THE DOOR is open for James Hird to return to Essendon at any stage, according to Bombers chief executive Xavier Campbell.

Having largely stayed out of the football spotlight since his departure from Essendon at the end of 2015, Hird was welcomed back into the fold when he presented this year's Norm Smith Medal to Richmond superstar Dustin Martin.

Hird, who won the Norm Smith Medal in Essendon's 2000 triumph, was due to present it as the AFL enlists previous winners to present the honour in chronological order.

However, the Brownlow medallist and club great is yet to have had any official involvement at the club since he left as senior coach after a disastrous 2015 season, which was the end of three years in the headlines, including a 12-month ban for his role in the supplements saga.

On Tuesday, Campbell reiterated the club's view that the 253-gamer and former captain is welcome when he is ready.

"We've spoken about this on a lot of occasions now and we've had discussions with James and James is well aware that he's more than welcome to come back at any point in the near future," Campbell said.

"I think he will in time. I do, but he needs to make that decision when he feels comfortable."


Meanwhile, the Bombers will ramp up their search for Rob Kerr's replacement in their football manager position.

Essendon is keen to have the role filled by Christmas, but says it has not yet spoken with former AFL executive Simon Lethlean about the position. 

The Bombers are aiming to pass 70,000 members for the first time in the club's history next year, and is also pushing to raise another $2 million in funding for its facility expansion project at its Tullamarine headquarters.