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The Age

Judge firms as Hawks' No.2 goes west

Author: STEPHEN RIELLY
Date: 10/09/1999
Words: 596
          Publication: The Age
Section: Sport
Page: 1
Hawthorn assistant coach Peter German resigned two days ago to accept a three-year offer of a similar role at West Coast, providing the strongest indication yet that Ken Judge will be the Eagles' next senior coach.

Richmond spoke to Judge on Wednesday night and remained upbeat yesterday about snaring the former Hawthorn coach, who resigned on Monday with a season of his contract to serve.

But German's move all but proves West Coast has Judge committed to a deal.

It is believed German offered his resignation to Hawthorn chief executive Michael Brown on Tuesday, saying he had been approached by the Eagles the previous Tuesday, 48 hours after the Hawks had finished their season by thrashing Sydney at Waverley Park and six days before Judge resigned.

His admission, which included details of his package, has convinced Hawthorn that Judge and West Coast were negotiating long before the season finished.

The Hawks remain angry about the circumstances of Judge's departure and continue to send out veiled threats of legal action for breach of contract.

Brown said last night the Hawthorn board had still to formally release Judge from the final year of his contract.

``Ken resigned and we accepted his resignation," Brown said. ``But we haven't had a request from any other club regarding a release. He is contracted to the Hawthorn Football Club and, as such, we are still considering his position with regard to the third year of his contract."

The apparent certainty of Judge finding his way back to Perth - an announcement is expected within days of West Coast's finals campaign finishing - leaves Richmond with only Brian Royal and Peter Schwab left on its long list of coaching candidates, and Schwab is still likely to be appointed Judge's successor at Glenferrie Oval.

The Hawks have their own search down to four candidates - Schwab, current assistant coach Chris Connolly, former West Coast captain John Worsfold and Bomber assistant Mark Harvey.

Worsfold and Harvey were interviewed yesterday and Worsfold, at least, returned to Perth buoyant.

``I felt comfortable in the interview," he said. ``They just asked about a range of issues and I gave my views. You speak to them to see what they expect from a senior coach and start to weigh up whether you can deliver that.

``Having put that thought into it, I'm really keen to have a go at it."

Harvey, on the other hand, was cautioned by Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy to take a little more time before moving into a senior role.

``Mark Harvey will make a good coach in a year or two. I've spoken to Mark about all of that," Sheedy said.

``He's spoken to me about a couple of things and he'd probably like a little bit more time.

``It's great to have a lot of Essendon people up for coaching jobs. Hopefully, Mark Thompson will get a job and I think Mark Harvey will eventually get a job, and that means that we're going down the right track in developing football people at this club. The club in general is very proud of that."

The likely appointment of Royal at Richmond comes with the blessing and endorsement of Western Bulldogs coach Terry Wallace.

``I think Brian has been a fantastic servant of this club for a long time, for a couple of decades now," Wallace said. ``He has done his time and he deserves an opportunity to coach at the next level."

 
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