Essendon legend Kevin Sheedy says James Hird should be welcomed back into AFL ranks.
Hird resigned from the Bombers almost four years ago over the club’s turbulent supplements saga, but Sheedy believes he deserves a second chance.
“I would stake everything I had that James Hird will be a great coach, if he is ever given the chance,” Sheedy told the Herald Sun.
“Please don’t underestimate the young man who has a fierce amount of pride and would have been hurt (by the scandal) like anyone else would have been hurt.
“And I hate to say it again, but there has never been a positive drugs test.
“I’m not blaming anyone, but there is no way known he would have wished for what happened.
“And he has said sorry. How many times do you have to say sorry?
“I know people will jump at shadows because of what happened and that’s unfortunate.
“But he is one of the most intelligent football thinkers I’ve met. I think he is prime, ready to coach at an AFL club (again).”
Sheedy met with Hird last week and said he was in “a great place”.
Hird has recently told friends he would consider returning to the game if the right opportunity emerged.