Hird try­ing to keep lid on his own hype

Townsville Bulletin - - AFL -

James Hird THE hype sur­round­ing the start of James Hird’s coach­ing ca­reer at Essendon is go­ing into over­drive.

Af­ter the Bombers opened the AFL sea­son with a 55-point belt­ing of the West­ern Bull­dogs yes­ter­day, ri­val coach Rod­ney Eade cheek­ily pre­dicted Essendon could make the top four this sea­son.

‘‘ Full credit to Essendon, they’re go­ing to be a very good side – there’s no doubt they’ll make the eight and they’re cer­tainly a con­tender for the top four,’’ Eade said af­ter the 16.17 ( 113) to 8.10 ( 56) drub­bing.

‘‘ They’ve been very im­pres­sive in the pre-sea­son and they played that level again to­day . . . they have some tal­ent.’’

While Eade was un­doubt­edly play­ing mind games, Essendon’s mar­ket­ing depart­ment was mak­ing the most of the oc­ca­sion even be­fore the fi­nal siren.

The club had handed out ‘‘ Congratulations Hirdy!’’ posters to fans pre-match and they were en­cour­aged to hold these up dur­ing three-quar­ter time.

It was some­what pre­ma­ture for a club that fin­ished 14th last year and Hird was acutely aware the hard work had only started.

‘ ‘ We’re very con­scious t h a t E s s e n d o n h a v e n ’ t han­dled good wins that well, ever since my day,’’ Hird said.

‘‘ We’d have a cou­ple of wins and the club would get re­ally ex­cited and then you’d have a cou­ple of big losses.

‘‘ It’s one win, our first win for the year.’’

Hird said he did not see the three-quar­ter time signs and de­fended the mar­ket­ing gim­mick.

‘‘ We need a lot of money to run a good foot­ball club, to com­pete with the Colling­woods, West Coasts and Ade­laides of the world,’’ he said.

‘‘ So if the mar­ket­ing depart­ment and the cor­po­rate side of Essendon need to do

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