Laidley Resigns

In shock news to the footy media and myself, Dean Laidley resigned as coach of North Melbourne Football Club this morning. In a press conference underway as I write, assistant coach Darren Crocker will step up as caretaker coach for the remainder of 2009 (the obvious choice).

I held the opinion earlier in the year that Laidley’s future could go either way, but had faith in the current administration to make the right call. As it turns out, they didn’t need to.

All in all, I think today’s events are a step in the right direction for North Melbourne. While I’ve always been a big fan of Dean Laidley, if he thinks it’s time, then it’s time. And the time is right; the mid-season break gives Crock two weeks to establish himself, it allows the club to begin looking for a replacement and it disperses the growing media vultures circling Arden St for a carcass. (The whole process has certainly shown up Richmond for the dogs breakfast that they are!)

As to the replacement, speculation is already rife. But in my opinion, there is only one choice: Nathan Buckley. I think he is the perfect fit. If he costs $1 million, he costs $1 million – that money will appear pretty quickly if his name is on the books. But I don’t think money will be the issue with Buckley. He’ll be after the right club, not the right price. And I honestly think he will be interested in North. More on that later….

Right now, it’s time all North supporters rose as one and acknowledged the incredible service Dean Laidley has given North Melbourne Football Club. The guy is a class act. Today’s move is just another example of Dean Laidley putting the club above himself. In an era clouded by relocation speculation, a feuding board and constant questions over North’s viability, Laidley, as much as anyone, has ensured North’s future in Melbourne. Moreover, the Junkyard Dog has embodied the true spirit of the club, taking it back to its North Melbourne roots. And I will never forget that magical season in 2007.

Dean Laidley, I salute you.

Update: Lindy Burns from ABC Melbourne talks with Rev. Shinboner (audio)

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Laidley Resigns

  1. I have always liked Laidley. Except for those six years he played for West Coast. Farewell Dean. You did good.

  2. Ed

    Where to now?
    My feeling is that Nathan Buckley is the man. He’s unlikely to worry about the cash situation, and he’ll draw a lot of sponsorship dollars to the club. I think he, Arocca and Brayshaw would make a very vibrant and youthful team.

    I also get the distinct impression from Brayshaw that North are a club that will no longer shirk at financial outlay if it means getting the best available. This idea of North running off the smell of an oily rag seems to me to be antiquated nowadays.

  3. Catherine

    I am sad, I loved Laidley, I thought in the future, he may have a good team after a few young players have been developed. Oh well, I can only be compensated if Buckley is appointed.

  4. Harvs29

    Buckley is worth looking at but paying one million dollars for the privilege of trying out an unknown quantity doesn’t seem prudent. In fact, it kind of sounds like what the Saints did when they enticed our great boy Malcolm to coach them.

    Make sure Buckley is interested then pay an appropriate amount. He’ll need good people around him and they’ll cost too.

    Farewell Dean. I agree with Brayshaw, a great strategist who probably ran out of steam at North.

    • You’re right Harvs. $1m is well and truly over the top. The point is that if Buckley costs a lot, North should find the money rather than go for second best. That said, you’re quite right – North shouldn’t pay him more than he’s worth.

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