James Hird takes on his first AFL coaching job since Essendon drugs scandal


James Hird takes on his first AFL coaching job since Essendon drugs scandal as GWS temporary boss Mark McVeigh hands former Bombers team-mate a chance with assistant gig for the rest of the season

  • James Hird has taken on his first AFL coaching job since the Essendon drug saga
  • Hird, 49, has not coached for the past seven years after supplements scandal 
  • However, he has been closely connected to GWS with an advisory role
  • Former team-mate Mark McVeigh has given the Bombers great an assistant job 

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James Hird has picked up his first AFL coaching role since the Essendon supplements saga with the former Bombers great assisting Mark McVeigh at GWS. 

Hird left his role as senior coach at Essendon late in 2015 in the wake of the explosive drugs saga which saw 34 players served with two-year suspensions.

The 49-year-old had previously taken up an advisory role with the Giants and has been earmarked as a potential future senior coach with the club following Leon Cameron’s departure this month.

James Hird has been given his first coaching job since the Essendon drugs scandal in 2015

Now, Hird has been added to temporary coach McVeigh’s coaching staff for the remainder of the 2022 season, alongside former Bombers team-mate Dean Solomon. 

The newly-appointed pair – who will work remotely from Melbourne (Hird) and northern New south Wales (Solomon) – join Steve Johnson, Amon Buchanan and Craig Jennings as assistants reporting directly to McVeigh. 

Solomon and Hird will help out McVeigh in part-time roles, with the trio playing a crucial role together with the Bombers during the 2000s.


The Bombers legend has not coached in seven years amid huge backlash from the drugs saga

Ex-team-mate Mark McVeigh has named him an assistant coach at GWS for the rest of 2022

Solomon spent time as an assistant coach with Fremantle and Gold Coast, even filling in as interim coach of the Suns in 2017 when Rodney Eade was sacked.

‘As we head into the next 13 weeks, it’s a great opportunity to have Dean and James join the club’s coaching department,’ Giants football boss Jason McCartney said.

‘They’re both obviously close with our interim senior coach Mark McVeigh and jumped at the opportunity to support him, our coaching group and the players over the remainder of the season.

‘They both bring a fresh perspective and new ideas and we’re excited to have them join the Giants.’



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