James Hird is still the Essendon coach for now.

His decision to appeal the Federal Court verdict over the ASADA drugs investigation put him at odds with his club.

But the Essendon board will have further meetings, before deciding Hird’s future.

Marcus De Witt-Ryall reports.


Hird broke the news as he left Essendon Headquarters: I am still the coach.

And the Club Chairman had little to add to that.

Paul Little, Essendon Chairman: “James Hird is the current coach of the Essendon Football club, that’s correct.”

Mr Little said the board would’ve preferred that Hird did not appeal the Court decision.

And ominously that the board will meet next week to discuss a strategy for the future.

Paul Little, Essendon Chairman: “A strategy to determine a lot of things, but in particular, James’ decision to appeal the Federal Court case.”

This morning Hird revealed his reasons for deciding to appeal.

James Hird, Essendon Coach: “If we don’t appeal our players may be stained forever by the innuendo, misconceptions and falsities that resulted from an investigation that we believe was conducted unlawfully.”

And while Hird’s current position remains uncertain, it’s no clearer either for the man who wants to be coach, Mark Thompson.

At Essendon’s best and fairest awards last night, he revealed he would stay at the club if his position wasn’t downgraded.

Mark Thompson, Former Essendon Coach: “I can’t do a job that doesn’t fill the need. So just going to have to wait and see how we go the next couple days.”

Which means the Gold Coast Suns could be out of luck.

Thompson had been tipped as their new coach.

Marcus De Witt-Ryall, QUT News.