Lyon Returns To Restore Demons Pride
Former Demons legend Gary Lyon has agreed to return to the embattled Melbourne club as football director, however he has ruled out any possibility that he coach the club.
Earlier in the year Melbourne president Jim Stynes approached Lyon about being more involved in the day to day operations of the football club, however Lyon, who has a stack of media commitments, declined Stynes’ offer saying ‘I don’t want that life’.
However after the club plunged into turmoil on the back of the humiliating 186 point loss to Geelong, Lyon has committed to helping his former club through these tough times.
“Circumstances change and we are in a situation where we (Melbourne) need someone to step up,” Lyon said.
“I’ve got a president who has got enormous issues on his plate and if he looks to me and says ‘I want you to help’, then I am going to help him. If they want me to help over the next couple of months in football and if that helps lighten the load on Jim then I’m going to do it.”
Lyon has been charged with helping rebuild the Melbourne Football Club when it is at one of its lowest ebbs, and the 226 game veteran says he will not be taking any prisoners in a sweeping review of how the clubs football department is run.
“If there are issues at a footy club, I don’t care whether they’re with the CEO, the boot studder and the bloke that hands the jumpers out, you get in the room, you look each other in the eye and you have the guts to put the issues on the table,” he said.
“And then if it takes three days to punch on and thrash them out and get a resolution then that’s what needs to be done and if you can’t come to the resolution someone goes.
“If you have cancerous types within a footy club, who look you in the eye and say one thing, walk out the door… and start plotting and undermining your game, you’re never going to be any good.”
Lyon will now be charged with overseeing the recruitment process of Melbourne’s next full time coach, and one man who will not be in the hot seat next year is current Demons interim coach Todd Viney, who has ruled himself out as a long-term replacement for Bailey.
“I’ve never had the desire to be a career coach, so I’ll just tackle this five weeks and hopefully do a good job and steer the club in this difficult time,” Viney said.
That leaves Lyon and president Jim Stynes with a difficult decision to make and the one name that keeps bobbing up in relation to the Melbourne coaching role is the soon to be redundant Mick Malthouse.
“If Mick Malthouse picked up the phone and said ‘when I am done here I want to coach the Melbourne footy club’ I’d say ‘let’s get the paper work done’ because that would save me a lot of headaches,” Lyon said.
However as calls for Malthouse to coach Melbourne grow, so do the retorts from the Collingwood Football Club, who say Malthouse will be at the club next year in a director of coaching role.
Malthouse’s manager Peter Sidwell has moved to quash speculation that Malthouse would be open to coaching offers for next season.
“The Bailey sacking changes nothing. Michael Malthouse will not be coaching Melbourne next season, we’re going nowhere.” Sidwell said.
The Demons are intent on landing a coach with AFL experience and Alistair Clarkson and Rodney Eade have been mentioned as possible targets, however the man who is firming to take the reins at the Demons next year is former Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams.
Williams coached the Power to a premiership in 2004, and since being sacked as Port Adelaide coach towards the end of last season he has been working as an assistant coach at expansion club Greater Western Sydney.
Williams recently said that his passion had not subsided and he still sees himself as an AFL coach.
“At GWS I have the love and energy any coach would have. A lot of things have to happen, but who knows what could happen in the future,” Williams said.