New Essendon coach Brad Scott says the Bombers’ future success will come down to a club-wide attitude that values hard work, discipline and unity.
After a lengthy search for a new coach, which began with a shortlist of more than 22 candidates, the Bombers’ board ratified Scott’s appointment on Thursday night before the club confirmed the news hours later. .
Essendon chairman David Barham, who presented the new manager to the media on Friday morning, confirmed that Scott had signed a four-year contract “with options”.
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Scott spent nearly 10 years as a senior coach at North Melbourne, taking them to two preliminary rounds. He finished with a record of 102 wins and 101 losses, with four wins in the final.
“It’s an exciting time for this club,” Scott said. “I am incredibly humbled but also privileged to have gone through a long and thorough process and the panel and board feel that I am in the best position to lead this football team now and in the future.
“I’m more excited than ever to be back in football.”
Speaking to reporters, Scott said he was impressed with the club after initial talks with Barham and football boss Josh Mahoney.
He said he would “put no delay” on when he thought the Bombers could return to the Finals, but added that Essendon’s “big club” vibe would not automatically breed future success, stating that it would come down to a club-wide attitude.
“I have admired Essendon Football Club for a very long time,” said Scott. “But the more time you spend in football, the more you realize that you are not entitled to anything, whatever club you are at and whatever opportunities you have.
“It all comes down to the same thing: hard work, discipline, being united and being really clear about the direction and the role everyone should play.
“It’s going to be a big challenge here. But if you’re united and you’re not going in the same direction, I don’t care what players you have, what facilities you have, none of that matters.
Scott later added, “My role is to lead the football program. Everyone wants the same thing, members and supporters, they want to see the team perform. I want to create a program to allow this.
Barham said Scott was “a strong leader who will set standards and establish a winning culture.”
“It’s one of the most exciting days in the history of this football club,” Barham said.
“We are starting with a new manager, starting another chapter in what is a long and storied history of the football club. We look forward positively and with great enthusiasm to the coming years.
“I think they (Essendon fans) will get on board. In the end, all of our supporters want to win games. They will support that for sure and we will be a strong and united club – and if we can be one strong and united club, we will be in great shape. The fans, you can already see that, they respect what we have done, they respect the process and they respect Brad and they will be there.”
Scott joins the Bombers after a tumultuous and messy end to their 2022 campaign, which saw Barham succeed Paul Brasher as chairman and coach Ben Rutten sacked amid the failed pursuit of Alastair Clarkson by the club.
The newly appointed coach said he spent “a number of weeks” figuring out if the Bombers job was right for him. But he stressed there was “no question of being convinced” to take the role, saying he had been impressed with the club from day one.
“The process I went through was very thorough and rigorous. There was, I’m sure, a lot of due diligence on me and likewise I had to do my due diligence on the club,” did he declare.
“There have been some challenges here at Essendon, but there are a lot of things the club are doing really, really well. This will be my first stop to make sure we retain all the great things that already exist in this program. football and in this football club.
Barham said it was “a real chance for renewal” at Essendon.
“It’s not so much about next year. For me, it’s about how do we reset this club for sustained, long-term success,” the Bombers president said. “That’s what we didn’t get. We’ve been up and down, bottom of the ladder to bottom of the eight.
“We want to refocus on our core business which is football. We want to become a football club again and focus on football, focus on our members.
“We’ve been really successful off the pitch… but now is the time to change and renew football.”
Scott said he will step into his new role with “eyes wide open,” well aware of the challenges associated with returning to the coaching space.
“I think in any big, high-level role, there are parts that you love and parts that are really difficult. But I wouldn’t have committed to submitting to this process and going through the process if in my mind I hadn’t reconciled that this is what I want to do,” he said.
“This time I’m not an inexperienced, blissfully ignorant 33-year-old man. I’ve been in the industry for a long time in various roles and I think I have a pretty good idea of what’s required, but also a good understanding of the challenges involved.
Scott leaves the AFL after three years at league headquarters, including one as head of football operations. He revealed he told the Bombers he couldn’t commit to going into the process amid the recent Finals series, but the club was ultimately happy to wait.
“It was a really tough decision for me because I made a conscious decision when I came to the AFL that I was going to invest myself fully in a career as an administrator,” he said.
“By definition in a club you have a very narrow vision and you are very focused on what you need to do, so the three years at the AFL taught me a lot. I learned that there is a huge football ecosystem and I think I’m coming back to that role with a much more comprehensive approach to what the football ecosystem is.
“At the end of the day, I love coaching players, I love improving people… Talent was part of my portfolio at the AFL and every time I went out and looked at the talent journey, I don’t I couldn’t help but think that’s really what I love doing. more satisfying about training before.
“At the end of the day, when it comes to making a decision, that’s what I like to do.”
On Friday morning, the AFL confirmed that Scott would immediately end his role as the league’s chief football operations officer.
“Brad has been an integral member of the AFL team for the past three years, first playing a key role in the leadership of AFL Victoria, and this season leading football operations for AFL competitions and AFLW,” Andrew Dillon said. .
“AFL GM Football is not an easy job to navigate, and we have been so impressed and grateful with Brad’s ability to build relationships at clubs and across the AFL industry and , if necessary, to make the difficult calls for the good of the game. ,
“Having spent a lot of time with Brad, it’s clear he still has a passion for coaching. We look forward to seeing him back in the coaches box on game day and Brad will no doubt continue to contribute ideas. and ideas in his new role.