Australian basketball legend Phil Smyth says experience in a senior role is what gave Matthew Nicks the edge in the race for the Adelaide coaching job.
Smyth was the only non-football person on the selection panel that included CEO Andrew Fagan, Football Director Mark Ricciuto and assistant coach James Podsiadly.
The three-time NBL Championship coach told Jack Heverin and Nick Dal Santo on SEN Breakfast that he felt Nicks was the correct choice.
“For me it was a really interesting process and I think Nicksy is the right man for the job,” Smyth said.
“I had a really good conversation with Leon Cameron about Nicksy.
“We all get better the longer we’re in things and I think the one thing that gave him just a little edge over the others was that he’d been in that senior role for a bit longer.”
The 61-year old said it was a tight contest and that it was tough to overlook others for the position.
“It was a really good process. I really enjoyed talking to all the coaches that applied for the job and got a lot out of what they had to say,” Smyth said.
“All the guys that came in were all new coaches. They were all dangerously close.”
Smyth revealed that he participated in the process when Phil Walsh was appointed coach and can’t wait to see how the AFL’s new coaches fare in 2020.
“When Phil Wash came in and took the job at the Crows I was involved then but there wasn’t as much focus on it, there never is when a coach leaves on his own accord,” he said.
“It’ll be interesting to see how the season unfolds for a couple of teams this season, there’s a few new coaches in and we haven’t seen that many in a while in the AFL.”
Smyth captained the Australian Boomers more times than any other player and appeared at five Olympic Games.