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James Hird’s focus upon his return to work at Essendon is expected to be on leading the team into season 2015, whether he takes up a seat in the coaches box for the rest of this year or not.
The Bombers have not yet detailed what Hird’s role will entail when his 12 month suspension ends in round 23, or how much time he will spend at the club.
The club’s football department has been restructured in his absence, with former Adelaide coach Neil Craig coming on board as general manager of football performance and Rob Kerr appointed to run the football department.
The club held a scheduled board meeting on Thursday night, and is expected to clarify Hird’s initial role and involvement at the club well before next week’s game against Sydney.
Chairman Paul Little had no comment to make as he left the club on following the meeting.
“It’s private,” Little told the Nine Network. “I’ve got no comment to make.”
The club is expected to clarify Hird’s initial role and involvement at the club before next week’s game against Sydney.
Hird returned from France earlier this week, after completing a four-month business course.
Essendon and Hird’s action against the Australian Sports Anti Doping agency is scheduled to begin in the Federal Court on August 11.
The club and Hird launched the action after ASADA issued show-cause notices to 34 former and current Bombers, alleging the government body acted outside its authority while conducting its joint investigation of the club’s supplements program with the AFL.
After Essendon’s win over the Western Bulldogs on Sunday, Thompson said his focus was on the players, and ensuring their season without Hird did not amount to a “gap year.”
“They don’t want us to be a distraction, so it’s not going to be,” he said.
“We are not talking about it, and I have not even decided what I’m doing next year. All I know is they didn’t want it to be a gap year and it’s not. We are still alive.
“We’re a chance to play finals and we want to make sure that happens. I can seriously tell you it’s not about me.”
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