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GWS Giants caretaker coach Mark McVeigh opens up on future plans

Mark McVeigh insists he’s focused on getting the best out of the Giants’ underperforming list and not on retaining the club’s senior coaching job into next season.

McVeigh said he hadn’t spoken to another candidate for the job, ex-teammate James Hird, about his own coaching aspirations.

Following Leon Cameron’s resignation, McVeigh found himself promoted from assistant to senior coach of the Giants and will face West Coast as his first assignment this Sunday.

McVeigh said he would relish each of the next 13 weeks and wasn’t interested in contemplating his future beyond that.

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“I love coaching and the opportunity that’s been presented to me is amazing. I’m very fortunate,” he said.

“My sole focus is just week to week at the moment.

“My job right now is to stabilise everyone in the football department and make sure that we’re building in the right direction.

“Whatever happens at the end of the year, we’ve got to be in a position where we finish off really well. Where that leads, I don’t know.”

McVeigh said his focus was not on fixing the Giants but on reassembling them so as to realise the potential of one of the league’s most talented lists.

“It’s not a broken club. I’m taking over a club that’s got fundamentally some really good stuff going on,” he said.

“I’ve just tried to do it my way, put a new spin on it, improve a couple of things, make things a little bit better. Overall, the mood’s pretty good.”

After he was unveiled as Cameron’s temporary successor, McVeigh moved swiftly to appoint former Essendon teammates Hird and Dean Solomon to the GWS coaching staff.

Solomon served as an assistant at Fremantle and Gold Coast between 2010-2020, while Hird’s advisory role with GWS has been expanded under McVeigh.

James Hird will be in the coaches box with McVeigh. Phil Hillyard
Camera IconJames Hird will be in the coaches box with McVeigh. Phil Hillyard Credit: Supplied

McVeigh said the pair would “bulk up” the coaching staff and both would be in the box this Sunday.

“It was a no-brainer for me,” McVeigh said of his decision to hire Hird and Solomon.

“I was very lucky that I was able to secure those guys to be able to help support an already really good coaching group.

“We’re sending a message to our players that we’re serious about what we want to do over the next 13 weeks.”

Hird’s leadership advisory role with the Giants was his first official AFL position since resigning as coach of the Bombers in the wake of the club’s supplements saga.

His promotion under McVeigh will only fuel rumours of a possible coaching comeback, but the caretaker coach stressed he wouldn’t be discussing Hird’s future with him.

“I haven’t spoken to him about that at all and that’s not my job to do that,” he said.

“Absolutely not.”

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