Warning over embattled club’s Lyon approach

If Ross Lyon is not open to winning the Essendon job against other candidates, the embattled club should not rush to sign him, Bombers legend Matthew Lloyd says.

Lyon’s name has been linked to the newly-vacant senior coaching role, particularly after Bombers president David Barham indicated that the club would like an experienced mentor.

Barham has indicated that Essendon’s search for his next coach will be “thorough and rigorous”, prompting some to believe that Lyon may not want to be involved in such a process.

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Lyon came close to being named Carlton’s coach last year after meeting with president Luke Sayers, but withdrew his name from the running when it became clear he would have to undergo a process to win the job.

Despite Lyon’s obvious credentials, Lloyd wants him to earn the job just like any other candidate would.

“A process will be run, and (Lyon will) have to go up against others and maybe present three or four times, is he willing to do that to try and win the job?” Lloyd told 3AW’s Sportsday.

“Ross might, at his level, where he’s been a coach for well over a decade at two clubs, he might think ‘they know what I can do, I don’t need to go in a process.’

“You’ve got to be all in and not be ashamed if you do miss out on the job.”

Interestingly, Lyons former mentor, Robert Walls, is one of six people on Essendon’s coaching committee that will run the process of hiring the club’s next coach.

Walls played a role in helping Lyon get his first senior coaching job at St Kilda, but Lloyd does not want to see any favoritism towards the veteran coach.

“Times changed, Walls appointed Ross Lyon how many years ago, 15 years ago, so the game changes,” he said.

“What club you’re coaching, what type of list you’re coaching, what they think they need, I’d like to think you just open it up and may the best candidate win.”

Lloyd also encouraged his beloved club to interview as many people as possible for the role, including Mark Williams, Leon Cameron, Brad Scott and James Hird.

Despite Lyon saying he is “wary” and “cautious” of jumping into another coaching gig, he has mentioned that he is happy to listen to Essendon, particularly given his relationship with Barham.

The 55-year-old has been termed as somewhat of a perfect fit for the struggling Bombers by a number of experts.

“His focus on culture, and changing culture and creating an elite environment that gives the players the best opportunity to get the best out of themselves, is his strength. It’s open and honest and brutal at times, but creating winning cultures is hard,” former Bomber Brendon Goddard, who was once coached by Lyon at St Kilda, said.

“The importance he places on the defensive aspects of the game will teach them things they have never learned or held in such high regard.”

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“He’s a top-liner, he’s a star. Everyone says he hasn’t won a flag, he hasn’t done this, how many grand finals do you need to go to endorse your CV? I think he’s challenged players to get the best out of themselves, he’s set really hard and fast standards that he then hands onto the leadership group to maintain,” former Kangaroo David King said on SEN.

“He’s not the dictator. He basically allows the leaders to lead and then just puts this game plan (in). Sure, it’s defensive, it always has been, but when St Kilda had the capabilities to be a high-scoring team.. they were scoring heavily right throughout those (2008, 2009, 2010) seasons.

“Maybe they clamped up in the finals series, absolutely they probably did, but I think one of those years they were averaging 100 points right up until the last fortnight of the home and away season.

“He can score. If he wants to set the game up to score, he’ll do that. I don’t understand the negativity around Ross and I think Essendon need Ross right now more than any other person.”

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