard. The coach is arguing the AS- ADA-AFL investigation in the club's controversial supple- ments program was unlaw- ful because the investiga- tion used coercive manners to compel the players to an- swer questions. "There's an absence of leg- islation in the coercive pow- ers (of ASADA), and that rep- resents a deliberate decision by the parliament to with- hold that power," Hird's law- yer Peter Hanks QC told the court. "ASADA had no power to in- volve the AFL in the inter- views, as it asked the ques- tions." Hird appealed the ruling made by the Federal Court in September despite the club hoping the matter would end there. Hird said he was pleased he went ahead with the appeal this week. "We're very happy we've had the chance to put our case forward, we now look forward to the decision and go from there," he said. Source: ABC No date set for Hird appeal Essendon AFL coach James Hird outside the Federal Court this week. PHOTO: AAP/TRACEY NEARMY. The contribution of volun- teers and breakout players in Victorian football have been rightfully recognised. Football Federation Victo- ria held community, talent- ed player and development awards on October 23. Four Greek Australians picked up gongs for their work in grassroots football. Glen Waverly SC's Bill Orologas took out the coveted Volunteer of the Year Award, recognising more than 10 years of service to the club. Mr Orologas is a committee member, operations manager and U7s MiniRoos program manager at the club and has worked tirelessly trying to improve the club and the programs offered to all ages. He was described as the "go to" person for every coach, player and parent at the club and has been integral in see- ing the club welcome more than 500 members. Ashburn United's Emilio Amanatidis was awarded Male Coach of the Year for changing the whole club's dynamic. He removed the stigma of having 'A' and 'B' squads by coaching both squads togeth- er and in the process created two leading and equal teams. The Jones/Martin award for best youth female went to Lexi Anastassiou, after repre- senting Victoria at the Girls' National Youth Champion- ships in July She impressed on the field when she captained the Un- der 15s squad, and was picked up by the U16s Mini Matil- das' squad. Taking out the Hoar/Melvin Award for the Best Junior Girl was Kathryn Vlahopoulos, who also impressed at the Girls' National Youth Cham- pionships, scoring multiple goals. Volunteers awarded Lexi Anasstasiou (C) with her Jones/Martin award for best young female. PHOTO: GRAEME FURLONG Four Greek Australian football volunteers and players honoured in community, player and development awards The AFL will trial the re- turn of kick-to-kicks on the ground after matches next season at the MCG. It used to be a post-game tradition for fans to run out after the final si- ren and have a kick with friends, but insurance con- cerns prompted the league to make the playing sur- face off limits. The AFL is determined to be more fan friendly and an agreement was reached with insurers. The reintroduction of post-game ground access for fans will only apply to the MCG. The AFL is yet to con- firm how many matches it will involve, with officials wanting to make sure the playing surface does not suffer too much damage. Kick-to-kicks to return The reintroduction of post-game kick-to-kicks will only apply to the MCG.
8 November 2014
22 November 2014