QIs there a kid that stands out that you drafted that was not touted to go high in the draft but made a career out of it?
AI can give you two Brownlow Medallists: Dane Swan (right) and James Hird. I remember going out to Swanny’s house and we were the only club to ever go out and see him in his draft year. He was unconventional in the way he went about it and ran like a duck. But he was a bloody good footballer. He had a s*** attitude early days before Ben Johnson turned him around and showed him how to get fit. On Hirdy, a trainer at Essendon moved up to Canberra for work and saw him playing as a teenager up there. That is how we first saw him. We saw him play a few times in junior carnivals and I went to Sheedy and told him we needed to take James but he was a bit of a gamble. We were lucky Sydney did not take him as they had the chance to take two kids out of Canberra every year and James’ draft year, he was their third choice so we got him. We ended up taking him at pick 79.
QWhat are your thoughts on what has happened to James over the last few years? It is sad.
AIt is terrible because he is one of nature’s gentlemen but he just got sucked in by Stephen Dank. How does ASADA let Dank get away with this? In my opinion, the club got done for poor governance, there was never any positive drug tests. It is unbelievable what happened. Hirdy needs to get the blame for that because he was the head of the football department and he needed to be up to date on that. Maybe he was not diligent in that area like Sheedy would have been.