Sports

Bombers chief addressed players after Blues loss

Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell preached a message of unity to the clubs players behind closed doors in the aftermath of Saturdays circuit-breaking loss to Carlton.

In a move which is believed to be unusual but not unprecedented, Campbell addressed players briefly in the rooms after coach John Worsfold had delivered his own message following the game.

Its understood Campbell urged players and staff to stick together and that everyone at the club shared in the Bombers predicament following their defeat to the previously winless Blues, a result which left Essendon at 2-6.

While it is not the first time Campbell has spoken to players as a group after a game, its believed such a move is rare.

Xavier Campbell.

Photo: Darrian Traynor

Less than two days after Campbells message about a united front, game performance coach Mark Neeld departed the club after his job was made redundant.

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Campbell told the clubs website earlier in the week that 2018 was not a lost cause for the Bombers.

The seasons not over and were not looking at it one bit that the season is over, Campbell said.

John flagged therell be some changes and were not afraid to make the changes necessary to ensure the improvement is made and that progress in this football club is made for our future.

As he flagged, well probably see that in selection later this week. We had a really good win in our VFL team and theres some players who are really pushing hard for selection and I cant see why were not going to be rewarding those players based on whats Johns had to say.

I think thats important and I think our fans are keen to see that.

Neelds manager Liam Pickering told SEN yesterday that, contrary to media reports, Neeld had not been sacked.

“Theyve been doing a review internally, and they decided to make the position that he was doing, which is basically a director of coaching role, redundant,” Pickering said.

“Its not the hands-on coaching role, so theyve decided that is a redundant role. That is exactly how the conversation went.

“Going by my discussion with Neeld yesterday, that isnt the case [that he was sacked].

“They came to an agreement that he can either go back and do this other role, which he has no interest in doing, which is basically getting out there and throwing balls to players and all that sort of stuff, or take a redundancy package, which he has done.”

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Daniel Cherny

Daniel is an Age sports reporter.

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