Former Essendon coach James Hird interviews for vacant Bombers job

James Hird has been interviewed for the vacant Essendon AFL head coach job after officially throwing his hat in the ring. Seven years after he quit his first stint at the Bombers, Hird has put his hand up for a second crack at leading the club where he was a champion player.

He was reportedly interviewed by Essendon’s coaching selection panel, which is headed by football boss Josh Mahoney and includes Robert Walls and Jordan Lewis, on Wednesday.

Hird took the helm at the Bombers in 2010 but quit after poor on-field results followed the club’s drawn-out supplements saga, which resulted in a 12-month suspension for him and 34 past and present players being banned for a season. His final record read 41 wins, 42 losses and one draw.

Bar work at GWS this year, first as a leadership advisor, then as an assistant coach, Hird has had minimal involvement in AFL circles since quitting Essendon. In an interview recorded before the Bombers sacked Ben Rutten last month, Hird left the door ajar for a return to coaching.

“There’s a lot of elements about it [coaching] I like,” Hird told the Howie Games podcast. “I was asked by the CEO of a footy club six weeks ago if I’d like to coach – not his club – but if I’d like to coach again.

“I’d have to have family considerations to do it. I love the fact that you get in deeply and you work with young people to create something really, really special and you create a great team environment.”

The Bombers attempted and failed to lure now-North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson, which prompted Rutten’s sacking. Melbourne assistant Adem Yze is one contender, while former Adelaide coach and Sydney assistant Don Pyke and ex-North Melbourne mentor Brad Scott have been linked to the role.

Ex-GWS boss Leon Cameron and former Fremantle and St Kilda coach Ross Lyon opted out of the process.