The Weekend Post - - Sport -

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.

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