Melbourne interim coach Neil Craig has urged the club to act swiftly as it deliberates over a long-term replacement for Mark Neeld.
Paul Roos is the red-hot favourite to fill the role after meeting the club’s leadership group last Tuesday.
Craig, whose record stands at 1-10 after Sunday’s 20-point loss to the Western Bulldogs, has spoken to the selection panel about his own coaching ambitions. With the club moving into a busy off-season the former Adelaide mentor has stressed the need for a quick decision one way or the other.
Roos is expected to accept Melbourne’s multi-million dollar offer, with an announcement to be made as early as Thursday night’s best and fairest count, but Craig doesn’t believe there is a deadline set for any decision on a new coach.
“I’m not aware of that, but there would be a sense of urgency about it particularly now that the season’s finished because there’s so much planning,” Craig said.
“We’ve got exit interviews with our players Tuesday and Wednesday – ideally your senior coach would want to be involved with that whether it be myself [or someone else].
“There’s limited information I’m going to be able to give the players.
“Not to the extent of rushing the decision because the decision is too important, but as each day goes past now it becomes more and more critical.”
Craig hasn’t spoken to Roos himself nor was he able to shed any light on the nature of Roos’ meeting with the players.
“I haven’t spoken to them about the meeting – that was between the leadership group and Paul,” he said.
Craig said that there were “some things” he would require to get back into senior coaching again. With one year left on his current contract he remains open-minded about his role at the club beyond this season.
“I’m not one to hang around footy clubs, so if there’s not a meaningful role there and the senior coach may not want certain people around the footy club as well,” he said. “But that will all unfold once a senior coach is appointed.”
Craig’s Demons impressed in patches against the Dogs, but could do little to stop the second-quarter onslaught that turned the match.
Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney said that he sensed his young players were starting to fade after a strong patch of form late in the season.
He added he thought his group was “trending” in the right direction, but stopped short of putting finals on the agenda next season after managing eight wins this year.
“The reflection on the year is that we’ve done a fair bit right,” McCartney said. “We’ve had a couple of rough patches, some people have forged ahead in their careers, but a lot of young people have got a lot to learn and a lot to grow.”
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net….