‘Wouldn’t have accepted’: Brad Scott wouldn’t coach Bombers if they’d just given him the job

Brad Scott wanted to earn the job as Essendon’s next AFL coach.

After more than a month of serious dialogue with the Bombers, the former North Melbourne manager has been selected from a field of “about 20” candidates to replace Ben Rutten.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Brad Scott’s only condition for coaching Essendon.

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He passed Melbourne’s assistant Adem Yze – who went through two rounds of interviews – to win the role, which was announced Thursday night.

Bombers president David Barham confirmed Scott had signed a four-year deal “with options,” suggesting there could be a trigger for more years, but wouldn’t go back to the “options.”

Although Yze presented well and was seen as a strong contender, given Scott’s nearly 10-year tenure as Roos coach, which spanned two preliminary round games, and the additional experience as head of football for the AFL, many believed the job was his, if he wanted it.

But speaking to reporters in red and black for the first time on Friday, Scott said he actually wouldn’t have taken it had it been his.

“The decision for me was: Do I want to be a coach again? After making that decision, I had to be crystal clear that Essendon was the right choice,” said Scott.

“And honestly, I probably wouldn’t have accepted the invitation if it just said ‘if you want to do the job, the job is yours.’

Brad Scott has been appointed as Essendon’s new manager. Recognition: Getty

“I had to prove to the board and the board that I was the right person for this football club. In my view, that is the only way.”

Scott spoke passionately about the love he had for his role as the AFL’s head of football, but said there was always a lingering itch to scratch.

“It was a really difficult decision for me,” he said.

“When I went to the AFL, I made a conscious decision that I would invest fully in an administrative career. I had a great three years with the AFL and really enjoyed it.

“Ultimately, 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 path, I couldn’t break away from the fact that (coaching) is what I love to do. I love developing boys through their adult lives as they are on the talent path.

Brad Scott speaks alongside President David Barham for the first time as Bombers coach. Recognition: Robert Cianflon/Getty Images

“That has been the most satisfying thing about coaching so far and ultimately, when it comes to the decision, I’m very happy to do it.

“I was with an AFL football club my entire adult life before joining the AFL. And by definition at a club you’re very narrow-minded and very focused on what you have to do.

“So the three years at the AFL taught me a lot. I’ve learned that there’s a huge football ecosystem out there and I think I’ll come back to the role with a much broader approach to the football ecosystem.”

Back in August, the Bombers were widely criticized for their botched attempt to get Alastair Clarkson to replace Ben Rutten, blinding their incumbent in the process and effectively hanging him out to dry.

It raised questions about the club’s integrity and culture at board level and fears that Tullamarine was not an attractive destination for a player or manager.

Ben Rutten was released under disputed circumstances. Recognition: DIEGO FEDELE/AAPIPICTURE

Brad Scott becomes the new Bombers coach.

Brad Scott becomes the new Bombers coach.

Scott said he thought long and hard about whether the club was right for him but that they impressed him from “day one”.

“I’m sure I’ve had a lot of due diligence done and I’m sure I had to do my due diligence at the club too. I’ve spent a whole bunch of weeks doing that,” he said.

“There have been some challenges here at Essendon but the club is doing a lot of things really, really well. This will be my first port of call; to make sure we keep all the great things that already exist in this football program and this football club.

“It wasn’t about being won over – I was impressed from day one.”

As well as his proven finals record in North Melbourne – without having won the ultimate in the Roos – Scott was also a two-time Premiership player for the famous Brisbane Lions side in the early 2000s, so like everyone, he also understands what success looks like.

Leigh Matthews hugs Brad Scott after the 2001 Premiership. Recognition: Hamish Blair/Getty Images

“It’s no secret that success breeds success,” Scott said.

“One of the things I’m really excited about bringing this playgroup is hopefully providing a glimpse of what strong clubs look like, what strong programs look like.

“There are no guarantees; You don’t just copy what you’ve seen in the past and expect to get the same result. I know from game analysis that the game changes very quickly and if you think you know how to do it and you know the secret formula you’ll be second and beyond.

“I will forever be indebted to (former Lions coach) Leigh Matthews for what he taught me as a player and my teammates and what he has done for this club.

“It’s no surprise to me to see Craig McRae doing what he’s doing, Michael Voss back in his position and a multitude of people (from that team) still involved in football. That often happens in successful eras.”

Barham also paid tribute to James Hird, who applied for the job but was overlooked.

Barham said Hird “will always be loved by our football club” and would not point to whether Hird could play any role at the club in the future.

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https://7news.com.au/sport/afl/wouldnt-have-accepted-brad-scott-didnt-want-to-coach-bombers-if-they-just-handed-him-the-job-c-8404030 ‘Wouldn’t have accepted’: Brad Scott wouldn’t coach Bombers if they’d just given him the job

James Brien

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