Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tribute To Kevin Sheedy

I follow Essendon Football Club. I've only known one coach - Kevin Sheedy. He's been coach of Essendon for 27 years. Twenty seven years people. That's pretty much unheard of in this day and age of professional sport. That's so long that about three generations of footballers have played for the club in that time.

Sheedy is an institution at Essendon. In fact, he should be part of the constitution. Sheedy's been the face of Essendon, a change agent for the game and should be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Legend of the game.

Who will fill his boots at the Bombers? They have to be larger than life and able to add more words to the footballers' vernacular along the lines of "seagull", "marshmallows" and "Martians". Sheedy was nothing if not eccentric.

They will probably need to be a former Bombers player or they stand little chance of being accepted. Of those I see Terry Daniher, Mark Thompson, Gary O'Donnell or Neale Daniher as the most likely for a successor to be chosen from. Mark Harvey has just been appointed caretaker coach of Fremantle Football Club so I don't think that he'll be offered the job, although he has been an assistant coach since 1998 so he's probably a decent chance. I favour Gary O'Donnell with Terry Daniher, TD, being a dark horse.

Back to Kevin Sheedy. Essendon has won four day premierships and a further six night, or pre-season, premierships under his tutelage. Complete list of Essendon premierships. And his very long term win-loss record is around 67%. He started the jacket waving that is conducted by victorious supporters of Essendon or the West Coast Eagles after Essendon won an epic contest by two points. Such was the emotion of the man. Perhaps it is fitting that, if the Bombers don't make the finals, his last game will be against the Eagles.

I am just glad that he hasn't been sacked. His contract won't be renewed and that will leave his pride slightly intact. Alan Jeans said that sacking was a part of life for coaches. "There's only two types of coaches. You're either a sacked coach or you're going to be a sacked coach" - I can't locate the quotation exactly. Thankfully, Sheedy doesn't fit the mould, still. It'd be an ugly mould anyway. He does look like a Toby mug.

So long Kevin. I wish you well. Thank you for all the premierships, great players, unforgettable moments and your love and promotion of the game. Life will be different without you at the helm.


David said...

Chris Connolly mate. Thought that choice was easy... :D

Hammy said...

Chris Connolly? Let me put my teeth back in! Nice guy but not nearly hard enough as a disciplinarian and not the best at drafting either. But I suppose that has a lot to do with the people surrounding you also. Fremantle, who have a decent list, have done bugger all under his coaching. Not that a lot can be said about the Bombers of recent times either, to be fair. Nope, struck out there with that suggestion Dave.

I don't think Denis Pagan would be too bad.

Anonymous said...

Beats the snot out of me!! I have enough trouble keeping track of American NFl Football!! Good luck!!! Annette