FORMER Essendon coach James Hird has thrown his support behind interim Greater Western Sydney coach Mark McVeigh and ruled himself out of the running to replace former boss Leon Cameron.
The Giants notched their fifth win of the season on Sunday and third from six outings under McVeigh, who took over from Leon Cameron following the Round 10 loss to Carlton.
Speaking before the 22-point victory, Hird, who has moved into a part-time coaching role with the Giants after joining the club as leadership advisor ahead of the 2022 season, said his former Essendon teammate "would be a fantastic coach for the GWS Giants and I'm backing him fully and wholly".
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"When you think of the story of Mark McVeigh: NSW boy, went to Essendon and he's come back and been an Academy coach, really been coaching at every role at the Giants, whether it be a line coach, senior assistant and now having the interim job. I’m here to hopefully get him the job and help them go as far as they can this year," Hird added.
Asked if he would entertain the idea of returning to senior coaching, Hird said: "Look, I'm not sure. I'm here purely for Mark McVeigh and to help the Giants."
McVeigh was asked about Hird’s comments during his post-game presser, but played a straight bat.
"He's my mate, isn’t he?" he quipped.
"Hirdy and I have a great relationship. He’s been wonderful for the club and for the players. He’s had a very experienced eye over our football program, which has helped all of us, and we value that.
"When he comes in, I think it’s really refreshing to hear a different voice."
McVeigh was full of praise for late inclusion Callum Brown, who starred for the Giants, kicking four goals in just his fourth game.
"We were pretty tall if we rolled out Keeffe and (Zach) Sproule as well, so we knew that we probably had to get another small, speedy player in and the conditions suggested that we had to do that," McVeigh said.
"To (Brown's) credit, he didn't know that he was playing until he arrived today, and we told him and he had a great game."
The 13th-placed Giants have a date with Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.
Hawthorn, meanwhile, was dealt a massive blow when 2019 Peter Crimmins Medallist James Worpel was subbed out of the game during the first quarter after dislocating his elbow.
"It was a pretty nasty injury. I'm not a medical expert, but it looks like he dislocated his shoulder," Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell said.
"They were able to get that back in and, as always, you just have to wait and see what the damage is."
"It was a disappointing outcome for him and for us because he's just starting to get back his form and his confidence."
After winning their first two games and showing so much promise, the Hawks have now lost nine of their past 10 matches and five on the bounce to sit 15th on the ladder.
"I was quite disappointed with today’s performance. We got a lot of things right, but too many things wrong and that's been a bit of a challenge for us," Mitchell explained.
"From a consistency point of view it’s been a real struggle to put consistent efforts together. The players are working enormously hard.
"We're very aware of the journey that we’re on."
Hawthorn will host Adelaide at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.